We enjoy packing up the car and heading on a road trip to see places near to where we live. With travel restrictions the way they are right now, it is pretty much our only option, so we will make the best of it. Road trips can be a lot of fun and sometimes it is as much about the journey as it is the destination. For this particular trip, we are heading to the southwest portion of the state and staying a few days in Telluride. As we pack our bags for the first time in several months, we decided to look back at some of our favorite road trips that we’ve taken in recent years.
- Historic Santa Fe, New Mexico – If you want to visit a place that has a thriving art scene, some of the best food in the country, and a relaxing atmosphere, then Santa Fe, New Mexico, might just be the place for you. It isn’t all just art and food, though, there is plenty of history as well with both the oldest church in the United States as well as the oldest, continuously occupied public building in the United States. There is also a house that claims to be the oldest in the United States, but if nothing else, it one of the oldest houses depending upon the information that we have seen.
- 2. Arches National Park and Moab, Utah – Located just outside of Moab in Utah is the stunningly beautiful Arches National Park. The geology of the park is quite amazing with many different multicolored bluffs, free standing rock formations, and of course natural arches. The name of Arches National Park is certainly well deserved as there are over 2,000 stone arches located within the park, but the other formations are equally impressive. Although it is possible to simply drive through the park and stop at the many pull-offs and parking areas to see some of the amazing sights, but if you get a chance to hike some of the many trails, it will give you an even better sense of the park.
- 3. Beaver Creek, Colorado – Beaver Creek is a resort town located in the Colorado high country that is a perfect place to visit regardless of the time of year. During the winter, it has wonderful skiing and snow boarding as well as an ice-skating rink in the center of the village. In summer, you can find golf, biking, and hiking for those who enjoy outdoor activities. We have been to Beaver Creek several times and have never had a bad experience. It can be a little bit more expensive than some other resort towns in Colorado, but for the extra cost you get the benefit of reduced crowds.
- 4. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota – One of the most iconic places to visit within the United States is Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. With the enormous carvings of the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, it is quite an amazing site to see in person. In addition to Mount Rushmore, there is also Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and Wind Cave National Park. Since we drove from Colorado through Wyoming on our way to South Dakota, we also included a trip to Little Bighorn, the site of Custer’s last stand.
- 5. Scottsdale, Arizona – Located on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, Scottsdale is a resort and retirement community that is a relaxing place to visit. In some ways, it reminds us of Hilton Head, South Carolina, only it doesn’t have the beaches. What it does have is a lot of excellent golf courses, upscale resorts, and restaurants galore. Summertime is actually their off-season due to the intense heat and the possibilities of a haboob, which is dust storm that can blanket the entire area with a wall of sand.
- 6. Carlsbad and Roswell New Mexico – Several years ago, we had taken a road trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and when taking long trips by car, we will often stop at places of interest along the way. On this particular trip our journey took us past Fort Sumner New Mexico, which is the location of the tombstone for the infamous Billy the Kid, as well as Roswell New Mexico, the site of a supposed UFO crash that the government is covering up. We knew that we wanted to stop at Roswell, but stopping at Billy the Kid’s tombstone was a spur of the moment decision when we saw signs on the road for the attraction. While visiting the caverns was definitely the purpose of the trip, those added stops made the entire trip that much more interesting.
- 7. Breckenridge, Colorado – Breckenridge is a resort town in the Colorado mountains that is quite popular for skiing during the winter and hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities in the summer. With so many things to do in Breckenridge, it is a great place to spend at least several days, if not an entire week. Not only are there plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, but the town also has many wonderful restaurants as well as stores offering collectables, clothing, and art. Most everything can be found right off of main street, which is surrounded by a variety of condominiums, rental homes, and hotels.