Places We Missed During Our Grand Landscapes Road Trip
Our grand landscapes road trip spanned from the Pacific Coast state of California through the deserts of Nevada and Arizona in the West and the Southwest, respectively. It’s an area of the United States that’s so vast that it’s difficult to see everything on one trip. During our nine-day drive, it felt like we barely scratched the dusty, dramatic surface. Here are some of the places we didn’t see, but hope to someday.
Hotel Del Coronado – San Diego, California
The Hotel del Coronado, or “the Del” as it’s often known, has been around since 1888. Its iconic red roof and sprawling grounds have drawn everyone from families to celebrities, including L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
La Jolla Cove – La Jolla, California
If this were just a beautiful beach, it would probably be enough. But La Jolla Cove has an added attraction: a colony of sea lions. We’ll get up close — but not too close — and watch them lounge on the sand next time.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – Palm Springs, California
It’s a 10-minute ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway from the Valley Station to the almost 2,600-meter-high Mountain Station. At the top, there’s more to do than just check out the desert views. You can enjoy the views while eating at the Peaks Restaurant or having a cocktail at the Lookout Lounge.
The Mob Museum – Las Vegas, Nevada
Mobsters like Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and Tony “The Ant” Spilotro are as much a part of the story of Las Vegas as neon lights and gambling. The Mob Museum highlights the colorful characters of organized crime, and law enforcement’s efforts to counter their influence in “Sin City.”
Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, Nevada
Who doesn’t want to drive incredibly fast — legally, that is? At the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, we’re eager to take part in the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Visitors can drive their own 600-horsepower NASCAR race car or ride with a professional driver and reach speeds of up to 265 kph.
Valley of Fire State Park – Near Las Vegas, Nevada
Red sandstone formations give Valley of Fire State Park its name. Located about 90 kilometers northeast of the famous Las Vegas Strip, Valley of Fire offers a variety of hikes that reveal the landscape — and the animals and ancient petroglyphs within it.
Grand Canyon Skywalk – Grand Canyon West, Arizona
Imagine standing more than 1,200 meters above the floor of the Grand Canyon and looking straight down. That’s what you can do at the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Located on the far western edge of the canyon, on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the glass horseshoe-shaped bridge provides a one-of-a-kind view of the epic natural wonder.
Hike to Havasupai Canyon – Grand Canyon, Arizona
It takes awhile to hike the 16 kilometers from the Hualapai Hilltop to the campground along Havasu Creek, on the land of the Havasupai Tribe. It also takes a lot of energy. But we think it’d be worth it to see the blue-green waterfalls, and to experience the canyon from another unique perspective.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument – Flagstaff, Arizona
About 900 years ago a volcano erupted, destroying almost all of the life in the vicinity. The flora, fauna and wildlife has returned since then. We’d love to walk the trails in the shadow of the Sunset Crater Volcano to see how the landscape has adapted and thrived.
See the Pacific Northwest on another epic road trip.
Experience more of what Grand Canyon National Park has to offer.