Hot Springs National Park
While you will have to go a little southwest, you can easily incorporate a Hot Springs National Park visit into your St. Louis to Nashville RV road trip. If you love architecture, you will love visiting Bathhouse Row. Constructed between 1892 and 1923, each of the bathhouses has many unique architectural features, such as the Quapaw Bathhouse's tiled dome, the sculptures holding urns of water at the Ozark Bathhouse, and the thermal cave carved into the mountainside at the Hale Bathhouse. Today, these bathhouses hold unique shopping and dining experiences, and you can get a massage at the Buckstaff Bathhouse, which has been in continual operation since 1912. There are many places where you can see, taste, and touch the water, which was believed to heal many ailments. Biking and hiking opportunities exist in the park and nearby.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
There are two entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that you may want to consider for your road trip itinerary from St. Louis to Nashville. The closest one is located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, but if you are looking for a more isolated experience, consider entering near Townsend, Tennessee. You can go biking, hiking, fishing, and much more in this national park. If you want to see wildlife, consider heading to Cades Cove, where you stand a great chance of seeing deer, black bears, coyotes, turkeys, and more. This entrance is also near many of the 60 historical buildings located within the park.
Johnson’s Shut-In State Park
You can find over 40% of the plant species in Missouri in Johnson’s Shut-In State Park. If you are looking for a backcountry wilderness experience, head to the East Fork Wild Area or the Goggins Mountain Wild Area. At this state park near Middle Brook, Missouri, you can jump from boulders into the water. Rent a bike to ride on the 4.5 miles of paved roads in this park or take one of the many audio tours. Stop at the Black River Center to see displays focusing on this park’s ecology throughout time.
Lake Frierson State Park
Head to Lake Frierson State Park for some fishing fun. Stop at the park’s headquarters to buy your favorite bait and enjoy catching bream, catfish, crappie, and bass in the 335-acre lake. You can rent a boat or kayak or fish from the pier. You will want to hike along the Dogwood Lane Trail, especially in the spring when the dogwoods are in bloom as this park has a higher density of this type of tree than any other state park in the state. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the pavilions. Be sure to see the nature exhibits in the visitor center before leaving this state park near Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Chickasaw State Park
Chickasaw State Park near Henderson, Tennessee, is located on some of the highest terrain in western Tennessee. Rent a horse from the park’s stables to explore the beautiful forested trails running through more than 14,000 acres. Challenge someone to a game of golf on the 72-par golf course. This park’s two lakes make great places for paddling fun, and you can rent boats. Swimming and playing on the beach are fun ways to cool off on a hot summer day.
Bonne Terre Mine
Enter the Bonne Terre Mine for a unique underwater diving experience where the water is always kept clear enough to see at least 100 feet. The guided tours into the 1-billion-gallon lake are lit by LED lighting along the cave’s walls, making it even easier to see. The facility furnishes divers with oxygen tanks, so you do not have to bring your own. Along with animal life, there are many manmade statues along the way to view. You can also explore the larger parts of this mine near Bonne Terre, Missouri, on a boat or walking tour.
Hydro Adventures is an all-ages water park located near Popular Bluffs, Missouri. Waterslides and other pool fun can be had during the summer while miniature golf, go-carts, laser tag, and other fun activities can be enjoyed throughout the year. You can also enjoy your favorite pizza and arcade games.
Tennessee Safari Park
See bison, zebras, gazelles, and many other animals at Tennessee Safari Park. Drive through the park throwing special food to the park’s animals as you go along this one-hour adventure. Then, stroll through the walk-thru part of the park before ending your visit with a hamburger or hot dog at the Safari Grill.
Former Nashville mayor Randal McGavock built Carnton Plantation in 1826, and many influential government leaders visited it throughout the 19th century. When you come to this plantation, you can learn about the McGavock family and how their lives changed in 1864 when one of the Civil War's bloodiest battles happened near this property. Numerous tours allow you to see this home and the surrounding land where four Confederate generals were killed.
Consider heading to Mastodon State Historic Site to learn more about ice age fossils or enjoy time spent near the water at Arnold City Park or Suson Park. Campground options in Arnold include Covered Bridges RV Park & Storage and Bob’s RV Park. You will find many camping options in the Greater St. Louis Area. Empty your tanks at RV dump stations near St. Louis at spots such as Pheasant Acres RV Park and Camping World of St. Louis. There are plenty of other Missouri campgrounds and dump stations you can stop at along the way.
Jonesboro, Arkansas, is home to a premier art center and the Forrest L. Wood Crowley's Ridge Nature Center. Consider Jonesboro campgrounds like Perkins RV Park and Craighead Forest Park. Jonesboro RV dump stations are available at both of these spots and other nearby Arkansas locations.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas, and it's a city filled with many fun things to do, including visiting the Little Rock Zoo. Lots of art galleries and bookshops are available for browsing. Consider campground options in Little Rock, like Cherokee Lakes RV Park or Malmulle Park. Little Rock RV dump stations include those at Downtown Riverside RV Park, and Cabot RV Park. You'll find plenty of other campgrounds and dump stations in Arkansas as well.
Known as the home of blues music, Memphis, Tennessee, is a great place to listen to a concert. You may also want to visit Graceland and many other attractions. Campgrounds in Memphis range from those in metro settings, such as Elvis Presley Boulevard RV Park, to ones in more natural surroundings, such as T.O. Fuller State Park. Memphis RV dump stations include those at Graceland RV Park and Campground and Meeman-Shelby State Park. You can also find other RV dump stations and RV campgrounds throughout Tennessee.
Use this road trip itinerary from St. Louis to Nashville or plan your own RVing adventure between these two cities. You will want to leave in your RV as soon as possible, so get planning today. If you do not have one, you can rent an RV in St. Louis or Nashville through RVshare to explore Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Take frequent breaks to enjoy all of the exciting things to do along the way, and remember to take plenty of pictures!