10 Amazing Places to RV in July 2024

If you’re dreaming of where to travel to experience it all, here are my picks for the best places to RV in July

I think you travel to search and come back home to find yourself there.

—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Venturing into the world is often seen as a rite of passage whether it’s leaving the family home or moving to a different continent. For MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie leaving her home country of Nigeria to live in the United States and traveling around the world to promote her books began a journey to find herself.

Whether a sense of wanderlust is inherent in us or not, exploring beyond the life we know filled with familiar people is one path to discovering who we really are—which elements of our cultural identity fit and which we prefer to leave behind.

As Adichie observed, it’s the journey that helps us find who we are, and discover where home really is. 

’Tis the season for mosquito spray, sunscreen, and summer heat. As you’re making travel plans don’t forget to double-check that your A/C and fridge are working properly. And while you’re at it, it can’t hurt to check your batteries, too,

Are you planning an RV trip for a different time of year? Check out my monthly travel recommendations for the best places to travel in May and June. Also check out my recommendations from July 2023 and August 2023.

Badlands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Annual Badlands Astronomy Festival, July 5-7

South Dakota is home to Badlands National Park which boasts exciting fossil beds and unique geologic formations. You can see things like sod tables and clastic dikes during the day then stay to take advantage of their dark night skies. 

The Badlands Astronomy Festival partners with the NASA South Dakota Grant Consortium. Their festival typically includes guest speakers, telescopes, sky viewing, and a guided walk through a scaled solar system model!

Stargazing season is amazing! Enjoy the night skies at their brightest at National Parks stargazing festivals.

Find my Ultimate Guide to Badlands National Park here.

If you plan on visiting multiple national parks, you can save a lot of money by getting an America the Beautiful Pass.

Spotted Lake © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Kłlilx’w (Spotted Lake)

Spotted Lake is a geological wonder located in Osoyoos, the southernmost town in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. The lakewater holds a wealth of minerals—including calcium, sodium sulfate, and magnesium sulfate—and as the summer heats up, the lake’s water gradually evaporates. What’s left is a mesmerizing sight: vibrant dots of mineral pools scattered like a mosaic and creating an otherworldly landscape. 

The mirage-like effect is more than just a popular sight—it’s considered sacred to the Syilx people, the Indigenous First Nations of the Okanagan region. For centuries, the Syilx have revered this site utilizing its mud and therapeutic waters for various medicinal and healing purposes. Due to the lake’s cultural and ecological significance, access to the lake itself is restricted. Visitors can instead observe the landscape from the highway or from a designated viewing area.

UFO Museum, Roswell, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Alien Capital of the World

Fancy coming face-to-face with an extraterrestrial? Roswell, New Mexico’s claim to fame is a mysterious UFO crash that allegedly occurred here in 1947. Known as the Roswell Incident locals claimed that the debris found near the crash site was from a flying saucer and that the U.S. government covered it up.

Roswell’s location in the middle of the New Mexico desert means that visitors can enjoy not only UFO watch towers and the International UFO Museum but also scenic wilderness areas. Fanatics can attend the annual UFO Festival held every year in early July (July 5-7, 2024). Get your picture with the famous welcome sign to prove to skeptical friends that you really did visit the Alien Capital of the World.

Savannah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Savannah’s Waterfront Independence Day Celebration

Savannah’s Waterfront is hosting its annual Independence Day Celebration on Tuesday, July 4, 2024. The event is free and open to the public.

The annual Independence Day Fireworks Show begins at 9:30 pm. and is expected to last about 20 minutes. Spectators on the waterfront can bring chairs and blankets; however, coolers are discouraged. The show takes place from a barge in the Savannah River in front of the Savannah Convention Center. River Street and the ramps will close at 6:30 pm. and cars parked on the ramps and parking lots will need to remain there until the street opens to vehicular traffic after the show.

Banff National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Banff National Park

Established in 1885 as Canada’s first national park and the flagship of the nation’s park system, lies the allure of Banff. Even the name sounds like an adventure waiting to happen. Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park is a mix of awe-inspiring landscapes from majestic mountains to pristine turquoise lakes.

