Itching to go on an epic summer road trip but not sure where to go? In this post, we’ll highlight some of the best RV destinations to consider for your summer trip. Whether you’re craving rugged adventure, beach days, or vibrant city vibes, there’s something on this list for you. Pack the rig, fuel up, and hit the road to these spectacular summer RV destinations.
While it’s quite the trek from the lower 48, Alaska can be a dream come true for adventurous RVers seeking abundant natural beauty, prolific wildlife, and endless opportunities for outdoor activities. Though only three of Alaska’s eight national parks are accessible by road, there are countless other areas to explore as well in your RV, and plenty of campgrounds and RV parks. From kayaking to mountaineering to learning about indigenous cultures, there’s truly no shortage of things to do in Alaska. However, be aware that mosquitoes can be gnarly in midsummer—bring plenty of bug repellent if you visit Alaska in July.
In the summer months, much of the country becomes uncomfortably warm for RVing, unless you run the AC all day. Fortunately, you can beat the heat by gaining altitude in the Sierra Nevadas and taking a refreshing plunge in Lake Tahoe. The crystal clear water of the alpine lake allows stunning and otherworldly views of enormous boulders below the surface, and the treed mountains surrounding the lake provide a gorgeous backdrop. There are numerous campgrounds and RV parks on the lake’s shores and tons of summer recreation activities available, like swimming, boating, paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and more.
Montana & Wyoming
Some of the most gorgeous national parks in the country are located in Montana and Wyoming, and they are often extremely difficult to explore in the winter due to heavy snow and road closures—which means summer is the ideal time to visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Devils Tower National Monument. You can also easily dip into Canada to visit Waterton Lakes, Banff, and Jasper National Parks. Explore towering mountains, beautiful lakes, and massive glaciers. Abundant wildlife in the area includes moose, bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and so much more.
The east coast also has some ideal summer RV destinations to offer, including several points of interest in the Carolinas such as Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which is great for windsurfing, fishing, relaxing on the beach, and exploring historic lighthouses. In Myrtle Beach, you can enjoy a balance between beach getaway and vibrant nightlife, or you can head inland to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and explore via hiking, hiking, or horseback riding. Visit Asheville on the way for funky and eclectic art, a visit to the ritzy Biltmore estate, and some of the country's best beer.
Featuring rugged coastline, picturesque islands, and dense forests, Acadia National Park is a can’t-miss summer RV destination in Maine. There are plenty of campgrounds and RV parks available, many of which are conveniently located near the free national park shuttle bus stops—the bus runs around the iconic Park Loop Road all day long so you can easily get around. The park offers some incredible hiking opportunities, coastal views, and fresh ocean air. While you’re there, be sure to visit Bar Harbor, which has plenty of restaurants and shops and is the launch point for many whale watching cruises and other nautical adventures. For bigger city vibes, explore Portland—you’ll find a flourishing food scene, beaches, and charming cobblestone streets. Of course, you simply can’t visit Maine without noshing on a lobster roll!
Boasting three national parks, western Washington is truly a gem in the summertime—and no, it doesn’t rain there the whole year. Hit the triple crown by visiting rugged North Cascades National Park with its breathtaking turquoise glacial lakes, Mt. Rainier National Park which offers much more than just the mountain itself, and Olympic National Park which spans multiple ecosystems from ocean shore to rainforest to mountain top. In western Washington, you’ll find no shortage of outdoor recreation opportunities, from water sports to rock climbing to hiking and biking. You can opt for remote solitude or bustling city life, though we don’t recommend bringing your RV into downtown Seattle if you choose to visit—the narrow, hilly streets are not big-rig friendly. However, you can park outside the city and take public transit into town to explore the heart of the Pacific Northwest. And, from western Washington, you can easily begin an epic journey down Highway 101 along the entire Pacific coast. But be warned: parts of the 101 are extremely windy and hilly, so proceed with caution if you are prone to carsickness.
The Great Lakes Area
To beat the Midwest summer heat, head to one of the Great Lakes. Not only can you jump in the chilly water, but there’s often a cool breeze off the lakes that keeps the temperature and humidity at a manageable level. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) is a particularly gorgeous place to explore in your RV, with miles of coastline and dense forest. Be sure to sample a pasty (rhymes with ‘nasty,’ not ‘tasty’) in the UP, which is a pastry shell stuffed with meat, vegetables, and gravy. Don’t miss Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore either, which is best viewed from a kayak or other watercraft.
Lake of the Ozarks
Keep cool in the heart of the country with a visit to Lake of the Ozarks. With 1,150 miles of shoreline, there are abundant lakeside RV parks and campgrounds. Whether you prefer a peaceful, rustic getaway or a bustling resort experience, there’s an option for you. Naturally, many of the activities in the area focus around water sports, although there are plenty of things to do on land as well, such as golfing (and mini-golfing), shopping, dining, visiting local wineries and breweries, go-kart tracks, arcades, and more. There are numerous events in the summer months, including boat shows, fishing tournaments, live music, and 4th of July celebrations. You can also take a guided tour of Bridal Cave, which is located near the lake.
If you're considering visiting any of these amazing RV destinations this summer, it's worth exploring the market for used RVs for sale. Investing in a used RV can be a cost-effective option that allows you to embark on your dream road trip without breaking the bank. With a wide range of models and sizes available, you can find Used RVs for sale that suit your needs and budget. So, start browsing for used RVs and get ready to hit the road to these spectacular destinations in the comfort and convenience of your own home on wheels.