A road trip from Tallahassee, Florida, north to Lexington, Kentucky, will take you through four fascinating states: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. This road trip is great for families or groups, with plenty of activities and interesting sights, that are excellent for sharing with others. RVers will find plenty of camping opportunities en route, but several of the interesting attractions and events along the way do not have parking for RVs, so a holiday trailer that you can unhook at a local campground and proceed to nearby sites and destinations may be the best way to take in busy events and tourist attractions. Y
our starting point s Florida's capital city, Tallahassee, and visitors can visit the Florida Capitol Complex or the Florida Historic Capitol Museum during their stay. History buffs will also enjoy the Florida Museum of History which is also situated here.
Did you know there is a 700-mile trail system in and around Tallahassee? Yes, you heard that right, 700 miles! While staying in Tallahassee you can camp at High Bluff Campground situated in the Lake Talquin State Forest. This campground has 30 sites that accommodate RVs, with no hookups but with 19000 acres of beautiful natural wilderness, and a lake that is just 10 miles from Tallahassee.
To begin your road trip to Lexington, head north on Highway 27 to Cusseta, Georgia, then northwest on Route 280/Interstate 185 to Atlanta. From Atlanta take Interstate 75 north to your destination.
While in Lexington, horse lovers will delight in the Kentucky Horse Park located on the northside of the city. This 1032 acre park features the International Museum of the Horse, horse-drawn tours, programs and equine exhibits, and an RV campground. The campground accommodates RVs up to 55 feet in length and has electric and water hookups. There are 260 sites available, on a first-come, first-serve basis, and they are known for filling up on weekends, so get there early if you plan on staying overnight.
While visiting Kentucky Horse Park, you can meet Hall of Champions thoroughbred racehorses, take in the Parade of Breeds Show, meet police horses, tour a blacksmith facility, and youngsters can participate in age-appropriate activities at a kids barn. There's even a youth riding program that gives young people the opportunity to learn grooming and basic riding skills. There is a large parking lot available here, so RVers passing through should be able to park their rigs, providing they arrive early in the day.
Traveling to Lexington in May? Be sure to catch the Kentucky Derby, 80 miles to the west, in Louisville, Kentucky. The race has been described as “the most exciting two minutes in sports”! This world-famous horse race is more than just a race; it is an important social and cultural event. There are two weeks of fanfare preceding race day, with galas, concerts, art exhibits, and equestrian sporting events leading up to the big day.
The Kentucky Derby is a race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses, over one and a quarter miles, at Churchill Downs Race Track, and is the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. If you are traveling with an RV, be aware that traveling around Lexington and Louisville prior to, and during the derby, becomes difficult as road closures come into effect, traffic is rerouted, and swarms of people and traffic descend upon the area for the derby.
There is no RV parking at the track, and you will want to set up camp at an area campground and proceed to the event in a passenger vehicle. The Louisville KOA is just 19 miles south of the track and has excellent amenities, but you will need to book ahead!
As you continue north into Kentucky, you will pass just east of the Daniel Boone National Forest. This 706 000 acre park contains a vast wooded area along the Appalachian Foothills and Cumberland Plateau, with 600 miles of trails that provide amazing hiking opportunities through forests, and along roads, ridges, and ravines. Trails are popular for hiking horseback riding, cycling, and ATV riding, and trails are available most of the year, as snowfall during the winter is minimal.
Numerous lakes, ponds, and creeks in the park have healthy fish populations, making the Daniel Boone National Forest a popular destination for anglers and sportfishing. There are 21 RV campgrounds in this national forest, so there are plenty of sites to choose from for overnight camping. Unique recreational activities in this national forest include snorkeling and scuba diving on Laurel River Lake. This 5600-acre lake has crystal-clear water with numerous coves and cliff-lined shores to explore, along with great diving sites. Target shooters can also test their skills at one of the shooting ranges in the park. The Clear Creek Shooting Range, Whitman Branch Shooting Range, Appletree Shooting Range, and Keno Shooting Range have benches with lanes of various yardage.
