Contemplating a road trip from Wichita to Jacksonville, FL, requires more than taking out a map and drawing lines. You are moving through the heart of the country to a seaport with significant importance. During your journey, you can visit national and state parks created to preserve the original environment that explorers found here while experiencing the diverse cultures of the South. It is an exploration of the human impact on the environment as well as a vacation. While you may be traveling on modern paved roads, those who initially took this journey did so in stages over a hundred years, clearing a path that eventually became the roads you are riding. Many of the places you stop during this trip point to the past and the efforts of those who went before you to make this journey possible.
Hot Springs National Park
About 300 miles into your Wichita to Jacksonville road trip, you reach Little Rock, AR. In Little Rock, take a detour toward the southwest for about 50 miles to visit your first national park along this route, Hot Springs National Park. These natural hot springs were used by Native Americans and European settlers for medicinal purposes. The site was declared a national park in 1922. Today, the park includes the hot springs and 5,500 acres of surrounding forest — hiking and biking trails run throughout the park. Take your time here to be pampered after 350 miles on the road, and then, get ready for the next leg of this journey.
Mammoth Cave National Park
When you reach Memphis, TN, add a 290-mile detour to your road trip itinerary from Wichita to Jacksonville to experience Mammoth Cave National Park. The park holds the most comprehensive system of underground wonders in the entire world. Coming in at over 400 miles, the caverns include cascading flowstone formations and incredible stalactites and stalagmites lit up with colorful lights. Outside the caves, the park offers an array of hiking trails, some of which are ADA-accessible.
Congaree National Park
When you reach Jacksonville, you are not at the end of your trip. You have the opportunity to visit two amazing national parks well within driving distance of Jacksonville. The first is Congaree National Park, which is located near Columbia, SC. It is about a 280-mile trip north past Savannah and Charleston, two picturesque cities where you can stop to enjoy the area. At Congaree National Park, you get to see the results of a slow-moving river in an undeveloped area where swamps are common, and alligators, muskrats, and beavers live in harmony. It is a wonderful place designed by nature and intentionally left undeveloped.
Biscayne National Park
About 350 miles south of Jacksonville sits the second national park within easy driving distance of the last city on your road trip. Biscayne National Park was created as a reaction to intense development efforts in the Miami area in 1968. Located immediately south of Miami, Biscayne includes 172,000 acres of coastal bayou, offshore islands, and the underwater topography between. Exotic wildlife, thousands of migratory birds, and a colorful array of undersea life await your visit.
Mount Nebo State Park
Mount Nebo State Park is about 420 miles into your road trip from Wichita to Jacksonville. Taking the time to stop and spend a day or two at this park keeps your family fresh for the long road ahead. Sitting atop Mount Nebo in Arkansas, you discover an impressive view of the Arkansas River Valley, not to mention that it is close to Arkansas’ famous wine country. In this state park, you find some impressive buildings constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Constructing buildings was not the only task given to the CCC; they also built trails, paths, roads, and observation posts that are maintained by Arkansas to this day.
Oak Mountain State Park
Located outside Birmingham, AL, Oak Mountain State Park is about 870 miles into your Wichita to Jacksonville road trip. At 9,940 acres, the park is Alabama’s largest. The park’s landscape is stunning and webbed with hiking and biking trails. Sitting atop Oak Mountain, the park provides splendid views of the surrounding area. With Birmingham only a 20-mile drive away, multiple restaurants, shops, and museums are awaiting your visit.
Falling Waters State Park
Near the end of your Wichita to Jacksonville road trip lies Falling Waters State Park. Here is a great spot to stop for a night or two to visit nearby Tallahassee or to remain in a park that offers comfort and a set of amazing natural wonders. Inside the park, the tallest waterfall in Florida sprays a 20-foot-wide display, catching the light in a show that takes the breath away. Streams offer angling and swimming opportunities to refresh those weary of the road while overhanging cypress covered in Spanish moss gently waft with the breeze.
Museum of World Treasures
Before you leave on your road trip from Wichita to Jacksonville, stop by the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita to set a foundation for your journey. Here, you find artifacts collected worldwide, including dinosaur exhibits, ancient Egypt displays, and presentations on past presidents. Take the time to let it all set in as your plan is to cross a historically significant section of the country.
Lapworth Museum of Geology
When you reach Birmingham on your Wichita to Jacksonville RV road trip, take the time to visit the Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham. It is time to reinforce what was learned during your visit to the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita. Here, you find more information on dinosaurs, Native American cultures, and the geology of the area that caused such tremors as the New Madrid earthquake of 1811. Find out again about the land you are traveling to appreciate the efforts to tame it fully.
Museum of Science and History
Now that you are finishing your road trip from Wichita to Jacksonville, it is time to visit the Museum of Science and History. The museum is the perfect culmination of your journey. It allows the family to interact with displays that show the geological forces that created the land over which you traveled. Working through the ages, this museum exhibits Native American cultures that lived in what is now the southeastern section of the United States. To finish your visit to the museum and your journey across the country, take the time to visit the planetarium for a look into the future.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Stopping in Little Rock during your road trip from Wichita to Jacksonville reaps big rewards. The city is filled with incredible restaurants, shops, and interesting points to see. For many, it is an important location to visit and enjoy. RV traffic is growing each year, encouraging the development of dump stations and campgrounds.
With so many important events in Birmingham over the last century, it is little wonder that stopping here on your Wichita to Jacksonville road trip is recommended. The Civil Rights movement brought considerable attention to this city and brings millions of visitors to see and touch a part of history each year. The resulting increase in dump stations and campgrounds speaks to the city’s importance.
Included in your road trip itinerary from Wichita to Jacksonville is the incredible city of Tallahassee. Founded as an afterthought, the city grew to become an influential part of the country’s social makeup. As the capital of Florida, this city houses several museums, monuments, and commemorations, all of which deserve a visit. Located at a crucial intersection of the country, this town sees considerable RV traffic, which inspired the development of several dump stations and campgrounds.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Wichita to Jacksonville, 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 Wichita or Jacksonville.