RVing has always been a popular way to vacation and explore the great outdoors. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the trend only increased in popularity. As it turns out, as many as 600,240 new RVs were bought in 2021, a record 39% hike from 2020, per data provided by the RV Industry Association. This begs the question: Where should you head out next with your RV?
To find out the best destinations for RV enthusiasts, StorageCafe — a self storage website that includes RV storage — partnered with Campground Views and analyzed data reflecting the number of available campsites as well as grocery prices, camping costs, and amenities such as pools and Wi-Fi among other features, for various RV-friendly locations. According to the study’s findings, Southern states are where most RVing hotspots are located, with Texas, Florida and Alabama making the top 20.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 U.S. destinations for RV vacationing:
1. Branson, Missouri
Not only is Branson, Missouri, flanked by the breathtaking scenery of the Ozark Mountains and three lakes, but the city is also shaping up to be the best RVing destination in the nation. You can enjoy the gamut of outdoor activities here from fishing to swimming, zip-lining and golfing. You can choose from 25 RV parks equipped with electric hookups, Wi-Fi, cable TV, and all the facilities you need to get acquainted with the area while you’re vacationing with your RV.
You can easily go shopping here, with about 11 retail stores per 1,000 residents. The city is also famous for its restaurant scene and a slew of attractions including the Grand Country Music Hall, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center and much more.
2. Hot Springs, Arkansas
Not far from Branson lies Hot Springs, Arkansas, another premier RVing destination that you don’t want to miss. You can find a happy spot for your RV in one of the 16 parks available in the area. Most of them offer RV facilities including pull-thrus and Wi-Fi, and 100% of them are pet-friendly.
Thanks to its location in the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs is a prime spot for outdoor enthusiasts. You can fish bass or trout if you venture into the area that includes the Catherine, Hamilton and Ouachita lakes. In fact, the Forrest Wood Cup and Fishing League Worldwide Cup fishing tournaments take place there. If you’re looking to go boating and enjoy other water-related sports, Hot Springs’ lakes are the places to be. If you are more into hiking, biking or horseback riding, these are typical activities around Lake Catherine.
3. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
A family-friendly vacation destination, Pigeon Forge is another noteworthy RVing hotspot. Its RVing parks’ availability, affordability, and retail options pushed Pigeon Forge onto the “RV hotspot” podium. Additionally, over 90% of the RV parks in Pigeon Forge offer Wi-Fi as part of their services.
Located at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge is an ideal year-round destination with many attractions to enjoy. Cades Cove is a most notable natural attraction, but you also don’t want to miss out on Clingmans Dome, the highest point in both Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Moreover, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Cataloochee, Elkmont Ghost Town, and Mountain Farm Museum are other nearby attractions you don’t want to miss. When you’re ready to sample what the local community has to offer, you can check out the Pigeon Forge festivals, car shows, concerts and more that will complement your time spent in the natural environment here.
4. Zephyrhills, Florida
Known for its bottled spring water, Zephyrhills stands out as a desirable RVing destination. There are about 20 RVing resorts here offering the kinds of amenities you need when vacationing on the road. A large majority of them also provide pools to help you cool off on hot days. If you’re looking to go on a shopping spree, you’re in luck, as there are over 22 retail stores/1,000 residents, one of the highest concentrations of shopping outlets for RVing hotspots.
You can kayak and canoe in the challenging waters of Hillsborough River State Park in nearby Thonotosassa, where you can find the only Class II rapids in Florida. More than seven miles of trails run along the river, making it a prime spot for hiking, fishing and horseback riding. For the super adventurous, Zephyrhills is home to Skydive City, one of the best-known skydiving centers in the country.
5. Grants Pass, Oregon
Known as the “river-rafting capital of Oregon,” Grants Pass is a great place to take an RVing vacation. There are 13 RV parks here, equipped with amenities such as pull-throughs, electric hookups, cable TV, plus pet-friendly policies and much more. When you vacation here, there’s a lot you can do, from white-water rafting and kayaking on the Rogue River to going for a ride on the Grants Pass jetboats.
