Our Epic West Coast Family Road Trip

We’ve done a cross-country family road trip or two (or three) in our time but this west coast road trip in 2013 is by far the most epic. We crossed several things off of our west coast bucket list.

 

An awesome west coast (ish) road trip.

 

A ridiculously awesome road trip

 

The full trip is mapped out below. More than two weeks on the road and only 1 night in a hotel! Read this post to find out how we did it. In this post I’m going to round up the highlights.

 

An awesome west coast (ish) road trip.

 

Camping in Northern California

 

Camping among these epic trees was … well, epic. If you ever get the chance to visit the redwoods, don’t miss it.

 

An awesome west coast (ish) road trip.

 

Visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium

 

And revisiting our old stomping grounds around the Monterey area. There are lots of free things to do in Monterey but we had the aquarium in our sights. We used to visit all the time when we lived in Monterey. In this post I share my insider tips.

 

An awesome west coast (ish) road trip.

 

Embracing our Inner Tourist at the Grand Canyon

 

YOLO and all that. :D Seriously, don’t come home with the same picture everyone else has. Make a memorable memory. The best road trips involve a balance of beautiful and silly pictures.

 

An awesome west coast (ish) road trip.

 

Discovering an Ancient Meteor Crater

 

Best accidental find ever. With all my research looking for road trip ideas you’d think I’d have come across this sooner. This whole section of Arizona is amazing. Painted deserts, giant canyons, petrified forests, ancient craters. Trust me, not all deserts are created equally and Arizona is where it’s at (we once lived in Tucson for a year).

 

An awesome west coast (ish) road trip.

 

 

Good Old Fashioned Graffiti

 

Turns out, it takes some actual skill to make Cadillac Ranch look good. This iconic road side attraction is neat but doesn’t quite live up to the hype. But, hey, great family road trips are made up of the good and the bad, amirite?

 

An awesome west coast (ish) road trip.

 

It takes a lot of planning to pull off an epic road trip on a budget but it’s worth every minute.

Have you visited any of these places? What’s your favorite road trip memory?

Looking for US road trip inspiration?

 



Booking.com

Jessica

Cadillac Ranch – What No One Tells You

Cadillac Ranch is one of those road side attractions with a cult following. Everyone’s heard of it or caught a snippet about it on some random travel show.

 

What I wish I knew before going to Cadillac Ranch.

 

When I was planning our big road trip in 2013 and realized we’d be in the neighborhood of this phenomenon, I worked it into our schedule. This is definitely one of those times when expectation and reality collided. Here’s what I wish I had known before going to Cadillac Ranch.

 

1. It’s In The Middle of Nowhere

 

Cadillac Ranch

 

Okay, maybe I did read that somewhere when planning our trip but I didn’t understand just how middle-of-nowhere. It’s literally in the middle of a field. There’s no sign. There’s no snack stand selling magnets. You park on the side of a state highway and walk out into a field.

 

In fact, we passed it altogether at least once. And we were looking for it. Hard. If you weren’t making a concerted effort, you’d never know it was there.

 

2. It’s Trashed

 

Cadillac Ranch

 

It’s hard to tell from this photo, but there’s garbage everywhere, mostly in the form of empty spray paint cans. Probably because there’s no garbage cans anywhere. In the middle of the field. That you’re in.

 

Not only is there trash on the ground, the cars themselves are torn to pieces. They’re really beat to crap and full of sharp edges and bent metal.

 

3. It’s Really Windy!

 

Cadillac Ranch

 

Which makes it nearly impossible to spray paint on the cars. The wind can be quite crazy in this section of Texas. My first several attempts to use the spray paint, literally, blew away. I had to spray extremely close to the car which caused a lot of runny bits. I also set the kids lose with spray cans and I think they got paint on everything but the cars.

 

Cadillac Ranch

 

I’m still glad we visited Cadillac Ranch. It was a lot of fun, especially for the kids. And it’s another experience in the old memory bank.  But I wish I had know these tips before we showed up.

Have you been to Cadillac Ranch?

 



Booking.com

Jessica

 

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