Washington to Duluth Road Trip Guide


If you've got an RV vacation on your mind, a seven-day road trip from Washington, D.C. to Duluth, Minnesota might be the perfect adventure for you and your family.

Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is a city that is small in size but big on interesting things to see and do. This metropolitan center rests along the Potomac River and sits along the border of the states of Maryland and Virginia. One of the distinguishing features of the nation's capital is its many monuments and government structures that bear evidence of the elegant neoclassical style of architecture. Among the most commonly visited attractions are the Capitol, the White House, and the Supreme Court. But Washington D.C. is far more than simply the seat of U.S. government, it is also a haven for those that enjoy culture and the fine arts, being home to such important venues as the Smithsonian Institution and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

For families that enjoy sports, Washington is one city that won't disappoint. The region is home to professional teams in all of the four most beloved sports in the country.

Washington D.C. is also a beautiful place for RV campers with a hankering for outdoor adventure to explore. The area is home to many incredible state parks, national monuments, and even a few beaches. The abundance of hiking trails makes it an excellent place for getting in a good workout. Other popular activities families can enjoy here include fishing, cycling, picnicking, swimming, and much, much more.

Traveling through the streets of the nation's capital in an RV can be a challenge. RV campers can park their rig in a public lot or at their campground and enjoy the city's transportation system to get to and from the attractions found in the city.

For a great place for an RV stay for a night or two, consider parking your rig at Cherry Hill Park or Robert C. McDonell Campground.

Share this road trip guide


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

Point of Interest

Gambrill State Park

Just 51.4 miles away from Washington, D.C. is the beautiful Gambrill State Park. This popular recreational area is located in the heart of the Catoctin Mountain range in Frederick County.

For families that enjoy outdoor recreation, a visit to Gambrill State Park will not disappoint. This facility is home to over 16 miles of trails that are well-suited to hiking, mountain biking, and even horseback riding.

Gambrill State Park is divided into two sections named Rock Run and High Knob. High Knob sits at an elevation of 1,600 feet, providing incredible views of the surrounding valleys and reaching as far as the Shenandoah Mountains. Also found in this portion of the park are multiple picnic areas, several shelters, and a quaint lodge comprised of stone known as the Tea Room.

Rock Run features a campground where families can enjoy an overnight stay in their RV should they so choose. Other amenities at this popular section of the park include a picnic area and a pond where many visitors and locals alike stop to do some fishing.

Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum

The next stop on this seven-day road trip en route to Duluth is quite short at only 21.9 miles away. This brief journey leads RV campers to Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, an extremely interesting spot for fans of local history to spend the day.

Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum proudly preserves the history of the five railroads that were active in the region during the city's heyday when it was known as the "Hub City." The facility is home to many different pieces of memorabilia including historic train cars and model-sized replicas of the former railroads themselves.

The museum was built to pay homage to a property once known as the Hagerstown Roundhouse. This facility was once the best of its kind with its fame reputed throughout the entire continent. Constructed in 1910, Hagerstown Roundhouse was an important component of the Western Maryland Railroad system. The building contained such important things as a furnace, presses, sandblasting shops, and even cranes to assist with the building and repair of locomotives. This was considered to be the main repair shop for the railway and was also one of six railroads leading into the region. Today, only four are still operational.

The original building was destroyed in 1999. The museum is housed in a small facility found on the same property.

After a day learning more about the history of Hagerstown and its railroads, an overnight RV stay to catch up on some zzz's might be the perfect way to end the day. Consider spending the night at Hagerstown/Antietam Battlefield KOA Holiday or Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park.

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

A drive of 173 miles outside Hagerstown leads RV campers to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. This destination hotspot offers interesting exhibits and opportunities for RV campers to interact with the animals that make this place their home.

Over 100 years ago, a prominent philanthropist known as Christopher Lyman Magee generously gave $125.00 to the city with the intent of the funds being used to build a zoological garden. The location for this new project was to be the Highland Park section of the city.

The zoo was first unveiled to the public on June 14th, 1898. It was here that many residents had the occasion to see many different animals that they had only ever previously read about in books. During that time, the zoo more closely resembled a collection of animals. Over the years, the landscape was adapted to include many different habitats that were familiar and comfortable for the animals living in the zoo.

