Amazing Atlanta, Georgia is the starting point for an epic 2596 mile journey that takes you through 10 states: Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon. This is a long trip, and may be best for couples, as coordinating a large group or traveling with children who are uncomfortable with such a long journey can be taxing. Before setting off, you can check out Atlanta’s vibrant dining and shopping areas, Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Zoo, and Botanical Gardens. While visiting Atlanta, overnight camping is available nearby at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The campground here has 34 sites and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The campground has no RV hookups, but does have restrooms with flush toilets, and is located near the Appalachian Trail, which is great for hiking, horseback riding, and cycling, and there is a waterfall and swimming spot within easy reach of the campground. Looking for a site you can reserve with RV services? Stay at the Cartersville KOA while discovering Atlanta’s wonderful attractions.
Your journey will start out by traveling north on Interstate 75 to Chattanooga, then you can take Interstate 24 north through Nashville to Interstate 57. Continue to Interstate 64, then head west to St Louis, where you will take Interstate 70 to Kansas City. From Kansas City use Interstate 29 to reach Lincoln, Nebraska, where you will take Interstate 80 west to Salt Lake City, then take Interstate 84 to Portland.
Before leaving Atlanta, couples can enjoy a romantic stroll through the 30 acres of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The gardens are located next to Piedmont Park, in Midtown Atlanta. The gardens have been in operation for 35 years, and are constantly updated with new displays and exhibits.
These gardens feature weekly shows and classes such as Growing Edibles and Yoga in the Garden. Check out the Fuqua Orchid Center to view rare, exotic orchids. Make sure to take a walk on the Kendeda Canopy Walk, which allows you to walk amongst the treetops. The serpentine suspension bridge is 12 feet wide, and 40 feet in the air, giving visitors a “bird's eye” view of the Storza Woods. The urban wooded areas contain oak, hickory, and tulip polaris, and the canopy walkway is the largest of its kind in the US. During the holidays, the gardens are open to visitors, and thousands of LED lights create a festive atmosphere.
As you head up Interstate 24, you will pass through Nashville, Tennessee, also dubbed “Music City ''. Music lovers should be sure to make a visit to Opryland/Music Valley. This entertainment district is just 10 miles east of the downtown area. Discover world-class country music performances, dining, and shopping here. Visit the Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running radio show in the world, and a must-see in the Nashville area.
Want to cool off on a hot summer day? You can also enjoy the SoundWaves, an indoor and outdoor water attraction covering four acres with rides and water recreation located onsite. Country music themed attractions abound, and you can even visit Madame Tussauds, Nashville. Overnight camping in the Nashville area can be found east of the city at Cedars of Lebanon State Park. There are 87 RV appropriate campsites with electric and water hookups, hot showers, a campstore, laundromat, and RV dump station which make this a great stopover point for RVers.
Your next major city on your way west to Portland is St Louis, Illinois. A one of a kind attraction that is well worth a stop is the Gateway Arch, built in 1965.
This elegant arch is the tallest man-made monument in the US, at 63 stories high, and comprised of 43000 tons of concrete and steel. The monument is more than just an architectural wonder; visitors can take a tram 630 feet up to the top of the arch. From the top you can take in amazing views of up to 30 miles to the east and west depending on weather conditions. The tram tour provides interactive exhibits with Gateway Arch trivia, and vintage style 60s era animation. Tram tours take just under one hour.
It is a good idea to buy tickets for the Gateway Arch ahead of time. While visiting the arch you can also take in the Museum at the Gateway Arch which tells the story of Native Americans, pioneers, and explorers, with six themed exhibit areas. Visitors to the monument can also take a riverboat cruise or check out the Old Courthouse. If you opt for an overnight stay in the area, camping is available at Mark Twain National Forest and Shawnee National Forest.
Next stop on your multi-state road trip is Lincoln, Nebraska, which is famous for its tailgate activities at local sporting events. Tailgating is a popular activity at the University of Nebraska, during the football season when home games are being held at Memorial Stadium. There is a lot of local pride and team spirit in Lincoln, and tailgate events at games are a real treat for college football fans. More details can be found at University of Nebraska-Lincoln Tailgating.
Most games are held in the fall, but there are spring games as well. During late fall be sure to bundle up, as Nebraska weather can be brisk! Also, traffic on game day is pretty heavy, so have a plan. RVers can park in Lot 11 if they are season pass holders or donors, or at Lot 56, which permits overnight parking. The cost for overnight parking at Lot 56 is $75 for game days and spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Alternatively, you can camp at a campground nearby such as the Pawnee State Recreation Area campground, and proceed in a passenger vehicle to the game or park at other off-site locations and take a shuttle bus to the stadium.
