Beautiful Short-Haul RV Trips for a Memorable Summer Weekend

Short RV Trips


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Short RV Trips

In It for the Weekend

Recreation vehicles might conjure images of weeks on the road during cross-country treks checking out America's many RV parks. But you don't need to block out a month to enjoy the country one spectacular chunk at a time. These are fast, easy, and doable trips for weekend warriors. Find the route closest to you, grab your supplies, gas up, and hit the road.

Note: It's a good idea to call ahead or make a reservation, as state and local orders have required some campgrounds to close or limit facility access due to the pandemic.

Related: Spectacular RV Trips to Put on Your Bucket List

Overseas Highway, Florida

The Overseas Highway Through the Florida Keys

The southernmost tip of U.S. 1 is a stretch of engineering wizardry known as the Overseas Highway. The only route into and out of the Florida Keys, the designated All-American Road links mainland Miami with Key West, a tropical paradise situated just a hair over 100 miles from Havana, Cuba. Along the way, you'll cross the vast expanse of the Seven-Mile Bridge as you travel one of the most RV-friendly routes in the country — more than 15 dedicated RV parks dot the 113-mile stretch of the Overseas Highway from beginning to end.

Related: Beautiful Short-Haul RV Trips for a Memorable Summer Weekend

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Parkway

If you have an RV and the Blue Ridge Parkway isn't on your bucket list, take a moment to update your bucket list. Running 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina on the border of Tennessee, the Blue Ridge Parkway spans the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. If you're not up for the whole trek, don't worry, it's broken up into four much more manageable and distinct sections: Ridge, Plateau, Highlands, and Pisgah. There are dozens of RV parks and campgrounds with RV hookups along the way and everything you need to know about tunnel clearances and road warnings can be found on the parkway's dedicated RV page.

Buffalo graze in the Lakota Tribal Park.
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Game, Fish & Parks Dept.

Native American Scenic Byway

The amazing Native American Scenic Byway introduces you to the people and places that ruled the continent before European settlement and American conquest. The byway takes you through the reservations of the four great tribes of the Lakota Sioux Nation: Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Lower Brule, and Crow Creek. Your 350-mile journey begins south of Bismarck, North Dakota, and ends in Chamberlain, South Dakota, where several RV parks await.

Related: 30 Beautiful Road Trips That Celebrate American History

Acadia All-American Road, Maine

Acadia All-American Road

Known as the "crown jewel of the North Atlantic Coast," Acadia National Park in Maine boasts the Atlantic Coast's highest rocky headlands, 16 stone bridges, 16 miles of carriage roads and pristine water and air. The heart of it all is Acadia All-American Road, a 40-mile jaunt that takes you through fir-spruce forests and picture-postcard lakes back-dropped by soaring granite mountains. Schoodic Woods Campground in Acadia has several different options available for RV camping but none are open before August 1, so check the website.

Route 66

Route 66

Route 66 is probably the most iconic highway in America. A relic from before the Interstate Highway System, the road captured the country's imagination and became a symbol of freedom, wanderlust and America's car culture. Running from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, Route 66 is no quick overnight jaunt. But the culture of the road changes as it goes, so any small section can become a weekend adventure. The National Route 66 Museum is in Elk City, Oklahoma. Cadillac Ranch is in Amarillo, Texas. The road's traditional termination point is the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. No matter which section you tackle, you'll have plenty of RV-friendly options — there are dozens, if not hundreds, of RV parks and plug-ins lining the route across eight states. 

Related: Route 66: Then and Now

Pacific Coast Highway, California
Doug Meek/shutterstock

The Pacific Coast Highway: Santa Cruz to Big Sur

Few roads in the world can compare with the beautiful scenery that rolls past your windows when you're driving California's Pacific Coast Highway. It's a 600-mile stretch of ocean-hugging West Coast bliss that runs from San Francisco to San Diego. Among the choicest sections is the 70-mile stretch that links Santa Cruz to Big Sur. Soaring ocean views, skyscraping redwoods, mist-shrouded mountains and California's legendary wine country are all part of the package. A popular RV destination, Big Sur faces no shortage of hookups and campgrounds for you and your home away from home.

Valley of the Eagles Byway

Valley of the Eagles

Wild, rugged, and remote, Alaska's Haines Highway connects Haines Junction with Canada's Yukon Territory — and Valley of the Eagles isn't just a nickname. The byway traverses the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, where 3,500 of the majestic raptors congregate in the world's largest gathering of the birds that represent America's might. You can do the 44-mile run in an hour, and aside from eagles, you can expect to see minks, beavers, wolves, sea lions, and humpback and orca whales. There are at least six RV parks in Haines Junction, Yukon Territory.

Beartooth National Scenic Byway, Montana

Beartooth Highway

You can conquer the entire 69-mile run of Beartooth Highway in about three hours. The road traverses Wyoming and Montana, taking its guests over the highest drivable elevation in the Northern Rockies. The vantage point provides soaring views of some of the most majestic landscape on Earth — and Beartooth's termination point is Yellowstone Park, which welcomes visitors with several options for RV parks, though check before you go — parts of the park have had flooding of late.

Related: 30 Great American Road Trips Through History

Chinook Scenic Byway
Chinook Scenic Byway by Jim Culp (CC BY-NC-ND)

Chinook Scenic Byway

Travel over Chinook Pass from Enumclaw to the glacier-fed White River in Washington state on the 85-mile Chinook Scenic Byway. Postcard views of Mount Rainier will keep you entranced as you pass the basalt flows of the Columbia Plateau, waterfalls, green subalpine meadows, river canyons, and thick forests. Three of Mount Rainier Park's four campgrounds welcome RVs.

Amish Country Byway
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

Amish Country Byway

Travel back in time through Ohio's famous Amish Country on the Amish Country Byway. A little over 76 miles, you can complete your trek in three or four hours. Pastoral countryside lulls drivers as they meander along winding roads, open farms and country landscape that the Amish and the people of Northern Appalachia call home. You'll have your choice of RV parks along the way.

Cherohala Skyway View
Cherohala Skyway View by Steve (CC BY-NC-ND)

Cherohala Skyway

Opened in 1996, the Cherohala Skyway links Robbinsville, North Carolina with Tellico Plains, Tennessee. In between are two of the grandest national treasures in the Upper South: Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, both of which are teeming with RV parks and RV-friendly campgrounds. At just a little over 40 miles, the skyway itself is a beauty. The wide, two-laned highway ranges in elevation from 900 feet to 5,400 feet above sea level.

Related: 50 Most Beautiful Highway Drives in America