Epic 1 Year East Coast North America RV Road Trip (U.S. & Canada!)

As full-time RVers, we travel North America in search of the best places to camp, hike, and explore nature. We are always looking for the best RV road trip itineraries that allow us to stay in beautiful places, and experience the best of what each U.S. state, or Canadian Province, has to offer.

After 1 year of following the weather and RVing around the western and southwestern United States, it was time to decide what was next.

So we brought up a map, set our sights on the East Coast, and wondered if we could build an epic road trip covering the entire East Coast… all the way from Key West in Florida through Canada and up into Newfoundland!

If you are looking for a year of travel along the Atlantic Ocean, complete with coastal hikes, delicious seafood, and charming harborside villages, this is the trip for you!

East Coast RV Road Trip Itinerary

Our entire trip from Key West to Newfoundland took us 1 year to complete. Below we will share our entire itinerary to help you plan your own version of this amazing RV road trip!

Whether you are on a year-long adventure or plan to visit a few of these areas on shorter trips, this itinerary will help you plan where to go, where to stay, and what to do all over the US and Canada’s wonderful East Coast!

A map on RV trip Wizard software planning out an RV road trip route along the entire east coast of North America
A map of our ultimate East Coast RV Trip on RV Trip Wizard

The major stops along our East Coast North America itinerary

Other stops on the East Coast to consider

It is important to note that we are originally from New England and have also spent time living in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida.

You might have looked at the list above and thought.. hmmm, it seems like there are some big things missing from that list. And you would be correct!

There are plenty of East Coast gems that we had already spent plenty of time in, that you should definitely consider adding to your itinerary if you have not explored them already.

These stops include:

  • Hiawassee & the mountains of North Georgia
  • Smoky Mountains National Park on the TN / NC border
  • Blue Ridge Parkway in NC
  • New River Gorge National Park in WV
  • Philadelphia & Gettysburg, PA
  • Niagara Falls in upstate NY & Canada
  • New York City & Boston
  • Cape Cod, MA
  • Newport, RI
  • White Mountains NH
  • Stowe, Lake Champlain, Green Mountains, VT
  • The Berkshires of Western MA

Not quite ready to take your travels into Canada? Check out our guide to the Best East Coast RV Trips in the U.S.

A Complete Guide To East Coast RV Road Stops From the U.S. through Canada

Now that you have the lay of the land, we dive into what to do, places to see, and where to stay along your epic East Coast North America RV road trip itinerary!

Florida

Ah, the Sunshine State.

Home of white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters, palm trees, and a popular destination for snowbirds and RVers looking to escape winter.

A mecca for RVing, Florida is a great place to begin or end an epic RV trip along the East Coast of North America.

Here are some of our favorite stops in sunny Florida:

Florida Keys

Bright blue waters and green palm trees on the tiny strip of Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys
Bahia Honda State Park

Want to spend some time in sunny Florida? Consider stops at the famous Disney World and Disney theme parks in Orlando, see amazing Spanish architecture in St. Augustine or head over to the panhandle to explore popular destinations with white sandy beaches such as Destin or Panama City Beach. 

Beautiful beaches all over the state make Florida the perfect location for winter RV trips to help you escape the cold and warm up for a bit.

With a lot of persistence and a bit of luck, we were able to reserve 4 consecutive weeks at State Parks in the Florida Keys, providing us with a whole lot of savings for our RV trip to Florida paradise!

With 2 weeks camping at Bahia Honda State Park and 2 weeks at John Penekamp Coral Reef State Park, we will have the freedom to explore the Florida Keys in our RV at only a fraction of the price compared to some of the other local RV resort options.

While you are down in the Keys, we highly recommend spending the money to visit Dry Tortugas National Park. At right around $400 for the two of us, the tickets to take the ferry 70 miles out to this island park sitting in the Gulf of Mexico was a bit of a shock, but ultimately so worth it!

If you love snorkeling, amazing blue waters, and interesting historical forts – visiting Dry Tortugas National Park is the trip for you!

