If you don’t know me personally, you may not know that I am part of a family that is not scared of getting up and going on a great roadtrip. I have been on several with my moma and sisters starting all the way back when I was in middle school. Well technically, my first roadtrip was cross country when I was one with our move from New Jersey to South Georgia (and the subsequent treks back and forth to visit family) but I truly don’t count those as a roadtrip because we never really stopped along the way unless to eat.
My first true roadtrip was a small foray into what became a summer tradition for us until I was a senior in high school. We took a tour of the state of Tennessee and most of the major cities! Graceland in Memphis, Chattanooga, and even Nashville’s music row. Over the years, I have been so lucky to have visited 41 states with my moma and sisters and I have gotten to see some of America’s greatest offerings: Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory, the Dr. Pepper Museum, and yes, even the Tabasco hot sauce factory in Louisiana. Look at the many hair colors and cuts of my life.
Although I have since graduated college and become a responsible adult with a job (imagine the grumpiest grumpy cat face), I got to go on a Great American Roadtrip with my moma from South Georgia all the way to the Grand Canyon. Surprisingly, in all of my travels, I have never been to the large hole in the ground. But I will be honest, I was NOT excited at all! I felt it was so cliche of a trip but my moma really wanted to go and me being the youngest and the single daughter, we set off.
Southern States - GAR
Markers - GAR
Starting in South Georgia, we drove through all of the Southern US states with multiples stops along the way. One of my only requests for this trip was Oak Alley Plantation just outside of New Orleans. Despite going to the area a couple of times over the years, I never had a chance to visit this large plantation house. I have seen it plastered everywhere in advertising for tourism in Louisiana and I finally got to see those famous alley of oaks. Everything was just so green and blooming. It was also interesting to me a history major in college to visit and see how they presented the history of the house.
A few other stops along the way that should be noted for anyone wanting to make your way across the Southern States (and survive the ridiculous amount of distance that is known as Texas):
- Look out for local local events. Just past the Grammercy Bridge near Oak Alley we found a cool Creole Farmer’s Market and got some amazing Jambalaya!
- Be spontaneous and stop and view the crazy amount of late spring wildflowers in Texas! (below)
- The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo is definitely a favorite of mine – I have been twice!
- Don’t forget about Route 66! There is the infamous “Standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona” stop as well as the insanely kitschy WigWam TeePee Motel! This was one of my most favorite spots to stay in the whole US just because it was so FUN!
- Red Rock State Park in Sedona, AZ is full of these, well, giant red rock formations! The color reminded me so much of the South Georgia clay I am used to back home.
- Check out the weirdest farm I have ever visited – a pistachio farm in Alamogordo, NM! The way they grow on trees and what they look like, never would have guessed it! We loved our visit to the Heart of the Desert Pistachios & Wine.
- While in NM, you must visit the insanely large cacti that is all around. I mean, if they don’t have grass at least they have cool cacti!
- White Sands National Monument nearby in Alamogordo, NM is an instagrammer’s paradise. Just saying! Check out the photos in the gallery below!
The Grand Canyon – the ultimate family great American roadtrip destination was so much more than the perceived hole in the ground. It sincerely blew my mind! These are only just some of the stops we had along the way for this particular trip. There is SO MUCH more to do in between South Georgia and Arizona.
Have you been on a great American roadtrip to anywhere cool in the US? Leave a comment below!
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