If you want to travel from the bottom of America all the way to the top, then one way to accomplish that is to take a Tampa to Mackinaw City road trip. As you drive from the middle of Florida to the top of Lower Michigan, you'll have the opportunity to explore multiple state and national parks. You'll also pass through vibrant cities that contain fun tourist attractions. Whether you want to get lost in a mountain forest or an urban jungle, you'll have plenty of options to put on your road trip itinerary from Tampa to Mackinaw City.
Congaree National Park
Before you leave the Atlanta area, head east for three hours to visit Congaree National Park. This park is known for its champion trees, some of which are the largest of their kind in the United States; there are also trees that are believed to be over a thousand years old. The trails are mostly flat here, so this is a great place to hike on easy trails. Another popular method of exploring this park is via boat on the Congaree River, which takes you through interesting swampland.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
America's most popular national park is only 45 miles southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, so how could you pass up the chance to explore it on your road trip from Tampa to Mackinaw City? Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains more than 500,000 acres of mountains, valleys, streams, and picturesque landscapes. The park is home to over 800 miles of trails, so you won't have any problem finding a path that suits your tastes and skill level. There are more than 2,100 miles of streams and rivers, meaning great fishing areas abound.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is two hours west of London, Kentucky. It's home to the world's longest-known cave system, so it's well worth adding to your road trip itinerary from Tampa to Mackinaw City. You'll be able to explore portions of this cave system, including the Rotunda, Frozen Niagara, and Gothic Avenue. Not all of the beauty in this park is contained underground, however; there are plenty of places on the surface to go hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, and boating.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Less than two hours east of Springfield Township, Ohio, is gorgeous Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Home to a hundred waterfalls, a hundred miles of river, and more than a hundred miles of hiking trails, this park provides visitors with numerous opportunities for adventure. Ravines, rivers, wetlands, forests, waterfalls, and more delight the 2 million people who travel here each year.
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park is three hours west of Toledo, Ohio. People come here to explore the sand dunes near the coast, but they also come for the 15 miles of gorgeous shoreline on Lake Michigan. There are also 20 square miles of countryside that you can experience on foot, bike, or horseback. In addition to the dune and coastal environments, you can also explore wetlands, forests, rivers, and prairies.
Reed Bingham State Park
You can easily reach Reed Bingham State Park by traveling 10 minutes west of Adel, Georgia, so it's a great place to visit on your Tampa to Mackinaw City RV road trip. If you want to see wildlife like bald eagles, alligators, gopher tortoises and more, then you'll want to stop by this park. Reed Bingham Park Lake is a great place for water sports; you can even rent canoes, kayaks, and paddlers for use on the lake. Swimming, hiking, and biking are also popular here.
Norris Dam State Park
Five minutes east of Rocky Top, Tennessee, is Norris Dam State Park. The park gives you access to Norris Reservoir, which is nearly 54,000 square miles large. Fishing and water sports are popular, and visitors also enjoy running along the shoreline. Should you prefer a more established trail for your exercise, you can take advantage of the 15 separate trails in the park.
Big Bone Lick State Park
If you want to see bison as well as Ice Age fossils on your Tampa to Mackinaw City road trip, then you can't pass up the chance to explore Big Bone Lick State Park. You can observe the park's bison herd at all times of the year. Birding is also a favorite activity here. The park's museum is home to exhibits featuring fossils, Native American history, paleontology and more. If you want to spend some time in the woods, this park has two orienteering trails and several miles of hiking trails.
John Bryan State Park
John Bryan State Park is half an hour from the heart of Dayton, Ohio. Rappelling and rock climbing are popular here thanks to the gorge and various rock formations that formed as a result of erosion from glaciers and the Little Miami River. About 12 miles of trails provide great places for hiking and, in some cases, biking. Disc golf, fishing, boating, camping, seasonal skiing, and sledding are other favored activities here.
Pinckney Recreation Area
A quarter of an hour west of Whitmore Lake, Michigan, is the lovely Pinckney Recreation Area. This park is made up of 11,000 acres of interconnected pieces of land that feature moraines, kettle lakes, lowlands and more. There are many great places to go fishing, hiking, backpacking, and biking. During the winter, ice fishing and snowmobiling are also popular.
The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park
The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park is a mere five minutes off your route through Ocala, Florida. This park features a wide variety of methods for exploring the gorgeous lakes, rivers and canyons in this area. Zip line tours, horseback tours, kayak tours and more are available at this adventure park.
If you feel that your road trip from Tampa to Mackinaw City needs even more adventure, then you should definitely stop by this great theme park, water park and zoo in the southern part of Georgia. The park is only five minutes from Interstate 75 as it goes through Valdosta, so it's easy to reach. Awesome rides like Boomerang, Hakini Rapids, Pharaoh's Fury and Rattler call this park home.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
Just five minutes from the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Multiple steam engines, vintage rail cars and more are waiting for you to climb aboard and travel back in time. Whether you want to take a short trip on a vintage short line train or a 50-mile trip on the Hiawassee Loop, you'll be able to experience the wonder of the "Golden Age of Railroading" at this museum.
This life-sized replica of Noah's Ark is only five minutes off your route through Williamstown, Kentucky, so why not add it to your road trip itinerary from Tampa to Mackinaw City? In addition to viewing three decks of exhibits in the ark itself, you'll be able to visit the zoo, ride a zip line, go back in time to Noah's day in a virtual reality experience and grab a bite to eat at Emzara's Kitchen.
Cincinnati Museum Center
The Cincinnati Museum Center is a multi-museum complex housed in lovely Union Terminal, which is a National Historic Landmark. This Art Deco train station is home to four separate museums and a theater. Whether you want to visit the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science, the Cincinnati History Museum, the Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Cincinnati History Library and Archives, or the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater, you'll find plenty to do and see here.
Georgia's capital is home to great places to visit like the Georgia Aquarium and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Excellent dump stations and campgrounds are easy to find in the area if you're taking your road trip in an RV.
Whether you're into horses, bluegrass, or bourbon, you can find plenty to do in Lexington. While you're exploring locations like the James E. Pepper Distillery and Kentucky Horse Park, you can take advantage of multiple dump stations and campgrounds for your motorhome.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Tampa to Mackinaw City, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Tampa or Mackinaw City.