East Coast National Park RV Vacation Itineraries
Visiting the National Parks along America’s Eastern Coast is a wonderful way to embrace the region’s diverse beauty. Making the journey in the comfort and luxury of an RV brings a whole new level of pleasure to the trip. Whether you’re very familiar with the area or brand new to the East Coast, there are surprises waiting in its National Parks. Here are two different itineraries for an East Coast National Park RV vacation.
Itinerary #1: South Carolina to Virginia
Point 1 – Fort Sumter-South Carolina: South Carolina is an ideal starting point for anyone interested in the Civil War, since Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor is where it all began. Park your RV at Patriot Point and take the ferry out to the Fort. Ranger-guided tours at both Fort Sumter and nearby Fort Moultrie will enhance your step back into Civil War history.
Point 2 – Charles Pinckney National Historic Site: This charming low country plantation was the home of Charles Pinckney, an author and signer of the US Constitution and, later, a US Representative. Interpretive programs teach visitors not only about Pinckney’s contribution to history, but also about the daily lives of slaves in pre-Civil War America. Before you leave South Carolina, rest for the night at award-winning Lakewood Campground in Myrtle Beach.
Point 3 – Cape Lookout National Seashore-North Carolina: Follow the Atlantic Coast and visit Cape Lookout National Seashore near Beaufort, North Carolina. Be sure to take the short boat trip out to the barrier islands, where wild horses roam and the Cape’s historic lighthouse stands guard.
Point 4 – NPS Outer Banks Group: The National Parks Service also manages the Outer Banks Group, including Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site in North Carolina. Explore the barrier islands at Cape Hatteras, learn about the first English settlement in America at Fort Raleigh and climb Kill Devil Hill, where the Wright brothers tested their dreams with gliders. Camp Hatteras RV Resort at Rodanthe, NC allows you to experience RV camping in breathtaking surroundings.
Point 5 – Colonial National Historical Park-Virginia: Southern Virginia’s coastal memorial, Colonial National Historical Park, is rich with nearly two hundred years of historical significance. This site encompasses Historic Jamestowne, the Revolutionary War Yorktown Battlefield and Cape Henry, where the Jamestown settlers first landed in 1607.
Once you’ve mined the historical riches of this Park, you have a decision to make. You can either head up the coastline to Washington’s Birthplace and Assateague National Seashore in Northern Virginia, with a stop at Manassas, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Battlefields, or take the inland route
If you choose the inland route, head across Central Virginia to Petersburg National Battlefield, Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Park and the Booker T. Washington National Monument. You might also want to indulge your senses by driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in western Virginia and North Carolina before you head back home. The National Park Service website for Virginia has all the details you need to plan this leg of your trip.
Itinerary #2: Maryland and Washington DC
There are literally so many National Parks Service locations in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia that you should plan to spend an entire vacation here. The NPS Maryland web page shows you what’s available to explore. Consider traveling to Antietam National Battlefield, wonderfully scenic Chesapeake Bay Gateways, and Fort Washington, at the very least.
And no one should live in the US without visiting the unforgettable abundance of memorials, museums and monuments in our nation’s capitol at least once. Enjoy a stay at Cherry Hill Park RV Resort in College Park, MD, where you’ll find DC Metro transportation or a Gray Line Tour to the Washington, DC monuments easily available.
America’s Atlantic Coast is unforgettable because of its rich ecological diversity, its place in our country’s foundations and the care that’s been taken by the National Parks Service to preserve both. Walk the sands of a barrier island, stand in awe at the sacrifice played out on a battlefield and let go of modern-day anxiety with a visit to an historic farm. It’s all there waiting for RV travelers at America’s East Coast National Parks.