Des Moines to Louisville Road Trip Guide


Des Moines is the capital and largest city in Iowa, but did you know that it is also a fantastic place to start a solo RV getaway? The city is a midwestern hub and has plenty of cultural activities for you to enjoy at the start of your trip. Whether you are interested in art, science, or even the bar scene, get ready for a fun day and night.

Starting your solo RV getaway in Des Moines gives you the opportunity to head in many different directions for a trip that lasts a few days, but you should consider heading southeast. With two to three days you can travel through multiple states and check out a range of natural areas and manmade features. The drives will be short, which means that you will have plenty of time to go exploring before you find an RV campground to call home for the night.

The freeways between Des Moines and Louisville are full of things to do, but don't sleep on Louisville. The largest city in Kentucky is a perfect final destination for your trip thanks to the wide range of activities available. There will be something for everyone in Louisville, whether you want to relax and check out some museums, watch some horseracing at Churchill Downs, or visit the urban Cherokee Park. There are also plenty of places to park your RV, so get ready to hit the road!

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 2-3 days
Recommend rig: van
audience: single

Point of Interest

Des Moines Water Works Park

Since Des Moines is the largest city in the state of Iowa you won't have any shortage of activities to enjoy. One of the best ways to enjoy a sunny day in Des Moines is to head just southwest of the city center where you can spend a few hours at the Des Moines Water Works Park. Operated and maintained by the city, it is one of the largest parks that have an urban classification in all of the United States with 1,500 acres to enjoy.

Some of the most popular activities to do in the park include getting some exercise on one of the many trails, hanging out in a picnic area to do some grilling, and making the most of the incredible amphitheater where many famous musicians play gigs.

Once you have finished hanging out in the park you can head to one of the many RV-friendly campgrounds that are in the city. One of the best places to stay is at the Walnut Woods State Park where you have the choice between electric and full-hookup sites.

Figge Art Museum

A fantastic place for your first stop on this solo RV trip is in the city of Davenport. The Figge Art Museum is one of the most popular destinations in the city for locals and visitors alike since it is one of the major art museums in eastern Iowa. Known by locals as "The Figge", the museum opened its doors for the first time in 2005 and has operating hours Tuesday through Sunday.

The Figge Art Museum is home to many permanent and special exhibitions, so make sure to check out the museum website before your arrival to see what is happening. Some of the collections that the museum is known for include those from the Haitian, Midwestern, and Colonial Mexican cultures. There are over 4,000 pieces that make up the permanent collection, so you won't run out of things to see!

You will have to pay a small fee to visit, but it is well worth it. For those interested in art it is the perfect stop!

Eagle Creek Park

After a day looking at art you might be yearning to spend some time outdoors. There are limited waterways on the journey from Des Moines to Louisville, but the Eagle Creek Park will give you the chance to have some fun in and around a massive lake.

Located around 297 miles from Davenport, Eagle Creek Park is the largest in Indianapolis and features so many recreational activities that you would have to stay days to fit everything in. Some of the highlights include a swimming beach, many fishing areas, paddling opportunities, and a marina. Off the water, you can walk along the trails, let off some steam at the pistol range, or have a round of golf at the course.

If you don't want to travel too far to stay the night you should consider staying at the Raceview Family Campground that is around eight miles from the park.


After a few days on the road having the time of your life, it will be time to end your RV getaway once you reach Louisville. You couldn't ask for a better place to stay at the conclusion of your trip since the city has the perfect mix of natural areas to hang out at, along with great restaurants, museums, and bars.

On the food front, Louisville is home to some great American-style eateries, including J. Grahams Cafe, Jack Fry's, and English Grill. If you love baseball you can't miss the Louisville Slugger Museum, which is located along "Museums Row" where you can also find The Kentucky Science Center, The Fraizer History Museum, and the KMAC Museum. If you feel like heading out into nature the E.P Tom Sawyer State Park is a very popular destination, but you will have to find somewhere else to stay since there is no campground available.

Since it is the last night of your RV getaway you should kick up your feet and enjoy the Louisville South KOA. Here you will be able to enjoy many amenities that aren't found in most public campgrounds, including WiFi, cable TV, a pool, full hookup sites, and bike rentals.

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