Many of us have an index of must-see RV bucket list destinations, right? We certainly do! Chances are there’s a pile of places that you’ve always dreamed of visiting but never imagined would become a reality.
Throughout this article, we’ll enlighten your senses and give you a glimpse of some of the most remarkable, breathtaking areas of this country and beyond. You’ll become familiar with some truly magnificent places including national parks and tropical getaways, along with various places in between.
Why wait any longer? Let’s jump in and start exploring.
National Park RV Bucket List Destinations
When you think about what types of areas might be on your chart of RV bucket list destinations, your list may include a national park.
In the United States, we boast a whopping 417 national parks totaling over 84 million acres across the country. That’s an impressive number of sites to see throughout the 50 states.
Understandably tricky to narrow down, let’s take a closer look at four national parks that leave us in awe every time we visit.
1. Badlands National Park
Rich in history and geologic formations, this national park attracts visitors worldwide looking to experience its richness in culture.
Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park possesses 244,000 acres of prairie land home to various wildlife, including bison and prairie dogs. With rattlesnakes and reptiles galore, you won’t have a shortage of sights during your visit.
You have an ample amount of activities to explore. Activities available year-round include the junior ranger program, scenic drives, and wildlife watching. Additional opportunities include horseback riding, bicycling, and the astronomy festival open during the summer months.
Regarding your accommodations, you can find four dining options, two on-site campgrounds, and a designated area for back-country camping. In addition, the Cedar Pass Lodge offers cabin rentals as the only in-park lodging.
2. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
With over 2,000 natural stone arches located in southeast Utah, the Arches National Park holds a plethora of history.
The people from this land have various backgrounds, including many from the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe.
Within Arches National Park, you will find various rock formations and color schemes that will dazzle and delight your senses.
Although fees apply, this park operates year-round. However, March to October seems to have the most visitors, and it’s highly recommended to visit before 8 a.m. or after 3 p.m.
When planning your visit to Canyonlands National Park, Utah’s largest national park, be aware of the park’s four sections. They divide by the canyons of the Green and Colorado rivers. Due to the size of the park, many visitors find difficulty touring more than one or two sections during one visit.
We would also advise you to come prepared for any type of weather conditions at this park. Circumstances can change quickly, and no one appreciates getting stranded in a heavy downpour.
Admission fees vary depending upon your mode of transportation. You can expect to spend between $15 to visit on foot and $30 in a private, non-commercial vehicle. You can get an annual southeast Utah park pass for $55.
3. Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
Nestled near the edge of the Utah and Colorado state line, Zion National Park is Utah’s first national park.
As you journey along the winding paths and trails, know that many early pioneers once ventured these same routes.
This park offers an assortment of plants, animals, and an abundance of history. Whether you wish to experience this park leisurely or actively, rest assured you will find many scenic overlooks and hiking trails.
Be aware that you can only access the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive by a shuttle bus. However, you can use a detailed map to ensure you’re able to find which sites you’d like to visit in a timely, accurate manner.
Bryce Canyon National Park, also located in southern Utah, contains some of the world’s most significant rocks, known as Hoodoos (irregular rock columns). Unlike many in the national park family, you can visit all of Bryce Canyon while only having to park your car once. An 18-mile road runs the entire length of the park.
You can purchase your tickets either online or in person. A portion of the proceeds aid in completing various projects and tasks throughout the park. Separate from the annual and lifetime passes, tickets are valid for seven consecutive days and can range from $20 to $35.
As a result of the high elevation, touring Bryce Canyon National Park in the spring, fall, and winter can be hit-or-miss. The summer months of July and August typically deliver temperatures in the 70s and 80s accompanied by frequent thunderstorms.
Like many national parks in the United States, pets are welcome here; however, some restrictions apply.
4. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Yellowstone National Park spreads across most of Wyoming and parts of Montana and Idaho and is one of our absolute favorite RV bucket list destinations.