Moraine Lake and Lake Louise have been coined the crown jewels of this park with their stunning clear waters and gorgeous backdrops. Banff is home to the historic Banff Springs Hotel which looks like a castle straight out of a fairy tale. Let’s not forget about the impressive Chateau Lake Louise where you can hike or canoe to your heart’s content. Whether you’re hiking or simply relaxing and taking it all in at one of its world-renowned hotels, Banff’s beauty and magnetism are unparalleled.

It’s certainly no secret why Banff National Park has been attracting visitors from around the world for decades. If you haven’t yet, I hope you can join those lucky visitors this summer!

Jasper National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Jasper National Park

Jasper is Banff’s laid-back cousin. While it’s certainly less crowded, it’s equally as stunning offering a charming, serene and untouched wilderness experience. Jasper National Park is vast and is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies.

Its quaint community welcomes travelers from all over the world and boasts the world’s largest dark sky preserve where no artificial lighting is visible. The prestine park features glaciers, lakes, incredible falls, hot springs, wildlife, and some of the most scenic drives in the world including the Icefields Parkway.

Jasper National Park is a trip worth the trek.

Custer State Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Where the buffalo roam

This 71,000-acre state park is so good it would be easy to mistake it for a national park. Home to 1,400 bison—not to mention elk, pronghorn antelope, black bears, and a herd of wild burros—this is definitely a destination for wildlife lovers. Custer State Park also offers excellent hiking, mountain biking, and paddling in a wilderness that is remote, rugged, and beautiful. At night, the park is no less enthralling, offering some of the best stargazing in the country. Here, a sense of adventure is a prerequisite to entry.

Here are some helpful resources:

Fredericksburg © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Best Hill Country hit: Fredericksburg

A short drive from the cosmopolitan hubs of Austin and San Antonio lies the Texas Hill Country. Amongst this plethora of hamlets and hills, Fredericksburg reigns supreme. Here, you’ll find more than 60 wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms in the area as well as over 700 historically significant structures—most notably, Sunday Houses. These types of small homes built by German settlers were used on Sundays when families would head from their rural homesteads into town to get supplies, do business, and go to church services.

Those German settlers—who first arrived in 1846—have a lasting legacy in eateries like Otto’s German Bistro and lodging like Behr Haus Bed & Breakfast. Visitors can learn about the region’s German history on a trolley excursion with Fredericksburg Tours.

Other worthy stops here include The National Museum of the Pacific War, a tribute to service members in the Pacific during World War II (including native son, U.S. Navy Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz) and Enchanted Rock, the second-largest granite dome in the United States and a Dark Sky International designated park.

International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport, Rhode Island © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Newport, Rhode Island

With opulent Gilded Age mansions and beautiful beaches, Newport is a lovely summer destination. Visitors and residents alike stroll along the scenic Cliff Walk, bike along Ocean Drive, browse farmers markets, and picnic on the beach. Every Saturday throughout the summer, visitors can watch exciting polo matches with competitors from around the world, and tennis fans will want to catch the annual International Hall of Fame Open from July 14-21, 2024.

The 55th Annual Newport Classical Music Festival is set for July 4-21, 2024. For a quintessential Newport day experience the historic mansions and enjoy fresh seafood at one of Newport’s many waterfront restaurants.

Bishop’s Palace, Galveston, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Galveston

Summers in Texas can be hot and humid but the cool waters of the Gulf of Mexico are inviting all year long. Galveston features 32 miles of beaches for those looking to relax in the sun. But the barrier island is also home to historic architecture, a vibrant art scene, excellent seafood restaurants, and fun, quirky shops. Join a walking tour to learn more about the local history, jump on a boat to spot dolphins in the gulf, or go fishing from a pier. 

Worth Pondering…

If I had my way, I’d remove January from the calendar altogether and have an extra July instead.

—Roald Dahl