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20 Places You Need To Experience Off Interstate 20

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20 Places You Need To Experience Off Interstate 20

Snowbirds who don’t want to stay in one spot all winter can find lots of unique places to visit across the south. The southernmost cross-country highway, Interstate 10, makes a great winter road trip, as well as Interstate 20, which branches off I-10 and runs between Texas and South Carolina.

This 1500+ mile road is not to be confused with the other major east-west highway, US Route 20, which runs from the Oregon Coast all the way to Boston.

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Interstate 20 begins just east of Kent, Texas, and leads past several large southern cities including Fort Worth, Dallas, Shreveport, Jackson, Birmingham, Atlanta, and dozens more smaller towns and communities, before coming to an end near Florence, SC.

It takes you over the Mississippi River and through the woods in the Bienville and Talladega National Forests. We mapped out 20 places you need to visit while traveling Interstate 20, but we recommend planning your trip on RV LIFE Trip Wizard and using our RV LIFE App to find more campgrounds and attractions along the way.

1. Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas

Kick off your trip exploring Monahans Sandhills State Park, a half-hour west of Odessa. This park has no marked trails, just acres of wide-open, wind-sculpted dunes for you to walk along or surf down with a sand disc (available to rent from the visitor center).

Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas. Photo by Leaflet (Wikipedia Commons)
Leaflet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park also has a campground with spacious pull-throughs and back-ins that can fit RVs of all sizes. Water and electric hookups are available as well as a dump station.

2. Big Spring State Park, Texas

Continue about an hour east via Interstate 20 and you’ll reach the town of Big Spring, where you can find Big Spring State Park. This park is relatively small with just a nature trail, a playground, and a CCC-built road that loops around the park, providing a great path for a scenic drive, jog, or bike ride.

Big Spring State Park, Texas. Photo by Leaflet (Wikipedia Commons)

The park itself doesn’t have a campground, however, there are plenty of options for RVers around the town of Big Springs. Some highly rated campgrounds near the park include the West Texas Friendly RV Park, Whip In RV Park, and Elite Cabins & RV Park.

3. Lake Colorado City State Park, Texas

Less than an hour east of Big Spring is another great park to stop and explore—Lake Colorado City State Park. This older park can be reached about ten minutes off Interstate 20 via paved back roads.

Photo via RV Parking on CampgroundReviews.com

The park has a boat ramp, swimming beach, and a campground with spacious pull-throughs and water/power hookups. There is also a fishing pier, where anglers can cast a line for largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish.

4. Cedar Hill State Park, Texas

As you continue east through Texas, you’ll want to swing by Cedar Hill State Park along Joe Pool Lake. This park is not only popular for its many lake activities, including boating, fishing, and kayaking, but also for its close proximity to the many Dallas and Fort Worth-area attractions.

Cedar Hill State Park. Photo by QuesterMark (Flickr Creative Commons)

The campground has full hookup sites, water/electric-only sites, and primitive campsites for tents. All sites are also close to restrooms with hot showers.

5. Tyler State Park, Texas

Continue past Dallas for about two hours and you’ll soon reach Tyler State Park in northeastern Texas. This park, north of the town of Tyler, surrounds a 64-acre lake with picnic areas and RV-friendly campgrounds. Take your pick between lakeview or wooded campsites with full hookups or campsites with water/electric only.

Tyler State Park – Photo via Texas State Parks

A camp store is on-site and rents out kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and johnboats. If you’d rather explore the park by land, there are over thirteen miles of hiking trails that weave through the tall pine forest.

6. Lake Bistineau State Park, Louisiana

Interstate 20 continues eastbound into Louisiana, where your next stop should be a short side trip to Lake Bistineau. This popular state park is about 30-40 minutes off I-20 from Shreveport, and well worth the detour for its serene waterfront camping on the western shore of the lake. The campground has paved roads and large, big-rig friendly pull-through RV sites with water/electric.

Lake Bistineau. Photo by Michael McCarthy (Wikipedia Creative Commons)
Michael McCarthy (msm62166), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The scenery around Lake Bistineau is beautiful with its cypress and tupelo trees and mixed hardwood forest. Within the park are two boat launches, miles of hiking and biking trails, great fishing, campgrounds, and cabins.

