arizona road trip

The ultimate southern USA road trip?

Taking on a road trip along the southern borders of the United States is an incredible experience that will take you through many different landscapes, cultures, and fantastic food. However, because of the baking hot weather, miles of desert and remote locations, it is not for the faint of heart.

And given there is so much territory to cover, it’s almost impossible to see everything unless you are prepared to take anything from six months to a year to travel. So, the big question is, which are the vital spots to check out as you make your way along the southern border? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.



You have to start your road trip from somewhere, so why not choose California? You could kick things off in the iconic city of Los Angeles, and make your way down to the beautiful and underrated San Diego, which its right on the border with Mexico, and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.


The next state along is Arizona – it’s a dry, open state with incredible deserts, red rock formations, and many desert communities that are welcoming and inspiring. Make sure you check out Tombstone – a spooky ghost town – and use the scenic highway which has some of the best views in the entire country. And, of course, no trip to Arizona would be complete without taking a ride out to the Grand Canyon.

southern usa road trip

New Mexico

New Mexico is another underrated state, and although much of the scenery is the same all the way through the state, it can still pique the interests. It can be tough going, of course, as the heat and humidity can be scorching. But stopping off at the White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns is an absolute must. And all the major towns from Albuquerque through to Tuscon have a unique style and vibes thanks to a great Native American and Latino influence.


Texas is huge – and everything in it is huge, too. San Antonio and Austin are well worth checking out, and if you are prepared to look at the location of Big Bend National Park – it’s right on the large bend in the Rio Grande in Texas – it’s well worth a visit.  If you are looking for a rustic, raw camping or lodging experience it’s an ideal setting –  a long way from anywhere and you are likely to see more wildlife than other vehicles on the road.



Louisiana is an incredible cultural hotchpotch of a state – and all the better for it. The many cities in Louisiana are surrounded by enormous plantations and swamplands, and it is the true ‘Deep South’ that you can’t afford to miss. The Mississippi Gulf Coast, Alabama, and, of course, New Orleans are perfect examples of the beautiful cultural mix, with unusual foods and Creole culture at the forefront of the experience.


And finally, Florida – the final destination. There is much to see and do in this tourist-friendly state, but as a road tripper, we suggest taking a different path. The Florida Panhandle is well worth checking out, and the likes of Port St.Joe, Gulf Breeze, and Pensacola have some of the best beaches in the country. And after a road trip like this, you’ll want to take a while to enjoy the warm sands and crystal clear waters – perhaps with a cocktail or too.

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Founder of Turn It To Trvl. After being made redundant from my digital marketing job, in the UK, I decided I no longer wanted to work the traditional 9-5. I found a volunteer opportunity in Malawi in 2015 and am now freelancing from the warm heart of Africa. Curently building a portfolio of clients and trying to inspire more people to live a life of travel.
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