You finally have the money saved up to take a cross-country trip. Sure, it’s a long drive, but it’ll be worth it. Load up your music player and hit the road, but be sure to stop and see these sights on your trip! Here are 12 amazing sights that you have to see if you’re on a coast-to-coast drive:
The Grand Canyon
This should be the most obvious choice, but it’s on this list for a reason — it’s amazing. It’s a beautiful drive to get there, but once you’re there, you’ll marvel in nature’s beauty. Hike along the South rim and get up close and personal with it. Take a ton of pictures. The Grand Canyon sprawls a massive 277 miles, several miles across and up to a mile deep. Pictures don’t do it justice. You have to see it.
Just a short hour or two from the Grand Canyon lies the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam lies on the border of Arizona and Nevada. After paying a few dollars to park, you’ll go up a parking garage and look over the side if you dare, but don’t fall over!
You’re already so close, just go to Vegas. There’s not one specific thing to see in Vegas, but rather, stay a few nights. Here’s what could be your perfect itinerary for a freewheeling Vegas trip: Find cheap hotels, visit the Miracle Mile shops, take a gondola ride, gamble, and just have a great time. Las Vegas is a playground for adults. Be mindful of your bank account, but go have fun.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Los Angeles rests about six hours from Las Vegas. Los Angeles is the perfect place to visit for the entertainment buff. While you’re there, you have to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s really cool to see each star’s individual star and what they’re famous for. While you’re on that street, there are a number of sights to see, including the famous TCL Chinese Theater. There are many other sights to see while in Los Angeles, including movie company studios, filming locations, and more.
Pacific Coast Highway
After seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame, make the hour or two journey to Santa Monica, California, and travel up the Pacific Coast Highway. This stretch of road runs alongside the ocean from San Diego and all the way up the coast to Oregon. After being on so many roads in the US, traveling on one that runs alongside the ocean is a beautiful experience.
Walt Disney World
Clear on the other side of the country lies Walt Disney World, one of the world’s most magical places. Buy a three or four-day pass and visit Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. If you have a park hopper pass, you can visit multiple parks in one day. Ride Space Mountain, make a splash on Splash Mountain, scream as you go through twists and turns on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and more. Make this trip extra special by going to the Kings to the Kingdom tour, which will allow you to go backstage and underground as you get an up close and intimate look at Disney World.
The entire city of New York City should be on this list, of course, but Times Square is the focal point of your visit. Times Square is almost always busy, so you should expect that. Just imagine the whole area filled with people on New Year’s Eve and be glad that you’re not stuck in that traffic! Take in the sights and sounds of everything in the area and enjoy the moment. Visit nearby places while you’re there, like Grand Central Station and 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone became the world’s first national park after it was established by Congress and signed into law by Ulysses S. Grant. It stretches over three states and covers 3,500 square miles. While you’re there, see Old Faithful — hopefully, it’ll live up to its name and erupt!
Gettysburg National Military Park
Battlefield tours can be pretty boring because they’re so bare. This one goes the extra mile, though, and shows a film that depicts the struggles faced by the soldiers. As an added bonus, it’s narrated by Morgan Freeman. The team there is working to restore the park to how it looked during that time period to make everything even more authentic. There’s a memorial dedicated to the 1,600 soldiers that lost their life that day.
The National Mall
No cross-country trip would be complete if you failed to stop by the National Mall while passing through Washington, D.C. Covering two miles of land, the National Mall comprises the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and a new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. It also has quite a few Smithsonian museums, all of which are free to enter.
The French Quarter in New Orleans
If you find yourself near New Orleans, swing by the French Quarter. The town is decked out with neon, ivy, and fancy ironwork. New Orleans frequently has Jazz and Heritage festivals, and, of course, Mardi Gras. Visit the nightclubs and take in the music.
For the music fan, a visit Austin, Texas is akin to taking a pilgrimage to Mecca. Austin is a bustling city filled with live music — in fact, it’s known as the live music capital of the world. There’s a festival held there every year known as SXSW, or South by SouthWest, where entertainers from all over the world will gather and show off their latest films or play a concert. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to SXSW each year. Listen to some live music and enjoy the southern cooking for the experience of a lifetime.
Driving across the country is no easy task. You’ll need several hundreds of dollars for gas and lodging, assuming your car can make it. Whether you’re traveling through a sea of forests or the scorching deserts in Arizona and Nevada, there will always be a place to stop. These are just a few of the major locations to stop — there are literally hundreds of destinations on the side of the road that you can visit. Have you ever been on a cross-country trip? What was your favorite place to stop at?