While you are down visiting the Florida Keys, this is a great time to also consider visiting Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.

After heading north from the Keys, we stayed in Everglades National Park and used that as our “home base” to explore both parks.

READ MORE: How To Book Competitive Florida Keys State Park Campgrounds

What To See & Do While RVing in The Florida Keys

Crystal-clear blue waters along a pristine white sand beach leading to the brick fort at Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Key West (don’t forget the Southernmost Point marker, Mile Marker 0 for Route 1, the 6-toed cats at the Hemmingway House, Duval Street, Mallory Square, or the Key West Lighthouse)
  • Snorkeling and tour the fort at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
  • Dry Tortugas National Park (a bucket list trip for us that was well worth the expense)
  • Snorkeling or scuba diving at John Pennekamp State Park
  • Eat Key Lime Pie!
  • Support friends of “Crush” at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon
  • Include a trip to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park just north of the keys to hit all of Florida’s National Parks!

Key West is also a great place to splurge on some tours or excursions to get out on the water (unless you have an RV that floats of course….)

Campgrounds to consider:

If you are able to plan your trip in advance and book out 11 months ahead of time, you can get great camping spots for budget-friendly prices at the State Parks in the Florida Keys!

There are also several private campgrounds, just prepare yourself – many of them are quite pricey!

Everglades National Park

Alligator laying half in the water and half in the long grass next to the bike path to the Shark Valley Observation Tower in Everglades National Park
Alligators line the bike path to the Shark Valley Observation Tower in Everglades National Park

The best place to see “the original” Florida. An area that has been untouched, unspoiled, and holds the raw natural beauty of the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S.

In the park, you can find a variety of rare and endangered species, explore a large system of waterways that acts as the lungs of Florida, and learn about the storied past and unique history of the Native Americans who once thrived here.

The best time to visit is during the dry season from December to April. You will find many of the campgrounds close between April/May and fall and winter each year so be sure to check on that while you are planning your trip!

Top Things To Do:

  • Take an airboat ride! There are 3 approved companies that do tours inside the National Park: Coopertown Airboats, Everglades Safari Parks, Gator Park ( located along US Hwy 41/Tamiami Trail between Miami and Shark Valley). Reservations are not required and are typically not necessary.
  • Backcountry Boat Tour from the Flamingo Marina in Everglades National Park
  • Florida Bay Boat Tour from the Flamingo Marina in Everglades National Park
  • Visit the Shark Valley Observation Tower: Bike or take a guided tram ride on the 15-mile paved trail
    • For tram tours, advance reservations are highly recommended!
  • Canoe and kayak: There are plenty of paddling trails throughout the park, as well as camping areas only accessible by boat

Campgrounds to consider:

National Park Campgrounds

Two campgrounds, typically open November – April/May each year.

  • Flamingo Campground: Electric and primitive campsites 40 miles south in the park close to the Flamingo Marina, Flamingo Beach, and the Guy Bradley Visitor Center. This will leave you about 2 hours from the airboat ride tours and Shark Valley observation tower. AT&T service only, many sites good for Starlink
  • Long Pine Key Campground: Dry campsites close to the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. AT&T and Verizon service is available and it is located about 1.5 hours from Shark Valley

READ MORE: Complete Guide To Everglades National Park Camping

Biscayne National Park

This park is 95% water, meaning some of the best ways to explore are either in or on the water!

Consider a guided boat tour or hop in a kayak or on a paddleboard to experience the park.

To get up close and personal with the marine life and coral reefs the park protects, opt for a scuba diving or snorkeling excursion.

If you are short on time, you can still appreciate and learn more about the park by exploring the Visitor Center and walking the Convoy Point Jetty Walk along the water, with views of the Miami skyline.

