The road trip from Charlotte to Atlanta should be a bucket-list drive for any ardent traveler. Many take I-85, which is one of the most spectacular routes in South Carolina. During the stretch from Charlotte to Greenville, you'll notice the stark geographic and cultural difference and a chance to glimpse, if only for a short while, the America of four decades ago. You can expect to see other breathtaking places along this drive, such as the Blue Ridge Mountains, BMW Zentrum, Milliken Arboretum, and Pendleton. The best way to end your Charlotte to Atlanta RV road trip is to spend some time at the High Museum of Art in Georgia.
As you'll see on RVshare's full guide to national parks, there are a variety of choices that you'll want to add to your road trip itinerary from Charlotte to Atlanta.
Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park is a great option to consider if you don't mind taking a Columbia detour from your Charlotte to Atlanta road trip. This park preserves the largest tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the continent. You'll find a mind-blowing amount of diversity here thanks to water from the Wateree and Congaree rivers. With over 2 miles of boardwalk and over 25 miles of hiking trails here, adventurers will love to explore the Congaree wilderness. If you're lucky, you can spot a swarm of turtles from the podium overlooking Weston Lake.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park, located just four hours from Charlotte, makes for an ideal side trip. One of the largest and oldest parks in Virginia, Shenandoah consists of mountain elevations and outcrops that you can hike if you love an adventure. You can also explore many other hiking destinations within the park, such as Blue Ridge, Whiteoak Canyon, and Hawksbill. In addition to hiking, you can camp and watch wildlife here.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is arguably the most famous park to add to your road trip itinerary from Charlotte to Atlanta. Located just 98.2 miles off I-85, this forested area is heaven for outdoor lovers. You can enjoy the panoramic views of Grotto Falls, strenuous trails atop Clingmans Dome, or scenic drives along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. If you want to make reservations for ranger-led programs or learn the park's history, the Sugar Visitor Center is the perfect place to start.
There are many state parks that you will want to tour in your Charlotte to Atlanta RV road trip. You can learn more about them in RVshare's state park guide.
Tugaloo State Park
Tugaloo State Park in Georgia is a great place for a pit stop if you enjoy boating and fishing. Expect to catch crappie, bass, catfish, and bream at Lake Hartwell. Depending on the weather, you can also go biking, hiking, or golfing at this state park. You might also want to bring your horse to ride through mulberry, oak, walnut, and cherry trees.
Kings Mountain State Park
Built initially by the Civilian Conservation Corps more than nine decades ago, Kings Mountain State Park is the perfect side excursion for your Charlotte to Atlanta road trip. There are many things to do in this state park, including boating and hiking, and a visit to the Living History Farm allows you to relive life in a typical South Carolina farm from the 1800s. If you want to see more stunning views, try horse riding or biking along the designated trails.
Croft State Park
Croft State Park in South Carolina offers one of the most wonderful opportunities in the state for boating in one of the two ponds. As you bike along the 20-mile trail, you'll be amazed at the flora and fauna that you can see. You might spot raccoons, coyotes, teals, or white-tailed deer. Swimming and bird-watching are popular at this park in addition to climbing through the granite outcrops and equestrian trails.
Roosevelt State Park
Consider stopping at Roosevelt State Park if you're a nature enthusiast. This park encompasses over 9,049 acres of hardwoods and is also the largest state park in Georgia. There's the 23-mile Pine Mountain Trail in this park as well as many RV campgrounds. Furthermore, there are ample opportunities to go horseback riding, relax at the Liberty Bell Swimming Pool, or sit near a tiny fishing lake. You might want to bring your camera to capture the fascinating views of the rolling hills 80 miles southeast of Atlanta.
Fort Yargo State Park
End your Charlotte to Atlanta RV road trip with a camping experience at one of Georgia's coziest cottages inside Fort Yargo State Park. You'll find fully equipped campgrounds, lake yurts, or 20-foot round wood-and-canvas structures with pine floors. Hike the 18-mile trail or bring your golfing gear for unobstructed disc games.
Kings Mountain National Military Park
While still in South Carolina, make a detour along Battleground Road to see Kings Mountain National Military Park. Considered a historical landmark, it commemorates one of the first Revolutionary War victories in the southeastern United States. Watch the 25-minute film about the Battle of the Kings Mountain in 1780. There are also 16 miles of hiking trails if you need a good stretch of the legs.
Bob Jones University Museum
Before you leave Greenville on your road trip itinerary from Charlotte to Atlanta, stop at Bob Jones University Museum. Explore America's biggest and most important collection of European Old Masters paintings. You'll also want to take time to see the world-renowned Baroque paintings at the nearby gallery.
The "ultimate roadside attraction" awaits you if you take a side stop at the BMW Zentrum in Greenville. Located at Exit 60 off I-85, this crescent-shaped building showcases BMW's history of manufacturing things that travel fast from cars to motorcycles and airplanes. You'll also want to see the German automaker's product films and behind-the-scenes footage from the factory next door.
Nicknamed "a little piece of peace in the city," Piedmont Park is a great place to stop in your road trip from Charlotte to Atlanta. Sprawling over 200 acres, Piedmont has no shortages of fun things to do, including jogging and walking paths, tennis courts, picnic facilities, and a Saturday farmers market. This park also plays host to Atlanta's biggest events, including the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, and Atlanta Pride.
Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center is a great place to visit in Atlanta's posh neighborhood of Buckhead. To get familiar with Georgia's history, take a stroll through the exhibitions, miles of gardens and trails, and dozens of historic homes. You'll also want to tour the adjacent Swan Woods to see the gorgeous plants native to Georgia. Head to the Margaret Mitchell House to learn more about the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist.
While driving from Charlotte to Atlanta through the busy I-85 route might add a few hours to your road trip, it's worth it. There are many gorgeous towns to camp along the way, and travelers find the route much more scenic than I-40, I-77, or I-75. Furthermore, you'll find awesome campgrounds with dump stations to keep your RV equipment travel-ready.
With lush, green hills, and iconic museums, Greenville is an exciting place to stop. You should visit Falls Park and Mice on Main. Stunning campgrounds also exist nearby, so you can easily spend a night or two here.
Explore rich local culture, world-class museums, and vibrant hospitality industry when you take a detour at Columbia. You can also enjoy relic hunting at the South Carolina Military Museum. Take a self-guided walking tour at Waverly Historic District, the region's first suburb. There are many campgrounds near the city where you'll find cozy places to camp.
Athens is a great place to stop in your Charlotte to Atlanta road trip. The historic city attracts tourists from all walks of life. If you decide to stop, you'll want to visit the Georgia Museum of Art, Founders Memorial Garden, or the Arch. You should catch a sunset at the Sandy Creek Nature center as well. There are plenty of gorgeous campgrounds situated nearby.
Make the most of your Charlotte to Atlanta road trip by taking side excursions at some of the route's most beautiful cities, state parks, and national parks. If you don't own a recreational vehicle, consider renting an RV in Charlotte on RVshare. Of course, you can always make this journey backward and rent an RV in Atlanta on RVshare.