Trade your high heels and oxfords for a good pair of hiking boots on your Washington to Miami road trip, which offers you the chance to see the White House and the US Capitol Building before heading to the sunny coast of Florida. The East Coast of the United States is filled with beautiful places to explore, and most of them do not have a dress code. Go ahead and roll down the windows and breathe nature in deeply as you roll along on your road trip from Washington to Miami.
Shenandoah National Park
Just 75 miles south of Washington, DC, you will find Shenandoah National Park. The only public road through this park is Scenic Drive, and as the name suggests, there are many scenic overlooks where you will want to pull over and view longer. One of them is the Crescent Rock Overlook. There, you will gasp in awe as you gaze toward Hawksbill Mountain, which is the highest point in the park. Take the bus to see President Herbert Hoover’s Rapidan Camp. While the hike can be strenuous, put forth the effort to hike the Traces Trail to see the Overall Run Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in the park.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Drive across the Appalachian Highlands while stopping to play in several state parks before you arrive at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While this route goes several miles further east than you would normally go when traveling from Washington, DC, to Miami, seeing this park may be worth the effort. Enjoy spectacular valley views by taking the 11-mile Cades Cove Road, but be aware that bears often cross this road and completely stop traffic. Then, drive the Clingmans Dome Road and stop and climb to the top of the mountain, which is the highest in the park. Get on the Appalachian Trail off Newfoundland Gap Road to hike to Charlies Bunion and enjoy the mountain views.
Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park contains the largest contiguous tract of old-growth bottomland hardwoods in the United States. You will want to include a stop here on your road trip itinerary from Washington to Miami. Join the rangers in the evening for an owl prowl to hear the eerie howls of the barred owl and see the fungi glowing as it hangs from the cypress trees. If you are up for it, head out on the 11.7-mile Kingsnake Trail, where you will see many of the birds that live in the park. Stop at the visitor center to learn more about this park’s unique ecosystem.
Natural Bridge State Park
Thomas Jefferson once owned the land that makes up Natural Bridge State Park. Become a child again and kick off your shoes to wade in the Cedar Creek that runs along the path leading to a 215-foot-tall bridge that water cut into limestone over the course of thousands of years. After marveling at the water’s power, keep strolling up the path to see the replica Monacan Indian Village. After helping to establish Jamestown, John Smith’s first encounter with the Native Americans was in a very similar village. Finish your visit to this state park by seeing the 30-foot-tall Lace Falls and listening to its water cascade to the river below.
Croft State Park
Croft State Park is located only three miles from downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, and you can find a lot to do within its 7,054-acre boundary. Try to time your visit to coincide with one of the top equestrian events happening in the arena at this state park. There are over 20 miles of mixed-use trails to explore on a horse, bike, or foot. Throw a fishing line in Lake Johnson or Lake Craig to catch a good supper of trout or bass. Rent a canoe or kayak to enjoy the views from the water.
Colleton State Park
Go on a paddling adventure at Colleton State Park, which serves as the headquarters for the 21-mile Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail that runs to Givhans Ferry. The Edisto River is one of the longest free-flowing blackwater rivers in the United States. Borrow the fishing equipment from this park’s office to go fishing from your vessel or on the shore. Follow the beautiful nature trail to see a variety of birds and other wildlife.
Amelia Island State Park
Contact Kelly Seahorse Ranch at the beachfront Amelia Island State Park to go horseback riding on the sandy shores. After you and your horse have had fun splashing in the water, take a stroll on the beach. It is a great place to work on your tan and pick up seashells and other treasures in the tidepools. There are many places to fish from this park’s shores, or you can head to the mile-long George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier crossing the Nassau Sound.
Collier-Seminole State Park
Experience one of the largest mangrove swamps in the world at Collier-Seminole State Park. You can also see one of the few remaining Florida groves of royal palm trees at this 7,271-acre park. Rent a canoe to experience Blackwater Bay and the Ten Thousand Islands.
Taubman Museum of Art
Over 2,000 works of art are held in the permanent collection of this museum. Most of the artwork was done in America during the 19th and 20th centuries.
If you have ever dreamed of going to see castles in a foreign country, make sure to stop at the Biltmore Estate. Go on a tour of the home that is one of the largest in America before heading outside to see the beautiful garden. Breathe in the fragrance of the rose garden that contains more than 250 varieties. Rest for a spell under the tall shade trees on this estate. End your stop by attending their afternoon chocolate and wine tasting.
Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum
Another beautiful home that you will want to visit is the William Scarbrough House in Savannah, which now serves as the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. This home was built in 1819 and features a Greek-Revival style. The property is filled with replicas of small ships commissioned by the museum to showcase Savannah’s rich maritime history. Take time to stroll through the native-plant garden.
Magic Kingdom Park
While many people make special trips to see Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, you can easily include it as a stop in your road trip itinerary from Washington to Miami. Consider riding the rides, dining with your favorite characters, and shopping on Main Street.
The Florida Aquarium
This facility is home to more than 7,000 aquatic plants and animals. It has become a leader in trying to figure out why coral reefs are quickly disappearing. During your visit, you can go snorkeling with over 1,000 fish.
Smith Mountain Lake, which is the biggest in Virginia, is located just outside this community. The city has many museums to explore, including the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the Roanoke Pinball Museum. Think about camping at Dixie Caverns Campground, where you can go caving, or at Yogi Bears Jellystone Park at Natural Bridge, which plans exciting weekends throughout the year. Use the RV dump station at the Bedford Welcome Center.
Visit over 250 working artists in the River Arts District of Asheville, North Carolina. There are approximately 30 craft breweries in this city. Rolling Stone Magazine has named The Orange Peel as one of the five best rock clubs in America, and you can see many live events at this venue. Think about spending a night camping at the conveniently located Asheville Bear Creek RV Park or at French Broad River Campground, where you can camp right on the river’s shore. Use the dump station at Lake Powhatan Recreation Area or Wilson's Riverfront RV Park.
You will love the southern charm of this quintessential city, especially in its 20-block historical area. Ride the ferry to explore Hutchinson Island after wandering through the riverfront area with its great restaurants and entertainment venues. Think about camping at the CreekFire Motor Ranch, where live music events are often held, or at the Savannah South KOA. You can use dump stations at Fort McAllister State Historic Park or Savannah Oaks RV Resort.
Disney may be the most popular attraction in Orlando, but there are many other places to check out, including Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando. Consider camping at the Lake Breeze RV Resort. Use the dump stations at Camp USA or Pilot Travel Center.
If you have not enjoyed the beach enough on your Washington to Miami RV road trip, this is a great place to work on your tan. You will also love this city’s nightlife and its great museums. Brickley RV Park offers many activities, or you can challenge your traveling companions to a game of miniature golf at Cypress Campground & RV Park. Use the dump stations at the TA-Petro Stopping Center or Colonial Self Storage.