In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of popular USA road trips that showcase America's terrific attractions and splendid natural wonders. Which road trip will interest you and your family the most? Maybe you'll find ideas for your perfect roadtrip on this page...but more likely, you'll decide that you won't be happy taking just one of them!
Great road trips = terrific vacations!
* Are you planning a road trip to California?
* Or, are you a Southern Californian trying to plan an in-state road trip because of the high cost of fuel?
Either way, you've reached the right page! In this "California Coast/Western USA Road Trip" section, you'll discover a number of different fun-filled routes into (and out of) the Los Angeles metro area and Southern California.
Whether you'll be making the drive to Los Angeles from a mere 100 miles...or from 1,000 miles!...you'll find plenty of fun family activities to enjoy along your route. In the coming pages, you'll get an idea about some of the fun, exciting...and even educational...attractions that you can add to your family vacation. You can make THIS family trip the most memorable one that you've ever taken!
California Coast Road Trip Ideas --
The California Hwy 1 Coastal Route
Do you love ocean drives? Are you fascinated by the sea? Then, check out the scenic California Highway 1 route, for a California Coast road trip that takes you through areas bounteously endowed with nature's beauty. On the California Coastal route to Los Angeles, you'll see---
* Breathtaking coastal groves of California Redwoods, home of the planet's tallest trees
* Waves sending sea spray flying into the air as they come crashing ashore into rocky coastlines
* The vibrant city of San Francisco and its exciting touring possibilities
* The charming seaside towns of Monterey and Carmel, including a world-renowned aquarium located here
* The gorgeous, coastline-hugging scenic drive through Central California's Big Sur
Western USA Road Trip Ideas -- Try California's Interstate 5, the "Highway through Gold Rush History"
Some parts of I-5 don't give travelers much of an opportunity for enjoying historic or recreational spots. Unfortunately, if you'll be driving the heavily-traveled section of I-5 between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area turn-off, there won't be much to see except farmlands. (Pretty as they may be, they don't provide much opportunity for exploring.) But other parts of the interstate are full of unique opportunities which may be difficult to find elsewhere.
History buffs---brace yourselves! A trip through the Sacramento area on I-5 is dead center in California's "gold rush history corridor." Both Sacramento and the side roads leading from this city are LOADED with opportunities for you to step back in time.
* Start out in Sacramento, where authentic Old Town Sacramento preserves the buildings of this city's original core. At Old Town you'll also find the California State Railroad Museum, which preserves the highlights of this state's railway history for all to enjoy.
* Venture off the main road a bit for side trips into the past. For example, at Columbia State Historic Park, you'll see a town preserved in its 1880's glory.
* A re-creation of Sutter's Mill, complete with a museum of real artifacts from the 49er's who worked there, will set your mind to daydreaming as you wonder how living then and there might have been...and how it may have felt to be present at the historic moment which started the great California Gold Rush!
Western USA Road Trip Ideas -- Interstate 10, a winter traveler's dream road
Do you travel during the fall, winter or spring? Then, Interstate 10 is the route for you! While others are battling the ice and snow on more northerly roads, you'll be sailing along on dry roads...and enjoying a comfortable temperature!
Yes, people travel the I-10 highway even throughout the summer. While that's OK for most of the route, visitors to the Los Angeles theme parks should be warned that they'll encounter extreme temperatures along the Tucson, Arizona to Palm Springs, California segment of this coast-to-coast highway.
You'll see handsome, rugged western scenery as you travel westward along I-10. You'll pass various points of interest where you can make a side trip or take a rest break.
To see maps of Interstate 10 and learn about family attractions along its path, use the following link to view the Interstate 10 Road Trip Section of this website! Or, jump directly to one of the I-10 Roadtrip Section pages, which include the following---
Western USA Road Trip Ideas -- Try Interstate 40, today's version of the old Route 66 Mother Road!
