Road Trip Itinerary From the Southeast to the West

January 2, 2018
Grand Canyon Desert View

I absolutely love a good road trip!  When I start to plan a trip I usually know the destination and the date I want to be there and I build the trip on both ends of that.  For this trip I was pretty flexible with time but I knew I needed about two weeks and I knew I wanted to be in Las Vegas on July 4th so I worked from there.

You can easily modify this trip but it is a good starting point for customization.

Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona

Day 1 – Atlanta to Houston – 811 miles

Usually my road trips have a long first day to at least get out of the Southeast and somewhat close to what we want to do.  This drive was about 12 hours but we did stop in Louisiana to visit Duck Commander.   It is a good stopping point and right off the interstate.  We spent the night with friends to I don’t have a hotel suggestion here.  Houston has lots of great choices so finding a quality hotel shouldn’t be a problem.

Visiting Duck Commander

Day 2 – Houston to El Paso – 745 miles

We stopped for lunch and also to go to Buc-ees so we went a little out of the direct route.  We wanted to see the worlds largest gas station so it was worth it.  Plus the Texas hill country was beautiful to drive through.  My caution for this route is as the day passed it got very distant between exits.  I’m talking about hundreds of miles between services. Be prepared if you are traveling.  It was about 110 degrees so have lots of water and food in case you break down.  Also, when you see a gas station get gas for sure.  Also, the sun was going down as we approached El Paso so I would advise leaving early to allow yourself some time.  We stayed at a very nice Hilton Garden Inn that was very reasonably priced and in a good location.  There were a few burger restaurants very nearby for dinner.

Buc-ee's Travel Center

Day 3 – El Paso to Tucson – 315 miles

This day was much easier driving although there wasn’t much scenery.  Tucson is a great city to visit with plenty to do.  We stayed with my dad so I don’t have a hotel suggestion either.  Although, I’ve stayed at the El Conquistador in the past and it’s divine.  We arrived early afternoon so it was nice to hang out and not be in the car!

Seven Magic Mountains

Day 4 – Tucson to Las Vegas – 413 miles

The drive from Tucson to Las Vegas is one of my favorites.  It takes about six hours but the scenery is beautiful so I don’t think you will get bored.  I’ve done this drive about 6 times and I still love it.  You will pass Lake Mead and Hoover Dam so you can build those into your itinerary.  We have done those previously so we went right to Las Vegas.  We stayed at the Mandalay Bay.  We tend to stay there on most of our trips to Las Vegas.  The pool is beautiful and so are the rooms.

High Roller Observation Wheel - Las Vegas


Day 5 – Las Vegas

Mandalay Bay Hotel

Day 6 – Las Vegas back to Tucson

This is part of the trip that most people will change.  We went back to Tucson to spend some time at my Dad’s house.  However, this is part of the trip where you could extend your stay in Las Vegas or even head a little more west to California. Or as you can see below we head to northern Arizona after Tucson.  You could adjust the trip to spend more nights in Northern Arizona.  I would suggest a night in Sedona!

Day 7 and 8 – Tucson

Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona

Day 9 – Tucson to Flagstaff – 260 miles

Again, this drive is absolutely stunning.  I really think you will love it.  We have toured Phoenix previously so we drove through Phoenix and headed to the really pretty spots.  We took the scenic routes thru Sedona and again took the scenic routes to Flagstaff.  Do yourself a favor and do the scenic routes versus the freeways.  That is where the magic is.  I can’t put in words how pretty the drive is.  We stayed at the very nice DoubleTree in Flagstaff.  The location is great.  There is a lot to do in Flagstaff so you could easily extend your stay here.

Pikes Peak Colorado Springs


Day 10 – Flagstaff to Alamosa, Colorado – 460 miles

This was a long day for sure but full of so much adventure that it was absolutely worth it.  Get an early start!  We left Flagstaff and headed on the scenic route to the East entrance of the Grand Canyon.  The drive is spectacular.  We loved the East entrance of the Grand Canyon.  It was quiet and it was like we had the park to ourselves!  We had breakfast at the Canyon.  There is not much as far as dining between the Grand Canyon and the Four Corners.  The same goes for gas stations.  When you see food or gas go ahead and get it.  The Four Corners was fun and worth the visit.  Be sure to check the park hours for the time of year that you are traveling.  After we left the Four Corners we went on yet another spectacular drive.  This might have been my favorite part.  We crossed over the Rocky Mountains and it was awesome.  Alamosa was a bit of a drive and now knowing I might have chosen to stay in Durango.  Pagosa Springs was also amazing.  Alamosa was fine it was just farther than I wanted to drive that day!  We stayed at the Hampton Inn.

Pikes Peak Colorado Springs


Day 11 – Alamosa to Colorado Springs – 165 miles

This is a short driving drive since there is so much to do in Colorado Springs.  We chose to do Pikes Peak!  Be sure to read my post about Pikes Peak.  It was amazing.  We stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites.  I would suggest dining at the Airplane Restaurant for a cool experience.  The next morning we had a nice breakfast and hit the road.

Pikes Peak

Day 12 – Colorado Springs to Bartlesville, Oklahoma – 636 miles

This is another long driving day but it’s worth it!  We were headed to the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile! We did enjoy a nice dinner in Kansas long the way!  I enjoyed the drive in Kansas.  We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Bartlesville.

Pioneer Woman Mercantile

Day 13 – Bartlesville to Memphis – 464 miles

This was my very least favorite part of the drive for scenery.  It went from wide open Kansas back to the land of massive trees and not being able to see anything along the drive.  We did enjoy a nice dinner in Memphis before heading to our beautiful hotel in Germantown.

Blues City Cafe

Day 14 – Memphis to Atlanta – 349 miles

Depression sets in as we head towards home and vacation ends! 🙂

I hope this layout helps to build an amazing road trip for your family.  I know this was one of my favorites.


Road Trip Itinerary from the Southeast to the West


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1 Comment

  • Reply Ashley January 2, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    What an epic road trip! It sounds and looks like a blast!

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