A Dallas to New Orleans road trip is a fantastic chance to explore East Texas and Louisiana. You can see beautiful gardens and historic homes. Grab a seat on the steam-powered state railroad train and enjoy fascinating scenery. Drive down the iconic Great River Road and stop at its museum. Learn more about Creole history at the Cane River Creole National Historical Park and hear jazz music played at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. All along the way, you can find many opportunities for fishing, hiking, biking, and other outdoor forms of recreation.
Use this guide to national parks to find interesting sites to include in future trips. Be sure to stop at these two national parks during your Dallas to New Orleans RV road trip.
Cane River Creole National Historical Park
This park consists of two beautiful plantation properties to explore. The Oakland Plantation was founded by Jean Pierre Emanuel Prud’homme in 1789 and remained in the same family for over 200 years. It was the first place where cotton was farmed on a large-scale basis west of the Mississippi River. Magnolia Plantation is the second property at this national park. This plantation traces its roots back to 1753. You can tour the main home at the Oakland Plantation and numerous outbuildings at both properties.
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
The immigrants who came to New Orleans, including Buddy Bolden, blended their musical styles together and created jazz. At the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, you can listen to jazz concerts and learn more about this musical style by participating in workshops. You can also watch films dedicated to jazz and view many visual exhibits. There are several walking tours that start at this park. Park rangers also maintain a jazz concert schedule, so be sure to find out when concerts are occurring while you are in town on your Dallas to New Orleans RV road trip.
Tyler State Park
Borrow fishing equipment at Tyler State Park to fish for crappie, bass, catfish, or perch from the three fishing piers, or bring your boat or rent one and fish from it on the 64-acre spring-fed lake. You can also rent stand-up paddleboards to play on the water. The lake is a great place to go for a swim on a warm summer day. Hike on over 13 miles of trails under 100-foot-tall trees; many of the trails run by historic structures that are more than 70 years old.
Mission Tejas State Park
Hike along the Nabedache Loop at Mission Tejas State Park, located near Grapeland, Texas, and see fragments of the El Camino Reel built by the Spaniards in 1690. There are many other hiking options running under dogwood trees that put on a colorful spring bloom and other tall trees that turn stunning colors of red, brown, and orange in the fall. Follow paths to see the Rice Log Cabin, which was built in the early 1800s. You may want to take the guided tour of the cabin and the El Camino Reel or join the rangers for other informative programs. Follow the paths to the small fishing pond located near the San Pedro Creek to fish; you do not need your own equipment or a fishing license.
North Toledo Bend State Park
Bike along the four-mile nature trail running through this state park. Then, hike on the shorter trails featuring stations with information about the surrounding environment. The swimming pool is a great place to play water polo or swim laps. Put a line in the water from the two fishing piers. Rent a boat from the park’s vendor or bring your own to enjoy fishing on the lake that was formed by the Toledo Bend Dam. Join the fun of the fishing tournaments that occur at this park throughout the year.
Chicot State Park
Chicot State Park near Ville Platte, Louisiana, covers more than 6,400 acres. Follow the hiking trails across the gently rolling hillsides that surround Lake Chicot. Hikers and mountain bikers can also enjoy the trails running through bottomland hardwood forests. Head to the South Landing area to enjoy the water playground. This state park has numerous land playgrounds, boat launches to put your vessel or a rented boat on the water, fishing piers, and barbecue pits. A meeting room is also available.
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park near St. Martinville, Louisiana, is the perfect spot to stop on a road trip from Dallas to New Orleans to explore the Atchafalaya Basin. Launch your canoe from the boat dock to explore the Canoe Trail that winds its way through the basin. Trails running through this park are a great place to see raccoons, woodcocks, turkeys, and waterfowl. The wildlife viewing area at the intersection of Happytown and Bayou Manuel roads is a great place to see how many of the 300 species of birds recorded in this park that you can spot. This state park is the ideal place to go bass fishing, but you can also catch many other types of fish.
Tyler Rose Garden
See over 38,000 rose buses at the 14-acre Tyler Rose Garden. This park is home to many special celebrations throughout the year, including the Texas Rose Festival, which is held each October.
Texas State Railroad
Settle in the comfortable refurbished train cars to go on a four-hour 25-mile train ride through the Piney Woods of East Texas. Consider joining the fun of one of their special trips, like the Polar Bear Express in December.
Great River Road
Drive along the iconic Great River Road running from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, through Gonzales, Darrow, Sorrento, and Vacherie before reaching New Orleans. There are many Greek Revival mansions along this 70-mile stretch of road that crosses the Mississippi River. Favorite stops along this route include the Laura Plantation, which workers constructed in 1804. The tour of the Whitney Plantation focuses intensely on the lives of enslaved individuals. You will also want to stop at Oak Alley to see its tall line of stately oak trees. Be sure to visit the Great River Road Museum in Darrow, Louisiana, to learn more about this area.
While Tyler, Texas, may be best known for its roses, you will not want to miss the spring azalea tour. The brick streets in this town harken you to come and explore numerous antique shops. Tyler campground options include Tyler Oaks RV Resort and Lion’s RV Park. RV dump station locations near Tyler include Canton Marketplace RV Park and Texas Log Cabin and RV Park. There are also plenty of Texas dump station locations.
Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas, and Millard’s Crossing Historical Village is a great place to learn about the first settlers. The Stone Fort Museum and the Nacogdoches Sterne-Hoya Museum are two other places you will want to explore. There are many Deep East Texas campgrounds, including Fairway RV Park and Bustertown RV Park. Check out nearby Texas RV dump stations or use the ones at Camp Tonkawa RV Park & Campground or the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Lufkin, Texas.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Old Governor’s Museum and the Capitol Park Museum are great places to learn about the history of this city, which is home to Louisiana State University. Consider camping in Baton Rouge at the Night RV Park or at Cajun Country Campground. Baton Rouge dump stations are available at the Farr Park Equestrian Center & RV Campground and Baton Rouge KOA.
Take your RV on this trip to enjoy some camping fun. If you do not have your own RV, rent one on RVshare.com in Dallas or New Orleans. You will definitely want an RV to stop at the national and state parks along the way. There are also many great cities and roadside attractions that you'll want to explore. Get busy taking care of the last-minute details so that you can leave as soon as possible to explore this road trip itinerary from Dallas to New Orleans.