Jacksonville is the biggest and most populated city in Florida. It's ultra-modern, culturally sophisticated, has more state parks within its boundaries than probably any other city in the US, and a staggering twenty-two miles of beaches. Those plus the city's plethora of museums, theaters, art galleries, amazing riverside walkways, and first-class sports facilities make Jacksonville an exciting place to live or visit that's buzzing with a contagious young vibe. It's a city with everything as far as outdoor recreation, gastronomy, entertainment, and nightlife goes. The year-round, agreeably mild climate just adds another plus to the already long list of great things about Jacksonville.
No matter how perfect a place is and how much there is to do there, everyone needs a change of scene on occasion. Great road trips make for great relationships and amazing memories, so join up with some friends, rent an RV, and then hit the highway. Over a long weekend, on a two or three-day road trip from Jacksonville to Birmingham in Alabama, you'll be surprised at just what you can see and do on the way. Head out of the city on the I 10 westbound and before you know it, you'll be motoring through the Osceola National Forest.
Does a weekend RV road trip with your friends need to be all about getting back to nature and hiking through forests and wildernesses? The simple answer is – no, it doesn't. Head east off the I 10 and along the I 75 northbound and you'll soon find out why.
On that route, you'll come across the unique Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park where there are live music festivals every weekend. Keep driving and you'll find the Wild Adventure, an enormous theme and water park, and the South Georgia Motorsports Park where speed and the smell of burning rubber are the order of the day. When you've had your fill of thrills, pitch up somewhere like the Suwannee River State Park to go kayaking down the river or hiking and exploring underground caverns in the Talladega National Forest. On a weekend road trip from Jacksonville in Florida to Birmingham in Alabama, you really can have the best of both worlds so get that RV loaded fast and hit the road as soon as you can.
After enjoying the adrenaline thrills of a theme and water park, it may well be time to do something a little calmer and more relaxed as you start to approach Birmingham. Nature is amazing above ground, but going into the depths of the earth can add a whole new dimension of how you perceive the world. Not far from Birmingham, on the edge of the Talladega National Forest, are some of the most amazing caves in Alabama and in the entire USA.
The DeSoto Caverns are immense and full of fantastic geological formations that will leave you totally awe-struck. Head underground and enjoy the spectacular laser light show as it bounces off the rock walls. Then learn about who used the caves as a hideaway during their long history and about how the caves were formed from a well-informed tour guide. After you've explored the caverns, head back above ground and challenge your friends to find their way out of the three-quarters of an acre maze before you do.
Test your friend's mettle - as well as your own - by taking them to the Wild Adventures theme park. The park is located just south of Valdosta off the I 75 in the direction of Old Clyttaville and is a super fun stop to make on your weekend road trip. It's basically three parks in one. A theme park with wild rides, a spring to fall water park with wild slides and an exotic zoo with semi-wild animals.
Yes, it is totally wild and while you might want to miss out on the zoo, you won't want to miss the stomach-churning roller coasters, the sky-high swing or the space tower blast off - and those are just three of the scream-inducing rides. The aquatic park will test your courage too as you launch yourself down almost vertical pipelines and slide on an inflatable down a seriously steep slope. While having to pull your swimsuit out of your nether regions when you hit the pool at the bottom isn't the most elegant thing to have to do, it does mean you were brave enough to go for it. And after all, water parks are all about making a splash, elegant or not.
Visit the Suwannee River State Park on your road trip from Jacksonville to Birmingham and you'll soon discover it's a state park with a difference. If hiking through meadows full of flowers and forests of pine trees where there's nothing to see or do other than listen to the sound of birds chirping is not your thing, you'll love this park. The state park is about one-hundred miles from Jacksonville along the I 10 and sits within the boundaries of the Twin Rivers National Forest. That's not what makes it special though.
Hit the trails in the Suwannee River State Park and really spook your friends out. Along the trails, you'll come across two ghost towns almost buried in sand, an abandoned cemetery and the remains of old ferryboats as well as earth mounds dating back to the Civil War. The park has a small campground with around twenty campsites for RVs. They're all on a single loop in a dense forest setting that's ideal for a night by the campfire with your friends scaring each other with tall tales of cabins in the woods.
There's nothing quite as good as being at an outdoor music concert with a few of your closest friends. Stop off at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park on your road trip from Jacksonville to Birmingham and you can do just that. The park is around an hour and a half's drive from the city near the town of Live Oak and is a fantastic place to start your weekend.
The park has a music hall where a variety of bands from all genres perform including lookalike tributes of iconic stars and some top country artists. There's an auditorium where large festivals are scheduled throughout the year too. Plus there are also special weekends just for bands when they can go and audition. The park has a campground with over six-hundred campsites and when you want some outdoor time away from the music, there are trails to hike or the Suwannee River for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
While Jacksonville is really diverse and has everything going for it as a living or vacation destination, Birmingham in Alabama isn't far behind. If you're into photography, you'll want to snap some souvenir shots of the waterfalls in the Oak Mountain State Park or pictures of you and your friends next to the statue of Vulcan – the biggest cast-iron statue in the States. If not, explore the city on a hired cycle together, then dig in to a plate of the local delicacy – pork'n'greens followed by a dish of pecan or peach pie. If that doesn't set you up for your next RV road trip with your friends then nothing will.