Road Trip Ideas for Adventure Vans
There have been a lot of changes over the past few years, and getting back to the great outdoors and having a better work/life balance is one of them.
After two years of people realizing that they could work from anywhere as long as they had WiFi, the adventure van movement picked up steam and has yet to slow down. Why be trapped at a desk when you can get outdoors while still working and enjoy a better overall quality of life. Vans enable many of us to work from the road and allow us more time to do the activities and things we love.
Thanks to having a mobile home on wheels, people call the road their home (at least part-time), waking up in Moab, the Florida Keys, and Glacier National Park.
There are some van essentials you will want to ensure you have before you hit the open road. For example, you will want to make sure that you can stay cool during the summer heat and warm when chasing powder during the winter.
Now is the perfect time to come up with all your best road trip ideas so that you can get going as soon as your van build is complete.
To help spark your imagination and show you the adventures that road tripping with a van offers, we have rounded up some of the most epic van adventures for you to plan out.
From the classic American road trips to secret spots you may have never heard of before, here are a few of the places that you will love waking up in your van and exploring.
Check Out Yosemite National Park
California is a beautiful state, and it boasts Big Sur, Joshua Tree, San Diego, and more. Perhaps you're looking for a little SoCal surf culture in Encinitas, or you want the dog-friendly beaches of Carmel-by-the-Sea. California is extensive and diverse, and there are plenty of opportunities to get your outdoor adrenaline fix.
Today, we're here to talk about Yosemite.
Traveling through Yosemite National Park with your van is one of the most spectacular things you can do in a camper van. It is high on many people's bucket lists, and having a mobile home on wheels makes it so much easier to become a reality.
There are multiple places in Yosemite National Park that you can park up for the night, with nearly a dozen different campgrounds to set up for during the night. All provide you with the perfect place to stargaze.
And when you wake up the following morning, you can hit the ground running with epic hikes, beautiful scenery, and even some world-class rock climbing - we'll leave the free solo stuff to Alex Honnold though.
Yosemite is extremely popular, and you typically need a reservation to access the park during peak season, so make sure to book your reservations early and get more details here.
Visit The Blue Ridge Parkway
Another iconic stop-off for anyone hitting the road with their van, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic road of nearly 500 miles that will take you from North Carolina through Virginia. It is the most frequented place throughout all the National Parks and has been that way for nearly a century.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a remarkable engineering marvel and feat, with a whole system of bridges, tunnels, and windy roads that make traveling through this part of America even possible.
See the Grand Canyon
There are some places where words do not do justice, and the Grand Canyon is undoubtedly one of those places.
The sheer size of the Grand Canyon is hard to describe, let alone the enormity of its beauty and the inspiration it offers those who visit. With two sides to the National Park, you could easily spend weeks exploring all the hiking trails and vantage points.
If you are keeping a virtual log of your van life, grab the quintessential Southwest van life picture: the Four Corners. The Four Corners is the intersection of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.
For a complete sampling of the Grand Canyon, consider starting in Las Vegas, Nevada, and heading to the Northern Rim for stunning views. You may as well take the time to explore Sedona, a few hours south of the park. Only a short drive away, Sedona offers some of the best mountain biking around, and the incredible red-rock landscape is enchanting.
While you could make a quick trip to the Grand Canyon, taking time to explore the Southwest corner of the US with your van is the best way to do it. Traveling by van allows you to explore other surrounding gems like Flagstaff and Bisbee in Arizona.
Witness the Majesty of Yellowstone
No Rockies road trip is complete without this one-of-a-kind national park. Yet, Netflix has pumped up its popularity, making it hard for hotel rooms in nearby cities to come by.
Traveling to Yellowstone National Park with your van is the best way to see it. If you take your time getting there from the south, you can journey through Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, which is stunning in its own right.
The chances are high that you will get to see buffalo, bears, and other incredible animals from the comfort of your van. You can go on some of the most beautiful walks and explore the park by horseback if that's your thing. Make sure also to carve out some time to see the geysers while there; nothing quite beats seeing the powerfulness of Ole' Faithful explode.
Take a Trip to the Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a natural paradise that you can enjoy all year long - as long as you don't mind a little rain and snow in the winter. You can explore everything that Washington, Oregon, and Idaho offer, and you can keep driving north to British Columbia and even Alaska if you've got the time.
Are you looking for good eats, unique entertainment, and dramatic overlooks? A Portland day trip is in order. Or, head to Seattle for the Space Needle or Pike Place Market. If you have some time in the Seattle area, we recommend catching a ferry from Anacortes (1.5 hours north) to the San Juan Islands and taking a few days to explore all the natural beauty - whale watching is also next level.
With mountains, the ocean, and lush forests to explore, you will love exploring this part of America, with your van allowing you to park up in some of the most scenic places around. The Pacific Northwest is equally one of the best places to enjoy a campfire with s'mores and stargaze all night long while cuddling up underneath a cozy blanket.
Pack Up Your Skis and Head to British Columbia
Speaking of British Columbia, another great van adventure lies north of the border. Head to BC for some world-class powder skiing. Whistler is a popular choice and is only a couple of hours north of the US border. Take the Sea to Sky Highway for epic views and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Stop in Squamish if you don’t want to deal with the hustle and bustle of Vancouver - there are plenty of good restaurants to choose from, and the Sea to Sky Gondola ride is another worthwhile stop if the sun is shining.
Are you looking for a less-crowded resort? Check out Big White, just outside of Kelowna in the BC interior. This resort is known for its powder days and offers night skiing.
Stop in a Historic American City
With 50 states to drive through, you will have plenty of historic American cities to stop off at. From the hilly streets of San Francisco to Illinois, the birthplace of Lincoln, your van will let you make the most of seeing all that makes America so great.
The best part about having a van as a home base is that you can be highly spontaneous when and where you decide to stop off, knowing you will always have accommodation accessible to you.
Sure, you may start with a strict road trip itinerary, but maybe it ends up crumpled under your bed. Instead, you start chasing after ideas: the best small towns for fall foliage, chasing hero dirt this fall across the western states, and finding new waterways to explore with your SUP.
Where Will You Take Your Van Next?
So what are you waiting for? There is no time like the present to plan your next getaway. Your adventure van makes your bucket list adventures possible and more accessible than ever.
Maybe you start in San Diego and drive along the Pacific Coast Highway until you hit the Redwood Forests or the wild Southern Oregon Coast. Perhaps you take a more extended trip out east, starting in New England, driving down the scenic highway from Maine all the way to Key West.
Your office on wheels provides you with all the comforts and connection while opening up a whole new world of exploration to enjoy.
Where will you go first?
What You Need To Know If You Want To Join The Van Life Movement | Forbes
Four Corners Monument Navajo Tribal Park | Navajo Nation Parks & Rec
11 Best Small Towns in the US to See Fall Foliage | Travel + Leisure
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