Top Things To Do:

  • Snorkel Tours & Scuba trips: Guided tours depart from the Dante Fiscell Visitor Center
    • See coral reefs and remnants of a shipwreck on the Biscayne Maritime Heritage Trail
  • Convoy Point Jetty Walk
  • Boca Chita Key & Lighthouse and Biscayne Bay (via a boat tour, boat rental, or your private boat)
  • Boating, Canoeing, Kayaking

Florida Overall

Top State Parks in Florida:

  • Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine
  • Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key
  • Big Lagoon State Park, Pensacola
  • Blue Spring State Park, Orange City (a great spot for manatee viewing in the winter months!)
  • Curry Hammock State Park, Marathon
  • Henderson Beach State Park, Destin
  • John Penekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo

Top RV Parks in Florida:

  • Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina (Florida Keys)
  • Bluewater Key RV Resort (Florida Keys)
  • Fiesta Key RV Resort & Marina (Florida Keys)
  • Disney Fort Wilderness Resort (Orlando/ Disney World)
  • Destin West RV Resort (Florida panhandle)

Example Shorter RV Road Trip Routes For Florida:

  • Panhandle: Panama City Beach -Destin -Pensacola
  • St. Augustine – Orlando- Tampa – St. Petersburg
  • Sarasota – Naples – Everglades NP + Biscayne NP (Homestead, FL) – Florida Keys
  • Florida Keys: (Key West or other Keys) – Everglades – Biscayne National Park (Homestead, FL can be a great home base for seeing both Everglades and Biscayne National Parks))

Georgia

RV Fifth Wheel Camper with tall pine trees overhead on a sunny day at Laura S Walker State Park
Laura S. Walker State Park

The Peach State has both a beautiful coastline and rolling mountains to explore, only a few hours apart.

With mild winters and beautiful spring and fall weather, this is a great place to be in the early or late months of the year, depending on which direction you plan to travel as you explore the East Coast of North America.

This is a state we would love to explore more, with much of our time here so far having been spent camping in the mountains or playing golf on the coast!

Great Places To See & Explore:

  • Savannah
  • Tybee Island
  • Skidaway Island
  • Jekyll Island
  • St. Simons Island

Top Campgrounds & RV Parks:

South Carolina

Male hiker sitting on a tree overlooking the calm waters at Edisto Beach state park in South Carolina
Edisto Beach State Park

In South Carolina, you can explore the low country by the ocean or head to the upstate for lakes and rolling hills.

Winter or spring is a great time to enjoy pristine beaches and charming coastal towns before the summer peak season while you wait for more northern destinations to thaw out.

Great Places To See:

  • Columbia & Congaree National Park (see the largest intact expanses of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States)
  • Edisto Island (a laid-back beach stay that feels like a hidden gem)
  • Charleston & Folly Beach (experience the rich history, walk the cobblestone streets, enjoy amazing food, and soak in a picturesque sunset)
  • Kiawah Island (a golfer’s paradise)
  • Pawley’s Island, Murrells Inlet, & Myrtle Beach (more touristy, plenty to do and lots of fun to be had)

Top Campgrounds & RV Parks:

An aerial view of Santee State Park sitting on the edge of Lake Marion in South Carolina
Santee State Park

North Carolina

Aerial shot of the turquoise blue waters below Jennette's Pier jetting out into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nags Head in the Outer Banks
Jennette’s Pier in North Carolina’s Outer Banks

At one time we called this great state home!

North Carolina still holds a special place in our hearts, with its great mix of untouched barrier islands, beautiful trails and wildlife, and charming mountains.

While this itinerary focuses on the coastal areas which we had not explored much during our time living here, if you have not yet visited we highly recommend spending time in and around Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway as well.

A state that has winding roads through orange, red, and yellow foliage-covered mountains and a bright blue sparkling ocean coastline… what more can you ask for!?

Great Places To See:

Top Campgrounds & RV Parks:

DRV Mobile Suites fifth wheel sitting behind a white Ram 3500 truck camping in front of the sand dunes at Oregon Inlet Campground in the Outer Banks
Oregon Inlet Campground

For Beaufort, The Crystal Coast & Cape Lookout National Seashore

For Carolina Beach & Wilmington North Carolina

For The Outer Banks

Maryland & Virginia

A female hiker and her dog sitting on a rock overlooking the mountains in Shenandoah National Park Virginia

Another great area of the East Coast, where you can find both mountains for hiking and the Atlantic Ocean for all things water.

