Summer is peak vacation time across the country and world. Whether you’re staying close to home, traveling abroad, or looking for somewhere you’ve never been to before, these 10 summer road trip destinations are sure to forge unforgettable memories for you and your family.
Acadia National Park is a lovely coastal park located on the coast of Maine and a birdwatcher’s paradise. There are plenty of activities for this park, whether it be good old-fashioned hiking and biking, taking a canoe out into the waters, or getting some extreme climbing done. Acadia is a New England wonderland worth exploring.
Acadia suffers from a lack of hookups like many other National Parks. You can stay in certain areas if you’re willing to dry camp but even those are far and few between. Your best bet is to pick a great RV park with facilities and amenities around the Bar Harbor area, you are close to Acadia and get all the fun that Bar Harbor offers as well.
Acadia’s location on the Maine coast makes for some extreme climate patterns. You can try Acadia during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, but you could find yourself stuck inside not wanting to confront the cold. Summer brings much warmer temperatures, so you can experience Acadia like you want to.
Mount Rainier in Washington state is one of a few peaks outside of the Rocky Mountain chain that peaks at over 14,000 feet, making it an excellent destination for those looking for high adventure. Not to mention, it’s cool to hike up an active volcano! If you don’t think you can take on the peak, there is still plenty to do from the rolling meadows of wildflowers to subalpine forest exploration.
There are no RV camping sites with hookups within Mount Rainier National Park, though there are campgrounds that will allow RV dry camping like Cougar Rock and White River. Pick a reliable RV park right outside the grounds as the local area has more to offer than just Mount Rainier, and you’ll get your creature comforts.
Like many high elevation National Parks, the weather can be quite hazardous, and summer is generally the time with the mildest climate. Mount Rainier also erupts in wildflowers in the early summer months, something you need to check out.
Though snow typically stops in Denver around April, it can continue in nearby Rocky Mountain National Park well into the spring, and sometimes into the early parts of summer. Summer, with its better conditions and open trail roads, provides the most comfortable trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, located within a two-drive of Denver. The summer months offer plenty of great hikes, views, and wildlife spotting in this popular destination.
Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon was formed from the remnants of the destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama. The fifth oldest National Park, Crater Lake’s stunning blue waters draw thousands of visitors every year to look over this intriguing landscape. Visitors can explore the old growth forests, take a scenic drive around the lake, or explore the area through the extensive trail system.
Unlike many of the other national parks, Crater Lake does have some RV grounds with hookups, found in Mazama Campground; reservations go quickly for these spots so make sure you book well in advance. If you’d like to be closer to civilization, you can choose one of the full-service RV parks in the surrounding area.
Crater Lake is an ideal destination for summer due to its weather patterns and elevation. Feet of snowfall on the area almost the entire year. There is usually a small window in July and August where the snow subsides a little, giving sightseers full access to all that Crater Lake offers. No matter what time you decide to go, expect to see snow year-round.
The Gulf Coast is an excellent destination if you’re with kids or with your spouse. If you’re going without children, the Gulf Coast has many options like Biloxi for gambling, or Mobile for some World War II history at the USS Alabama. If you’re with the kids, you can take them to play and splash around in the warm Gulf waters on one of its many sugar-sand beaches.
Popular Gulf Coast destinations include Biloxi, Gulf Shores, Destin, and plenty more. Being a great summertime spot, the Gulf Coast has many great RV parks. Great parks include Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, Florida, Sugar Sands RV Resort in Mobile, Alabama, and Cajun RV Park in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is over one million acres of untouched lakes and forests jutting into the Superior National Forest in Northeastern Minnesota. There are miles of wilderness to explore by foot, bike, and of course, canoe. You can take guided canoe trips or fishing expeditions; the Boundary Waters was made for the real outdoorsman.
There are many RV parks and campgrounds located around the Boundary Waters. Many of them are full service, offering up not only a place to stay but marinas and even guided tours. Just pick the park that has what you want to do. Summer is the ideal time to experience the Boundary Waters as the rest of the seasons are downright cold. You are in the far reaches of Minnesota after all, known for frigid temperatures and regular ice storms. Try summer for mild temperatures and much more pleasant weather.
Central Florida includes Orlando and the surrounding area that’s packed to the brim with summer fun for the whole family. This tourist hot-spot includes family favorites like Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure Orlando, Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, and the legendary Walt Disney World Resort. You can stay in Central Florida for a week and never run out of great activities. If you don’t have kids, there’s plenty of fine dining, golf, and live entertainment to occupy your time.
Orlando and the surrounding area is a road trip hotspot so its outfitted for RVs of all types. Popular campgrounds include Orlando / Lake Whippoorwill KOA and if you want to make the most of your adventure, you can camp inside Walt Disney World park boundaries at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort.
If you’re looking for the ultimate road trip, then there’s nothing more adventurous than RVing to Alaska. Most who RV to Alaska choose to start their adventure from the US Pacific Northwest, Canada or many skip the ride altogether and rent their vehicles directly in Alaska.
The best destinations for RVers include the rugged wilderness of Denali National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, the quirky towns of Alaska’s lower banks like Skagway, the coast for whale-watching, or a trip to the Arctic Circle from Fairbanks. It’s no surprise to anyone that Alaska’s weather is cold, but the summer months provide you the best opportunity to drive through America’s Last Frontier with the least amount of snow and ice. However, it's most crowded during the peak summer season, so go later in the summer after Labor Day if you can. The crowds won’t be as thick, and you will remain in the windows of more pleasant weather.
Anaheim is the west-coast Orlando and is packed with plenty of great theme and amusement parks for the whole family. Anaheim is close to the original Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, and not too far from Hollywood attractions like Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Anaheim is a major tourist destination, so there are plenty of great RV parks for any ride or group size. Popular places to stay include the amenity-studded Anaheim RV Park, which provides for shuttles to Walt Disney World, and Anaheim Harbor RV Park where campers brag of their view of nearby Disneyland’s nightly fireworks display.
Yellowstone is most crowded during the summer, but it's also when weather conditions are the most tolerable. The Yellowstone area is cool most of the year, and downright frigid in the winter. You can take advantage of the summer months to visit Yellowstone when the daytime temperatures are pleasant and nighttime temperatures aren’t too chilly.
There’s no doubt that Yellowstone is a popular RVing destination, which means there are plenty of suitable parks and campgrounds. If you want to stay within park boundaries, you can choose Fishing Bridge RV Park, which is the only campground within Yellowstone to offer electric, water, and sewer hookups.
If you’re OK with staying nearby park boundaries, you can choose Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone, Montana, or take another route to Yellowstone’s wonders by camping at Ponderosa Campground in Cody, Wyoming.