1. Home
  2. keyboard_arrow_right
  3. Lifestyle & Travel
  4. keyboard_arrow_right
  5. Places to Go & Things to Do
  6. keyboard_arrow_right
  7. 25 Ways to Enjoy your Time on the Road
  1. Home
  2. keyboard_arrow_right
  3. Lifestyle & Travel
  4. keyboard_arrow_right
  5. Places to Go & Things to Do
  6. keyboard_arrow_right
  7. 25 Ways to Enjoy your Time on the Road

25 Ways to Enjoy your Time on the Road

From taking in the sunrise to immersing yourself in local culture to spending a day on the water, the perks to RV travel never end.

Image Caption:

One of the best perks about camping is the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, trading evenings glued to the computer screen for cozy nights around the campfire. Taking a break from the daily grind gives us time to relax, pursue a passion, or pick up a new hobby. Whether you’re traveling with your family or flying solo, the RV lifestyle is chock-full of activities for all ages to enjoy. Here are some road trip activities my husband, Chad, and I—and our pet goat and dog—enjoy on our full-time adventures on the road.

1. Catch the Sunrise

Sometimes, the simplest pleasures in life are also the most rewarding. Watching the sunrise is often one of those things we forget about while getting ready for work or sending the kids off to school. While on the road, starting the day with a strong cup o’ joe and the first morning light is a great opportunity to reflect and refresh.

From the glistening pastel waves of the ocean to the vibrant alpenglow painted on the mountainsides, the sunrise can be enjoyed virtually anywhere and every season. The golden hour is a prime time for photographers who wish to capture the best light of day or for nature lovers hoping to spot some wildlife. Besides its aesthetic appeal, starting the day early gives you the chance to beat the crowds and enjoy some solitude at popular destinations like national parks.

2. Have a Soak

Mother Nature not only provides us with water, sometimes she’s kind enough to heat it up. One of the most relaxing activities to do while road tripping is having a steamy soak in a hot spring. Around the country, and especially out west, you’ll find hundreds of soaking pools from primitive hot springs to far-from-rustic resorts. After a long hike, there’s no better way to reward sore muscles than to bathe in mineral hot springs.

3. Explore a Ghost Town

Go back to even simpler times with a trip to one of the many abandoned communities scattered around the country. From dusty boom-and-bust towns of the Old West, abandoned mining camps, to forgotten villages of some of the earliest European settlers, a day exploring the remnants of yesteryears is not only fun, it’s also educational. Left in arrested decay, many of these places can be found in state parks, like the historic mining town of Bodie, while others require a hike up into the mountains or woods.

4. Go Wine Tasting

Though California might be considered the wine capital of the country, you’ll discover fantastic wine regions stretching all the way to the Atlantic. While traveling, plan a vineyard tour where you can learn about the wine-making process from start to finish, including the harvest, grape selection, fermentation, and bottling techniques. After the tour, enjoy a wine tasting and pick out a bottle to take back to camp. 

5. Immerse Yourself in Public Art

Art isn’t limited to museums, oftentimes you can find it just off the highway. Take a field trip from camp and drop by one of the countless public art displays around the country. From land art like Utah’s Spiral Jetty and New Mexico’s Lightning Field to artist communities like California’s Joshua Tree and Texas’ Marfa, there are endless opportunities to visit murals, light displays, and art installations while traveling.


Image: Cate Battles

6. Work Up a Sweat

Hiking is an awesome way to see some of the nation’s most pristine backcountry views. From alpine lakes, and deep slot canyons to mountaintop meadows blanketed with wildflowers, spending a day exploring Mother Nature will give you plenty of eye candy as well as the opportunity to work off those beers around the campfire. For something a little faster-paced, plan a bike ride. Whether you’re beach cruising, mountain biking, or cycling to town, a day of exercise makes up for those long drives on the road. If you don’t own a bike, no problem! You can usually find a local outfitter that offers rentals.

7. Visit a Farm or Farmers Market

While traveling, get a taste of the region by exploring a farm or grower’s market in the area. From spring to fall, you’ll find farmers’ markets, flower festivals, craft beer events, and food trails showcasing seasonal produce and other agricultural bounties. Drop by a local creamery for artisan cheese, visit a pick-your-own flower farm, or score the catch-of-the-day at the docks—wherever you extend your patronage, you’re sure to have the freshest produce while also supporting local businesses.

8. Play a Game

From rainy-day activities to fun in the sun, there are endless games for you and the whole family to enjoy while camping. For some family-friendly lawn games, try boccie, cornhole, and glow-in-the-dark ring toss. If the weather is keeping you indoors, enjoy some board games, cards, dice, or some rounds of charades. Additionally, many RV parks and campground resorts include access to game rooms, pools, tennis courts, and playgrounds.

9. Take a Scenic Drive

The road less traveled is oftentimes the best. Straying from the main corridors gives you a greater sense of discovery and often leads to tucked-away gems you won’t find along the interstate. While exploring a new area, look for scenic drives that take you on a journey through some of the country’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. From California’s coastal Highway 1 to the majestic Blue Ridge Parkway, there are scenic byways in every state, many of which showcase panoramic vistas, fall foliage, and spring wildflowers. For a fun day exploring the region, pack your camera and a picnic while you whisk away on a sightseeing adventure. 

10. Bring your Paints

One of the best parts about camping is that it usually involves beautiful surroundings, providing plenty of inspiration to draw from, literally. There’s no better way to document your road trip than by sketching or painting the views along the way. With collapsible easels, travel-sized painting kits, and your basic pencils and pens, channel your inner Van Gogh while on the road.

