An All American Road Trip (Part 2)

all american road trip destinations travel
Today I’m sharing the second part of my cross-country road trip. If you haven’t read the first part, you can get caught up here.

Joe and Aggies Arizona Route 66 All american road
After the Grand Canyon, we ending up stopping in Holbrook, Arizona for the night which is located right along Historic Route 66. We grabbed dinner at a cute little Mexican-American diner where we tried our first Navajo Tacos. Navajo Tacos are basically just Indian fry bread topped with taco ingredients. Fry bread can be sweet or savory; most of us know it from state fairs where it’s doused in cinnamon and sugar and sold as elephant ears.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument Santa Fe all american road trip destinations travel
The next day, we visited Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico. It was another bucket list destination and was probably my favorite stop of the trip. Exploring the park involved a several mile hike that took us through a slot canyon. For about a half mile we walked through a narrow crevice with rock towering over us on either side.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip destinations travel
Once we made it through the canyon, the winding route took us through a series of large conical rock formations for which the park is named. The “tents” were formed by volcanic activity and some of them were pretty massive.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip desitnations travel
The payoff at the end of the hike was this incredible view. It was in the upper 60’s so it felt great basking in the sun while surveying the vastness of the lands surrounding us. New Mexico is a pretty pretty place. On a side note, please ignore my brother’s shirt. He has a fondness for t-shirts with weird sayings on them.

Cafe Pasquales Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip destinations travel food restaurants
That night we pushed on to Santa Fe, where we ended up spending an extra day. The town was beautiful. So much terracotta and stone. My favorite restaurant in Santa Fe was Cafe Pasqual’s, a recipient of the James Beard Foundation award for America’s Regional Classics Award. Let me tell you, that award is well deserved.

pasquales santa fe new mexico all american road trip destinations travel
My brother ordered the mole enchiladas and they were not only beautiful to look at, they were absolutely delicious. I ordered the daily special, which was a combination plate of several salads and fancy toast.

Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip destinations travel
The Museum of International Folk Art was recommended by several friends as a must stop. I’m a huge fan of folk art, so off to the museum we went. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the artifacts as well as the curation. The exhibit space itself were part of the experience, with cases of different colors and styles.  .

Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip destinations travel
The museum is located on Museum Hill, a hub of several cultural institutions.  This striking statue is located right in front of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. We didn’t get a chance to go inside, so I’ll have to hit it up on a return trip.

Cadillac Ranch Amarillo Texas All american road trip destinations route 66 travel
After Santa Fe, we headed to Oklahoma City by way of Texas. As we cruised through Amarillo, Texas, we stopped to check out Cadillac Ranch, one of the quirkiest roadside attractions on Route 66. In 1974, ten Cadillacs were buried nose down in a field as a work of public art. Visitors are encouraged to spray paint the cars to contribute to the installation. As you approach the cars you can smell the paint in the air, and once you get close you can see the layers upon layers of paint just caked on.

cadillac ranch amarillo texas all american road trip destinations travel
I couldn’t resist throwing in a second picture of this place. The sky was so beautiful that day, it almost looks faked. I brought my gold spray paint with me, but it turns out gold is not a great color for grafitti – not enough pop against day glo orange and neon green.
After Texas, we swung through Oklahoma City, Memphis, and the Smokey Mountains on our way to our final destination: Durham, North Carolina. Unfortunately, I was under the weather for the final day or two of the trip, so I didn’t capture much. I do want to shout out Oklahoma City’s social media person though, who was super responsive with restaurant recommendations via their Twitter.
I hope my trip has given you some ideas for an American road trip of your own. It was incredible experiencing the sweeping mountains and scrublands of the Southwest. You really don’t grasp the vastness of our country until you drive it, so I definitely encourage you to give it a try.

Linking up with Carylee from More Pieces of Me today.

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9 responses

  1. I’m from South Africa, and one of my dreams is to do this exact trip you did… It looks amazing; I’m super jealous! 😉

  2. I’m so glad to have found your blog. I look forward to reading more. I’d love to travel Route 66; it’s on my bucket list, and Cadillac Ranch will now be added! 😊 That looks like fun!

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