Fourteen states claim their own section of Atlantic coastline. In the US, that’s over 95,000 miles of shoreline, from the tip of Florida up to the border of Maine and Canada—a lot of coastline to see. So let’s take a closer look at the southern states and their unique coastal cultures.
You might be thinking ‘A beach is a beach– what makes the Atlantic coast so special?’
There’s good reason to take your time on a slow road trip up America’s east coast, even if you’re not a big fan of sand. Early risers find this itinerary gifts daily sunrises that never get old. But beyond where the sea hits the sand, there’s much more to see and do:
- Photograph historic lighthouses.
- Find your sea legs on the Brigantine tall ships of yesteryear.
- Feast on fresh fish, crab, and oysters all the way up the coast.
- Go back in time and visit some of the first European settlements.
- Paddle your way through craggy inlets, intercostal waterways, and calm bay waters.
- Find solitude on deserted islands and beaches.
Weather Along the Atlantic Coast
When traveling along the coast, be mindful of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June through November. This is during peak summer and fall travel time, so be prepared to be flexible with your plans. Hurricanes are typically monitored and tracked well in advance as they develop out in the ocean. Check to see if any systems are forming, and be generous when avoiding the projected path of a hurricane. Know how to act if you encounter an unexpected storm in your RV. But, the best scenario is to always avoid inclement weather when you can. Keep a close eye on the NOAA website to stay informed by weather experts.
Try road-tripping north to south in the spring as you chase warmer weather. Or reverse the road trip on a Fall drive, and enjoy never-ending leaf changes along your journey.
Start your trip in the South, in Georgia’s eerie yet romantic city on the coast. Deeply historic, yet modern and charming, this city is an artsy enclave you don’t want to miss. Savannah is sheltered by barrier islands and an intricate network of intercostal waterways. If you’re looking for that serene, barefoot stroll on the beach, head to Wassaw Island North Beach, Butter Bean Beach, or “Savannah’s Beach,”–Tybee Island.
Take a break from the beach and explore the multicultural offerings of Savannah. Get a glimpse of the city’s artsy side by strolling the Savannah City Market. Pick up art and gifts for friends and family members, then grab a cocktail to-go and sip and stroll (Savannah is one of the few US cities with an open-container policy, so enjoy a beverage while you explore the historic district!).
Architecture enthusiasts will reap the benefits of Savannah’s strong preservation movement. From Antebellum to Federal to Georgian and Gothic Revival; a tour of Savannah’s architecture is a look back through time. If a trip through time is what you’re after, tour the city after dark on one of Savannah’s ghost tours for a more thrilling look at the city’s buildings and history.
RVing through Savannah allows you to take your time as you shop, dine, and enjoy the lazy Georgia coastline. There’s nothing quite like southern hospitality, and Savannah welcomes RVers with open arms and an ice-cold glass of sweet tea.
Campgrounds Near Savannah
An unsung foodie destination, this South Carolina coastal city has all the upscale charm, style, and elegance of a southern belle. Framed by the ancient limbs of live oaks and bursting with azalea blooms, every turn and alleyway in Charleston has its own fairytale charm.
The South Carolina beach towns that barrier the city each has their own sense of character and are little more than a 20-minute drive from town. Go golfing with a sea breeze on Kiawah Island or Isle of Palms. Build sandcastles with the kids at Sullivan’s Island or Folly Beach. Charter a boat and cast for redfin.
Nothing moves fast on island time, but when you’re craving something more fast-paced than beachcombing, head to historic downtown Charleston. Much like Savannah, the southern city is full of revival architecture you can explore on foot. Book a food tour to see and sample the tastes of “low country,”—Chicken and dumplings, BBQ, fried green tomatoes, cheese grits, and lobster Mac-n-cheese. Take home leftovers and enjoy them the next day on your RV patio.
Campgrounds Near Charleston
North Carolina’s Outer Banks
There’s a little something for everyone at North Carolina’s barrier islands, called the Outer Banks. History, adventure, nature, live entertainment. Check.
While Savannah and Charleston have their ghost tours, The Outer Banks is home to one of the greatest mysteries of America – the lost colony of Roanoke. Learn about the unsolved drama by grabbing tickets to “The Lost Colony,” a family-friendly outdoor live theater show.
Lighthouse enthusiasts will enjoy trecking up the tallest brick lighthouse in America at Cape Hatteras. Or, see the coastline from above in an airplane; the Wright Brothers did take flight here after all.
Surf, paddle, or book a charter boat for a bit of adventure. Foodies will stay busy (and full) at over 100 locally-owned restaurants, many of which serve up local catch. When you’re done sniffing the sea breeze, turn to the pungent Elizabethan Gardens to explore ten acres of curated blooms. Did we mention there’s a little something for everyone?
Campgrounds Near the Outer Banks
- Cape Woods Campground
- Camp Hatteras RV Resort & Campground
- Frisco Woods Campground
- Hatteras Sands Campground
With a state motto like “Virginia is for Lovers,” you can imagine what a destination like Virginia Beach is for a romantic couples getaway. Perhaps the most noteworthy attraction of Virginia’s eastern shore is Assategue Island National Seashore, famous for the wild horses that roam free.
Find romance, art, and culture in Onancock. Small but mighty, the small sea town has live theater, fresh food, and even a winery (which you can kayak too). Take a day to explore the other coastal towns along the eastern Virginia peninsula, with the Atlantic Coast to the east and the Chesapeake Bay to the west.
When you hear the name “Chesapeake Bay,” only one thing comes to mind – crabs. Make a family weekend trip to Belle Isle State Park and don’t miss their “Intro to Crabbing class.”
Campgrounds Near Virginia Beach
- American Heritage RV Park
- North Landing Beach RV Resort
- Cape Charles/Chesapeake Bay KOA & Sunset Beach Hotel
Do you want to explore the Atlantic Coast in an RV? Tell us in the comments below.