It became the country’s first national park in 1872 and offers a broad range of species, sights, and sounds. From raptors to waterfowl, be sure to bring your sharp eyes and Vulcan hearing. Chances are you’ll experience a spectacle regardless of the time of year.
Offering nine lodges and 12 campgrounds, you’re sure to find a comfortable place to stay. Unfortunately, only two lodges remain open during the winter months: Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. With Yellowstone offering 12 campgrounds hosting over 2,000 sites, try to make any necessary reservations early.
Located on the far western side of Wyoming, close to the Idaho state line, you’ll find Grand Teton National Park filled with mountainous views and pure waters.
You can expect to see various wildlife at this park, including moose, black and grizzly bears, coyotes, and bison. Have your camera ready because, more than likely, you’ll leave in amazement.
Due to the sheer size of this park, you could spend a lifetime trying to see and experience it all. Available activities include fishing, boating, and hiking. Throughout the park, you can easily find visitor centers and concessioners.
Other Incredible RV Bucket List Destinations
Now that we’ve covered several of our favorite national park RV bucket list destinations, let’s dive into some areas that are outside the spectrum.
Much of the remaining list includes places within the United States, except for one. Ranging from the northeast to the west and beyond, you can’t beat the captivating atmosphere of these destinations.
5. Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, and Needles Highway
Home to some of the most iconic figures in American history, Mount Rushmore sits in the southwest part of South Dakota. A national memorial you can’t miss, this unique RV bucket list destination can please any member of your traveling crew.
Mount Rushmore celebrates some of the biggest names in the history of US Presidents, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Witness them come to life through the stone.
You can access this park every day of the year except Christmas. The hours may vary depending on the day, as holidays, for example, often have abbreviated times.
The weather at this national park can vary depending on the time of year. The summer months can range anywhere between 70 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while March and April can receive the most snow.
Whether swimming, camping, or fishing, you’re likely to find an activity to entertain you while visiting Custer State Park. Hunting, an unexpected activity available, helps reduce the wildlife population throughout the park.
Also located in South Dakota, Custer State Park park features include restaurants, cabins, and 71,000 acres of wildlife, just to name a few. In addition, this park offers nine campgrounds and plenty of sites to choose from.
You can also enjoy a drive on Needles Highway, except during the winter months.
Over 14 miles long, this roadway ranks No. 5 of 562 things to do in South Dakota based on reviews on Tripadvisor. If you enjoy driving through tunnels and witnessing impressive rock formations, then this is the adventure for you.
The Needles Highway enforces a $20 admission fee giving you a seven-day pass to drive and explore, but it is inaccessible by RV. However, you can experience this particular RV bucket list destination by open-air jeeps used for the Buffalo Safari Tours.
6. The Florida Keys
If crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches feed your soul, then you must visit the Florida Keys, and here’s why.
First, you need to locate a place to stay. It’s encouraging to have ample options to select from, like guesthouses and bed and breakfasts. For example, the Fiesta Key RV Resort, located in Long Key, Florida, has an on-site restaurant and beach bar. This campground offers nightly, weekly, monthly and long-term rentals for your camping convenience.
One of the perks of exploring this area includes making the experience as relaxed or active as you like. You can have numerous activity opportunities such as swimming with dolphins or sailing.
The Florida Keys provides a family-friendly atmosphere catered to people of all ages and backgrounds. In addition, the weather in Florida stays remarkably pleasant year-round, except for the hurricane season.
There’s no doubt the Florida Keys will not leave you disappointed. The area welcomes visitors and has enough variety to keep you busy for a long time.
7. The Sedona, Arizona Area
Sometimes referred to as “red rock country,” Sedona, Arizona, is a favorite RV bucket list destination. This upscale desert town has an assortment of arts, culture, history, and activities.
With over 400 miles of biking and hiking trails, you can easily immerse yourself in the outdoors. If a relaxing fishing excursion interests you, check out Oak Creek Canyon. Or if you enjoy working with your hands, try pottery classes at the Sedona Arts Center.
