The Jubilee Family Camper
The Jubilee Family Camper
Louisville to Ocean City is a long way and so you will need to think carefully about how you want to break up the journey to incorporate as much as possible into your adventure. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do everything. Your road trip is going to take you through plenty of RV friendly country and we will offer some suggestions as to where to set up camp and what points of interest there are to visit. You may well find you need to do more exploring in one or other of the areas you are traveling through, so consider this guide as a smorgasbord from which you can pick and choose to turn this into your ideal break.
Leaving the home of the famed Louisville slugger and that renowned derby, you might want to make an early start in order to see as much as possible along the way. How long you spend in each destination is going to really dictate where you camp and what sites you visit but remember to leave some time to explore Ocean City. The ocean boardwalks and long beaches are definitely going to demand some attention.
It would not be possible to do this journey without a least considering a visit to Washington. You have a choice of routes and all of them will take in the region of two and a half hours. Head for Cherry Hill Park. They can accommodate most rigs and that will save you the stress of driving in the city. A shuttle from the campground runs to the Metro station so city visits are simple.
There is so much to see and do in Washington that it is difficult to know where to start. The National Mall runs between the two iconic landmarks of the US Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial; somewhere that every American should visit at least once in their lifetime. There are guided tours of the Capitol Building, but book online in advance.
Of the Smithsonian Museums, the Natural History Museum is probably going to be the one the kids would most appreciate but beware, you could spend days in there. Another museum they will thank you for visiting is the International Spy Museum which delves into the history of world espionage and undercover operations.
Depending on how you decide to break things up, you still have quite a long drive to Ocean City but there is a wide variety of things to do along the way. Charlottesville, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, was voted by National Geographic magazine as one of the happiest cities in the US. There are plenty of activities here for any age group.
One notable that should not be missed is the Thomas Jefferson house, Monticello. It is still the only home in the US to have been declared a World Heritage site. It provides an insight into this man’s architectural genius as well as some of the history through which he lived.
The Downtown Mall is somewhere that you can wander and where the whole family will find things to interest them. There you will also find the Virginia Discovery Museum which was built with kids in mind. If you still have time and the city is not absorbing all of your attention, then the county is home to seventy miles of hiking trails for you to explore.
After the more urban delights of Huntington and Cincinnati, it is time to make your road trip feel a little wilder. The Monongahela National Forest is going to offer plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. It extends for 921 000 acres so there is no shortage of space and there are numerous things to do that you would simply not be able to access without a vehicle in which to camp comfortably.
From Huntington, head for Bolar Mountain recreation area. The drive will take nearly four hours but there are several places to stop along the way if you wish to break the journey up. In the recreation area, situated on the banks of Lake Moomaw, there is hiking, biking, fishing, and canoeing. Better still, it offers easy access to both the Monongahela and George Washington and Jefferson National parks so you will be able to explore to your heart’s content. This is a summer-only camp but there are plenty of others in the area.
Situated on the banks of the Ohio River, two and a half hours from Cincinnati, lies the town of Huntington. This city is an extension of Holderby’s Landing which dates back to 1775 and was the city’s first identifiable settlement. Heritage Farm Museum exposes visitors to a now lost way of life and includes some of the old buildings that date back to those used by the earliest pioneers. The area actually has several museums but there are also craftsmen demonstrating ancient trades and regular re-enactments.
In Huntington itself, you can visit Ritter Garden Park Historic District. In 2012 this was voted as one of the top ten great public spaces in the US. It houses more than seventy buildings that helped define the architectural heritage of the colonial era.
Above Ritter Park, you will find the Huntington Museum of Art which is the largest art museum in West Virginia.
The Huntington KOA RV park is open all year round, is family-friendly and can accommodate any size rig.
A further short drive takes you to Cincinnati which is just another eighty miles down the road. Here you will be able to walk across the Roebling Bridge. Crossing this precursor of the better known Brooklyn Bridge will give you great photos of the city skyline. Alternatively, a walk through Washington Park with its interactive fountains will keep young kids amused and after that, don’t forget to search out of the city’s famous chili parlors for a cheese Coney.
The Kings Island Theme Park is another great place for the family, but be prepared to struggle to tear the kids away when you are ready to move on. It is home to both the longest wooden roller coaster in the world and the longest inverted roller coaster. Maybe the chili parlor wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Just eight miles from the city you will enter a far more tranquil environment at the Lebanon campground. Here you can find drive-through sites, playgrounds for the kids and there is even a zip line if the roller coasters haven’t diluted their adrenalin addiction.
Lexington is just a hop from Louisville at less than an hour and a half’s drive. Though it might be tempting to press on and get a few more miles under your belt, there are points of interest that this town offers that you might regret missing. It is still very much part of the racing establishment in this area and a quick Horse Farm Tour will please any horse lovers in the family.
For those more intrigued by history and the start of the crafts movement, the Shaker Village will provide a glimpse of what life was like for these deeply religious craftsmen so famed for their furniture. If you are quick, there might still be time for a tasting tour at one of the many Kentucky whiskey distilleries such as the internationally renowned Wild Turkey.
All in all, this road trip will have taken you through a broad swathe of what America has to offer to the traveler who is adventurous enough to explore new places and who has the desire to experience new things. Louisville to Ocean City is a long way to travel in just three to five days.
From Washington, you still have 150 miles to cover before completing your journey and there, another adventure awaits you as you finally reach the coast. Here there are miles of beaches to explore and the boardwalks allow you to move freely along the coastline. At the southern end of the boardwalks, there are rides for the kids or you could opt for a boat tour to one of the nearby islands.