Visiting the big cities throughout the country can be a fun, adventurous challenge for the weekend warrior who fancies a good excuse to get out of the house for a few days.
Or, if you reside in one of these urban hubs full time, you might be looking for some weekend trip ideas close to home. Owning and parking an RV in a city can be tough, but renting an RV for a weekend trip is easy.
Whether you’re looking to see a different side of the city, or venture away from the hustle and bustle for the weekend, here’s a list of America’s 10 biggest cities and their best RV weekend trips.
New York City, NY
Known as The Big Apple as well as The City That Never Sleeps, New York City is big on fast-paced energy and entertainment, which makes it the perfect place for a weekend adventure in the RV.
New York’s Best RV Weekend Trip
As anyone would expect, heading into the heart of the city is a must. Park the RV at a campground just outside Manhattan, like Liberty Harbor Marina & RV Park. Use public transport to navigate to the city, like the PATH subway or the NY Waterway Ferry. Check off the bucket list spots on your list like Central Park and Times Square (go ahead, buy the t-shirt). Once you’ve got your big-city fill, hop back into the RV and head upstate to one of the most remarkable locations in the world — the Niagara Falls State Park.
There’s plenty to do at this landmark, so a weekend trip is perfect. There’s the tour of the falls, of course, but there’s also an aquarium, a big-screen adventure theater, the Cave of the Winds, and plenty more to fill your time. Plus, there’s the Top of the Falls Restaurant with incomparable views of the falls. You’ll definitely want to stop by for a bite. Try camping at Niagara County Camping Resort for a peaceful, bucolic weekend unwinding away from the city.
Los Angeles, CA
Popular for its ideal weather, La La Land, as it’s often called, has more to offer than just a home base for the film industry. It’s where celebrities and free spirits gravitate, sure, but there’s also convenient access to beaches, hiking trails, and even forests.
LA’s Best RV Weekend Trip
Who doesn’t love a little bit of magic in their life? Swing by Disneyland for a weekend of fun the whole family will enjoy. While most travelers think of Florida’s Disney World as the ideal place to meet Mickey Mouse and the gang, the original Disneyland opened here in 1955 and resides just outside of Los Angeles. Pack a lifetime of memories into your weekend with this visit.
For an escape from the LA traffic, head an hour away to Santa Barbara. The Mediterranean architecture, Pacific views, and charming shopping streets present plenty to do over a weekend. Park the RV at Rancho Oso RV and Camping Resort, a full-service campground tucked into the California hills.
Prepare to be blown away. The Windy City is famous for its iconic skyline and beautiful architecture, but most travelers are more concerned with the blustery weather that comes along with this location. Never fear. There are plenty of activities to turn the bitter temperatures warm and inviting.
Chicago’s Best RV Weekend Trip
While there is so much to do in Chicago, you would be remiss if you didn’t spend some time at Millennium Park. There, you’ll see stunning landscaping and public art contributed through numerous cultural programs. Enjoy concerts at the Chicago Theater. View exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago. Then visit the Cloud Gate sculpture also known as “The Bean” — don’t forget to take a picture. A short walk from there is the shore of Lake Michigan and it’s worth every step to gaze out at the massive freshwater lake.
To escape the sprawl of “Chicagoland,” as locals call it, head north to Wisconsin. The Badger state border is less than a two-hour drive from Chi-town. Here you’ll find lakes to fish and green hikes to take. Head to Madison for good food (like fresh cheese curds) and beer. Base yourself at Madison Campground for exploring the vibrant surroundings.
Everything is bigger in Texas, right? There are big career opportunities and big neighborhoods, but there are also plenty of places to have Texas-sized fun when visiting this state’s largest city.
Houston’s Best RV Weekend Trip
Houston is the 4th biggest city on this list and it’s also home to the Space Center, which truly makes your visit an out-of-this-world experience. Home of the NASA mission control and the International Space Station mission control, visitors can see astronaut training as well as view more than 400 space artifacts. See? Everything really is bigger in Texas. Astronomical, even. Stay at Katy Lake RV Resort to be close to the urban excitement. Make it a luxury getaway at Rayford Crossing RV Resort, just 20 miles outside of the city, and enjoy some of the best golfing in the south.
For an escape from Houston for the weekend, make it a beach trip to Galveston. Set up camp at Jamaica Beach RV Resort and let the workweek slip away as you float down the park’s lazy river. A stay at Sandpiper RV Resort will set you up with views of the ocean from your campsite.
While RVing can be all about having the convenience and comfort of home on the road, it’s no secret that the RV community loves the outdoors. Phoenix embraces that same love with tons of hiking trails, first-class golf courses, desert mountains, and year-round sunny weather to accommodate all of your outdoor excursions.
Phoenix’s Best RV Weekend Trip
There would a big hole in this list if we didn’t mention the Grand Canyon National Park. If you’re visiting Phoenix, you should take time out to see the Grand Canyon. At 277 miles long and 18 miles wide, it’s something you must see in person to truly grasp the enormity of its beauty. It’s called “grand” for a reason, and no matter how many times you see it it never fails to impress.
