In October the scorching heat of the summer begins to wane into crisp Autumn weather, the South West highways of America beckon to the hungry vagabond (and their family.) This sprawling trek takes a winding route across the desert range (where the deer and the antelope play) and past geological landmarks that literally tell the story of the Earth's past via Route-66. Afterwards the voyage turns North along the awe-inspiring State Route 1 of California to dazzle the driver with countless sites from the Golden State. The final leg of the expedition invites the wanderer to discover the great outdoors as you continue north into the piney redwoods and crisp Pacific air!
This hidden gem of the desert is a great way for the family to beat the heat and enjoy the beauty and magnificence that time can build just below our feet.
114 North Main Street, Roswell, NM, US
The Roswell of today is modern city with only faint nods to it's prestigious alien-related history. However, if you're a fan of conspiracies, the weird and all things extraterrestrial be sure to enjoy the most out-of-this world experience that Roswell has to offer.
4401 Alameda Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, US
Explorers of the open road should pause to enjoy a horizon literally filled with a myriad of colors and shapes as hundreds of hot-air balloons take flight.
WSMR P Route 13, Socorro, NM, US
A less visited but important landmark in this fine country's history. Those present should take a moment to reflect on the genius necessary to launch us into the atomic age and soberly remember the horror it unleashed as a result.
Old Highway 60 Socorro, Socorro, NM, US
Pictures pale to the task of capturing the immensity of these gargantuan satellite dishes dedicated to exploring the great unknown. No stop is necessary because you'll be able to see this attraction long before and long after you arrive at its destination.
1 Park Road, AZ, US
This National Park is a great way to experience the majesty of the South West's colors and climate all at once. If you can arrive late in the day you'll be treated to a sunset vista that will stay with you the rest of your days.
811 W Hopi Dr, Holbrook, AZ, US
The Wigwam Village is a great way to spend the night in one of Route 66's most iconic locals!
I 40 Exit 233, Winslow, AZ, US
While the entry fee is unfortunately a bit expensive this meteor crater does offer an extremely rare opportunity to witness first-hand the result of "alien contact" with planet Earth.
20 South Entrance Road, AZ, US
The experience of seeing the Grand Canyon can easily leave one without words to reflect the magnitude of the sight. A single review will not convince you to see this ancient wonder if you aren't already committed to the task. Suffice to say, I don't know a single soul who has walked away unimpressed.
Hoover Dam Access Rd, Boulder City, NV, US
After The Grand Canyon few things will ever seem as impressive, but the Hoover Dam holds its own. Few things in the history of America have boasted the size and productivity (both during construction and in operation) as the Hoover Dam.
2000 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV, US
This trip features a lot of nature, so spending a night on "The Strip" to recharge your urban needs and desires can be a refreshing change. While there is plenty to see and do in Las Vegas the High Roller roller-coaster atop the Stratosphere Hotel is both family-friendly and a thrilling way to take in the neon glow of this desert oasis.
72155 Blvd., Baker, CA, US
As you skirt the edge of Death Valley be sure to stop for a photo-op at one of the "World's Largest" road-side attractions.
1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA, US
Few, if any, will ever grow tired of the idyllic gardens and dozens of roses. Afterwards, you can always pop next door and ogle one of the historic Gutenberg Bibles.
3204 Canyon Lake Dr Los Angeles, CA 90068, United States, Los Angeles, CA, US
No one needs to see the Hollywood sign close-up, but who can pass up a perfect photo opportunity with this L.A. landmark in the distance!
9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA, US
Point Mugu is one of the less boasted (and as a result less crowded) beaches along your trip north. With Labor Day crowds gone, early October is still perfect weather to enjoy the Pacific surf.
4299 Carpinteria Avenue, Carpinteria, CA, US
If the stars align properly you might just be able to arrive in Carpinteria during California's greenest and tastiest celebration! Even if you miss the window of festivities you're still assured to find delicious options for any meal with avocados at prime picking in the fall.
Sycamore Canyon Rd, Big Sur, CA, US
If Point Mugu didn't fill your Pacific beach quota, of if you were left wanting more Pfeiffer Beach is sure fill those desires. Pfeiffer really is the quintessential California beach for surfing and sunbathing.
Ridge Road, one block west of the intersection of Lighthouse Avenue and 17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove, CA, US
As autumn blooms the Monarch migrations travel worldwide to return to this special sanctuary. The stunning undulations ochre wings can easily take one's breath away.
B201 Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA, US
Alcatraz has a little bit for everyone. It's a great opportunity to get out from behind the wheel for a few hours and enjoy stories of ghoulish gangsters and ghastly ghosts!
Us Highway 101, San Francisco, CA, US
As you say goodbye to southern California and head out onto State Route 1, take the bridge that is instantly identified by nearly every America from coast-to-coat. Driver beware: despite it's picturesque appearance the bridge is a toll road so be preaperd!
As the amber-crimson colors of the Western sun come to rest beyond the Pacific it is easy to appreciate the wild beauty that drove early Americans out into these untamed lands. We follow in our cars, our campers and on our motorcycles tasting but a phantom flavor of their adventures. And yet, when we hear the open road call, which of us could say no?