Skip to main content
Red-rock desert views in Arizona

Behold the Many Wonders of the Southwest

Colorful Landscapes and Lots to Do

Characterized by its dry climate and desert landscapes, the Southwest contains an abundance of natural wonders, with nearly as many different cultural influences. Like each region in the United States, the Southwest is an America all its own, welcoming visitors from near and far to its magical corner of the country.

You’ll cover a lot of ground on a road trip across the Southwest. From some of the most majestic natural formations in the world, to the largest Native American population in the United States, the Southwest has a spiritual depth unlike many other places on the planet. This journey will take you through the area’s colorful landscapes, as well as expose you to such classic American features as the Route 66 Road Trip, and the uniquely western “cowboy culture.”

Sunrise over the Phoenix, Arizona skyline

Phoenix, Arizona

It’s always sunny in Phoenix, and with the area’s abundance of natural wonders, there’s a lot of magic to be found here.

Like the rich red hue that colors much of the landscape, and the otherworldly plants that make a home in the arid climate. A trip to the Phoenix area should include some spa-time relaxation, and of course a journey to the northern part of the state to behold the Grand Canyon. Arizona is home to a large indigenous population, with a quarter of the state composed of Native American Reservations, including the largest in the country, The Navajo Nation. 

Where to Stay:

What to Eat:

  • Modern goes majestic at Futuro, a hyper-minimalist coffee bar inside of a hair salon that serves up exquisite Mexican drinks, and sometimes offers brunch.  
  • See how Phoenix does tacos at Tacos Chiwas.
  • For a meal with epic views of the Grand Canyon, stop by the Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim

What to See:

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

For more of the country’s most beautiful natural landscapes head east to Albuquerque, where you can glimpse the beautiful Shiprock, or travel to New Mexico’s famed White Sands National Park.

Adding to the beauty of the area are the blue skies and sunshine that Albuquerque inhabitants enjoy about 310 days out of the year. It’s no surprise then, that Albuquerque is considered by some to be the Hot Air Ballooning Capital of the World. While you’re there, stop by the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, or head over to Rainbow Ryders to go up in a hot air balloon yourself. In addition, New Mexico is home to 23 Native American tribes, and Albuquerque is the perfect starting point from which to learn about the area’s Native American heritage and culture.

Where to Stay: 

What to Eat:

What to Do: 

Wheeler Ferris Wheel in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Take the all-American road trip down Route 66.

Oklahoma has the largest remaining stretch of Route 66--one of the US Highway System’s first roads--with a mixture of natural and man-made wonders to see along the way. Kitschy oversized landmarks populate the route, giving you the chance to see everything from the largest concrete totem pole (Totem Pole Park, Chelsea,) to “The Blue Whale”, a giant, cartoon-ish whale floating atop a roadside pond. A trip to Oklahoma should also include exploration of the state’s cowboy culture, as well as a dip into the art scene in Oklahoma City.

Where to Stay: 

What to Eat:

  • Follow the 20-meter soda bottles to Pops, where you can sample over 700 kinds of soda, from “dirt” to “mustard” to classic root beer. 
  • Grab brunch at the unpretentious local favorite, Neighborhood J.A.M. 
  • For fresh pizza that’s healthy, visit Stone Sisters Pizza Bar

What to Do: 

The Austin, Texas, skyline

Austin, Texas

Austin is the capital of Texas, as well as a city that’s seen tremendous growth and transformation over the recent decades.

An influx of population has brought an abundance of young people to Austin, and with them, tech start-ups, indy music and a ton of new dining options. Catch some live shows while you’re in town, but don’t forget to get out and explore the many parks and lakes in the area, as well.

Where to Stay: 

What to Eat:

What to Do: