I’ve been to all 50 states, 49 of them in an RV. There are beautiful places to explore all around the United States, but there are some great places that surpass the rest.
The type of routes that make you feel like you’ve won the life lottery. The ones that make you ask, “Is this even real life?!”
Whether you’re a full-time RVer or planning a family vacation for the summer, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the options of where to go next and wondering which roads are the best and most scenic to enjoy through RV travel.
After over 50,000 miles behind the wheel and exploring every corner of this country, I’ve compiled the best RV road trips for you to explore!
Length of Route: Approximately 1,650 miles from Seattle, Washington to Los Angeles, California
Best Time of Year to Go: Spring/Summer/Fall
Imagine cruising down the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, with practically perfect moderate temperatures year-round. There’s no need for AC, just roll the windows down and inhale that salty ocean breeze.
Welcome to the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the best road trips in North America.
To be fair, this route can be as beautiful as it is challenging to drive, depending on the size of your RV. There are many sections along the PCH that are not big rig friendly.
While the weather is moderate compared to other parts of the country, you can expect some freezing temperatures in the winter or even early spring in some parts of the Pacific Northwest along the route.
Most folks are surprised to learn that the summer months are actually one of the least desirable times to visit California due to what the locals call ‘May Gray’ or ‘June Gloom’.
The marine layer tends to be thick and chilly, making the roads more dangerous to drive and less scenic.
PCH Must-See Sites
- Olympic National Park, WA
- Forks, WA
- Cape Disappointment State Park, WA
- Cannon Beach, OR
- Natural Bridges, OR
- Trees of Mystery, CA
- Redwood National Park & State Park, CA
- Fort Bragg, CA
- Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
- Big Sur, CA
- Pismo Beach, CA
- Santa Monica Pier, CA
PRO TIP: Drive the route from North to South for the most spectacular views.
Length of Route: Approximately 125 miles from Fernandina Beach to Daytona Beach (continue on Highway 1 to Key West, 540 miles)
Best Time of Year to Go: Winter
There’s really nothing like RVing in Florida during the winter. While folks shovel snow up north, you’re walking barefoot on the beach or soaking in the historical sites along Florida’s east coast.
This route includes the A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway (72 miles), as well as surrounding must-see cities and sites.
A1A and Coastal Florida Must-See Sites
- Fernandina Beach
- Little Talbot Island State Park
- Guana Tolomato Matanzas
- Saint Augustine
- Fort Matanzas National Monument
- Daytona Beach
BONUS: Continue south on Highway 1 across the famous Seven Mile Bridge to the Florida Keys and end your journey in Key West (#8). Be sure to sightsee in Miami (#7), and kayak in Crystal River to see the manatees!
3. Blue Ridge Parkway
Length of Route: Approximately 450 miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Shenandoah National Park
Best Time of Year to Go: Summer/Fall
Known as America’s favorite drive, this road trip belongs on the bucket list of every RVer. But like many scenic parkways, there are windy curves, mountains to traverse, and tunnels to go through.
It’s crucial to know your rig’s height and not to push your tow vehicle’s limits over the passes of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Blue Ridge Parkway Must-See Sites
- .Gatlinburg, TN
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Asheville, NC
- The Blowing Rock, NC
- Roanoke, VA
- Skyline Drive/Shenandoah National Park
4. The Grand Circle of National Parks
Length of Route: Approximately 1,370 miles roundtrip
Best Time of Year to Go: Spring
You may have heard of the Utah 5, but did you know you can easily expand that itinerary to include parks in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona?
This is one of the best RV road trip routes for the National Park geeks.
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Arches National Park
- Moab, UT
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
- Telluride, CO
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Shiprock, NM
- Petrified Forest National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Lake Powell
- Kanab, UT
5. National Parks of the Northwest
Length of Route: 476 miles from Jackson, Wyoming to West Glacier, Montana
Best Time of Year to Go: Summer/Fall
Pack up the kids and get them away from the screens. I guarantee the views out the windows of this route will be better than any new TikTok trend.
This route involves a bit more planning to time it out just perfectly. You want to avoid the peak season summer crowds at Yellowstone but not arrive too late to Glacier National Park to drive the Going to the Sun Road. I would say late summer or early fall will be your best bet for this trip.
Northwest Parks Must-See Sites
- Jackson, WY
- Grand Teton National Park
- Yellowstone National Park including: Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Canyon, Grand Prismatic Spring
- Bozeman, MT
- Glacier National Park
6. Tour of New England
Length of Route: 761 miles from Newport, Rhode Island to Burlington, Vermont
Best Time of Year to Go: Fall
The only downfall of traveling this route is you’ll have a hard time keeping it on the road when you want to be sightseeing around every corner.
While the West gets a lot of credit for epic road trips, the beauty of the Northeast is often underrated for its road trip potential.
- The Cliff Walk Newport, RI
- Cape Cod National Seashore
- Boston, MA
- Portland, ME
- Acadia National Park
- White Mountains, NH
- Green Mountains, VT
- Burlington, VT
7. The California Loop
Length of Route: Approximately 2,200 miles from Sacramento, California roundtrip
Best Time of Year to Go: Spring/Summer
Being born and raised in California, I can honestly say you could spend an entire lifetime exploring the Golden State and not be able to see and do it all, but the California Loop hits the highlights.
This scenic route could take you a couple of weeks or a few months to complete!
- Lake Tahoe
- Yosemite National Park
- Sequoia National Park/Kings Canyon National Park
- Eastern Sierras
- Death Valley National Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Palm Springs
- San Diego
- La Jolla
- Los Angeles
- Santa Barbara – side trip to Channel Islands National Park
- Morro Bay
- Big Sur
- San Francisco
- Napa Valley
8. Arizona Road Trip
Length of Route: Approximately 1,300 miles roundtrip from Tucson
Best Time of Year to Go: Spring/Winter
Join the snowbirds and take a tour of Arizona. Like the California Loop, this Arizona road trip hits a lot of the popular destinations while taking you from South to North, East to West, and back.
- Saguaro National Park
- Kartchner Caverns
- Casa Grande National Monument
- Montezuma Castle National Monument
- Meteor Crater Natural Landmark
- Winslow – don’t forget to stand on the corner!
- Monument Valley
- Antelope Canyon
- Organ Pipe National Monument
I may have saved my personal favorite of the best RV trips for last because nothing says ‘road trip’ more than this next one.
9. Route 66
Length of Route: 2,448 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California
Best Time of Year to Go: Summer/Fall
The Mother Road. The ultimate All-American road trip, Route 66. When you think of a nostalgic road trip driving off into the Western sunset, you probably imagine a scenic drive along Route 66.
While most of the original road has been surpassed by I-40, you can still step back in time along a surprisingly 85% preserved original route that starts in downtown Chicago and ends at the famous Santa Monica Pier in Southern California.
FUN FACT: Oklahoma has the most drivable miles of Route 66 than any other state.
The original Route 66 road is RV friendly, although it can sometimes be a bit bumpy and riddled with potholes. But I think that adds to the nostalgia of it, and forces you to slow down and soak it all in.
Route 66 Must-See Sites
- Chicago, IL
- Springfield, IL – Abraham Lincoln Historical Sights
- The Route 66 Museum and Welcome Center in Litchfield, IL
- Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, IL
- Saint Louis Arch, MO
- Meramec Caverns, MO
- Galena, KS – Inspiration for the Disney Pixar film Cars
- The Blue Whale – Catoosa, OK
- Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
- The Midpoint Cafe & Sign – Adrian, TX
- Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, TX
- The neon lights of Tucamacari, NM
- Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
- Delgadillo’s Snowcap – Seligman, AZ
- The ghost town of Oatman, AZ (*note – the original route is a windy and narrow mountain road, so proceed with caution).
- Amboy, CA
- The End of Route 66 at the Santa Monica Pier, CA
You could spend a week or a month soaking in all of the sites of Route 66. There’s no wonder it’s one of the best RV road trips. My best piece of advice is to take your time to see it all.
Go slow, read the signs, take touristy pictures, talk to the locals, and support the businesses that are still serving the small towns along the route. Go back to a simpler time along the Mother Road.
Best RV Road Trips for Beginners
There are countless popular destinations and beautiful scenery to be seen all around the United States, but the above road trips are a great way to get you on the open road!
If you’re a beginner RVer, remember to slow down and take your time planning. Also, try to avoid a strict schedule. This is the best way to have a pleasant trip and ensure you aren’t overwhelmed with the logistics and unpredictability of RV life.
Instead, you’ll be sure to fully enjoy the places you see and make tons of priceless memories on some of the best roads in the US.
Want beginner tips on RV living and travel?
Check out our guide to preparing for full-time RV living, including info on choosing an RV, budgeting for RV life, gear guides, and more.
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