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.
The I-10 road starts on the West Coast in Los Angeles. The sprawling City of Angels has so much to see and do that you could easily spend weeks exploring. Whether you want to go star-spotting in Hollywood, hope to find amazing tacos, or just want to relax on a sunny, palm tree-lined beach, spend at least a few hours knocking some classic LA activities off your bucket list.
1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA, US
The notoriously strange Venice Beach Boardwalk is the perfect place to do some people watching. Spot surfers riding waves by the pier, weight-lifters pumping iron at Muscle Beach, and all kinds of interesting folks at the Venice Beach Freak Show. The carnival-like atmosphere also features kitschy shops, sandy beachfront, and plenty of food. Rent some rollerblades and soak it all in!
Cali, Anaheim, CA, US
If you've got a day to kill, then make your way to America's most iconic theme park: Disneyland! Poke around Sleeping Beauty's Castle at the Main Street USA, ride Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, and head to Fantasyland once the sun sets... it features the most fiber optic lights of all the park's "lands". Plan what rides and attractions you really want to see in advance and mark them out on a map to make the most of a one-day visit, especially if you're visiting with kids!
3948 Mission Inn Ave, Riverside, CA, US
On your way out of Los Angeles on I-10, make a quick detour to grab a bite to eat at Tio's Tacos, a folk art shrine with Mexican flair/a delicious Mexican restaurant-- they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you can satisfy your craving for Mexican whenever!
50770 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA, US
The Cabazon Dinosaurs are an iconic roadside attraction! The apatosaurus is named Ms. Dinny and the T. Rex is named Mr. Rex. Originally built to attract attention to a now-defunct restaurant, the massive dinos, which you can actually go inside, currently house exhibits on young Earth Creationism. You don't have to pay to go inside, though: simply snap pictures of the creatures from the outside! Oh, and if they look familiar, it might be because they were prominently featured in the classic movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure"!
1800 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA, US
Once you're out of the LA area, you'll find yourself near the quirky town of Palm Springs: book a stay at one of the stylish hotels in town, like retro-kitsch chic resort The Saguaro. The colorful rooms, chic bar, luxurious spa treatments, and outstanding pool make this a decadent (and fun) getaway!
74485 National Park Dr, Twentynine Palms, CA, US
Stretch your legs after cruising I-10 with a hike at Joshua Tree National Park. It's named for its trees (which are actually not really trees, but a funky-looking species of yucca), but the park has got some rad geological stuff going on too. Hike out to Skull Rock for some rad climbing and boulder scrambling, and if you brought a tent, you can even set up camp here: there are also nine (count 'em-- nine!) campgrounds inside the park. We suggest Black Rock Campground, Indian Cove, or Cottonwood Spring, since those are the only three with running water.
15 W Pasadena Ave, Phoenix, AZ, US
After California, I-10 will take you into Arizona. If you need a place to pull off the Interstate and rest for the night, Maricopa Manor Bed and Breakfast is a gorgeous little gem. The six rooms all have different themes and loads of amenities, ranging from whirlpool tubs and fireplaces to balconies and stained-glass windows. Plus, the pool has an epic waterfall in it, and breakfast is delivered to your room in the morning!
3538 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ, US
Road trips and burgers go hand-in-hand, but the grub you'll find at The Stand in Phoenix is definitely not your average fast food fare. The patties are made fresh daily and topped with crisp, locally-grown veggies and other tasty accoutrements. Pro tip: their hand-spun milkshakes are to die for. Get the chocolate-chile if you're feeling adventurous.
And if you need a hotel in Phoenix the Clarendon Hotel, the Zenyard Guesthouse and the Saguaro in Scottsdale are among the many excellent accommodation options.
2700 N Kinney Rd, Tucson, AZ, US
The great thing about I-10 is that it passes through tons of natural beauty. Detour off and take a scenic cruise through Saguaro National Park. Saguaros are actually pretty fascinating as far as plants go. They can live for over 100 years and grow to be 20 feet tall, and they're pretty rare, only native to certain parts of Mexico, California and Arizona.
There are some nice hotels in Tucson as well: the Cactus Cove B&B, the Big Blue House Inn and the Catalina Park Inn B&B are a couple worth checking out.
6000 E Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ, US
The Pima Air and Space Museum is special not only because it's one of the largest air and space museums in the country, housing more than 300 historically significant aircraft, but also because they have a deal with the nearby AMARG, also known as the world's largest airplane boneyard. Call ahead and book tickets on a bus tour that will take you past more than 4,000 decommissioned planes!
1580 W Duval Mine Rd, Sahuarita, AZ, US
You'll also pass by the epic Titan Missile Museum. The only remaining Titan II ICBM (there were once 54 across the country), this is the only place where you can get up-close and personal with a missile that could launch a 9-megaton nuclear warhead. If that's not totally epic, then I don't know what is!
417 E Allen St, Tombstone, AZ, US
A quick detour off I-10 will take you to the kitschy historical town of Tombstone, where the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place. Stop by Big Nose Kate's to grab a bite to eat or a drink in a historic Wild West saloon.
2631 N Johnson Rd, Benson, AZ, US
Also make a stop by The Thing, an old-school roadside stop that calls to mind the quirky attractions of years gone by-- right down to the billboards lining the Interstate, asking "WHAT IS 'THE THING'?" Sure, it's a little cheesy, but it's only $2 to enter and have your mind blown by... whatever it is.
327 Hwy 61, Faywood, NM, US
Then, the interstate will take you through a short portion of New Mexico. You won't be here long, but you can stop by the gorgeous desert landscapes of City of Rocks State Park. Rocks and boulders, shaped by the forces of nature into hoodoos and pinnacles, reach nearly 40 feet tall, and make for a striking landscape to hike through.
618 S Alameda Blvd, Las Cruces, NM, US
Spend the night soaking up some New Mexico culture at the Lundeens Inn of The Arts; each room in this B&B (located in a historic, 100-year-old building) is named for an artist and decorated with Southwestern flair.
Dripping Springs Road,, Las Cruces, NM, US
New Mexico is also home to Dripping Springs Natural Area. Here, you'll find piñon and juniper lining the easy, well-marked trails, which offer the chance to see all kinds of desert wildlife, like golden eagles, mule deer, hawks, quail, lizards, and even mountain lions.
Wsmr P Rt 1, White Sands, NM, US
Located on the grounds of the White Sands Missile Range military installation (one of the largest in the country), the White Sands Missile Range Museum is full of information about the United States’s nuclear program, our space adventures, and our development of rocket technology.
The museum is nice, but the Missile Park is where you’ll snap your photos… The park has roughly 60 different rockets all used by the US in combat between WWII and the Gulf War. They’ve got a Loon (the US version of the V-1), a Pershing II, a Patriot, and heck, even a V-2.
6900 Hueco Tanks Road #1, El Paso, TX, US
The rocky hills at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site make for some world-class climbing, but even if you aren't a rock-climbing pro, you can still appreciate this uniquely Texas park. It's known for its pools of water found in the granite formations: they can be home to toads, shrimp, and all kinds of other interesting wildlife!
And, since you're in the area, consider finding a hotel in EL Paso. Camino Real is a cool historic landmark.
11381 Montwood Dr, El Paso, TX, US
A full third of the I-10 route is located through Texas: the road crosses the Lone Star State at its widest part. Grab some cheap, quick grub at local favorite Chico's Tacos as you swing through El Paso. Expect to find deep-fried taco deliciousness smothered in tomato sauce and topped with a healthy dose of shredded cheese: it's nothing fancy, but it hits the spot.
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!