Get ready for a Cleveland to Nashville RV road trip. This is a beautiful area of the country with plenty of opportunities to see some nature, take in a little history and partake in fun activities. You'll get to explore three different states, each with its own culture and attractions. Enjoy the sights of this heartland journey.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the only national park in the state of Ohio. It also serves as a refuge for some of the area’s wildlife and native plants. There are over 125 miles of trails for you to explore and enjoy, so be sure to check their calendar of events because they have plenty going on. Enjoy the bird-watching and photography opportunities available at the Beaver Marsh. Brandywine Falls is a 60-foot waterfall that provides stunning beauty, and Blue Hen Falls is well worth a visit, too. This park is full of gorgeous nature to explore.
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park commemorates Wilbur and Orville Wright as well as poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. It showcases their family histories, photographs, and stories. Highlights include a flight of a Wright Flyer III replica airplane. If you enjoy aircraft and history, this park will be a treat to visit.
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park covers two farm sites in Kentucky. One of them is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, and the other is where he lived as a child. The symbolic birth cabin is housed inside a memorial building. The second space contains Sinking Spring, which was the water source for the Lincoln family where Abe Lincoln grew up.
Hocking Hills State Park
Hocking Hills State Park includes over 2,000 acres of beautiful Ohio nature, where you'll see waterfalls, rock formations, and recess caves. Be sure to check out Old Man’s Cave, which is probably the most popular area. The rock formations are breathtaking, and the Upper Falls are gorgeous at any time of year. You can explore over 25 miles of hiking trails, but be sure to bring your camera as there are so many gorgeous sights along the way.
Caesar Creek State Park
Caesar Creek State Park is located just outside of Waynesville in Ohio. This is the perfect place to make a pit stop and enjoy some outdoor recreation. You can experience the best that Ohio has to offer in terms of boating, swimming, camping, and fishing. They even have a public beach with changing stations available. Set aside some time to explore the available trails where you can hike, bike, or ride horses.
Fort Boonesborough State Park
Fort Boonesborough State Park in Kentucky is a fascinating stop along your route, especially if you enjoy history. This park is a frontier fort that was founded by Daniel Boone. It's Kentucky’s second-oldest European-American settlement. This is a working fort with live demonstrations of skills and crafts from the 1800s, allowing visitors to get a real sense of what life was like back then. While there, you can also watch for a wide variety of birdlife, including wild turkeys, pileated woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks, and hummingbirds. Enjoy boating, camping, and fishing as well.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is located in Powell, Ohio. It is home to over 10,000 animals and divided into six regions: Australia and the Islands, Shores, Congo Expedition, Asia Quest, North America, and the Heart of Africa. While you're at the zoo, you can also enjoy a variety of rides. Ride a camel in Africa, the giant carousel near the coastline, or the boat ride near the islands. There are also keeper talks about animals, special experiences, and great options for food.
The Newport Aquarium is located in Kentucky just across the river from Cincinnati. It's filled with 14 galleries and 70 exhibits, including over 200 feet of acrylic tunnels. They have a variety of different exhibits to explore, such as the coral reef teeming with life, Gator Alley, the Amazon Tunnel and so much more. If you're a bit of a thrill-seeker, you can cross the Shark Bridge where visitors are suspended on a rope bridge over the shark tank. Explore the aquarium and enjoy thousands of animals from all over the world.
Lost River Cave
Lost River Cave, located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, provides a perfect nature escape. There are 72 acres in the park with over 2 miles of nature trails and seven natural ecosystems. There's even a 25-minute boat tour, where you can comfortably enjoy the natural wonder of the cave. You can explore nature on the trails around the park or stop by to mine for gems and see the butterfly habitat as well. There is also a play area that's perfect for the kids.
Cleveland, Ohio, is located on Lake Erie and is known for the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Before you set out on your Cleveland to Nashville road trip, you may want to explore the diverse culture in the “Forest City.” While exploring, pick up a Polish Boy from one of the street vendors. There are also some interesting murals on Hingetown and Gordon Square. If you need to visit a dump station before you head out on your road trip, you will find a spot at Willow Lake Park in nearby Medina, Ohio. For camping sites the night before you leave, check out Wa-Hoo Campground and Bar.
Cincinnati, Ohio, is another major city in the state, and it's home to multiple beautiful parks for picnics. You can also visit the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, which is home to over 3,000 different plants and 500 animal species. Be sure to have a little fun at Coney Island, and get a few pictures of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, the historic bridge that connects Kentucky and Ohio. It makes for an awesome landscape backdrop.
There are a few dump stations around the Cincinnati area. The easiest one to find will probably be at the Winton Woods Campground. You can usually find one at a Pilot J Station as well. The Winton Woods Campground is also a gorgeous RV park to spend the night in as it's located in a wooded area near Winton Lake.
Louisville, Kentucky, is the home of the Kentucky Derby and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. It's also the largest city in Kentucky. Explore Old Louisville, which is the largest Victorian neighborhood in America. They have an amusement park called the Kentucky Kingdom that's home to six different roller coasters. If you need a dump station near Louisville, there is a KOA Campground in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. If you want to spend the night in Louisville, check out the Derby Park RV & Campground, which is close to Churchill Downs.
Nashville is the state capital of Tennessee and famous for being the home of country music. In this vibrant and endlessly entertaining city, you'll find the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. While Nashville may be the heart of the country music scene, the creativity carries over into art galleries and theaters as well. This city also has some great museums that feature icons of the industry, such as the Johnny Cash Museum and the Patsy Cline Museum.
Once you've reached Nashville, you may need a dump station after all that travel. Luckily, there are plenty of places you can turn to, including the Nashville North KOA to get that taken care of. The Anderson Road Campground is a nice nearby spot where you can park and then go explore the beautiful city of Nashville.
Your road trip itinerary from Cleveland to Nashville will be a recipe for fun with a little bit of advance planning. If you take the trip in a recreational vehicle, you'll have the freedom to stop or take side trips whenever you want. If you do not have an RV of your own, RVshare can help you find a perfect rental that meets the needs of your travels. Then, you'll be all set for your journey through some of the most memorable portions of the heartland.