Bucket List: An RV Trip Through All 50 States

RV Lifestyle | Road Trip | get inspired


If you love to travel but always need more time for it, you're not alone. Life can get in the way, and putting off those dream trips is easy. But what if we told you there's a way to travel that's convenient and cost-effective? Embarking on an RV trip through all 50 states should be on your bucket list.

This ultimate road trip lets you explore the country at your own pace and on your own terms. The adventure is not just limited to retirees or those with a nomadic lifestyle. This trip is for anyone who loves to travel, including weekend warriors, families looking for vacation options, and alternative living interest groups. You can embark on this epic journey with the RV rentals we provide at Cruise America.

Taking an RV Trip Through All 50 States

While traveling through all 50 states in one go might seem daunting, it's not impossible. (Except for Hawaii, that one's completely surrounded by water.) Still, unless you have a ton of vacation time, you may have to split the trip into smaller parts to work up to visiting all 50 states by RV. Here is some insight on the best road trip destinations per region and a few tips on planning them.

Best Road Trip Ideas to Hit Every State

You can take many RV routes to explore the country's most beautiful and exciting areas. From the stunning beaches of California to the historic sites of the East Coast, there are countless road trip itineraries to suit everyone. Some popular routes include:

Pacific Northwest Road Trip

The Pacific Northwest region is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. An RV trip through this area will take you to some of the most stunning landscapes in the country.

Columbia River Gorge, situated on the border between Oregon and Washington, is a must-see destination for its stunning waterfalls, hiking trails, and scenic drives. Some popular stops include Multnomah Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Vista House.

A few other stunning locations with plenty of RV camping sites available to accommodate your travels include:

East Coast National Parks Road Trip

The East Coast has several stunning national parks with unique landscapes and attractions. For example, Everglades National Park in southern Florida is a unique and diverse ecosystem home to wildlife, including alligators, panthers, and manatees. Several RV camping sites in the park, including Long Pine Key Campground and Flamingo Campground, enable convenient exploration.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most-visited national parks in the United States. Located on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountain visitors can explore the park by hiking, fishing, or RVing the scenic routes. Several RV camping sites are available in the park, including Cades Cove and Elkmont Campground.

Southeast Road Trip

The Southeast region has diverse landscapes, from the Gulf Coast to the Appalachian Mountains. You can find some of the best RV campgrounds in the Biloxi Bay RV Resort and Marina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This RV resort offers easy access to the beach!

You can also explore the nearby casinos and natural wonders, such as Mammoth Cave — the world's longest cave system. Additionally, the Nature’s Resort RV Park is in the Ocala National Forest in Florida. This RV park offers access to springs, hiking trails, and nearby Gainesville.

Alternatively, visit the Island Retreat RV Park situated on the Florida Panhandle. This RV park offers access to the Gulf of Mexico and nearby state parks, such as St. George Island State Park and Tate’s Hell State Forest. 

Southwest National Parks Road Trip

The Southwest region is home to some of the most awe-inspiring national parks in the country. A Southwest national parks road trip is an incredible adventure that takes you through the rugged beauty of the American Southwest.

Begin your trip at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, where you can explore the ancient cliff dwellings and learn about the fascinating history of the Pueblo people. Next, head to Arches National Park in Utah, where you can hike through stunning sandstone arches and take in breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

No Southwest national parks road trip would be complete without a visit to Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Here, you can witness the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.

Northeast Road Trip

Embarking on a scenic Northeast road trip allows you to experience the region's natural splendor, rich history, and vibrant culture. Start your journey in Maine, where you can camp at Wilderness Edge Campground and explore Acadia National Park's rugged coastline, towering peaks, and diverse wildlife.

Afterward, head south to Connecticut and stay at Witch Meadow Lake Family Campground for fishing, boating, and hiking in the nearby forests. Continue to Massachusetts, where you can visit the historic Wompatuck Campgrounds and take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground to enjoy the island's picturesque beaches.

Lastly, visit Robert H. Treman State Park in New York, where you can hike through scenic gorges and camp in a tranquil forest. End your road trip with a bang at Niagara Falls, where you can marvel at the breathtaking waterfalls and take a boat tour!

Midwest Road Trip

The Midwest may not be one of the places that come to mind when you think of camping, but it has some hidden gems worth checking out. Robidoux RV Park in Gering, Nebraska, is one such spot. Located in the shadow of the Scotts Bluff National Monument, the park offers scenic views and easy access to hiking trails.

Geneseo Campground in Illinois is another fantastic option for camping. It's situated on the banks of the Hennepin Canal, perfect for fishing and kayaking. If you're in Indiana, check out Shipshewana North Park Campground. The park offers numerous sights and is within walking distance of the quaint town of Shipshewana.

Alaska National Parks Road Trip

Embarking on an Alaska national parks road trip is a unique journey. Starting with Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, visitors can witness glaciers, fjords, and majestic mountains all in one place.

Next, make your way to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, a place that offers an incredible view of glaciers calving into the ocean and opportunities for kayaking and wildlife spotting. In Sitka National Historical Park, visitors can explore the rich history and culture of Alaska's native people with totem poles and traditional architecture.

Finally, no Alaska National Park road trip would be complete without a visit to Denali National Park and Preserve, home to the tallest peak in North America. Visitors can hike, bike, or RV to see the park's abundant wildlife. RV camping sites are available in each of these parks, offering visitors the chance to experience Alaska's wild beauty up close.

Tips for Planning Your Road Trips

Planning a road trip can be a thrilling experience, but it requires care to ensure that it is stress-free and enjoyable. Start by planning well in advance. Research your route and destinations and reserve RV camping sites or accommodations as early as possible to secure your spot.

When creating your itinerary, consider traffic, weather, and attractions you want to experience. To make the most of your trip, anticipate the "3-3-3 RV rule," meaning that you should aim to drive no more than 300 miles daily, stop at least every three hours and be off the road by 3 p.m.

Lastly, if you plan on visiting multiple national parks, consider purchasing a national park pass to save money on admission fees. With careful planning and preparation, your road trip can be the adventure of a lifetime.

Stop Making Excuses and Get on the Road

If you've always dreamed of taking an epic road trip, why not go for it? There are countless amazing sights to be seen and experienced on an RV road trip throughout all 50 states. You can hit the road and make unforgettable memories with proper planning and an optimal route. So what are you waiting for? Get an RV rental from Cruise America and start ticking off your bucket list items one state at a time. Happy trails!