Are you a nostalgia buff? You'll want to take an I-40 USA road trip to Los Angeles. You'll relive the glory days of "The Mother Road" as you travel the highway that mirrors old Route 66.
* You'll see kitschy old motels and souvenir "trading posts." If they look familiar, they SHOULD---they haven't changed since the days when big-finned cars, Edsels and Ramblers filled their parking lots!
* Explore Spanish-styled courtyards at Old Town Albuquerque, decorated with colorful dried peppers and the works of local artisans.
* Discover natural wonders such as the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest and the Meteor Crater
* Take a side-trip to see that greatest wonder of all---the Grand Canyon National Park.
See the Interstate 40 Road Trip planning page now! This page focuses on some of I-40's top highlights between Oklahoma and Arizona. Or, if you'd like more detailed information about I-40's attractions through the state of Arizona, please see our Things to Do in Arizona. Or, if you're looking for an interesting side-trip of of I-40 from Gallup, New Mexico, you might enjoy reading through our Mesa Verde National Park Camping page, where you'll see pictures of both the campgrounds and the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde NP (along with entrance prices and other park information.)
Or, would you like to view maps of the Western segment of I-40? See maps and get details about the Interstate 40 route on our I-40 Maps page!
Other pages related we have that are related to Interstate 40 and I-40 side-trips include the following topics:
Time to get busy planning your road trip! As you read through these travel sections, get your notepad, sharpen your pencil, and get ready to plan your greatest USA road trip EVER! The western interstates are full of terrific family fun!
Look for Road Trip Discounts
You can cut the cost of your road trip by choosing budget...but nice...hotel chains, or searching for discounts on a "travel deal" website. There are several websites that are always good to hunt before making a road trip.
1.) Motel 6 website: Not everyone likes budget motels, but among those who do, Motel 6 is a favorite of many...including myself. Rooms at all Motel 6 locations have everything a traveler needs, and usually extra amenities such as swimming pools, cable TV (with the Weather Channel,) and no extra charge for making local phone calls or 800-number calls. Rates are advertised as being the lowest of any national chain, and in years of using Motel 6, I have found that, yes, this is really true. Watch out for extra-person fees, though, because your room's price-quote will only be a one-person price. Here's a link to the Motel6.com website
so you can check out their prices ahead of your trip. They do NOT work with any discount websites, so you'll have to check out their own website to find out their rates.
2.) AARP website: If you're over 50, joining the AARP association will help you get all sorts of travel discounts. The fee is a mere $12.50 per year, and many different hotel chains accept AARP members at discount rates. (At many hotels, you simply show your card at the registration desk where it acts like an instant discount coupon!) In addition, the AARP website has its own travel section where you may check for deals before leaving home. Here's a link to the www.AARP.org website where you can get info about joining (or check travel deals if you're already a member.)
3.) AAA discounts: The American Automobile Association is a good membership to have, because it can help you take care of mishaps you might have along your road trip, such as towing if you have a breakdown. But, in addition to offering motorists aid, the club's card acts like a discount coupon at many hotel chains. Like the AARP, the AAA has its own travel section with discount offers available to members. The catch? You might find the club's membership to be expensive. Here's a link to the www.AAA.com website so you can investigate their membership plans (or check their travel deals if you're already a member.
4.) Kayak.com discounts: Another website I check before heading on a trip is Kayak.com. This website reviews a whole list of other websites looking for hotel, plane or car rental deals, then neatly compiles the results for you. Here's a link to the www.Kayak.com website so you can check out the latest travel bargains.
5.) Priceline.com: Are you feeling brave and daring? If you're game for doing some wheeling and dealing, you really CAN "name your own price" on Priceline, just like you've heard about in the company's many TV ads featuring William Shatner. You can save big...but make sure your travel plans are secure first. Once you've set your own price, getting out of the deal can be difficult. On the other hand, if you don't like dealing, Priceline offers plain old-fashion pre-set rates for hotels & flights, as well. Here's a link to the Priceline.com website
where you can save as much as 50%.