As you pass through Wyoming on Interstate 80, RVers looking for an excellent place to camp will find one at the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. This vast National Forest stretches from Northern Colorado to mid-Wyoming, and contains 2.2 million acres of diverse habitat with elevations from 5500 feet to 13000 feet, and varying climate conditions. At higher elevations, you will find much cooler weather conditions so be prepared.
Wildlife is abundant in the forests, grasslands, mountains, prairies, lakes, and wetland ecosystems. Rafting, boating, hiking, and fishing are all popular activities for visitors, and there are excellent overnight camping spots. This vast park has many campgrounds, but the two nearest to Interstate 80, in Wyoming, are the Bow River and Deep Creek Campgrounds.
Both these campgrounds are first-come, first-serve campgrounds, with no trash services, so campers are required to pack trash out, and they are only open during the peak season. There are no RV hookups at either campground. Bow River Campground has 13 campsites and can accommodate RVs up to 32 feet in length. It has a water supply, picnic tables, fire rings, and a vault toilet.
The Deep Creek Campground has 12 small campsites, one of which is a pull-through site, with picnic tables, fire rings, and a vault toilet. This campground is situated at 10000 feet above sea level, and winter stays late and comes early here, so camping here during the summer months only, is recommended. It is a cool place to camp in the summer though! It is only a short hike down Crater Lake trail from The Deep Creek Campground to the lake.
Interstate 84 will take you through the northeast corner of Utah, where Salt Lake City is situated. If you are passing through in June, be sure to check dates and get tickets for the Utah Blues Festival, which has been running since 2014, and features some of America's best blues artists.
The festival is a two-day event held at the Gallivan Center, that attracts hundreds of people to listen to amazing blues performances, nosh on excellent food, and participate in workshops. Enjoy the event while sitting in the sun in the lovely grass covered audience area.
There is parking for RVs and tow vehicles in the downtown area at parking lots that cater to festival goers. Larger RVs may need to be parked further afield, and you can then take public transportation to the event.
Continuing down Interstate 84, near Boise, Idaho, take a short side trip to discover wonderful raptors at the World Center For Birds of Prey. Take a guided tour through the Archives of Falconry, which has the largest falconry library in the world, with media, books, equipment, art, and artifacts, pertaining to raptors and falconry. Duplicate artifacts and contributed items are sometimes offered for sale to raise funds for preservation efforts.
See live California Condors, a rare and unique species, as well as eagles, vultures, hawks, falcons, and owl species from all over the world at the indoor/outdoor exhibits in the Velma Morrison Interpretive Center. Learn all about the ancient sport of using birds of prey for hunting and sport, at the Sheik Zayed Arab Falconry Heritage Wing.
The World Center for Birds of Prey is open Tuesday to Sunday, (closed Mondays) December to March from 10 AM to 4PM and 10 AM to 5 PM from March through November. They are closed on some holidays.
Camp in the area at the Macks Creek Park. This first-come, first-serve campground only has 15 sites and limited amenities, but is peaceful and has excellent lake views. More camping is available a little further on at the Boise National Forest.
Once you arrive in Portland, Oregon, a special treat for a shopping outing is the Portland Saturday Market. A bit of a misnomer, the market runs both Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, and between 11 AM and 4:30 PM on Sundays, between March and December at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Admission is free, but be sure to take some spending money as this amazing market is part art show, part craft fair, and part farmers market, with 250 unique vendors and products. Homemade products, vintage items, clothing, food and more are offered for sale at the market. There are street vendors, food outlets, and live music to enjoy during your visit.
The Portland Saturday Market has been operating since 1974, and is the largest continuous operating arts and crafts market in the US, with up to 750 000 visitors annually. This is your opportunity to pick out a unique Portland souvenir to commemorate your road trip!
Arriving at your destination in Portland, Oregon, RVers can camp at beautiful state and national parks in the Portland area. Find RV camping at Mount Hood National Forest, Milo McIver State Park, or Gifford Pinchot National Forest, all within easy driving distance of the city.
Portland offers cultural events, live music and theatre, shopping, and dining opportunities to visitors as well as some unique attractions. Plant lovers will delight in the Rose Test Gardens, Portland Japanese Gardens, and Hoyt Arboretum. Vast Washington Park is a spectacular urban park waiting to be explored, laced with walking paths and complete with a zoo.
The Pittock Mansion, built in 1919, is a magnificent mansion with a view situated 1000 feet in elevation and providing sweeping views of Portland that provides an interesting site on your Portland visit, and you can take a tour of this impressive home. For something completely different, visit Powell's City of Books, which features more than a million used books and is the world's largest indie bookstore. There's something for everybody's tastes in this beautiful Oregon city