From the Pacific to the Atlantic, if you're crossing the country through the southern part of the US, you'll probably spend some time on Interstate 10. Good thing, too, since I-10 takes you through some pretty awesome landscapes-- the deserts of Southern California, Texas's Hill Country, and the Florida Panhandle are all highlighted along the way. Whether you're just hopping on for a little bit, or you're seeing this bad boy all the way through, there's tons to see and do just off the route.
Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
17000 IH-10 W, San Antonio, TX, US
Just outside San Antonio, you'll find Six Flags Fiesta Texas, a massively popular theme park with tons of thrills. With rollercoasters like Superman: Krypton Coaster, Pandemonium and Goliath to drop towers, log flume rides, bumper cars, and tons more, everyone is sure to find something. Even those afraid of rollercoasters can enjoy food, beer, and a live show!
I-10 passes through the city of San Antonio, and it's worth it to take a day or so to explore this Lone Star City. Home to The Alamo, the Tower of the Americas, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, The Institute of Texan Cultures, the San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium, tons of museums, incredible Mexican food, and more, it's a prime example of Texas at its finest!
Oh, and stay the night at the Menger Hotel, the Hotel Havana the Omni La Mansion del Rio, or one of the other great hotels in San Antonio!
Commerce St, San Antonio, TX, US
One of the coolest parts of San Antonio is the city's River Walk. Lining the banks of the San Antonio River, you'll find restaurants, shops, museums, bars, parks, and tons more. Tour the river from a boat, or spend an evening strolling along the River Walk taking in the views. Stop by The Esquire Tavern for a drink, Luke Restaurant for modern Cajun-inspired cuisine, Little Rhine Steakhouse for old-school eats, and the Pearl Brewery to explore even more shops and restaurants.
300 Alamo Plz, San Antonio, TX, US
The Mission San Antonio de Valero, better known as The Alamo, is a fort where Spanish missionaries and Native Americans lived. It's most famous for being the site where a band of Texans held out against the army of General Santa Anna. Even though the Alamo fell, "Remember the Alamo" became a rallying cry for the Texan Army, who eventually won independence. Today, The Alamo is a look into the past, and is an interest spot to visit.
830 North Saint Mary's, San Antonio, TX, US
If you need a place to spend the night in San Antonio, check out the Hotel Havana. It's a sleek boutique hotel right on the River Walk, and you won't find a cozier place to stay while exploring the city. Located in a 1914-era building within walking distance of most of San Antonio's most popular spots, it's got an airy, old-school vibe and a great onsite restaurant.
215 N Main St, Lockhart, TX, US
If you somehow still have an appetite after chowing down at Granzin, head to Lockhart to sample the food at Black's Barbecue. The atmosphere is super authentic; it's been around since 1932, making it one of the oldest BBQ joints in Texas. The beef ribs, brisket, homemade sausage, and chicken are especially delicious, and make sure to save room for sides and banana pudding. Bonus: you can buy bottles of their signature sauces so you can bring home a taste of Texas!
5415 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX, US
The sleek, modern Aloft hotel in Houston stands in stark contrast to the normal, rustic/country aesthetic you see all across Texas, which is kind of nice. Cozy, minimalist rooms, a chic cocktail bar, free wifi, and an awesome pool add to the experience!
Welcome to Houston, y'all! The city is a cultural hub for the state, and features tons to see and do. From the hugely popular Space Center Houston to the National Museum of Funeral History, it's got attractions that range from classic to quirky. And, if you're really looking to get an authentic Texas experience, head to the Houston Rodeo!
2101 Nasa Pkwy, Houston, TX, US
One of Houston's most popular attractions is the totally rad Space Center Houston. This is the official visitor center for Johnson Space Center, the home of "Mission Control" for numerous historic spaceflight programs like the Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle missions. It's also where astronauts train for missions to space, and where loads of important research happens. Space Center Houston is loaded with artifacts (like moon rocks and spacesuits), educational exhibits, tours, and an epic gift shop.
