We missed #TravelTuesday yesterday, so today we’re considering it to be #WhereToGoWednesday! Instead of taking you through the history and architecture of the deep south, this week we’re taking you west – southwest, to be exact. America’s southwest is full of unbelievable feats of nature and cultural hotspots that you just don’t want to miss. And the best news yet? You can get there behind the wheel of your ride, whether you make the long haul across the US on I-10 or fly into a southwest city and rent a car. Toyota of Orlando has tips on spots you simply can’t miss, so let’s get started. Buckle up and head west!
Spot #1: Grand Canyon. This is an obvious choice. The Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the United States – of the world, really. It was carved by the Colorado River and spans 277 miles, and the view from the top alone is absolutely unbelievable. You’ll be able to take a helicopter tour, or hop on the back of a burro and make your way to the bottom so you can raft the river. There’s hiking, fishing, camping, a railway to ride, and spectacular sightseeing even if you never actually go down into the canyon. Decide which rim you’re going to start on – North or South – and get planning. The canyon is also surrounded by campsites and hotels so you can stretch your trip to accommodate all the sights.
Spot #2: Canyonlands. Canyonlands National Park is located in southeastern Utah, and it’s a breathtaking stretch of desert that you definitely don’t want to leave off of your list. You’ll see gravity-defying arches, rock pinnacles, remote canyons, and even Native American rock paintings. Plus, the Colorado River runs through this region, offering you rafting opportunities on top of the hiking, camping, biking, and ATVing already up for grabs. You should also check out Island in the Sky, a huge, flat mesa with panoramic views.
Spot #3: White Sands. White Sands National Monument is located in New Mexico, not far from the US/Mexico border. It’s 275 square miles of desert that’s buried in dunes of gypsum, and the wave-like striations are unbelievable. There’s a ton to do in the park, including camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and even sledding the dunes themselves. Plus, nearby towns offer accomodations for eating and sleeping.
Spot #4: Carlsbad Caverns. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is also located in New Mexico in the Chihuahuan Desert. It not only showcases over 100 incredible caverns, but also features breath-taking drives and a desert wetland called Rattlesnake Springs. Don’t miss the amazing stalagmites and stalactites in the cavern, and bring your hiking shoes. There are multiple trails you can explore, in addition to all the caverns you’ll want to check out.
Spot #5: Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree National Park is located in southern California and is renowned for its desert landscapes, rock formations, and Joshua trees. There’s hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, and rock climbing, as well as some seriously amazing skyscapes to check out at night (stargazing is a suggested activity).
Safe travels and don’t forget your camera!