Detroit to Galveston Road Trip Guide


For families looking to hit the open road on their next RV vacation, a seven-day road trip from Detroit, Michigan to Galveston, Texas is sure to be a thrill.

Detroit is nestled within the heart of Michigan and is the biggest and most metropolitan city in the state. Nicknamed the "Motor City" for its roots as a prosperous automobile manufacturing center, Detroit is not only a car town; it is also home to the legendary Motown Records.

Though Detroit is known for its gritty charm, there are many interesting things to see and do during a visit to this metropolitan center. Connected to Canada by a bridge and tunnel permitting passage across or beneath Lake Erie, the city traces its origins to 1701 and a gentleman from France named Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac. A tradesman, Antoine constructed a fort by the river and bestowed upon it the handle of Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit, a name which pays homage to his patron. The word "detroit" translates to strait.

Detroit is a city that enjoys all seasons with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. Regardless of the time of year, there are lots of things to do in this popular city. A metropolis with a thriving arts community, Detroit is home to the Cranberry Academy of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts. For fans of music history, a visit to the Motown Historical Museum is not to be missed. The Henry Ford Museum pays homage to the city's roots as an automotive town while Greenfield Village showcases trades and architecture that were common to the region in the 19th century.

But Detroit is also a haven for those that love sports. The city is home to the Detroit Pistons (basketball), the Detroit Red Wings (hockey), the Detroit Tigers (baseball), and the Detroit Lions (football). Due to the great success of the Red Wings, the city is sometimes referred to as "Hockeytown, U.S.A."

For families looking to enjoy outdoor recreation before beginning their RV trip en route to Galveston, Detroit will not disappoint. From its beautiful state parks to lush forests, campgrounds, and more, families won't want for places to enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, picnicking, swimming, or camping.

Traveling through Detroit in an RV can be challenging, so it is recommended that campers park their rig at their campsite and take a taxi or bus into the city to enjoy the sites. Before heading off on a seven-day road trip, why not spend a few nights camping at Detroit Greenfield Campground or Windsor Campground?

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 7+ days
Recommend rig: motorhome
audience: family

Point of Interest

El Jardin Beach

After a hard day of driving then some fun exploring the Houston Zoo, a relaxing day at the beach sounds like just what the doctor ordered. The drive to Pasadena's El Jardin Beach is short at only 33.9 miles.

A white sand-lined property of small proportions, El Jardin Beach is big on charm and beauty. Dogs are permitted on the grounds but must remain leashed unless there are no other people visiting the premises that day.

This popular beach is the perfect spot to enjoy some quality family time together. It sees low traffic each day, making it an excellent spot to get in some R&R after a busy day on the road. Families can bring along a portable barbecue or a picnic lunch to allow them to enjoy a meal on the grounds.

Parking can be difficult to find, meaning RV parking might not be possible. However, there is ample street parking provided nearby, and families can travel the remainder of the way to the beach on foot.

There is some parking found directly at the beach; however, the lot only has 20 spots, and they fill up very quickly.

The most popular activities here include swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and beachcombing.

After enjoying a day of fun in the sun, a good night's rest before the final leg of the journey is a perfect plan. Spend the night doing some RV camping at Bayou Campground.

Houston Zoo

The longest leg of the journey at 798 miles, there are few places to stop en route to Houston. However, the prospect of a day exploring the Houston Zoo will make the long hours in the RV totally worthwhile.

The Houston Zoo is a wonderful experience for families to enjoy together. This property endeavors to connect the beauty and joy of animals with the importance of working together for the protection of wildlife species worldwide. The zoo houses such rare amazing creatures as African lions, Asian elephants, and California sea lions.

A very popular destination for tourists from all around the world, the Houston Zoo welcomes over 2.4 million visitors per year.

Among the fantastic sights to discover at the Houston Zoo are the African Forest complete with gorillas, giraffes, and chimpanzees, and the exhibits which house over 6,000 animals in total.

There is limited parking in Hermann Park for RVs and cars. Since this fills quickly, it is recommended that RV campers arrive early or park their RV at their campground and take a taxi or bus to the zoo's grounds.

After such a long drive then a day spent enjoying the animals at the zoo, families are going to need a good night's rest. Consider an RV stay at Lake Houston Wilderness Park.