With many hotels, motels, cabins, and RV parks, and everything in between, you’re bound to find a pleasant place to stay. Whether you prefer an all-inclusive experience or becoming one with nature, you can find extensive lodging options here.
Founded in 1876, Jerome, Arizona, was the third-largest town in the state during its peak. Jerome was named the Wickedest City in the West in 1903.
You could certainly spend a week or more in this town that exudes an artistic and culturally affluent atmosphere. However, if you plan a quick two-day trip, here are just a few of the many highlights to check out while you’re in town.
First, check out the Tavern Hotel in Cottonwood when you arrive. Previously operating as a grocery store in the 1920s, it now serves as an opulent boutique.
Next, along with countless restaurants and local eateries to explore, we highly recommend the Jail Trail River Walk. A 1.5-mile walk alongside nature, much of which under shaded trees, provides a memorable experience at Blowout Creek.
And finally, on day two, consider visiting the Jerome State Historic Park. If you revel in history, you’ll enjoy the artifacts and photographs of history on display at the Douglas Mansion.
When embarking on a trip to Flagstaff, Arizona, know that you’ll find all four seasons here.
They average 108 inches of snow in the winter and summer temperatures hovering in the low 80s. We can understand why this location has become a popular place to live and visit. Due to the higher elevation, we recommend that you include water and sunscreen in your daily activities.
With over 200 options to choose from for dining, nightlife, accommodations, and things to do, Flagstaff has areas of interest for all walks of life. You’ll discover a broad mix of national and local names for your eatery and lodging options, such as Arby’s and Comfort Inn.
8. The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Every October for nine days, you can venture over to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta to witness a hot air balloon extravaganza like no other. You can enjoy balloons that glow, delight, and amaze in all shapes and sizes.
Attracting massive crowds, frequently around 100,000, we suggest arriving earlier rather than later. You can purchase tickets online, in person, or by phone. You can also get general admission tickets on the day of the fiesta as well.
As for lodging, you can find designated areas for RV parking, and you must make reservations online only before the event.
9. Cape Cod and Surrounding Area
Cape Cod and the surrounding area stretch a mere 70 miles along the New England coast. Countless miles of beaches and freshwater ponds encompass this highly sought-after area of the United States.
The busiest times of the year typically range from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, with dwindling numbers of visitors after that. The area averages five million tourists per year.
No matter whether you prefer lavish and luxurious or cozy and quaint, there’s a place for you to stay while you’re visiting. You should make reservations well in advance. As the summer months remain the most popular, it’s best to guarantee yourself somewhere to stay unless you’re planning a day trip.
You can also find special events scheduled across several months throughout the year. For example, arrive in April for the Daffodil Festival to embrace the glorious sights of endless amounts of yellow flowers. Or ring in fall with the Trash Fish Banquet in Provincetown, where people cook uncommon species as a way to benefit the local Center for Coastal Studies.
10. Baja, Mexico
Though it has a deceiving name, Baja California, resides in Mexico as its 12th-largest state. It offers various views, including mountains and cities, and sits 17 miles away from San Diego, California.
The thriving climate and soil provide an incomparable wine and cuisine selection for the area.
With an assortment of activities for residents and visitors, you can spend time outdoors with hiking, sports, and camping, to name a few.
You can also enjoy the outdoors by experiencing the wine trail. The Valle de Guadalupe, a 90-mile drive, offers a memorable and affordable wine-tasting adventure.
Accommodation choices include resorts of splendor and oceanfront RV parks located within a short distance to town.
Time to Experience it All
We hope you find our RV bucket list destinations valuable in helping you decide where you’d like to visit. There’s no question that this country has some unbelievably breathtaking areas to experience.
In addition to this list, you can bet there are plenty of other surprises and features to be discovered while you’re there. Above all else, we hope you never stop exploring.