Any road trip escapade calls for equal amounts of preparation and flying off the script. If you’re planning for an adventure of your own, consider pulling from our favorite stops along the American South West that include some hidden treasures and tourist hot spots both, with plenty of room to get lost along the way.
Check out renting an Adobe style Airbnb in town to set the vibe of your trip. Tumerico has excellent plant-based dishes to keep you nourished through the summer heat. Warning: their daily specials might have you coming back for more.
Stop by the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun and immerse yourself in the impressionist paint strokes of local artist, the late Ettore "Ted" DeGrazia, whose appreciation of native cultures in the Sonoran Desert continues to bring in thousands of yearly visitors.
Gawk at the towering human-like cacti in Saguaro National Park. Triple-digit temperatures are very real, so bring a ton of water and some wide brim face protection. If you're lucky, you might stumble upon an artifact left from the Hohokam people.
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Go with the lesser-traveled T or C, grab yourself a room with an adjacent mineral hot spring pool, and do some geothermic grounding whilst star gazing. It shouldn't be hard to find a place that suits your vibe, the entire city is built on a gigantic aquifer.
A gander out to White Sands National Monument is where you’ll find moon-like gypsum dunes and get lost in a sea of white. You can fuel up in Las Cruces and grab a bite at the High Desert Brewing Co. (amazing veggie burger options) and ask Susie for tips on where to find the spiciest New Mexico chiles.
In Marfa, transport yourself to the twilight zone of the south.
See for yourself if the famed Marfa lights reveal themselves to you and fall into night-long debate with tourists and locals passionate about the 8th-dimensional beings—or distant headlights in front of you.
You can't leave the city without visiting the Chinati Foundation, a former prisoner of war camp for captured German soldiers in WWII. There you’ll find minimalist concrete installations displayed throughout a barren field and large scale colorized fluorescent light installations to warp your sense of space.
Break up your day by grabbing a crunchy, savory falafel masterpiece at the Food Shark, Marfa’s food truck/trailer park wonderland.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Stroll into the French Quarter or drop by Voodoo Authentica to set an intention for your stay. Keep a mindful eye about you, but don't hesitate to engage with folks here who’ll be eager to tell you all about the unique food and culture within these historic alleys. Try flame-grilled oysters at the divey, Corner Oyster House before taking a stroll through National Historic Landmark, Jackson Square. Remind yourself of the course of history—and its repetitions if we are not vigilant, at Nola’s award-winning WWII museum.
When the sun begins to set, sneak away to a romantic gas lamp-lit meal set at hidden enclave, Green Goddess, before hopping a ride to Frenchmen Street for some vibrant Louisiana blues.
Feel lucky for this life on the road!
Skyler Greene is based in California but finds inspiration on the road. When he's not traveling, you can find him making art, producing media and telling stories.