Driving from Houston, TX, to Gulfport, MS, takes you through three states full of history and culture. Along the way, there are also several exotic ecosystems that every traveler on this road should visit. The trip is a lesson in the vitality and diversity of nature. The entire trip, minus any detours, takes place on Interstate 10 East (I-10 E).
Though there are no national parks within six hours of driving from the Houston to Gulfport route, you can visit this list of national parks to plan future road trips. However, several national historical parks are within driving distance of your planned road trip from Houston to Gulfport, MS, for you and your family to visit.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
Before you leave the Houston area, drive 195 miles west to San Antonio to see the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The park celebrates the contributions of early colonization by preserving five Spanish missions: the Alamo, Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan, and Espada. These missions are grouped along the San Antonio River and are the only locations in Texas designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
After visiting the San Antonio Missions, drive 64 miles north to visit the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. The site was the home of Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ), the 36th President of the United States. The park sits on the rolling hill country in central Texas. There are three houses on the sprawling ranch. One is the family home where LBJ was born, another is the ranch-style home in which LBJ grew up, and the third is the stately house where LBJ spent his final years; the latter is dubbed the "Texas White House." Johnson family members often lead bicycle tours that traverse the entire property.
New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
One of the states crossed during a Houston to Gulfport road trip is Louisiana. The most famous of the cities in Louisiana is New Orleans, the birthplace of American Jazz. Only here do you find a national park dedicated to a musical form. The park centers on the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The museum is more than the traditional depository of artifacts and documents; it is the epicenter of America's most indigenous musical art form. The New Orleans Jazz Museum sponsors jazz concerts on its grounds, which are often led by jazz luminaries who recognize the park's importance to the national arts.
Cane River Creole National Historical Park
While driving through Louisiana, take a 180-mile detour north to see the Cane River Creole National Historical Park. Included as a site to visit on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, this park strives to reveal the history of early plantation development in the American South. The 63-acre park includes two Creole cotton plantations as they existed in their original settings.
Sea Rim State Park
About 90 miles into your Houston to Gulfport RV road trip sits Sea Rim State Park. Stopping here gets the family off the road and out of the RV for a few hours of fun. With nearly five miles of Gulf of Mexico shoreline, this park provides ample beachcombing opportunities. Wetlands that you can explore from a rented canoe or kayak crowd close to the beach. Port Arthur, TX, with all its restaurants, shops, and shows, is close at hand for those who want to spend an evening on the town.
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park
About 220 miles along your road trip from Houston to Gulfport, you reach Lafayette, LA. By taking a short detour, you can visit one of the most engaging parks in the state. Lake Fausse Pointe State Park features a bayou-like forest with bald cypress dipping their knees into the lake and alligators roaming the shores. Osprey, eagles, blue heron, and several species of owls and hawks dance through the skies. If you miss this park, you miss witnessing nature in its most primitive form.
Buccaneer State Park
Within 27 miles of the finish of your road trip from Houston to Gulfport, you can visit or stay at Buccaneer State Park. There is an incredible number of activities at this park that could take days to explore. Not only do you have the infinite horizon to the east and south created by the Gulf of Mexico, but you also sit beneath moss-draped oaks and amongst saltwater marshlands. Families enjoy the easy summer breeze that comes off the Gulf in the evening and the sounds of frogs and crickets. The park features the only waterpark in the area, which adds to the enjoyment for kids.
Segway Tours of Houston
Before leaving Houston, take the opportunity to see the city closeup by taking one of the Segway Tours. The Segway Tours of Houston offers three tours led by an expert in the area's local sites and history; each of the tours lasts about two hours. The Bayou Tour winds along the shores of the Houston Bayou, which is an essential section of the port that made a significant contribution to the early development of Houston. The Twilight Tour takes you through the west side of Houston, where you will encounter the most modern of the city's suburbs. The Arena/Convention Center Tour takes you across the east side of Houston to see the early architectural and cultural distinctions that still contribute to the flavor of the city.
One of the most significant influences in southern Louisiana culture was the introduction of the Acadians, the people of whom Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in "Evangeline." Forced to settle in the unfamiliar Louisiana bayou area, the Acadians set about improving their lot by improving their surroundings. You can see their influence over the region by visiting the Acadia Village.
Your road trip itinerary from Houston to Gulfport must include this final stop. In Gulfport, MS, there is a fantastic aquarium. After looking at the water from above for the entire trip, here you get the chance to look at what lies beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and the bayous and rivers you crossed during the journey. While wandering through this facility, you get a perspective on the diversity of life underwater.
Located 217 miles along your route, Lafayette, LA, is just over halfway on your Houston to Gulfport road trip. The city is full of museums; preserved 17th, 18th, and 19th-century homes; cultural centers; and parks. In a word, Lafayette is an idyllic Southern city with all the warmth and welcome that the term invokes. Dump stations are found almost anywhere in Lafayette. With an abundance of campgrounds surrounding the city, there is no reason not to stop, rest, and enjoy this Southern cultural center.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
By the time you reach Baton Rouge, LA, you are within a day's drive from your destination. In Baton Rouge, visitors find exotic Cajun and Creole restaurants, a host of jazz musicians, and several modern entertainment venues. At this point, RV travelers should think about using one of the several dump stations available in Baton Rouge to clean their tanks. If you want to spend the night, multiple RV camping sites are available around Baton Rouge.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Houston to Gulfport, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Houston or Gulfport.