11. Go to a Dog Park

Though many campgrounds have off-leash areas for pets, sometimes you have to look a little farther. From dog-friendly beaches to municipal parks, finding a safe place for Fido to run and play is a great way to burn off some energy. It can also be pretty entertaining for us humans, too.

12. Visit Kitschy Roadside Attractions

Get a taste of weird America by seeking out some of the country’s most bizarre roadside attractions. From the world’s largest Yo-Yo to Route 66’s Cadillac Ranch, there are hundreds of quirky places around the country and you rarely have to stray far from the highway. These nostalgic relics of the past are often free and make for a fun pit stop while you’re trekking across the country. Atlas Obscura and Roadside America are fantastic resources for tracking down many of these roadside oddities.

13. Wildlife Viewing and Photography

One of the perks of being out in nature is the chance to spot rare wildlife. From migrating whales along the coast to Yellowstone’s roaming bison, the nation is home to a wide variety of fauna. Many of these locations are protected wildlife areas, including 567 National Wildlife Refuges scattered across the country. With a little research, you can find out the best spots and times to witness Mother Nature at its best. To maximize your wildlife experience, plan a trip when activity peaks by researching spawning, rutting, migrating, and birthing seasons. While being a shutterbug, always remember to allow plenty of distance between you and the animal and abide by park rules.

A bison spotted at Yellowstone National Park (Image Getty).

14. Go Rockhounding

Unleash your inner rockhound by gem hunting at public mines and dig sites where all finders are keepers. Whether you’re on the hunt for marine fossils, gems, or petrified wood, the majority of public land outside of state and national parks allow the collection of rocks and minerals for personal use. Additionally, there are state parks dedicated to gem hunting, like Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. From Oregon’s opal mines to North Carolina’s Emerald Hollow, dig around enough and you’ll find hidden gems in every state.

15. Hunt for Geocaches

If you need a little extra motivation to hit the trail, geocaching is basically “hiking with a purpose.” This treasure-hunting hobby is easy and free; it only requires a GPS device. With nearly 700,000 geocaches hidden across the country, this is a fun adventure the whole family can enjoy.

 16. Go Fish

Grab your tackle box and spend a day hunting and gathering. Whether you’re fly fishing, deep-sea angling, or crabbing along the shore, a day in the sunshine and a fresh-caught meal at camp will get anyone hooked. Before you head out on your excursion, remember to pick up a fishing permit and follow local regulations.

17. Explore Petroglyphs and Archaeological Sites

For those who enjoy history and Native American culture, learn about the continent’s earliest inhabitants by touring ancient ruins or hiking to canyons lined with prehistoric art. From Anasazi ruins at Verde Mesa National Park in Colorado and Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico to the Cahokia Mounds of Illinois, there are places strewn across the country that tell a tale older than time.

18. Join an RV Rally

No matter what part of the country you find yourself in, trailer rallies and RV meetups are held in nearly every state and are a great way to meet fellow campers. With varying themes, workshops, and events, a rally is a terrific opportunity to learn a new skill and meet like-minded people.

19. Read a Book

One of the perks to being “unplugged” and away from city distractions is you have a chance to read that book that’s been collecting dust on the shelf. There’s no better way to spend a lazy rainy day than snuggling up with a good read. 

20. Get Crafty

When it comes to getting crafty on the road, the possibilities are endless. With all the DIY tutorials available online, there’s no shortage of neat projects that can keep you or the kids busy while traveling. From knitting and scrapbooking to wreath-making and rock painting, having a creative outlet at camp is good for the soul—and easy on the pocketbook. While foraging for natural materials, just make sure to check local regulations first.

21. Stargaze

Far away from the city’s light pollution, the naked eye can see up to 2.5 million light-years away. Add a telescope to the mix and treat yourself to some out-of-this-world views. If you love astronomy and night photography, consider planning a camping trip near a dark sky reserve. With a little research, you can plan for astronomical events like meteor showers, planetary alignments, and eclipses. And, if you’re lucky, you might get a chance to witness the spectacular aurora borealis. 

22. Go Disc Golfing

With a cold beer in one hand and a Frisbee in the other, disc golf is a perfect way to enjoy a relaxing afternoon outdoors. Unlike ball golf, many disc golf courses are free and can be found at community parks and sometimes even campgrounds.

23. Take a Float

Escape the summer heat by planning a fun day on the water. Whether you choose to raft, surf, kayak, paddleboard, or take a leisurely float down the river, the options are overflowing. If you don’t have your own gear, no problem; day rentals are usually easy to score.


Image: Cate Battles

24. Play Music

Camping provides us with plenty of downtime and a wonderful opportunity to learn a new song or get reacquainted with an instrument. Both fun and relaxing, playing music around the campfire and under the stars is a great way to wind down after a day of exploring. It’s also sure to leave lasting memories with family and friends. Just be sure not to blast out your neighbors and follow campground quiet-time rules.

25. Fire up the Grill

Nothing works up an appetite like a long day on the trails. Whether you throw some brats on the grill or make a one-pot meal, some hearty food at the end of the day is always a welcomed reward. During this downtime, get innovative with your cooking and try a new camping-friendly recipe. Or invite your park neighbors over for some tasty burgers on the barbecue and trade RVing adventures.

Cate Battles
+ posts

Read This Next

Subscribe to Wildsam Magazine today, Camping World and Good Sam’s magazine of the open road.

Just $19.97 for a year’s subscription.


Read Premium Articles with an RV.com subscription.
Starting at $14.97/year

Join Now