Summer offers an ideal time to shake up your usual vacation with a trip to a new-to-you RV destination. Want to learn more about an area’s history? See incredible natural beauty or regional culture? Visit a new national park or state park?
Pull out the maps, start taking notes, and get stoked for a summer road trips. Here are eight unique spots to inspire your summer travels.
More than 2,000 sandstone arches dot the 47,000-acre landscape of this national park. Within this rugged, high desert setting, these delicate sandstone structures bear the imprint of geological history over millions of years. The most famous landmark within the Arches National Park is Delicate Arch, which provides a sweeping vista of mesas, canyons, and the Colorado River from its lofty location. Other notable stone monuments include Landscape Arch (the longest), Fiery Furnace, and Courthouse Towers.
Beaufort, South Carolina
This pretty city sits on a bend of the Beaufort River in the heart of South Carolina’s Port Royal Island. If you want antebellum charm then you’ll find bags of it here. The streets of the historic downtown district are lined with grandiose examples of 19th-century neoclassical mansions. Movie buffs will delight in visiting sites from Forest Gump. And it’s just a 25-minute drive to the beaches, lagoons, and marshland of Hunting Island.
The California Gold Rush expended 125 million troy ounces of gold, worth more than $50 billion by today’s standards. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of the gold in the Mother Lode is still in the ground. Many of the historic and picturesque towns that developed in the area still exist linked by California Highway 49, the Gold Rush Trail.
It’s iconic. It’s dramatic. It’s historic. The Grand Canyon, a craggy 277-mile-long, one-mile-deep gorge carved by the Colorado River eons ago, is also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. And in 2019, the section preserved as Grand Canyon National Park marked a key milestone: It turned 100. Too many people satisfy themselves by standing on the edge, taking a few photos, and leaving. But there are many other ways to get to know the park’s 1.2 million acres.
Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff is Canada’s first (and arguably most beautiful) National Park. A World Heritage site, Banff offers pristine wilderness, glacial-fed lakes, and dramatic vistas. Chances are, it won’t take much convincing to push this rugged landscape to the top of your bucket list although it can be difficult to narrow down your list of things to do once you arrive.
Red Rock State Park, Arizona
Red Rock State Park isn’t your everyday desert landscape. In fact, this 286-acre nature preserve is home to lush green meadows, juniper, Manzanita, and is adorned with miles of striking red rock formations. The park offers 5 miles of interconnected, family-friendly trails that traverse a variety of unique desert habitats.
Old Friends, Kentucky
Nestled in the heart of Bluegrass country amongst the planked fence lined horse farms, rolling hills of green fields, and bourbon distilleries is Old Friends at Dream Chase Farm. Old Friends is a retirement farm for Thoroughbred racehorses that too often are discarded after their money earning days are over. Now a “living-history museum of horse racing”, the farm attracts nearly 20,000 visitors annually. With over 175 horses on the farm, the heartwarming stories of these once prime athletes are as endless as the compassion for those who care for them in their sunset years.
Colonial Parkway, Virginia
The Colonial Parkway not only illustrates the English colonial experience in America, but is also an outstanding example of American parkway design. Retaining its original scenic and historic integrity to a remarkable degree, the 23-mile route connects the historic sites of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
—St. Augustine of Hippo