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51 RV Road Trip Theme Ideas for Your Next Adventure

| Updated Apr 4, 2024

Creating a theme for your road trip elevates the fun! Real RVers share their road trip theme ideas to help you plan your next memorable adventure…

If you've ever thought road trips were just about long drives and random stops, think again! The open road offers an incredible canvas for themed adventures that cater to every imaginable interest.

Whether you're a foodie on the hunt for the best diners, a history buff tracing historical trails, or simply someone looking for the road less traveled, themed road trips are your ticket to a more personalized adventure.

The following themes represent the wide variety of interests and inspirations of REAL RVers, showing how diverse themes can cater to different passions, hobbies, and curiosities. We also include related links to help you start planning.

Road Trip Theme Ideas By Category

In our RV Lifestyle Community and Facebook group, a Top Contributor asked:

Have you ever planned a themed road trip, like dinosaurs, cemeteries, DDD restaurants? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Our community responded with hundreds of comments, sharing themes they've done in the past and themes they hope to do in the future. We categorized their responses under the following themes and share some of their specific suggestions.

1. Historical Themes

51 RV Road Trip Theme Ideas for Your Next Adventure - oregon trail

It's no surprise that historical and cultural attractions were mentioned often, but there were some uniquely specific ideas. Here are a few that stood out:

2. Natural and Outdoor Themes

waterfall

Many RVers chose themes based on natural features and outdoor activities. This is a great way to dig deeper than just planning to “go to the mountains” or “go to this region.”

3. Quirky Attractions Themes

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This theme is all about the strange factor. The kind that makes you say, “Why in the world…?!” It really is amazing… and dumbfounding… what some people will invest their time and money to build.

This theme can also include unusual local myths, monsters, and lore.

  • Cheesy tourist traps (e.g., Corn Palace, Cabazon Dinosaurs)
  • World's biggest attractions
  • Alleged alien sighting and abduction locations
  • Monsters & Myths locations

4. As-Seen-On-TV Themes

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It's one thing to see something on TV. It's another thing to see it in person! Many of these suggestions were more about tasting than seeing, though, based on restaurants featured on popular TV shows.

But, many also included HGTV or DIY Network shows, as well as famous movie filming locations.

  • Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (DDD) restaurants
  • Restaurants from “Somebody Feed Phil”
  • Irish Pubs, casinos, and bar/restaurants featured in “Bar Rescue”
  • Towns of HGTV shows (i.e. Fixer Upper, Home Town, Fixer to Fabulous)
  • Movie filming locations

5. Art & Cultural Themes

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When it comes to art and cultural themes, there are SO many you can run with. Each of the following can be niched down further, like ‘miniature museums' or ‘blues festivals.'

So, you can first narrow down your theme to a type of art or cultural thing you're interested in. Then, narrow it down even further. We've included links to a few niched-down options)

6. Architectural Landmarks

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Architectural landmarks is a great regional theme! Many areas around the country are known for certain architecture, like covered bridges and lighthouses.

Furthermore, there is certain types of buildings you can see pretty much everywhere you go, but are built in a completely unique way. These include buildings like churches, cathedrals, and courthouses.

  • Lighthouses
  • Covered bridges
  • Churches and cathedrals
  • Courthouses
  • State capital buildings
  • Libraries
  • Cemeteries and old graveyards

7. Collecting and Hobby-Related Themes

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Why not turn your hobby into a road trip theme? Whatever it is, we're sure you can find related destinations and attractions.

Or, you can consider trying unique camping hobbies!

  • Pressed Pennies collecting
  • Trains and train-themed trips
  • Geocaching
  • Letterboxing
  • Comic book stores and conventions

8. Checklist Themes

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RVers love bucket list checklists! Every road trip can be designed to check more items off your list, whether it's hitting every presidential library or Waffle House in the country!

You can also narrow down these checklist themes to different states or regions.

  • Earning Junior Ranger badges at every National Park
  • All 50 state capitals
  • All [fill in the blank] in a given state (i.e. all wildlife sanctuaries in Oklahoma)
  • All [fill in the blank] in a county (i.e. all bakeries in Orange County)

9. Sports and Recreation Themes

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A lot of people like sports and adventure… but don't necessarily like hiking. You can turn their active energy and passion for sports into a themed road trip.

For starters, you'd be surprised at how many amusement parks there are in America (about 475!) So, those alone can keep you busy! But here are some more great RV travel theme ideas…

  • Major League Baseball parks
  • NFL arenas
  • Hall of Fame Museums
  • Mountain coasters
  • Amusement parks

10. Unique and Miscellaneous Themes

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We had to include a miscellaneous theme because there are no limits to what you can come up with. Sometimes the most random, nonsensical theme will make the most interesting road trip!

  • Haunted locations
  • Towns with the same name (i.e., Springfield, Riverside, etc.)
  • Towns with weird names (i.e., Embarrass, Cut and Shoot, Hell, etc.)
  • Town names based on theme (i.e. towns with animal names)

And there you have it, folks! A whirlwind tour through the diverse, exciting world of themed road trips. Whether you're drawn to the call of the wild, the allure of historical sites, or the irresistible charm of quirky roadside attractions, there's no shortage of themes to make your next journey unforgettable.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick a theme that speaks to you, map out your adventure, and hit the road. 

We're OVER 12,200 members in our NEW Community!

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We have a Space for all sorts of things you want to know as an RVer, including Travel Planning, Electrical, Plumbing, Traveling with Pets, Gear, and more.

You can join each Space individually and only see what's being discussed in just that Space. Or you can see everything in the main Feed.

You can watch livestreams that are focused on one Space or another – like we recently did for Internet on the Road!

It's a calm, well-organized, friendly space to meet other RVers who might be traveling near you!

Join us https://community.rvlifestyle.com

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-04-04

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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