The Southwest United States has long been a great place to take a road trip. This part of the country features numerous attractions, contrasting landscapes and many other highlights that are worth exploring. If you take the necessary means to keep your car in good shape, you should be able to tour the Southwest without any problem.
The Southwest is made up of incredible landscapes that have been shaped by the hands of nature. The iconic Grand Canyon in Arizona is an ideal place to go rafting along the Colorado River or take a ride on a mule across the rugged terrain. You can also drive through the vast Mojave Desert and explore areas like Death Valley and the Red Rock National Conservation Area. California’s Mount Whitney and Colorado’s Mount Elbert are ideal for hiking and climbing. Driving through the New Mexico portion of the Chihuahuan Desert will give you the chance to see a variety of plant and animal life that can commonly be found in a desert climate.
California borders the Pacific Ocean and is home to some of the country’s most iconic beaches. If you take a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway near Los Angeles, you will pass by picturesque waterfront communities in Malibu and Laguna Beach. Farther north in California you will find the beautiful beaches that make Carmel and Monterey desirable places to visit. Other beaches that are worth visiting include Pismo Beach, Morro Bay and Point Sierra Nevada Dunes Beach.
Many of the major freeways in the Southwest connect to major cities that can add even more fun to your road trip. San Francisco is an art and cultural mecca and continuously attracts visitors from around the world. Glamorous movies stars and iconic landmarks are what make Los Angeles special. Las Vegas is home to immaculate casinos and some of the world’s greatest entertainers. If you plan on driving through Arizona, you can stop in Phoenix or Tucson to experience the finest aspects of metropolitan life while being surrounded by desert.
Intriguing Ghost Towns
Some of the Southwest’s ghost towns are accessible by car and offer a glimpse into history. The town of Kelso, which is located near California’s Kelso Dunes, features an old depot that is open to the public. Berlin, Nevada, has stood since the end of the 19th century and was once a mining town. While technically not a ghost town, Tombstone in Arizona is sparsely populated and includes a downtown district that resembles something out of the Old West. If you plan to drive to any of these towns, you will want to keep your car in good shape to avoid breaking down in a remote area.
Fun Parks Galore
The Southwest boasts a variety of amusement parks that provide a day of fun for the whole family. Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios can all be found in Southern California and feature thrill rides and kid-friendly attractions. Castles-n-Coasters in Arizona includes a looping roller coaster, miniature golf course and go-kart track. You can also find plenty of fun at Lakeside Amusement Park in Colorado or the Circus Circus Adventuredome in Nevada.
Taking a road trip in the Southwest United States is one of the best ways to go sightseeing on the open road. If your vehicle is well-maintained, you will have a better chance of exploring the Southwest without running into any problems.