Six Flags Over Georgia

The 514 miles on the road won't seem so bad upon arrival at Six Flags Over Georgia. An exceedingly popular amusement park, families are sure to have a ball at this much-loved family recreation center.

In addition to the many amazing rides found at Six Flags Over Georgia, this family-centric destination is also home to a water park known as Hurricane Harbor. Hurricane Harbor covers seven acres of ground and contains many historic rides including the very first hybrid zero-gravity vertical drop slide. There is also a large wave pool and a slide complex that features three slides with legendary curves to maximize the fun.

Six Flags Over Georgia features some of the most legendary roller coasters in the country for those that enjoy the thrill of danger. Gentler rides are also available for children to enjoy.

Families can easily spend a full day enjoying Six Flags Over Georgia. After a day of fun in the sun at this popular amusement, park the RV and get some shut-eye at Stone Mountain Park Campground or Atlanta West Campgrounds.

The Old Mill

135 miles from Memphis is an interesting spot that is well worth a visit while en route from Detroit to Galveston. The property is home to a re-creation of an important 19th-century grist mill that was fueled by water power. The mill is well renowned for its role in the opening credits of the iconic film Gone with the Wind. The property has been included on the list of the country's National Register of Historic Places.

The mill is extremely picturesque, making it a favorite stopping point for families looking for the perfect photo op. It is easy to find just outside the T.R. Pugh Memorial Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Guided tours of the property are available for large groups. The minimum number of participants for an organized tour is 10. The tour takes about 30 minutes to complete. Reservations are required.

For more information or to book a tour, contact the mill's website.

With an exceptionally long drive in the day ahead, it's a great idea to do some RV camping in Little Rock. Consider taking a day or two to stay at Maumelle Park or Little Rock/Jct I-40 KOA Journey.

National Civil Rights Museum

An early start is a good plan with 392 miles to travel to reach Memphis' historic National Civil Rights Museum. This popular attraction is housed within the Lorraine Motel, the place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. The museum has amassed a large collection of memorabilia and historical facts tracing the trajectory of the civil rights movement from slavery to modern-day events.

Opened to the public in 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum has welcomed millions of visitors who have traveled from all corners of the earth to its doors. Over 90,000 students peruse the museum's grounds each year.

But the museum does more than pay homage to the plight of the African American people throughout history. It also places a high emphasis on educating the public about current events affecting both civil and human rights to encourage appropriate action to propel change forward.

The courtyard of the museum still displays the original hotel sign. To the opposite side of it is the balcony where Dr. King lost his life.

The National Civil Rights Museum contains many exhibits that pay homage to such important things as slavery years, the Black Power movement, the struggle for voting rights, Jim Crow, and the final days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

To truly experience the museum, families will need to allow approximately two hours.

After a day spent exploring the museum, a good night's sleep might be just what the doctor ordered. Park the RV at Graceland RV Park and Campground or Memphis KOA Journey for the night.

Candles Holocaust Museum and Education Center

The journey from Science Central to Terre Haute is 202 miles, meaning you will enjoy a more leisurely drive before arriving at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Founded in 1995 by Ms. Eva Mozes Kor, this education facility was developed to bring awareness to the conditions endured during the Holocaust as well as to bring an end to prejudice and hate crimes. Throughout each year, thousands of visitors explore the museum's grounds.

In 2003, CANDLES was subjected to a vicious attack when an arsonist attempted to burn the facility to the ground. With assistance from the local community, the museum was rebuilt. Its grand opening occurred in 2005.

CANDLES is an acronym which stands for Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors. Ms. Kor is one such survivor who endured the atrocities of Dr. Josef Mengele alongside her twin sister. The main focus of the museum is educating the public about the genocide which occurred in Nazi Germany during World War II.

The museum has been the subject of controversy for Ms. Kors's heartfelt belief that freedom from the oppression of the Nazis and their crimes can only be granted through forgiveness.

With a lengthy drive in the day ahead, an overnight stay at a campground that permits RV camping is an excellent idea. Consider spending the night at Terre Haute Campground or Hawthorn Park Campground.

