Driving from Virginia Beach, VA, to Cleveland, OH, takes you from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. Historically important sites seem to jump at you around every bend of the road. The route was initially an arduous one, taking settlers months to cross. Today, you can make it in a few hours, or you can take weeks while visiting the incredible number of sites and adventures that appear along the way. The trip takes you through some historically significant real estate while traveling through four states and the District of Columbia.
Congaree National Park
Before you leave the Virginia Beach area, travel 392 miles southwest through North Carolina and into South Carolina to find one of the most exciting stops in the nation. Congaree National Park presents you with a vision you will not see anywhere else on your trip and therefore is a necessary addition to your road trip itinerary from Virginia Beach to Cleveland. Taking this detour leads you to a swampy slow-moving river where alligators, beaver, and muskrats roam amongst the roots of bald cypress trees. Osprey, blue heron, hawks, and the occasional bald eagle fish in these waters without concern of human intervention.
Shenandoah National Park
After you return to Virginia Beach and start north, the first national park you encounter on your Virginia Beach to Cleveland RV road trip is Shenandoah National Park. Located just 70 miles west of Washington, DC, this park is a natural spot for you to stop and rest for the evening. Situated in the legendary Blue Mountains, the park offers fishing, hiking, biking, and rock climbing to the adventurous and a quiet place to sit and contemplate the nature of things for those who wish to stay in camp.
New River Gorge National Park
When you reach Pittsburgh, PA, on your Virginia Beach to Cleveland road trip, take a detour south for 250 miles to visit the New River Gorge National Park. The detour takes you to the newest national park, which is reminiscent of the picturesque carved-out canyons of the west, like the Grand Canyon or the Columbia River Gorge. Here the natural greenery of the Appalachians provides cover from the sun as you fish the river or hike the multiple trails with incredible views at every turn. Nature awaits you in this park.
Cuyahoga National Park
A fantastic punctuation point on your Virginia Beach to Cleveland road trip is the Cuyahoga National Park. Located close to Cleveland, it is a great place to finish your journey. The park features over 100 waterfalls along a 100-mile stretch of the Cuyahoga River. Over 125 miles of hiking trails follow the river and pass dilapidated structures that used the power of running water to grind grain produced in the surrounding countryside.
Gambrill State Park
Just short of halfway through your Virginia Beach to Cleveland RV road trip sits Gambrill State Park. Stopping here provides an essential respite from the road no matter what season you are traveling. In the winter, the specter of frost on tree skeletons is compelling; in the summer, the temperature peaks at 87 degrees, providing a cool place to rest; in the spring, the burgeoning forest surges with energy, and in the fall, the colors of the deciduous forests are spectacular. The nearby town of Frederick is filled with entertainment venues, restaurants, and museums.
Poe Paddy State Park
About 100 miles beyond Gambrill State Park and in the state of Pennsylvania is Poe Paddy State Park. This park features solitude beneath a canopy of trees alongside babbling brooks. Here you can hike trails, fish the streams for elusive trout, or slumber through the day. You are a little over halfway along your road trip from Virginia Beach to Cleveland, which may be just what you need to relieve the stress of the road.
Black Moshannon State Park
A little over 400 miles along your road trip from Virginia Beach to Cleveland, try to visit or stay at Black Moshannon State Park. Another of those remote parks so attractive to those who have spent time on the road, this park features a 250-acre lake. The lake water is the color of tea, bringing the name of Black Moshannon. The color is due to the clear waters fed from nearby springs flowing through the bogs covering the shoreline. The solitude and the experience of seeing clear waters turn dark as a part of nature's plan is a fantastic experience.
Cape Henry Lighthouse
Before leaving Virginia Beach, stop by Cape Henry military base to climb the Cape Henry Lighthouse. The structure is the first commissioned by the developing nation after the Revolutionary War and the fourth oldest in the country. It is designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. After climbing to the peak of the lighthouse, visitors are treated to an unimpeded 360-degree view of the ocean, beaches, and inland sections of Virginia Beach. A stop here before heading north on your road trip from Virginia Beach to Cleveland provides an anchor that will stick with you through the years.
To maintain the theme of observing from heights that run through your road trip from Virginia Beach to Cleveland, try the Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh. The fun part is scaling the incline by riding a cable car. Once you reach the top, you are treated to panoramic views that overlook the entire city of Pittsburgh, PA, and its surrounding hills. The magnificent horizon stretches over hills to the mountains that appear purple in the distance.
Once you reach Cleveland, stop by the Terminal Tower for an incredible view of the surrounding area. The 52-story building reaches 771 feet and is considered a landmark building in Cleveland. It was built during the skyscraper boom in the 1920s and 1930s and was the tallest building in the country outside New York City. Today it is revered for its architecture, durability, and fantastic observation deck. Visitors are welcome on the observation deck and often come to see the view, which includes a 30-mile 360-degree panorama of the Cleveland area. It is the perfect spot to end your Virginia Beach to Cleveland road trip.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is still growing. The establishment of three military bases within the city's boundaries in the 1960s sparked urban growth unlike any found elsewhere in the country. Today, the city is more than a series of lovely beaches that welcomes visitors; it houses aquariums, museums, amusement parks, and places of entertainment. Before you begin your road trip from Virginia Beach to Cleveland, make sure to use one of the several dump stations that are available throughout the community. Take the time to test out your RV at one of the campgrounds in the area of Virginia Beach.
Stopping at Frederick, Maryland, during your road trip gives you access to multiple Civil War battlefields, historical monuments, and state parks. The town of Frederick, founded in 1745, is one of the oldest not situated along the eastern coastline of the United States. You may wish to stay here for several days. If you do, then utilize their impressive lineup of dump stations to your advantage. Many of the numerous campgrounds offer dump stations as well.
Pittsburgh, PA, is loaded with those extras that make an RV trip with the family successful. The community is full of museums, exquisite homes, restaurants, and places of entertainment. Stopping here for a time gives the family some perspective on the incredible nuances that make up our times. While you are here, it is a good time to stop by a dump station. Take the time to rest at one of the campgrounds near the city.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Virginia Beach to Cleveland, 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 Virginia Beach or Cleveland.