If you go RVing in Grants Pass, you don’t want to pass up the area’s various farm-to-table restaurants — which means you’ll be eating well while nourishing your soul in the stunning surroundings.
6. Rockport, Texas
If you go RVing in Rockport, Texas, you’re in luck. Located on the eastern coast of Texas, Rockport is a perfect spot to vacation. With 34 RV parks outfitted with all the bells and whistles, Rockport is an area where you will have no trouble finding the perfect spot for your RV while you enjoy the town. About 73% of the parks have pull-thrus and 88% provide Wi-Fi access.
When you’re in Rockport, you can escape from city life by fishing, birdwatching and beachcombing. If you enjoy fishing, the Gulf Coast’s fishing piers are perfect for you to throw your line in the water. There are biking and hiking trails in the area to enjoy nature. Remember to sample the scrumptious local seafood at the various restaurants in the area.
7. Gulf Shores, Alabama
Your RV can take you anywhere, but if you go to Gulf Shores you also get to experience the sugar-white beaches that stretch over 30 miles. There are 12 RV parks providing a wide array of amenities to help you make the most of your stay.
Take time to experience a whole host of outdoor activities to help you enjoy the year-round sunny weather. You can jet ski, kayak, paddleboard and enjoy much more on Orange Beach. Take a look at the bottlenose dolphins when you embark on a dolphin cruise. Explore the ocean even further if you’re a certified diver—the turquoise waters of Gulf Shores won’t disappoint!
8. South Fork, Colorado
Located on the San Luis Valley’s southwest edge, South Fork, Colorado, is one of the Centennial State’s most coveted destinations for RVers. Not only are there plenty of RV parks (13) for you to park your vehicle, but you get to enjoy some of the cleanest air in the country — fifth best in the list of RV destinations.
The natural geography of South Fork provides the perfect gateway for hiking, biking and camping in Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness, the largest wilderness area in Colorado. Rugged peaks, crystal-clear alpine lakes, and wild forests are some of this natural landscape’s stunning features that await your exploration. Winter can also be a magical time if you’re looking forward to snowmobiling, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, among other outdoor activities.
9. Houston, Texas
While most of the RVing hotspots on this list are small or mid-sized towns, Houston seems to be the exception. The sprawling and dynamic city has a lot going on, making it an incredible place for RVers. You can park your RV in any of the 15 parks that accommodate them, and they also generally offer top-notch amenities including high-speed internet.
While outdoor adventures might not be the first things that pop into your mind when you think about Houston, opportunities for staying active in nature abound in Space City. You can kayak through Buffalo Bayou, paddleboard at The Woodlands or go surfing at Surfside Beach. When you’re ready to take a break from the excitement of nature, you can shop to your heart’s content and dine at the over 10,000 restaurants in the city.
10. Fort Myers, Florida
Florida’s Fort Myers rounds out our top 10 best destinations for RVing. The city boasts 15 campgrounds accommodating RVs, offering basic amenities and more. A lot of them have swimming pools and high-speed internet, which are great perks whether you’re a remote worker looking to catch some Florida sun or simply vacationing and wanting to relax at the campsite.
Besides offering a stunning sunset, Fort Myers is a place where enjoying the outdoors is simply a given. You can visit the shell-covered beaches or head out to Lakes Park if you’re looking for walking and biking trails, boat rentals or fishing. Parasailing and jet skiing are also popular in the area. For a bit of history, visit the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, where Thomas Edison and Henry Ford both lived and worked.
After perusing the list of best RVing destinations, you can pick a few places for your next adventure. Make sure to also make arrangements for your return home. Your RV will need a place to stay until you go on the road again. A self storage unit may be the perfect solution. Depending on the size of your RV, you may need a 10’x20’ or a 10’x30’ storage unit. If you’re not sure which storage unit is best suited for your RV, you c an consult this storage unit size guide.
Self storage units can come with climate control, a great feature that can protect your vehicle from the damaging effects of fluctuating temperatures and humidity, especially on the coast or in the South, where hot and humid climates are more common. Renting a self storage unit in Miami, for example, costs approximately $184/month.