The small city of Jacksonville, Alabama lies less than 20 miles off of Interstate 20, approximately halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta, Georgia. The city was founded in 1833 and first called Drayton before being changed to Jacksonville in honor of President Andrew Jackson. At one time, Jacksonville was the county seat for Calhoun County, before it was moved to nearby Anniston.
Jacksonville is a vibrant city in eastern Alabama, with a lovely downtown area full of locally owned businesses and historic buildings. Since 1883, Jacksonville has been home to Jacksonville State University, so the atmosphere is more laidback in the summertime when the university students are on break. When you book an RV in Jacksonville, you’ll feel right at home in this welcoming college town. Jacksonville benefits from being close to the Appalachian Mountains so lovers of the great outdoors can rejoice when they figure out how close they are to the natural beauty of Alabama.
The Great Outdoors
Alabama is full of opportunities for outdoor recreation, with vast stretches of public land and large wilderness areas. Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge is a fantastic conservation area south of Jacksonville that you can visit when you rent an RV and want to see some enchanting forests. The refuge is named for the mountain longleaf pine, a rare tree that only exists in a select few areas in the southeast. There is a large array of protected animals in the sanctuary, including migratory birds, nocturnal bats, and even cougars. The refuge has an information kiosk to answer all questions regarding the local wildlife, and there are excellent hiking trails spanning the park.
North of Jacksonville, DeSoto State Park is a fabulous place to head next with your Jacksonville camper rental. This exciting park has over 25 miles of hiking trails that you can use to discover hidden waterfalls, swimming ponds, rivers, and rugged canyons. DeSoto Falls is the highest waterfall in the state of Alabama and a truly amazing thing to see in person. Additionally, there is a restaurant, a nature center, a motel, a swimming pool, and a campground for you to rest in your Jacksonville RV rental by owner.
Down south on the other side of Interstate 20, you can take a trip to Cheaha State Park for more exciting outdoor adventures. Cheaha State Park has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating state park in Alabama, established back in 1933. There are modern facilities on site like a hotel, a restaurant, day use areas, and a campground that can accommodate you and your Jacksonville motorhome rental. There is even a vast network of hiking trails that run through the forest, like the Pinhoti Trail system that connects with the adjoining Talladega National Forest as well as the famous Appalachian Trail itself.
Talladega National Forest is a sprawling wilderness with nearly 400,000 acres of spectacular land, where you can lose yourself in the majesty of the wild. This forest was once heavily logged, making it a desolate wasteland, but it has since rebounded thanks to the dedication of forestry experts and park rangers. Don’t worry about finding a place to camp out when you rent an RV and want to stay a few nights at Talladega National Forest; there are several rustic campgrounds scattered throughout the forest that you can make use of during your trip.
There are a lot of options when it comes to campgrounds in eastern Alabama, so finding a place to stay overnight when you rent an RV should be a breeze. Cane Creek RV Park is over by the Alabama-Georgia state line, with lovely views of the mountains and surrounding forests. There are spacious campsites for you to utilize, as well as swimming areas in Cane Creek, a dog walking park, laundry facilities, and much more.
River Country RV Park should do the trick when you need a place to stay, and it has lots of unique amenities to keep you happy during your visit. There is an ornate chapel in the woods, as well as two different lodges, and a game room to bring out your inner competitor.
Noccalula Falls Campground is another option and could make a nice temporary home during your vacation. This park is open year-round, and it has scenic hiking trails, a mini-golf course, a petting zoo, a botanical garden, and a wedding chapel.
Exploring the City
Jacksonville is a fun college town with lots of restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops catering to the university students who spend most of the year in the area. Aside from its surprisingly lively nightlife, Jacksonville also happens to be a cultured historical city with lots of monuments, historical buildings, and museums where lots of valuable information can be gleaned. Jacksonville Opera Theatre is a nationally recognized hub of both art and music in the heart of Jacksonville. When you come to town to rent an RV, you may want to catch a show at the historic theater. The opera company that calls the theater home puts on theatrical performances, operas, and music concerts frequently.
The Berman Museum of World History is equal parts fun and fascinating, featuring a dazzling array of information about human history from all over the globe. There are artifacts from ancient Egypt, ancient China, and weapons from the world wars that embroiled the planet in the 20th century.
The Anniston Museum of Natural History is just as interesting as its world history counterpart, although it tends to focus on prehistory more. There are dinosaur bones and taxidermy animals on display, as well as exhibits concerning paleontology, geology, and archaeology. You can learn about enormous geological formations and how they are formed, or the sort of animals that once walked the Earth millions of years before the arrival of humans.
If you are a fan of NASCAR, Talladega Superspeedway is not far from town and worth a visit too. The speedway can seat almost 200,000 people, but you can find even more fans in the parking lot tailgating, barbecuing, and blasting music before, during, and after racing events.
Jacksonville, AL is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Jacksonville. Outdoorsy's Jacksonville RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.