This road trip will take RVers from the Pacific coast in San Diego to the high desert of the southwest US and through the deep south before ending in gorgeous Savannah, Georgia. You’ll be booking around 3,000 miles for this trip on a variety of road types, and extreme climates so make sure your RV is up to the challenge before heading out. Don’t expect a lot of sprawling metropolis on this road trip. It’s all about the people, the places and, of course, some delicious food.
When to Go on the Southern Road Trip
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the southern states get pretty darn warm during summer. You don’t want to overtax yourself and your RV so don't plan this trip for June, July, or August. Spring is a great time to see the desert blooms in Arizona and New Mexico, and fall is an excellent time for some varied colors along the southeastern states.
Campland on the Bay is an ideal RV park for any RVer. Paved spots are outfitted with full utility hookups, and that’s the basic sites, choose a super-site if you want full utilities as well as privacy, your Jacuzzi spa, and your laundry facilities. The park is loaded up with plenty of other features and amenities such as game rooms, fitness center, onsite café, boat put-in, dog park, on-site market and plenty more. Campland is an all-around great RV park.
San Diego has long been a fun place to go so there will be plenty to do. If the kids are on the trip, you have your choice of the world famous San Diego Zoo, Legoland, SeaWorld and more. If you’re a big fan of history, especially naval history, you’ll appreciate the USS Midway Museum as well as the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Outdoor adventurers will have plenty to do as well as you have La Jolla Cove and Shores, Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, Balboa Park and Torrey Pines State Reserve all within the local area. Once you get done with all the fun in San Diego, you’ll be able actually to hit the road.
Without the signs, you may not even know that this is a public park due to the great amenities. You will be greeted at Catalina State Park with 120 full-service sites, and all these sites come with their picnic table as well as a grill. Campground bathrooms and shower facilities are new so feel free to leave your shower sandals behind. On top of those amenities at your site, you also have a gift shop, on-duty rangers, exhibits, group use areas and more.
If you’re staying at Catalina State Park, you may as well take advantage of your local surroundings. Catalina offers over 5,000 acres of canyons, streams, desert landscape and some great wildflowers. Try hiking, biking, horseback riding or cruising to check out the local area. You’re also on the doorstep of Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Park if you need more outdoor fun. Other points of interest in Tucson include the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Air and Space Museum, the Mission San Xavier del Bac and much more. A good mixture of things to do when staying in Catalina State Park and Tucson, Arizona.
KOAs are known by RVers for their amenities and features and the Carlsbad KOA Holiday is no different. Even the biggest or rigs will fit at Carlsbad KOA Holiday as they have sites to accommodate rides up to 75 feet at sites loaded with full utility hookups. You can clean yourself up in the clean bath house, shower, and laundry facilities after having fun in the caverns. Not only do you get these great basics but you also get a pool, snack bar, Wi-Fi access, group pavilions and top it off, BBQ is served nightly.
The number one reason to stay in Carlsbad, New Mexico is to check out Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Take a guided or self-guided tour to check out the many amazing geological formations, the great rooms and make sure to grab a seat for the nightly migration of the local Brazilian Free-tailed bats. There are even trails to explore the local area up above if you’re feeling a bit claustrophobic. Other than the park you have the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, Sitting Bull Falls and the Lake Carlsbad Recreation area.
Dallas, Texas does have some RV parks, but for a real gem, we need to be a little outside of the city at the Vineyards Campground and Cabins. You’re right on Grapevine Lake with large grassy pull-through sites that come with all three major utilities on top of The Vineyard’s clean and bright shower and laundry facilities. The amenities don’t end there, there is a camp store, fishing pier, disc golf, playgrounds, bike, and kayak rentals, group pavilions and plenty more — lots of fun and amenities at the Vineyards Campground.
Dallas is a huge metropolis with plenty of great activities, so you shouldn’t be searching too hard for things to do. If you want to be outside, you should try Klyde Warren Park, White Rock Lake Park, or the gorgeous Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. If you’re looking to check out the history of Dallas, you can check out the infamous Sixth Floor Museum/Texas School Book Depository or the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District. You also have the Dallas World Aquarium and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for the little ones.
You may be a little north of the bayou, but you can still get some excellent Cajun food in Shreveport.
A lovely park in a great recreational area greets you when you roll into Mississippi and Timberlake Campground. There are water/electric sites as well as full-service sites if you don’t like dealing with your black tanks. Every great RV park has shower and laundry facilities, and Timberlake is no different. You also get grills, picnic tables, TV room, tennis courts, swimming pool, comfort station, water access and plenty more. There’s so much to do at Timberlake you might forget to visit Jackson.
Jackson, Mississippi is a good mix of activities for the whole family as well as some historical and heritage sites. The kids will likely enjoy the small but entertaining Jackson Zoo, the Mississippi Museum of Nature and they’ll dig the Mississippi Children’s Museum. If you dig the historical buildings, you’ll want to try the State Capitol, the Old Capitol Museum, the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion or the Eudora Welty House. Other points of interest include the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Mississippi Agricultural & Forestry Museum, and the Alamo Theater.
Capital City RV Park is a highly rated park that gives you plenty to work with while hanging out in Alabama’s capital city. The sites are large and include full utility hookups on top of cable TV connections and your patio. The showers are private if you do not feel like an exhibitionist and laundry facilities are clean and able to handle your on-the-road stinky clothes. You also have a dog park and playground to keep Fido and the kids happy.
We move from the capital city in Mississippi to the capital city in Alabama with Montgomery. Montgomery is one of the best places in the United States if you’re big on American history and the civil rights movement with points of interest such as the Rosa Parks Museum and Library, the Civil Rights Memorial Center and the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. After you’ve learned some history, you can try the Montgomery Zoo or the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. You also must stop by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for some of the finest productions of Shakespeare in the United States.
Make time for an Atlanta stop to visit one of the world’s largest aquariums and to eat some fried chicken and waffles.
We featured this park on our Atlantic coast road trip, but it serves as well for the southern US road trip. Skidaway Island State Park has over 80 RV sites with 17 of those sites coming with full utility hookups. You’ll also get all the basics that RVers need for a long trip like their shower and laundry facilities, group meeting areas, picnic areas, playgrounds and more. You get all these features and amenities in the lovely Georgia country setting.
It’s not difficult to have a good time in Savannah, all you have to do is take a stroll around the Historic District for some beautiful buildings, neat shops, and some excellent dining. There also a few landmarks you shouldn’t miss such as the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Bonaventure Cemetery and the Pin Point Museum. One unique way to have fun in Savannah is to go on a ghost or vampire tour, something different that’s sure to lease.