Roadtrip USA – Coast to Coast in 3-4 Weeks : Part 2

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USA Road Trip

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Santa Monica: 34.019454, -118.491191
Los Angeles: 34.052234, -118.243685
Las Vegas: 36.169941, -115.139830
Zion National Park: 37.298202, -113.026300
Grand Canyon: 36.106965, -112.112997
Monument Valley: 36.997865, -110.098567
Horseshoe Bend: 36.880054, -111.510270
Antelope Canyon: 36.861910, -111.374330
Santa Fe: 35.686975, -105.937799
Roswell: 33.394266, -104.523024
Carlsbad Caverns: 32.147855, -104.556714
Luckenbach: 30.181505, -98.755760
San Antonio: 29.424122, -98.493628
Austin: 30.267153, -97.743061
Sam Housten Jones State Park: 30.300346, -93.263756
New Orleans: 29.951066, -90.071532
Graceland: 35.047691, -90.026049
Memphis: 35.149534, -90.048980
Nashville: 36.162664, -86.781602
George Washington & Jefferson State Forest: 37.625165, -79.513024
Washington DC: 38.907192, -77.036871
Philadelphia: 39.952584, -75.165222
New York: 40.712784, -74.005941

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Roadtrip!

Welcome to week 2 of my coast to coast USA roadtrip. This week we head south into New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. Join me as we roadtrip through to the deep south.

Week 2 – The south Roadtrip usa

The route:
Santa fe – roswell – carlsbad caverns – luckenbach – san antonio- austin – sam houston jones state park – new orleans

So last time we finished at Monument Valley, with a travel time of 6-6.5 hours to our next stop:

9. Santa Fe, New Mexico roadtrip usa

Museums and Art Galleries galore and nearly 300 sunny days per year, Santa Fe is a historic, laid back town perfect for a few days recuperation enjoying the mix of Hispanic and Native American culture.

Highlights: Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Palace of the Governors, Canyon Road

In the area: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, rafting on the Rio Grande & Rio Chama

Next Stop: Roswell – Travel Time: 3.5 hours

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10. Roswell Roadtrip USA

HV5 Hover UFO

Ok, so the illustration above may not be an entirely truthful representation of Roswell, but you get the idea. Most commonly associated with the ‘UFO Incident’ in 1947 (or the sci-fi TV series screened between 1999-2002) the town is a living museum to its claim to fame – they even have an Alien on their town emblem! Walking down main street there are ufo replicas hanging off buildings and alien themed everything. You don’t have to stay long – but stop here for an hour or so and soak up some long running conspiracy theories –  you never know, you might be invited to the *real* Area 51.

Next Stop: Carlsbad Caverns National Park – Travel Time: 2 hours

 

11. Carlsbad Caverns National park Road Trip USA

Roadtrip USA Carlsbad

Created when sulfuric acid dissolved the limestone rock, 199 known caves have been found deep below the surface showcasing a huge array of natural stagamite’s. With a 750ft descent/ascent, you should have at least a basic level of fitness but it is definitely worth if for the self-guided walk through the various caverns and chambers and with a constant temperature of 13 degrees don’t forget to take a lite jumper/jacket.

My highlight however is one that only happens between April-May and late October/November – the Bat Flights. Just prior to sunset, take a seat in the amphitheater outside the mouth of one of the caves and watch a the Brazillian free-tailed bats swirl in a vortex as they exit the cave in search of dinner. To hear the bats wings only meters away from you is something you will never forget and it is just a spectacular sight. No electronic devices are permitted so you won’t find pictures or film of this phenomenon – it has to be seen with your own eyes. For those early risers, you can also watch the bats return between 4-6am – watch as they dart into the cave at speeds of up to 25mph/40kmp! Incredible!

Highlights: Main Chamber & Bat Flights.

Next Stop: Luckenbach, Texas – Travel Time: 6-6.5 hours

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12. Luckenbach Roadtrip USA

Roadtrip USA Luckenbach

Enter the little town that has more soul and tradition per step than anywhere I have visited in the USA. With two main building – one housing a (deregistered) post office, general store and saloon (bar), the other a good old fashioned dance hall, its like stepping back in time. Stay here over the weekend, grab your stetson and dance the night away to some great live country music on Saturday night and relax with fellow visitors on Sunday afternoons – some of whom bring instruments and take turns entertaining the crowd. And don’t forget – “Everyone is someone in Luckenbach.”

