Atlanta to Cedar Rapids Road Trip Guide


Known for its sunny climate, southern hospitality, and sports teams, Atlanta, Georgia, is the ideal jumping-off point for an RV road trip. Affectionately nicknamed the Big Peach, Atlanta has tons of things to do both outside and in.

Visitors to this city that once hosted the Summer Olympics are definitely in for a treat. Explore the botanical gardens, aquarium, and museums if that's what you're into. For adventures on the path a little less traveled, head to the art tunnels, or take in the 360-degree views from atop a Ferris wheel. RV road trippers can also ride a streetcar and immerse themselves in Atlanta's food scene. From brunch to fine dining to pubs and cocktail bars, Atlanta has something for everyone.

The route on your RV road trip from Atlanta to Cedar Rapids covers around 950 miles through five different states. The roughly 16 hours of drive time takes you on roads that are all easily navigated in a large rig. The only obstacles to worry about are generally the common ones like construction and traffic. You'll find RV-friendly accommodation along the way ranging from KOA's with full hookups and amenities to primitive camping at state parks.

The destination of your RV road trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also offers plenty of things to do and easy RV accommodation. Museums, historic buildings, and the surrounding nature are sure to keep you busy.

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Max RV length
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Road trip length: 3-5 days
Recommend rig: any
audience: couple

Point of Interest

Iowa Avenue Literary Walk

Featuring tributes to such famous literary superstars as Tennessee Williams, Kurt Vonnegut, and John Irving, the Iowa Avenue Literary walk is the perfect stop for fans of the art before you reach Cedar Rapids. Found in Iowa City, the city itself was named a UNESCO City of Literature and is known for its writing program at the University of Iowa.

The literary walk runs along Iowa Avenue with a focus on the works and lives of 49 authors linked to the city in one way or another. Find quotes, historical information, and biographies of these novelists, playwrights, poets, and journalists. Learn about these fascinating people as you tour the bronze panels stamped into the sidewalk.

Chattahoochee National Forest

A wonderful first stop on your RV road trip from Atlanta to Cedar Rapids is at the Chattahoochee National Forest. Home to two popular recreational lakes, this forest is also a great place to spend a night or two. Large RVs are welcome at both the Lake Winfield Scott and Lake Sinclair Campgrounds.

To fill your days at this over 800,000-acre forest, you won't have to look very far. Hit one of the busy lakes for a swim or some boating, or look for more quiet options on the banks of one of the numerous rivers and streams.

The USDA Forest Service maintains over 850 miles of trails and picnic areas for your enjoyment. Get ready to spot wildlife while you hike or bike your way through a small portion of the park's area. It's also common to see people fishing in one of the many freshwater sources. This is outdoor recreation at its finest.

Climb Lookout Mountain

Found within the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee, you'll find the imposing Lookout Mountain. This towering sight is impossible to miss and an easy way to know you've arrived in Chattanooga.

Some of the popular hiking destinations on the mountain are the rocky outcrops of Point Park and Sunset Rock. Depending on which route you choose to climb, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views. Easily spot the city of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River. Look a little further afield for views of North Carolina and Georgia mountains.

There is an easy route to both Point Park and Sunset Rock. Both have stairs and range from 2.2 to 2.5 miles in length. For adventuresome folks, there are trails to the top spanning over ten miles. Expect steeper inclines, sharper descents, and an abundance of technical terrain. For your efforts, you'll be treated to stunning views throughout the journey.

When you're tired after your climb, park your RV at the nearby Chattanooga West/Lookout Mountain KOA. You'll be re-energized in no time.

Forest Park

Open since 1876, Forest Park in St. Louis is jam-packed with things to do. Leave the confines of your luxurious RV behind to visit this sprawling urban park. It boasts four museums, the St. Louis Zoo, a Science Centre, and much, much more.

Over 400 acres larger than New York's Central Park, this green oasis presents numerous opportunities for outdoor activities. Have a picnic by one of the lakes, tour the nature preserves and different ecosystems, or indulge in some popular sports like baseball, tennis, and ice skating (in the winter, obviously).

The park offers many trails suitable for biking, walking, and rollerblading. Concerts and festivals are big draws in the warmer months. If you're lucky, your visit might coincide with Shakespeare in the Park, the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, or a performance by one of your favorite musicians.

Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum

For lovers of history and American literature, consider a stop at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri. Found along the Mississippi River, this site consists of five historic properties and two museums open to the public.

The location is a National Historic Landmark and visitors can tour buildings once inhabited by the author's childhood friends and eventual book characters. Check out the Becky Thatcher House, the Huckleberry Finn House, and of course, Twain's boyhood home.

The museum houses many artifacts related to Mark Twain's life. Don't miss a chance to peruse the collection of original Norman Rockwell paintings, either.
Another highlight of your visit to Hannibal is the Mark Twain Cave and Campground. In addition to meeting all your RV camping needs, it also features the show cave that inspired his book "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". Tours of the cave and its labyrinth of tunnels are available.

Country Music Hall of Fame

Heading northwest from the Chattahoochee National Forest will land you in Nashville. For accommodation, check out the Nashville KOA. While in town, a must-see in this music-filled city is the Country Music Hall of Fame. Fans of the music genre and history buffs will enjoy traveling through the years as you explore pictures, videos, and artifacts demonstrating country music's evolution.

The first members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, inducted in 1961, were Fred Rose, Jimmie Rodgers, and Hank Williams. These big names really set the standard.

The Hall of Fame and Museum feature in-house collections as well as rotating exhibits spanning from the 1920s to the present. Some highlights you can count on include the Objects Collection, the Oral History Collection, and the Digital Archive.

The archives contain recordings of moving images and sound, photographs, and objects for your perusal. Started in 1974, the Oral History Collection has hundreds of interviews with artists, business people, and songwriters involved with country and American folk music.

The Objects Collection is usually a favorite with hundreds of country music's iconic items. Expect instruments, costumes, microphones, and even automobiles. It's just a shame that the collection is so huge that they can only display about one-tenth of its objects at a time.


Only the long stretches of driving are over when you reach Cedar Rapids. Your trip will continue with everything there is to do here. The Paramount Theater, once called the Capitol Theater, is not to be missed. A stage for live entertainment since 1928, it is restored and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are the museum of art and the Czech Village to explore as well. Check out Brucemore, a historic mansion built in 1884 on over 25 acres and see the home once called the "grandest house west of Chicago."

Country music, diverse museums, and American literature are the focus of this RV road trip through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Iowa. You'll be refreshed from your time in nature and have fond memories of the exciting attractions you've visited for years to come.

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