Planning an East Coast National Park Road Trip

National Parks


What could be better than this: an open road ahead of you, the promise of adventure in the form of the best nature has to offer, and a calendar full of wondrous destinations awaiting?

Camping road trips are one of the best ways to see the big, beautiful U.S.A. while crossing a few spots off of your bucket list along the way. Sure, driving scenic roads and exploring lush parks is a whole lot of fun. But the planning? Not so much.

Stick around while we take care of the hard stuff in our ultimate guide to planning an east coast national park road trip so you can do what you love most.

Best East Coast National Parks to Road Trip 

We took care of that pesky planning for you and rounded up five of the finest national parks on the east coast. Read on to get your east coast camping road trip started!

Everglades National Park 

What to Do:
Everglades National Park is our southernmost stop on our roundup of east coast national parks and the third largest park in the continental U.S. Its unique geographic features make for a diverse list of things to do. Bring or rent a boat to experience everything this Florida gem has to offer. A lot of the park is only accessible by water. For a truly unique form of hiking, pack some waders and try slough slogging. This off-the-beaten-track form of hiking will let you encounter the most interesting wildlife and terrain the park offers.

Campsite Options: First off, make sure to plan your visit during the dry season (mid-October to late-June) since The Sunshine State also gets some heavy rainfall during the wet season. Try to land a spot at one of the two RV campgrounds in the park. Go primitive at Long Pine Key Campground for a more rustic feeling, or get cozy at Flamingo Campground with a lot more amenities.

Rent an RV from Cruise America in a Florida location to get you to Everglades National Park in style!

Congaree National Park 

What to Do:
Congaree National Park is home to a diverse biosphere of plant and animal life, with a wide-open South Carolina backcountry to explore. The best thing to do in the park? Look up! The park’s famous champion trees grow up to 167 feet tall, making the forest canopy one of the most impressive among national parks on the east coast. If you’re really feeling wild, do a little extra preparation and wander into the park’s open backcountry.

Campsite Options: For rustic charm, Barnyard RV Park is a great choice. This small and simple campground is just off of I-77, conveniently located near the downtown area. If secluded peace and quiet are your top priority, try Magnolia Campground for solace when the day’s done. For a bit more pampering with a long amenities list, Palmetto Shores RV Resort has you covered.


Congaree National Park is calling! Ride to this South Carolina wonder with an RV rental from Cruise America!

Shenandoah National Park

What to Do:
Shenandoah National Park stretches across a stunning 200,000 acres of protected land. This Virginian beauty is rife with verdant greenery, rolling hills and mountains, and 100s of miles of scenic roads. Make sure to cruise down Skyline Drive, a 200-mile long stretch of road that winds through the park. Hiking is another great choice with over 500 miles of trails. If you’re planning a summer visit, check out the Night Sky Festival to celebrate the park’s great chances for stargazing.

Campsite Options: Try to book early and reserve a spot at one of the park's three campgrounds if you can. Big Meadows gives you the best views overlooking Virginia's pretty rolling hills. Or go a bit higher at the Loft Mountain Campground for a chance to wake up in the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountain views you’ll find there.

Make your way to Virginia's stunning national park with a Cruise America RV rental. Reserve yours today!


Allegany State Park 

What to Do: This picturesque 65,000-acre park is tucked away in New York state’s southwestern region. There’s plenty to see and do at Allegany State Park, including hiking trails, three lakes, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and biking paths. The tranquil lakes make for a great chance to get it away from it all on a kayak or paddleboat rental. You can try your hand at fishing while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to explore the 18 hiking trails or 20-plus miles of mountain bike paths!

Campsite Options: For a more secluded feel, head to the Red House Campground area. It’s conveniently located near the lakes and beach for boating, but it’s far enough away to enjoy some peace and quiet. And if you’re looking for a more social time when the day is done, the two Allegany Group Campgrounds are your best bet with cabins housing larger parties.

The Empire State’s very own east coast national park awaits! Hit the road with a New York RV rental from Cruise America. Reserve yours now!


Acadia National Park 

What to Do:
There’s plenty to see and do in this east coast national park in Maine. Cruising along Park Loop Road is a nice way to survey Acadia National Park before you dive in. Then, after about an hour’s hike, you can arrive at the peak of Cadillac Mountain. It’s the highest point in the Atlantic Seaboard with a stunning view to boot. For a unique natural wonder, check out Thunder Hole. The placement of this underground cavern is shaped to create massive booms when the tides hit it just right. Try to find it when the tides are changing for the biggest sound.

Campsite Options: If you’re planning a May through October east coast camping road trip, Schoodic Woods or Blackwoods Campgrounds are some solid choices. Both are a bit rustic, with Blackwoods being the more spartan of the two. If you’re looking for some more creature comforts, try the nearby Bar Harbor Campground for a nice amenities list along with an ocean view.

Cruise America’s RV rentals are the perfect way to land yourself one sweet ride for the trip. Reserve your RV now for the trip of a lifetime!

Experience the Stunning East Coast in Your RV Rental

That wraps up our guide to planning one heck of an east coast national park road trip. For the most convenient way to hit every destination on our list, Cruise America’s RV rentals faithfully await you. 

Check out our fleet of RVs, decked out with all the essentials like a working kitchen, shower, bathroom, seating area, and bedding to find comfort wherever you may roam. Choose a vehicle, find one of the many convenient locations for pickup, and hit the road!

Make the journey as joyous as the destination. Reserve your ride today!