Over time, the zoo expanded to include bear exhibits and a section of the facility called the Children's Zoo. In 1967, an addition was built onto the premises called the AquaZoo, an aquarium that was the first of its kind in the state and the biggest in the United States at the time of its construction.

The zoo has since been expanded to include a tropical rain forest and an underground exhibit known as the Niches of the World.

For hours of operation, tours, events, and any associated fees, consult the zoo's website.

Tired from a day of fun at the zoo and need a place to park the RV for an overnight stay? Consider spending the night at Washington/Pittsburgh SW KOA Journey or Mountain Top Campground.

Mill Creek Park

The trip to Mill Creek Park will fly by in no time with such a fun destination awaiting RV campers in the day ahead. 70.3 miles from the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, this beautiful property offers many different activities for RV campers to enjoy during their visit.

Mill Creek Park was founded in 1891 and is considered to be the first of its kind in the state of Ohio. The biggest of the MetroParks system, Mill Creek Park consists of more than 2,658 acres of property for RV campers to explore. Among the most popular activities here are hiking, biking, fishing, golf, tennis, volleyball, picnicking, skiing, and sledding. There are 45 miles of trails suited to hiking and cycling. Those that prefer exploring the area in their vehicle will be delighted to discover this park is also home 20 miles of scenic drives.

Mill Creek traverses the grounds and feeds three nearby lakes. The park itself stretches from the Mill Creek Valley to the meeting points of Mill Creek and the Mahoning River.

Also found within this park are the stunningly beautiful Lanterman's Falls and the Mill Creek Gorge. The views at both of these locales are awe-inspiring and worthy of capturing on film as a souvenir of a wonderful vacation stay in the region.

Among the best places for an RV stay in Youngstown are Mill Creek Campground or Chestnut Ridge Campground.

Studebaker National Museum

The next day's leg of the journey is quite lengthy at 313 miles, but RV campers won't mind the drive with the excitement of spending the day exploring the Studebaker National Museum ahead of them. This incredible facility is a showcase for some of the most popular automobiles ever produced in the South Bend region. One of the most commonly visited attractions at this facility is the car belonging to Fozzie the Bear that was featured in The Muppet Movie.

The Studebaker factory traces its roots to 1852. Founded by brothers named Henry and Clement Studebaker, this facility was originally a manufacturing company for wagons. In 1902, the factory switched its focus to the production of cars. It rapidly grew to become one of the biggest corporations in the South Bend region. For over one hundred years, the Studebaker factory prospered. The business is responsible for the production of some of the most famous classic cars in America. Their signature design included art deco elements.

In the 1950s, the Studebaker factory fell into hard times and eventually ceased operations in 1963. The history of the factory, as well as many of the vehicles it produced, can be seen at the Studebaker National Museum.

Tired out after a day of fun viewing some of America's most iconic automobiles? Consider an RV stay at South Bend/Elkhart KOA or Maple Ridge Campground.

Millennium Park

A short trip of only 50.2 miles in the RV brings families to the exciting Millennium Park. One of the focal points of the city of Chicago, locals and tourists alike flock to this popular attraction found in the heart of the Windy City.

There is ample open grass space for RV campers to enjoy a picnic on the grounds, and the stunning Crown Fountain is the ideal spot for taking a quick dip to cool down on a hot summer's day. Other common events occurring at this beloved public space include free live concerts and movie screenings.

One of the most well-known attractions in Millennium Park is a sculpture called Cloud Gate, an item more commonly referred to simply as "The Bean." The Bean is an immense structure that forms an archway leading into this popular park. A quick glimpse upwards reveals a distorted image that is sure to bring a smile to even the weariest traveler's lips. This spot is the perfect place for capturing unusual vacation selfies.

The Lurie Garden offers RV campers the ideal relaxing spot to recline in comfort on one of the provided benches with the canal ahead to provide an incredible view. This is the perfect place to do some reconnecting with nature, journaling, or catching up on some reading.

Millennium Park offers something for everyone to enjoy from rock climbing at the family favorite Maggie Daley Park to dining at one of the eclectic restaurants or cafes found on the grounds and even checking out some local culture and art.

Had a ball exploring Millennium Park and think a snooze might be in order? Park the RV at Chicago Northwest KOA or William W. Powers State Recreation Area for the night.