Camp with the wild horses, lay on the beach, and then head to the mountains for waterfall hikes that will take your breath away.

Great Places To See:

  • Assateague Island National Seashore & Chincoteague (VA) (hang out with the wild horses at camp or on the beach, capture plenty of wildlife, enjoy untouched wilderness)
  • Ocean City (a more lively, traditional seaside experience)
  • Shenandoah National Park (head to the mountains and hike for epic views and cascading waterfalls)

READ MORE: Complete Guide To Camping At Assateague Island National Seashore

Top Campgrounds & RV Parks:

Wild horses grazing in a campsite at Assateague Island National Seashore alongside a large fifth wheel RV
At Assateague Island National Seashore, wild horses roam among the campsites

For the coast

For Shenandoah National Park

Be sure to check for cell signal and tree coverage (suitability for Starlink internet) before choosing a campground! Many parks on the western side of the park have limited cell signal and are heavily wooded, which led us to stay on the eastern side of the park at Madison Vines so that we could work without worry.

New York

A view of a beautiful waterfall flowing under a bridge, with Rainbow Falls flowing over the Glen Creek Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen State Park. You can find this in the Fingerlakes of New York.
Watkins Glen State Park

Drawn to nature and quiet spaces, this time our native New England selves headed for upstate New York.

And we couldn’t believe what we found there!

You will not want to miss the deep blue lakes and crisp mountain air waiting for you only a few hours from the hustle and bustle of one of the largest cities in the world.

A few of our favorite spots:

Great Places To See:

  • The Finger Lakes
    • Watkins Glen State Park
    • Buttermilk Falls State Park
    • Taughannock Falls State Park
    • Ithaca & Cascadilla Falls
    • Wineries, vineyards, and cideries galore! (2 favorites were Thirsty Owl & Finger Lakes Cider House)
  • The Adirondacks
    • Lake Placid
    • Adirondack Mountain Reserve (Indian Head & Rainbow Falls Trails)
    • Whiteface Mountain (drive Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway – $20, but worth it!)
    • Cascade Mountain
    • Olympic Jumping Complex
    • Big Slide Brewery & Public House

Top Campgrounds & RV Parks:

A fifth-wheel RV camper next to a white ram camping beneath fall foliage at a campground in the Adirondacks of New York
Thornbush Acres RV Park in the Adirondacks

For the Finger Lakes

*Note: Most state park campgrounds do not open until mid to late May in this area

For The Adirondacks

Maine

The iconic red roof and white face of the Portland Head Lighthouse, surrounded by the warm rocky coast and bright blue waters in the glow of the early morning sun
Portland Head Light

Touted “Vacationland,” much of Maine feels like a best-kept secret.

Our relatives call much of Maine “God’s country” and once you get out of the city and into the woods, it is clear to see why.

Come for a breath of fresh air, take a walk in the woods where the sounds of nature bellow, and stay for the welcoming people and fresh seafood.

A hiking couple dressed in pink and blue standing on a rock with views of bright green forests and sparkling blue waters behind them
Beehive Trail, Acadia National Park

Great Places To See:

Top Campgrounds & RV Parks:

An aerial shot of Bar Harbor campground in Maine with its rolling green spaces bordered by the blue ocean and mountains
Bar Harbor Campground

For Portland

For Acadia National Park

READ MORE: Guide To The Best Camping Sites Near Acadia National Park

Atlantic Canada

Female hiker and her brown dog looking over the cliff side while hiking in St. John's Newfoundland
Cobbler’s Path, St. John’s Newfoundland

Being from the East Coast of the United States, we didn’t add many new states to our map while working our way north from Florida.

For us, the main highlight of our year-long RV trip up the East Coast of North America came when we crossed the border into Canada.

