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Get off the Beaten Path with these Destinations

Underrated! 6 Often Overlooked States for RV Travel

Everyone knows that certain states have great reputations for RV travel. Who hasn’t dreamed of taking a road trip along the California coast, or visiting the great national parks in Arizona, Wyoming, or Montana? Most of us have dreamed about those places, and some of us have been lucky enough to visit them in our rigs.  But there are many amazing states for RV travel that get very little attention.  

You’ll find there are many advantages to visiting one of these underappreciated states.  First, you may find that they are closer to home than some of the most iconic states for RV travel. Second, you may be able to get reservations more easily since the crowd is often travelling elsewhere.  Most importantly, you will learn to appreciate that beauty, wonder, and fun can be found just about anywhere. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most underrated states for RVing in the nation. Which ones will you add to your RV bucket list?


Want to have a beach vacation free from jellyfish and sharks? Look no further than the Great Lakes. For many, these waterways are more accessible than an ocean or the Gulf. Bordered by three Great Lakes, Michigan is a state with over 3000 miles of shoreline. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a unique gem. Climb the dunes for endless views of Lake Michigan. Then, head over to Traverse City to enjoy the laid back vibe of this hip small town. Another interesting hamlet is Mackinac Island, which takes you back in time with Victorian architecture and horse-drawn carriages. You might also consider escaping to the Upper Peninsula, where you are able to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature. 



Virginia often gets overlooked since it is surrounded by so many cool locations, but we encourage you to put it on your list. You’ll find beaches, mountains, and quaint towns. Plus, you are a hop, skip, and jump away from Washington D.C., if you’d like to explore our nation’s history. To experience the natural beauty of Virginia, we recommend a drive through Shenandoah National Park, which offers views of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. For fun on the water, head to Cape Charles or Chincoteague Island National Seashore, where you can spot wild ponies, and fish, surf, kayak, or just take a stroll in the sand and relax.

New York

There’s so much more to New York than the Big Apple, and much of it is perfect for camping. Niagara Falls is a phenomenon all its own, but you can find some smaller, but no less impressive, waterfalls throughout the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York. For mountains, you can take your pick from the Adirondacks or Catskills. Sports fans will be enchanted by Lake Placid’s Olympic history. Plus, did you know there is an RV park just outside of New York City? You can save a ton of money on accommodations by staying in your rolling home. If you want a relaxing beach vacation take a trip out to Montauk, where you can park your RV right next to the Atlantic Ocean.


(Photo by Kerri Cox)


The state’s nickname says it all. Known as “The Natural State,” Arkansas is more beautiful than you may have ever realized. The Ouachita Mountains provide dramatic scenery across the state. Chocked with recreational opportunities, Petit Jean State Park is a prime pick. You’ll find one of the nation’s most unique national parks in Arkansas, as well. Hot Springs National Park is located right in a city and preserves the region’s historic bathhouses. Other cool stops include Bentonville (home of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art) and Eureka Springs.


Indiana is considered the “crossroads of America.” Chances are, if you’ve done a cross-country road trip, you may have found yourself passing through the state. We encourage you to stop and stay awhile. Indianapolis is a great family destination, packed with a surprising number of attractions, including a popular children’s museum and zoo. The small town of Nashville (not the one in Tennessee) is about as charming as they come. A number of state parks provide places to play in the great outdoors. Plus, Indiana is the “RV Capital” of the nation, serving as the home base for many manufacturers. See the process of how your RV came to be by taking one of the many manufacturer tours available in Elkhart or Middlebury. The RV Hall of Fame is also excellent and shouldn’t be missed.

(Photo by Monica Bennett)


Like Virginia, Idaho is often overlooked in favor of its neighbors (like Montana and Wyoming), and that is a big mistake. Mountains and national forests fill the state, providing epic beauty. Nestled within these landscapes, you’ll find surprising gems, like hot springs, sand dunes, and a wild landscape known as Hells Canyon. Surrounded by dozens of lakes, Coeur d’Alene is a water-lover’s paradise. You can build a whole tour of the state around the many highly regarded breweries found in small towns and larger cities, like Boise. Plus, Yellowstone National Park spills over into a tiny sliver of Idaho. 

Jeremy Puglisi

The RV Atlas

Jeremy and Stephanie Puglisi are the co-hosts of the weekly RV Atlas and Campground of the Week podcasts and the RV Atlas blog. They are also the authors of See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors, and Where Should We Camp Next: A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and other Unique Outdoor Accommodations, and the Acadia National Park Adventure Guide. After buying their very first pop-up camper more than 10 years ago, Jeremy and Stephanie caught the RV bug in a big way, and now spend over 70 nights a year in their travel trailer with their three sons, Theo, Max, and Wes, and sweet Maggie the pup. You can follow along on their adventures (and misadventures) over at RV Atlas.