7. Cheniere Lake, Louisiana

Just outside of West Monroe, Cheniere Lake is likewise surrounded by moss-draped cypress and tupelo gum trees. The city park makes a great overnight stop for RVers traveling through north-central Louisiana, with eight RV sites overlooking the lake, water and electric hookups, and a dump station available.

Cheniere Lake. Photo by Alex (Flickr Creative Commons)

The lake has seven ramps for fishing, covered pavilions for picnicking, and a large rustic building for events like weddings, reunions, etc.

8. Poverty Point Reservoir State Park, Louisiana

In northeastern Louisiana, Poverty Point Reservoir State Park surrounds a manmade lake popular for its fishing, boating, and swimming. The park also has walking paths and a campground with large full hookup RV sites.

Poverty Point Campground. Photo via CampgroundReviews.com

While you’re in the area, plan a trip to see the ancient mounds nearby at Poverty Point World Heritage Site. Black Bear Golf Club is also a quick drive from the campground with a popular 18-hole course and an on-site restaurant.

9. Vicksburg National Military Park, Mississippi

Right after you cross the Mississippi River, you’ll reach Vicksburg National Military Park, a must-visit for history buffs, as it preserves the site of the Civil War Battle of Vicksburg in 1863. Visitors can tour the historic battlefields, visit the state memorials and get an in-depth look at the site’s history.

Vicksburg National Park. Photo by Robert D. Hubble (Wikipedia Creative Commons)

There is no camping allowed within the national park, but RVers can find full hookups and spacious sites nearby at the Ameristar Vicksburg RV Park.

10. Roosevelt State Park, Mississippi

Roosevelt State Park, just an hour east of Vicksburg, surrounds the large Shadow Lake on the western end of Bienville National Forest. The campground is easy to access off Interstate 20 but still provides peace and quiet in the woods without all the annoying highway noise.

Roosevelt State Park. Photo by Visit Mississippi (Flickr Creative Commons)

There are accommodations for every type of traveler in Roosevelt State Park. Pitch a tent or park your rig in a full hookup site with easy access to the lake for seasonal water activities. Cabins and motel rooms are also available for those without a tent or RV.

11. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, Alabama

The interstate continues eastbound into Alabama, where it begins to lead north towards Birmingham. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is just southwest of the city with acres of trails, restored buildings, and an iron and steel museum with historic displays and demonstrations.

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

The state park also has a large campground divided into three areas for RVs of all sizes. Sites range from full hook-ups to partial hookups and primitive camping.

12. Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama

Before you connect back onto Interstate 20, branch off on Highway 459 to stay a night or two in Oak Mountain State Park near Pelham. This park offers several hiking and biking trails, canoe and kayak rentals, and a campground with pull-through RV sites and full hookups.

Oak Mountain State Park. Photo by Adriana W. on CampgroundReviews.com

Oak Mountain is less than an hour from several great attractions around Hoover and Birmingham. Moss Rock Preserve is also a close drive with more wooded hiking trails.

13. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Alabama

About a half-hour north of Oak Mountain is the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, a must-see for motorcyclist enthusiasts. This museum houses the world’s largest motorcycle collection with over 1600 motorcycles and race cars from 200 different manufacturers and 20 countries. Get a closer look at rare vintage beauties like the 1955 Britten V1000, 1926 Royal Enfield Model 200, and many other vehicles in their collection.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. Photo via Wikipedia Creative Commons
CC BY-SA 2.0
Chuck Schultz, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They are open year-round (closed major holidays) right next to the Barber Motorsports Park. Plan your trip around a racing event or alternatively visit when there are fewer crowds. Admission is $15 per adult, $10 for kids (4-12), and free for kids under 3. For hours and more information, visit their website.

14. Sweetwater Creek State Park, Georgia

As you continue east into Georgia, make a stop at Sweetwater Creek State Park just before reaching Atlanta. Because of its close proximity to the downtown area, the park is a popular hiking destination away from all the hustle and bustle of the city. It surrounds a large 215-acre lake with two fishing docks, a boat ramp, and seasonal boat rentals.