Exploring the 4 easternmost provinces in Canada that makeup Atlantic Canada, you are treated to some of the best views the East Coast has to offer.

You won’t want to miss this highlight reel of North America’s eastern coast… trust us.

Great Places To See:

New Brunswick

Hiking couple and their brown dog standing on rocks along a river running under a red covered bridge in Fundy National Park in New Brunswick Canada
Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

Newfoundland

Bright blue iceberg floating in a blue bay outside of the town of Quirpon in Newfoundland
Quirpon, Newfoundland
  • Gros Morne National Park (walk on the Earth’s mantle, camp on the cliffside, take a boat tour through fjords)
  • St. Anthony & Quirpon (Icebergs, whales, and history at the northernmost tip of Newfoundland)
  • L’anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site (amazing Viking history!)
  • Twillingate (local charm, amazing hikes, and opportunities for more iceberg and whale viewings)
  • Terra Nova National Park (untouched wilderness, stunning views, great hikes)
  • Bonavista & Trinity (another epic peninsula, and one of our favorites of the trip! Icebergs, whales, puffins, and a world-famous hike)
  • St. John’s (the largest city on the island, perfect for foodies and history buffs!)
  • The Irish Loop – be sure to include Castle Hill National Historic Site & Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve (the best scenic drive on the rock)

READ MORE & GET PLANNING: The Perfect Newfoundland RV Trip

Nova Scotia

A hiker walking along a single track path through soft green grass leading out to a point in the land where the hike ends and the ocean begins
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
  • Cape Breton & Cape Breton Highlands National Park (don’t miss the scenic Cabot Trail)
  • Meat Cove & Money Point (a bit off the beaten path with some of the best views around)
  • Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (tour the reconstruction of an 18th-century French Fortress)
  • Halifax (Nova Scotia’s capital and largest city)
  • Lunenberg UNESCO World Heritage Site (a colorful seaside town that was once a British settlement)
  • Kejimkujik National Park (Inland & Seaside Units)

READ MORE & GET PLANNING: Plan The Perfect East Coast Canada Road Trip In Your RV

Top Campgrounds & RV Parks:

RVs parked in a campground across from the water in Twillingate Newfoundland
Peyton’s Woods Campground, Twillingate

For New Brunswick

For Newfoundland

For Nova Scotia

READ MORE: How To Plan The Perfect RV Road Trip Step By Step

East Coast North America RV Road Trip Highlights Map

To save the map from being completely overwhelming, below we have added some of the main points of interest for a larger East Coast RV trip covering the U.S. and Canada.

With a longer RV trip covering so much ground, it inherently becomes more difficult to see and do it all in each place.

With trips like this, there will be sacrifices, but you will see and do a lot too!

Use this itinerary as a sampler to bookmark for later more in-depth trips to certain places, or consider only adding stops that are at the top of your bucket list.

The map below provides a starting point for stops we consider the biggest destinations on the East Coast of North America. Use it to plan a larger route, or as a starting point to find attractions and experiences you are interested in as you build out your perfect itinerary.

When used in combination with the itinerary articles linked throughout this article where we break down specific areas (like the North Carolina Coast and South Carolina Coast or the East Coast of Canada specifically), you will be well on your way to planning to perfect RV trip along the east coast of North America!

Tips & Resources For Planning Your Next RV Road Trip

Looking for more inspiration or pre-planned RV trip itineraries?

Interested in what else we use as full-time RVers or interested in what you actually need? Check out these resources:

Campground & Campsite Resources:

  • Harvest Host: For finding unique experiences and convenient overnight stays at breweries, vineyards, farms, and more! Perfect for a fun weekend getaway or stopover during a long travel stretch.
  • Campspot: For finding and booking great campgrounds and RV parks conveniently and easily all in one place!
  • RV Life: RV safe GPS, RV Trip Wizard route planning, maintenance tracker, campground reviews, and more. Everything any RVer needs, all in one place!
  • Campendium & iOverlander: For finding campgrounds & free camping spots

Internet For RV Travel:

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