Science Central

Only 52 miles away from Independence Dam State Park is Science Central, a destination hotspot in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A science center that prioritizes hands-on learning, this facility is the only science-based program of its kind in the state.

From fun lessons on the power of static electricity to the many uses for liquid nitrogen, family members of all ages will enjoy learning about the wonders of science.

Science Central contains many different exhibits. Some of the most popular displays include exhibitions on the topics of magnets, sound, light, live animals, optical illusions, and much, much more. Also found on the grounds throughout each season are temporary exhibits which expand on the center's educational opportunities.

Science Central also houses a gigantic slide where children can learn about the power of gravity. Other educational opportunities include the chance to see a mastodon, to view the earth from space, and to experience the strength of tornado-force winds.

For more information about hours of operation, tours, exhibits, and any associated fees, check the center's website.

After a day of fun exploring Science Central, plan to enjoy an RV stay at Johnny Appleseed Park, Indian Springs Campground, or Bluffton/Fort Wayne South KOA.

Independence Dam State Park

At only 48.3 miles from the Toledo Zoo, the journey is short but sweet to get to Independence Dam State Park. A popular recreational area and camping facility, Independence Dam State Park rests adjacent to the Maumee River. The property spans 591 acres in total, providing families with ample room for exploration.

An area rich in tree growth, families can enjoy the beauty of the lush tree cover provided by great sycamores, black locusts, beech, and maples. The riverbanks are extremely picturesque, making them ideally suited to capturing some family photos as a memento of a great day on vacation.

In season, the landscape is liberally dotted with brilliantly hued wildflowers that are a wonder to behold. Other flowers that bloom in the region include jewelweed and violets. A wide variety of wildlife also makes this park their home including many types of songbirds and such woodland creatures as the fox squirrel, the raccoon, the skunk, and the woodchuck.

Among the most beloved activities at Independence Dam State Park are boating, cycling, camping, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. In the winter months, there are a wide variety of cold-weather activities available on the grounds such as sledding, ice skating, and cross country skiing.

Toledo Zoo

Just 63.8 miles from the Motor City is the Toledo Zoo. A wonderful attraction for families to enjoy, the Toledo Zoo is home to over 5,300 animals representing 750 species in total. This popular tourist destination offers one of the most comprehensive collections of animals from all across the world.

Also housed on the premises is a zoo designed with children in mind. Named Nature's Neighborhood, this kid-friendly animal center provides educational opportunities for children to learn more about how animals live in their natural habitat. Here, children can enjoy interacting with such animals as goats, guinea pigs, birds, reptiles, and even dogs and cats.

The Toledo Zoo places a high priority on the protection of many rare and endangered species. To help encourage their preservation, the zoo is involved in careful breeding practices to promote their continuation.

A very popular spot, the Toledo Zoo welcomes almost one million visitors to its grounds per year. Throughout the year, special events are housed on the premises including the much-loved Lights Before Christmas display.

Looking for a place to park the RV for an overnight stay before the next leg of your journey? Consider spending the night at Toledo East/Stony Ridge KOA Journey or Big Sandy Campground.


RV campers will be happy to land in Galveston to enjoy an extended RV stay in the city. The final leg of the journey from Pasadena to Galveston is only 31 miles in total.

Galveston is a city located on an island. Nestled along the Gulf Coast of the state of Texas, this metropolitan city is renowned for its incredible beauty. Among the most popular attractions is the Moody Gardens where families can enjoy exploring such features as gigantic glass enclosures which house sharks, monkeys, and other mammals. Also found in the city is a much-loved spot known as the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier which is home to many rides, activities, and delicious treats.

For those looking enjoy some outdoor adventure, it is well worth the effort to stop by Galveston Island State Park. Here families can partake in such activities as hiking, kayaking, and fishing. Stewart Beach and East Beach offer great places to do some swimming or to engage in water sports.

The climate in Galveston is absolutely sublime with warm, subtropical weather year-round. It is relatively easy to navigate through the city in an RV, but the city has a good transportation system between shuttle buses and taxis, allowing families to park their rig at the campsite and enjoy Galveston on foot.

Among the best places to enjoy RV stays in Galveston are The Oaks Bar, Grill, and Campground and San Luis Pass County Park.

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