Sweetwater Creek State Park. Photo by Jeff Gunn (Flickr Creative Commons)

The campground has 10 yurts and 5 tent campsites but does not accommodate RV travelers. RVers looking to stay the night can find parking nearby at Sweetwater Valley RV Park or Sweetwater Creek RV Reserve.

15. Hard Labor Creek State Park, Georgia

Hard Labor Creek State Park lies just over an hour east of Sweetwater Creek. The park is best known for its golf course, hiking and horseback riding trails, and two lakes (Lake Rutledge and Brantley) with a boat ramp and a sandy beach.

Hard Labor Creek State Park. Photo by RV Parking on CampgroundReviews.com

The park has a variety of accommodations ranging from fully equipped cottages to full hookup RV sites, tent sites, and equestrian campsites with horse stalls. Some sites are available all year round and can be reserved online here ahead of your visit.

16. Mistletoe State Park, Georgia

Mistletoe State Park is another scenic lakefront park located over an hour east of Hard Labor Creek. This park on the southern shore of Clarks Hill Lake (also known as Lake Strom Thurmond) is well-known for its bass fishing, but it also has a boat ramp, sandy beach, and nature trails.

Mistletoe State Park. Photo via Georgia State Parks

The popular campground has large pull-throughs and water/electric hookups. Fully equipped cottages and log cabins are also available to rent along the lake.

17. Dreher Island State Park, South Carolina

Interstate 20 continues east as it crosses over the Savannah River and leads into South Carolina. Before you reach Columbia, make a short detour north to visit Dreher Island State Park on the largest island in Lake Murray. This park makes a great home base while you spend your day fishing, hiking, boating, swimming, or simply just relaxing and birdwatching at the campground.

Photo via Youtube

The park has two lakefront camping areas with paved RV sites that can fit coaches up to 45 feet. Each site has water and electric hookups, a picnic table, and nearby access to a dump station and bathhouses.

18. Congaree National Park, South Carolina

About an hour southeast of Dreher Island, Congaree National Park is lesser-known than other national parks like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone. Last year in 2018, this national park saw only 145,000 visitors, as compared to the 6.38 million who visited the Grand Canyon or 4.12 million at Yellowstone. This means you can often expect fewer crowds and generally more peace and quiet.

Cedar Creek in Congaree National Park, SC. Photo by Steven McNamara (Public domain)

Hiking through the old-growth hardwood forest and canoeing and fishing on the Congaree River are some of the park’s most popular activities. There is also a primitive campground in the park for tents and hammock campers. RVers can find plenty of options nearby including Poinsett State Park and Elliotts Landing.

19. Sesquicentennial State Park, South Carolina

Sesquicentennial State Park is another great option for RVers close to Congaree NP. It’s only a half-hour north of the national park and has easy access off I-20. A 30-acre lake is the park’s centerpiece, surrounded by woodlands and wetlands with beautiful nature trails throughout.

Sesquicentennial State Park. Photo by Joey Glockner (Wikipedia Creative Commons)
Joey Glockner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The campground has several campsites between two loops, including pull-throughs and back-ins for RVs up to 35 feet (some sites only 30 feet). Each site has 30-amp electric and water hookups, a campfire ring, and a grill.

20. Lee State Park, South Carolina

Wrap up your trip at Lee State Park, just before Interstate 20 comes to an end near Florence. This park was built in 1935 by the CCC and still provides visitors recreational opportunities on the Lynches River. Go fishing along the banks of the river or take your kayak/canoe out on the forest floodplain. There are also a couple of easy hiking trails for peaceful early-morning or mid-afternoon nature walks.

Interstate 20

The campground is open year-round with full hookup RV sites, partial hookup sites, and tent sites. Sites can fit RVs up to 35 feet long, some only 30 feet. A dump station, restrooms, and hot showers are also available.


Plan your route with RV LIFE Trip Wizard and the RV LIFE App With GPS