Indiana Dunes National Park

RV campers will enjoy the quick 45-mile drive that takes them to Indiana Dunes National Park. This popular recreational facility runs a 15-mile length of shoreline along the scenic Lake Michigan.

There are many interesting things for families to do during a visit to Indiana Dunes National Park. This facility is a haven for many different varieties of birds, some of which are both rare and endangered. The property is also home to a long stretch of sand-lined beach where families can enjoy such popular activities as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming.

Indiana Dunes National Park consists of over 15,000 acres of property for families to explore at their leisure. Found on the grounds are over 50 miles of trails that cover a wide variety of landscape features including rough sand dunes, prairie flatlands, and dense forest.

The adjacent park known as the Indiana Dunes State Park is home to the three largest dunes in the region: Mount Tom, Mount Holden, and Mount Jackson. However, the national park holds the place that attracts the most visitors year-round: Mount Baldy. Mount Baldy is an unusual sand dune in that it is slowly being eaten away at a rate of approximately four feet each year.

Camping is permitted on the grounds here year-round.

Rotary Botanical Gardens

Janesville, Wisconsin, a town located 108 miles from Indiana Dunes National Park, is home to the Rotary Botanical Gardens. This popular destination consists of over 20 acres of incredibly landscaped premises. The gardens have received many different awards for their beautiful gardens featuring 26 various styles and up to 4,000 types of plants and flowers.

The Rotary Botanical Gardens contain several different theme gardens. Some of the themes draw inspiration from different countries and include such places as Japan, Scotland, France, Italy, and England. Those who choose to spend a day exploring the grounds can schedule a guided tour of the facilities or meander through the blooming splendor on their own.

The Cottage Garden Gallery Gift Shop features souvenirs and artwork handcrafted by local artisans. Throughout the year, workshops and educational classes are offered for people of all ages.

For hours of operation, tour and event schedules, and any associated fees, consult the facility's website.

Among the best places to enjoy an overnight RV stay in Janesville are Milton KOA and Blackhawk RV Campground.

Action City

Action City in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is located 210 miles away from the beautiful Rotary Botanical Gardens. This amusement park is the perfect place for families to have some fun after a long RV road trip.

Action City Family Fun Center and Trampoline Park is situated within a well-renowned entertainment complex and hotel known as the Metropolis Resort. With so many things to do at this facility, RV campers might want to find a campground for an extended stay, so they can visit a few times before heading on to the final leg of their seven-day RV road trip.

This popular amusement park is home to an indoor go-kart track that bears the distinction of being the largest located in the Midwestern region of the United States. Other fun activities include laser tag, an arcade, and virtual reality games.

Looking for something a little different? Why not partake of the park's mini bowling, bumper cars, or rock climbing wall? But the fun doesn't stop with these activities, Action Park is also home to an 18-hole mini-golf course and incredible ziplines.

Worn out from a day of fun at Action City? Spend the night doing some RV camping at Pine Harbor Campground or O'Neil Creek Campground.


The final leg of the RV road trip from Washington, D.C, to Duluth is 157 miles. RV campers will be delighted to finally park their rig at their campground for an extended stay in this popular city.

Duluth is located along Lake Superior in the state of Minnesota. This popular metropolitan city is a waterfront property and an often frequented port.

For RV campers that enjoy outdoor recreation, a trip to Duluth will not disappoint. The much-loved Lakewalk trail meanders along the lakefront and offers incredible views of Canal Park and the Aerial Lift Bridge along the way. The bridge forms an important connection from the heart of the city to a popular sandbar known as Park Point.

No visit to Duluth is complete without a trip to the Great Lakes Aquarium. Here, families can enjoy seeing a wide variety of aquatic animals including those that thrive in fresh and saltwater locales. The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is also well worth the effort to explore. Found within a former train station, RV campers exploring the facility will enjoy the rare opportunity to see vintage train cars and memorabilia from the region's railroad days.

Duluth is also a treasure trove of beautiful state parks, national monuments, campgrounds, and beaches. The city is easy to navigate in an RV, but RV campers can also park their rig at their campground or in a public parking lot and enjoy the benefits of the city's transit system.

The most popular places for RV stays in Duluth include Indian Point Campground or Fond du Lac Campground.

Share this Road trip guide