Cross Country Road Trip – California to Georgia

road trip

After selling most of what we owned we packed up everything that was left into our truck and hit the road! We absolutely love San Diego but are excited to take some time off from the 9 to 5 to travel full time. We much prefer planes to driving but we decided to spread it out over 10 days to do a cross country road trip the right way.

Day 1: San Diego to the Grand Canyon and then up to Page, Arizona

We didn’t plan accordingly for the time change and sunset time so we left San Diego around 5am and headed for the Grand Canyon. We were planning on having one last delicious acai bowl from The Mad Beet but unfortunately we did not have time. We stopped on Route 66 for a bit to really get the USA road trip feel. It was pretty touristy and has definitely seen better days, but it was a fun stop nonetheless. I downloaded an app, Roadside America, which shows you where cheesy stops are located along the way, but there were in-app purchases to see every state’s attractions so I only downloaded the SouthWest. For a cheesy Americana feel, be sure to stop at The Roadkill Cafe. We didn’t eat here but bought some funny gifts at the gift shop.

roadkill cafe a classic cross country road trip stop

Read about our amazing Grand Canyon experience here.

After visiting the Grand Canyon we drove 2 brutal hours to Page, Arizona so we could get an early start the next day. We stayed at the Best Western Plus at Lake Powell which was nice and included free breakfast.

south rim grand canyon

Day 2: Page, Arizona to Zion National Park in Utah

We woke up early in Page to head to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend before departing to Zion. Northern Arizona is gorgeous! The canyon colors are unreal.

Read about our awesome tour of Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend here.

Day 3: Spent the day at Zion National Park

Zion National Park is hands down the prettiest place we’ve ever been. We hiked all day and camped under the stars at our adorable campsite.

Read more about our incredible Zion trip here.

Zion during a Cross Country Road Trip

Day 4: Zion to Denver with a pit stop at Bryce Canyon National Park

After an incredible two days in Zion we were still in the hiking mood so we stopped by Bryce Canyon. We didn’t have much time so we did the Navajo Loop Trail. This is the best way to see the most of Bryce with the least amount of time. The rock formations are super cool and we got to see them in all three stages of erosion.

bryce canyon Cross Country Road Trip

bryce canyon

We spent about 2 hours at Bryce Canyon before heading to Denver (another brutal drive) to stay with our friend, Ryan. Somewhere in the middle of Utah we got stuck in a cattle traffic jam! You cant make this stuff up.

cattle during cross country road trip

Day 5: Spent the day in Denver

We watched some Georgia football at Park Burger Rino and went to a Halloween party. We also stopped by 10 Barrel Brewing for a tasting and had some cocktails at the funky Millers and Rossi art bar. This one reminded us of Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

UGA bar in Denver

 

Day 6: Denver to Lincoln, Nebraska with a pit stop in Fort Collins

We stopped in Fort Collins to visit Grant’s Aunt Nikki and Uncle Al and then we headed to Lincoln (not too bad of a drive, despite horrible food options) to stay with our friend, Alexis.

Day 7: Spent the day in Lincoln

We shopped and ate our way through Lincoln. Believe it or not, Lincoln knows Indian food! The Oven is a must eat and after dinner head over to The Other Room, a speakeasy with delicious cocktails and a cozy living room feel.

Day 8: Lincoln to St. Louis with a pit stop in Kansas City, Kansas

We had to stop in Kansas City for delicious BBQ at the highly awarded Joe’s Kansas City BBQ. It is literally in a gas station but oh so good. Anthony Bourdain recommended and Davises approved. Seriously the best ribs ever (and we have tried a lot!) We quickly figured out that Kansas City is one city split between Kansas and Missouri, who knew!?

Joe's KC BBQ

Joe's Kansas City BBQ awards

We also passed through Iowa and Illinois on our way. On Halloween night we were in St. Louis and had some surprisingly good food. We loved Taste, a romantic spot for tapas and cocktails.

Day 9: St. Louis to Nashville

This one was an easy drive. We went through Kentucky which was so beautiful with the fall leaves changing. Then we headed to Nashville for music, food, and to stay with our friend Jeff.

Read about all of Nashville’s amazing food here.

Day 10: Nashville to Hiram, Georgia

Before departing Nashville we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame  which had an amazing Loretta Lynn exhibit (my country music idol) and then headed the 4 short hours to our final destination of the cross country road trip, Hiram, which is my hometown.

We’ll be spending November with friends and family in Georgia and Florida before embarking on our big adventure!

3000 miles of fun,
-Ray

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