Highlights: Live country music

Next Stop: San Antonio – Travel Time: 1 hour

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13. San Antonio

Roadtrip USA Alamo

Rich in colonial heritage and proud of its deep southern roots, San Antonio is a beautiful city perfect for exploring. Educate yourself at the Alamo Shrine, a monument to Texan history before enjoying the unusual urban sanctuary that is the Riverwalk. Meander around the tree lines banks and eat and shop to your heart’s content. Finish your evening at Howl at the Moon – a dual-ling piano bar where some extremely talented performers take requests submitted on dollar bills and crowd sing along. If you have never been to a piano bar, you’re definitely missing out!

Highlights: The Alamo, Howl at the Moon,  Riverwalk

In The Area: Golf @ Brackenridge Park, Six Flags Texas, Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort

Next Stop: Austin – Travel Time: 1.5 hours

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14. Austin

Roadtrip USA Austin

Texas’ state capital claims to be the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ – and spending an evening on Sixth Street will leave you in no doubt of this – but Austin has so much more to offer. Museums, Parks and beautiful architecture combine together along the banks of the Colarado River to showcase this modern metropolis.

Highlights: Sixth Street, LadyBird Lake Hike & Bike Trail

Roadtrip USA Austin

In The Area: Barton Springs Pool, Umlauf Sculpture Park & Museum, George Washington Carver Museum

Want more information about Austin – check out this Shortcut Guide to Austin from Savoured Journeys

Next Stop: Sam Houston Jones State Park, Louisiana – Travel Time: 5 hours

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15. Sam Houston Jones State Park

Roadtrip USA Sam Houston

An overnight stop suggestion to break up the long drive to the next main stop on this coast to coast tour. I really enjoyed camping in Sam Houston Jones State Park – gorgeous nature at its best – but watch out for gators and surprisingly, racoons! They are giant and it can be quite disconcerting when you wake in the middle of the night and catch them using their hand-like claws to open the boxes storing your food!

Next Stop: New Orleans – Travel Time: 3-3.5 hours

 

16. New Orleans roadtrip

Roadtrip USA New Orleans

Where to start?! I just love New Orleans. The architecture, the food, the music – it’s my favorite stop on this second part of the tour. Try Gumbo, take a walking tour, cruise down the Mississippi on a steamboat and of course, enjoy the atmosphere of Bourbon Street and its wonderful live Jazz music. French, African and American culture melts together here to provide an experience like no other city in the States.

Head outside the city limits and hop on an airboat tour of the swamp lands which are abundant in this part of the world – a great day for all ages.

Highlights: French Quarter, Jackson Square, Mississippi Steam Boat Cruise, Bourbon Street & The Gumbo Shop. Read all about the  Top Things To Do in New Orleans here!

In The Area: New Orleans Area Plantations, New Orleans Cemeteries, Garden District, D-Day Museum, Swap Tours

Next Stop: Graceland (Yay! Elvis’ House!!) – Travel Time: 5.5-6 hours

 

And there we have it, the second week of my coast to coast roadtrip across the USA. I’d love to hear what you think of the route and again, if I have missed your favorite southern destination  please drop me a line below and let me know!

Join me next week for the final part of my roadtrip as I continue north east through Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, Pensylvania and New York.

Don’t forget to pin & share – I’d really appreciate it! 🙂

The ULTIMATE US RoadTrip     The ULTIMATE US Roadtrip

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Weekly PostcardRoadTrip

Ultimate US Roadtrip

12 thoughts on “Roadtrip USA – Coast to Coast in 3-4 Weeks : Part 2

  1. Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats says:

    Great to read. There are many other places I would recommend along this route, but in your amount of time, I think you have hit some of the highlights. We drove Route 66 this summer and I also lived in NM for a year so love the Southwest area very much. We are actually doing a road trip next month that will include New Orleans and all the things you noted are on our list. Have fun at Graceland:)

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    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Jess – I know there is so much more around and about in those southern states and it was really hard to narrow it down as much as I have! Safe travels on your road trip next month and enjoy New Orleans. Happy Travels 🙂

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  2. Anda says:

    My family took such a road trip across the USA back in the 1990s. I think it’s the best way to get to know and experience the country. Very beautiful images! Thank you for linking up to #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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