There are few better ways to experience America the Beautiful than on a great American road trip. Traveling by RV unlocks some of the nation’s most scenic destinations, but deciding where to go next can be overwhelming. We’ve curated a list of the top RV camping places in the U.S., including recommendations for the best places to park your home away from home.
Black Hills, South Dakota
The South Dakota Black Hills have long been a favorite among RV campers for the sheer variety of things to do. Historical attractions like Deadwood, Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial complement outdoor recreation in Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park and Wind Cave, and Badlands National Parks.
Horsethief Lake Campground inside Black Hills National Forest doesn’t have hookups, but it makes up for it with its proximity to Mount Rushmore (two miles away). For more modern camping with electric hookups, flush toilets and showers, smaller RVs can snag one of the sites at Sylvan Lake Campground inside Custer State Park.
For a tropical getaway in the Lower 48, it doesn’t get much better than the Florida Keys. Island hop along the 113-mile Overseas Highway that connects the archipelago to the mainland; scuba dive in Key Largo, go deep-sea fishing off Islamorada or tuck into some key lime pie and Hemingway history in Key West.
Be sure to book your sites well in advance, particularly in the winter when snowbirds head south. Some of the most coveted spots include Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key (known for having some of Florida’s best beaches) and the lavish Bluewater Key RV Resort in Key West.
Hit the road toward Southern Utah to experience the Mighty 5, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion National Parks. If that’s not enough to entice you, throw in Cedar Breaks, Bears Ear and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, plus Dead Horse Point State Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Needless to say, this slice of the American Southwest has stellar scenery in spades.
You’ll find no shortage of RV campgrounds on both public and private land. Devils Garden Campground in Arches National Park offers easy access to the conveniences of nearby Moab, while Zion’s Watchman Campground is just a short drive from the town of Springdale.
The northwest corner of Wyoming is home to two spectacular national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. America’s first national park deserves a spot on any RVer’s bucket list for its myriad thermal features and wildlife spotting opportunities, while Grand Teton has some of the nation’s best mountain hiking. And in the winter, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding conditions around.
While Yellowstone has half a dozen RV-friendly campgrounds, Mammoth Campground is open year-round, and Fishing Bridge RV Park is the only one to offer full hookups. You can also camp in the Grand Tetons or in and around the town of Jackson further south.
Alabama Gulf Coast
Turquoise waters, white sands and live oaks draped in Spanish moss await on the shores of the Alabama Gulf Coast. This also happens to be one of the more affordable spots in the U.S. for a beach vacation, particularly if you’re bringing your hotel room with you.
A spot at Luxury RV Resort puts you within easy walking distance of Gulf Shores public beach, as well as shopping and dining in town. The Gulf State Park Campground has full hookups, a swimming pool and splash pad, tennis and pickleball courts, laundry facilities, and access to the park’s 28 miles of trails.
Blue Ridge Parkway
For a spectacular wooded drive (especially in autumn), spend some time traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway. This All-American Road stretches for 459 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, linking Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks.
Most public campgrounds on the parkway are open seasonally and offer basic amenities, like restrooms and drinking water. For full hookups, you’ll want to stay at one of many private campgrounds just off the parkway. Try Mama Gertie’s Hideaway Campground for top-notch amenities and views to match.
California’s Central Coast
The Pacific Coast Highway between San Francisco and San Diego might be one of America’s most picturesque coastal drives. There’s enough to see and do along the way to occupy you and your family for a weekend or a week. Take a stroll on Santa Monica Pier, tour historic Hearst Castle, marvel at the cliffs of Big Sur, gallery hop in Carmel or put your toes in the sand at any one of the beaches dotting the Pacific Coast.
Start your adventure at Campland on the Bay in San Diego (some of the sites have private whirlpool spas) and finish up at the Ramblin’ Redwoods Campground & RV Park in Crescent City, where you can sleep amid a grove of giant California redwoods.
If you’re in the mood for coastal views, sea breezes and fresh lobster, plan a camping trip along the coast of Maine. Acadia National Park stands out as a visitor favorite, but campers can also go birdwatching at Moosehorn National Refuge, kayaking in Casco Bay or swimming on Old Orchard Beach.