Sedona also beckons Phoenix residents looking for a change of scenery from the urban sprawl. Two hours north of Phoenix is a Martian-like landscape of red rock hills and hoodoos. Pack your weekend in Sedona with activities like mountain biking, hiking, shopping, and dining. Stay at the luxurious Verde Ranch RV Resort and warm up on chilly high-desert nights in the campground’s hot tub.
It’s one of the most historically significant cities in the country, but Philadelphia is also a city that remains relevant through hip restaurants, music venues, and an out-of-the-box art scene. The City of Brotherly Love not only keeps up with the trends, but it often sets them too.
Philadelphia’s Best RV Weekend Trip
If you’re RVing through Philadelphia, visiting the Liberty Bell is a requirement if you’ve never been. While there, explore the Benjamin Franklin Museum and take a tour of Independence Hall. Read the original draft of the Constitution and see the actual inkstand used when the country’s forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia makes a great trip for a road schooling experience the whole family will learn from.
After embracing some US history, hop over to Hersheypark for tons of fun. There are over 70 rides, including roller coasters, a massive waterpark, and an 11-acre walk-through zoo. If that’s not enough, Hershey’s Chocolate World is right next door where you’re sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Stay at Hershey RV & Camping Resort for a family weekend trip full of putt-putt golf, pool time, and paddling on the lake.
San Antonio, TX
In San Antonio you’ll find family-friendly festivals, Tex-Mex cuisine, a lively arts scene, and a relatively low cost of living. The San Antonio River Walk is a joy to stroll and enjoy some of the city’s best cafes, shops, and river views. San Antonio is the home of the Alamo too–a great place to visit for history lovers and educational family trips. A trip to San Antonio for the weekend might have you reconsidering where you call home.
San Antonio’s Best RV Weekend Trip
Once you’ve explored the Alamo and checked out San Antonio’s Pearl District, head west to find a nature getaway on the shores of Medina Lake. This reservoir covers more than 6,000 acres and offers excellent opportunities for boating, swimming, and bass fishing. The Lake Medina RV Resort is a great location for your Texas Hill Country basecamp.
San Diego, CA
San Diego is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and it’s easy to see why. Thanks to its ideal warm and sunny weather, younger generations and outdoor enthusiasts are flocking to the area to take advantage of the quality of life. As a result, high-tech companies and startup businesses are setting up shop here to join the city’s great culture.
San Diego’s Best RV Weekend Trip
While you’ll undoubtedly be on the beach at some point during your trip to San Diego, it’s worth making time for the San Diego Zoo. The non-profit wildlife sanctuary is home to over 3,500 rare and endangered animals across 650 species, as well as more than 700,000 exotic plants.
For a day trip outside of the city, head to La Jolla, Spanish for “the jewel.” The trendy beach town is a fun excursion for fresh seafood, boutique shopping, and sea lion spotting.
Make your basecamp at Campland on the Bay, which is quite literally on Mission Bay. Enjoy the park’s private beach and other upscale amenities, like heated pools and its very own skate park. Bring the kayak or paddleboard and push off right from the campsite.
Located in the northern part of Texas, Dallas is a commercial and cultural hub and a leader in entrepreneurship. Combine that with its reputation of having top-of-the-line public schools and it should come as no surprise why families, especially those with school-age children, are flocking there to plant their roots.
Dallas’ Best RV Weekend Trip
As every RV enthusiast knows, some of the best treasures are off the beaten path. That proves true when planning a weekend trip to Dallas. Once you’ve soaked up the city, drive just outside the city limits to Grapevine, TX. There you’ll find Grapevine Lake, which is perfect for fishing, water skiing, boating, and more. After spending the day on the water, hop on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad for a ride along the historic Cotton Belt Route. Stay at The Vineyards Campground and Cabins to enjoy the shores of Grapevine Lake just steps from your campsite.
Head further back in time and check out Dinosaur Valley State Park. At first glance, it’s like most other state parks with great hiking, fishing, and perfect spots for pop-up picnics. However, what sets it apart is the dinosaur tracks. Millions of years ago, tracks were left behind by the dinosaurs themselves in this exact location and now visitors can walk in those footsteps. Talk about wild, right?
As the state capital, Austin has a bustling live-music scene that marries country, blues, and rock like no other place in the country. With numerous parks and lakes, it’s a popular location for anyone that enjoys the outdoors. Plus, an average temperature of 68-degrees and over 300 days of sunshine a year practically begs you to stay outside.
Austin’s Best RV Weekend Trip
Since the weather is friendly and abundant in Austin, so are the outdoor activities. Prepare to spend the weekend along Lady Bird Lake where you can bike, hike, paddleboard, swim, and more.
If you want to camp within close proximity of the city, check out McKinney Falls State Park. In the spring, Onion Creek burbles right through the heart of the park and offers chances for swimming and fishing. But this park is great for a quick hike to escape the city year-round.
Base your Austin RV camp at Oak Forest RV Resort, a quiet but well-located park within Austin city limits. Further outside the city, you can camp beneath the shade of mature pecan trees in the city of San Marcos at Pecan Park Riverside RV Park. In the summertime, it’s popular to tube and raft the San Marcos River that runs right through the campground.
Have you been to any of these cities? Tell us your favorite places to visit nearby in the comments below.
*City ranking and population information provided by World Population Review.