3409 Niblett Bluff Rd., Vinton, LA, US
Eventually, I-10 will take you out of Texas and into Louisiana. Get a taste for the state's bayou landscape and history at Nibletts Bluff Park, where you'll find camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing, as well as the remains of a Civil War fort, a railroad tram, and a 1910 church. It's totally free to visit, so it's a great place to hop out of the car and stretch your legs.
809 Kirby St, Lake Charles, LA, US
Louisiana is best known for the wild Mardi Gras celebrations that New Orleans hosts each year. The festivities, which include numerous parades, intricate costumes, and plenty of food and drink, attract tons of people each spring. In nearby Lake Charles, the Mardi Gras Museum is a great place to learn about this colorful tradition, no matter the time of year. Video footage, costumes, historical background information, and even a parade float that you can climb on give visitors a good sense of what Mardi Gras in New Orleans is like!
200 Greenleaf Dr, Lafayette, LA, US
After that, go back in time at Lafayette's Acadian Village. It's a collection of old and restored buildings built in the traditional Acadian style used by the descendants of French colonists. Most of the 19th century buildings are totally authentic, made with hand-cut cypress boards, mud walls, wood pegs, and tall, peaked roofs. It's a gorgeous little place for a peaceful stroll and a glance back in history.
214 E Vermilion St, Lafayette, LA, US
If you're starting to tire of the burger-laden menus of most road food joints, make a stop at The French Press. They do a classy, French/Southern-inspired breakfast and lunch on Tuesday through Sunday, and chic dinners on Friday and Saturday nights. Think, Cajun Eggs Benedict, cream cheese and banana-stuffed French toast, and biscuit sliders stuffed with brie and bacon.
1151 Rookery Rd, Breaux Bridge, LA, US
Driving through the swampy wetlands of Louisiana is an experience, but actually getting to explore out on the water is another thing entirely! On the two hour adventure at Champagnes Swamp Tour, you'll get to see all kinds of wildlife and learn about the unique ecosystem of the swamp, right in the heart of it all. It doesn't get any more Cajun than that!
305 River Rd S, Baton Rouge, LA, US
Step back in time on the USS Kidd, a ship that served in WWII and in the Korean War. The Fletcher-class destroyer is docked in downtown Baton Rouge, and is open as a floating museum, so you can walk the decks and see objects from the battles in which she served. Take in the views of the Mississippi from the ship, and reflect on those who lost their lives serving our country at the Memorial.
3357 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA, US
Sometimes you just need a casual, laid back place to spend the evening. Hang with LSU students while enjoying a beer, some oysters, and great live music at The Chimes in Baton Rouge.
There are some great hotels in Baton Rouge, too. The Hotel Indigo is super chic and cool!
1106 South Holly Street, Hammond, LA, US
Take a page from Scarlett O'Hara's book (you are in the South, after all) and book a room in the charming Greek Revival mansion-turned-hotel at the Historic Michabelle Inn. There are eight unique rooms in the main home, and suites in Creole cottages on the property as well, for those who want extra privacy. Expect a healthy dose of Southern hospitality to go with the antebellum setting!
22275 Hwy 36, Abita Springs, LA, US
One place you must stop off and visit along I-10 is the Abita Mystery House. This famously offbeat attraction has collections of antique oddities, folk art awesomeness, and loads more. This look inside the mind of an outsider art genius will likely be the best $3 you'll spend on the trip.
I-10 West Bound, Pearlington, MS, US
Right off the interstate you'll find a little Lunar Lander Exhibit. It features a 30-foot replica of the Apollo 13 lunar lander, a space boot print left by Apollo 13 astronaut and Mississippi native Fred Haise, and a little rest stop. It's a quick photo op and chance to stretch your legs!
From the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Ocean, a trip along the entirety of I-10 means crossing through America's deserts, hill country, swamplands, small towns, and big cities. One simple interstate can show you all different sides to America: landscapes, cultures, cuisines and attractions that are all distinct, yet distinctly American!