Continuing on your trip north, you will pass through Knoxville, Tennessee. The grounds of the World Fair, held here in 1982, features the one of a kind Sunsphere structure, and an associated amphitheater which are the only remaining structures from the 1982 event. The Sunsphere is 26 stories tall, and 75 feet in diameter, and covered with 24-carat gold dust-filled glass panels. The magnificent gold panes reflect the sun and create a dazzling effect. Open seven days a week from 9 AM to 6 PM, the Sunsphere has a fourth-floor observation deck, offering a 360-degree view of the surrounding city of Knoxville, and admission is free.
There is parking at the north World's Fair lot, and at local parking garages, but these facilities may not easily accommodate RV units. You can camp nearby at any one of a number of excellent state and national parks and proceed to the Knoxville site. Check out campgrounds at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Frozen Head State Park, or Big Ridge State Park which are all excellent camping destinations in beautiful Tennessee, where you can take in the natural beauty of the region.
As you head north to Lexington, you will pass through the westside of Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta has many interesting attractions and historical sites, but one of the most interesting attractions to visit is the Georgia Aquarium. Although landlocked Atlanta may not seem like an obvious place for a spectacular aquarium, visitors will be amazed by the diverse aquatic displays and unique opportunities provided here. With tens of thousands of individual animals, representing over 500 species from around the world, this aquarium is home to more animals than any other aquarium in the US, with 10 million gallons of water.
Explore exhibits featuring 60 aquatic habitats and exhibits such as Cold Water Quest, Ocean Voyager, River Scout, Aquanet Adventures, and Tropical Diver. The largest exhibit contains whale sharks and manta rays, and there is a dolphin exhibit and show with an underwater viewing window. You can even arrange for the opportunity to wade with the beluga whales or a sleepover at the aquarium.
If you park your RV at a local campground, such as at the nearby Sweetwater Creek State Park to the west of Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park Campground to the east, or Cartersville KOA to the north, you can participate in the sleepover at the aquarium, a once in a lifetime experience. In the evening, once the aquarium has closed to the general public, you will enjoy a bedtime snack and a sleeping spot right in front of an underwater gallery window. The sleepover includes breakfast and admission to all exhibits, presentations, activities, and guided tours the following day.
Tallahassee has an amazing 700 miles of trails in the urban area and natural regions around the city, enough for even the most enthusiastic hikers. The wide variety of hiking opportunities provides appropriate trails for novices, intermediate and expert hikers, so if you are travelling as a family with small children, or in a group with mixed abilities, you can find excellent treks that all members of your party can enjoy.
The J.R. Alford Greenway is an especially popular park in Tallahassee with 17 miles of multi-use trails. There is even a crushed oyster shell path to stroll on and a wooden boardwalk bridge. You will pass through lovely, cool green forests, and encounter local urban wildlife in the park. The trails are used by cyclists and equestrians, so watch out for faster-moving traffic.
Nearby you can also hike the Lafayette Heritage Tail which curves around Piney Z Lake, where turtles, alligators, and various bird species can be spotted. Other excellent trails in the area include the Miccosukee Greenway Trail, an eight-mile trail with some extreme and varying terrain, and the St. Marks Historic Trail which runs for 20 miles between the capital city and the town of St. Marks, Florida, along the first and longest operating railroad in Florida.
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Your destination of Lexington, Kentucky is billed as the “Horse Capital of the World”. The one of a kind Kentucky Horse Park features the International Museum of the Horse, and the world-class race track, Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is run annually in May, is located just one hour's drive west in Louisville, Kentucky.
Visitors to Lexington can also go stargazing at the Hummel Planetarium which is one of the largest and most well-equipped planetariums in the US, or stop on by the Kentucky Reptile Zoo where reptile lovers can view snakes, lizards, and crocodiles. While visiting Lexington, you can camp at the Kentucky Horse Park, or at nearby state park campgrounds such as the Whittleton or Middle Fork Campgrounds, in the Natural Bridge State Resort Park, which is located one hour southeast of the city. Reservations are available and recommended at these, and most nearby state parks.