American Southwest Road Trip Guide

Southwestern USA is filled with opportunities to see amazing nature, drive fantastic roads, sleep at unique locations and eat great food. The distances might seem very long, but the hours just tick by when taking in the scenery on the road. Use this guide to start planning your own itinerary or to supplant our 7-day Road Trip through the American Southwest that takes you from Las Vegas to Austin.


Las Vegas, Nevada, at dawn

Las Vegas, Nevada, at dawn.

See our Las Vegas Travel Guide for tips in and around the Las Vegas area.


Red Canyon, Utah

Snow at Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah.

Hotels & Accommodation

  • Amangiri, Canyon Point. 16 miles northwest of Page, Az, is one of the world’s most exciting hotels. Blending modern architecture, the Utah landscape and ultimate luxury, it’s not cheap but a unique experience. From $2100/night. 1 Kayenta Road, Canyon Point, Utah.
  • Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel, Bryce Canyon. Recently revovated hotel in Bryce Canyon, very good value. From $100/night. 30 North 100 East Bryce Canyon City, Utah 84764, USA.
  • Circle D Motel, Escalante. Cheap motel in Escalante, good option for an excursion to the Peek-a-boo slot canyon and Spooky Gulch. Around $80/night.  475 W Main St., Escalante, Utah 84726, USA.
  • Shooting Star RV resort, Escalante. Renovated vintage air-stream trailers available on the outskirts of Escalante, close to the Petrified Wood National Forest. 2020 West Highway 12 | Escalante, UT 84726, USA.
  • Bryce Canyon Motel: Cheap motel near Bryce Canyon.
  • Hat Rock Inn, Mexican Hat. 120 US-163 Scenic, Mexican Hat, Utah 84531, USA.

Eat & Drink

  • Ruby’s Inn, Bryce Canyon. Only restaurant open in the winter season. Only the Cowboy’s Buffet & Steak Room is open in the winter season, but they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. 26 So Main,  Bryce Canyon, Utah. 84764, USA.
  • Circle D Eatery, Escalante. Burgers made with local meat. 475 W Main St., Escalante, Utah 84726, USA.
  • Swinging Steaks, Mexican Hat. The meat portions are huge, so it is recommended to split it between two persons. If you’re a huge fan of beans, you can also ask for only the salad and bread with the meat as well. 100 N Main Mexican Hat, UT 84531, USA.


Driving through southern Utah is for the those interested in nature, and not in shopping. You can drive for hours without seeing another car or person, and in the small towns you will mostly find general stores with limited selections. In Escalante though, there are two small outdoor shops for those looking to gear up before a hike or outdoor adventure.

To Do


US-191 Arizona Coronado Trail plateau

A plateau on the US-191, the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway, Arizona.

Hotels & Accommodation

  • Goulding’s Lodge, Monument Valley. Great views and slightly more modern rooms. Stay on top floors as the bottom rooms are noisy from floors, water, etc. Around $150/night:
  • San Juan Inn, Monument Valley. Cheap motel near Monument Valley. Around $100 per night.
  • Wigwam Motel, Sedona. Historic experimental masterpiece with concrete “rooms” in the form of Tipis. Located east of Sedona on Historic Route 66.
  • La Posada, Sedona. Historic, grand railway hotel built by the Santa Fe Company in 1929. Located in Winslow east of Sedona on Historic Route 66. Rooms from $119/night.
  • The Sedona Motel, Sedona. Great views, clean rooms and central location in the middle of Sedona town, with good access to hiking and activities in the area. Somewhat expensive at more than $150/night including taxes, but good room design and layout for being a motel.
  • The Canyon Motel & RV Park, Flagstaff. Historic motel with rooms in old railway cars, cabooses and cottages built in the 1940’s. Located west of Flagstaff. Rates vary.
  • The Shady Dell. A great collection of restored, vintage aluminum trailers from the 40’s and 50’s available for overnight stays. Located in Bisbee, south of Tombstone in the very most southern part of Arizona, not far from the Coronado National forest. The 10 unique trailers (including a 1947 Chris Chraft yacht) costs $85-125/night depending on the model. 1 Old Douglas Rd., Bisbee, Arizona.
  • Simpson Hotel, Duncan. Situated in the ghost like town of Duncan, the Simpson Hotel is a charming, historic, budget bed & breakfast. Rates from $75/night including a wonderful home made breakfast. 116 Main Street, Duncan, Arizona.
  • Best Western Sunrise Inn. Budget motel close to the Sunrise Ski Park in Eagar (Springerville) at the north end of the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway (US-191).  128 N Main Street, Eagar, Arizona. Rooms from $85/night. Best Western Sunrise Inn

Eat & Drink

  • Bigfoot Bar-b-q, Flagstaff. Classic BBQ in Flagstaff where you can get ribs, brisket and pulled pork. 120 N. Leroux St., Flagstaff.
  • Miz zip’s, Flagstaff. Classic diner from 1952 serving pancakes, burger with hand cut fries and more. 2924 E. Santa Fe Ave., Flagstaff.
  • Satchmo’s BBQ, Flagstaff. Small selection but good slow smoked barbque and gumbo’s. 1924 Arrowhead Ave., Flagstaff.
  • Sally’s BBQ, Sedona. Sally’s is a classic barbeque smoke house that has moved south west from Sedona to Prescott. 334 S Montezuma, Prescott.
  • The Barbecue Outlaw Texas BBQ, Sedona. Barbecue food truck on a parking lot outside the Relics restaurant in  Sedona. Open Friday-Sunday from noon-4 p.m. 3235 W. SR 89A, West Sedona.
  • Creekside Coffee & Bakery, Sedona. Really good coffee with home made baked goods. 251 State Route 179
    Sedona, Arizona 86336, USA
  • Bear Wallow Café, Alpine. Most famous for its dessert pies but also southwestern fare. 42650 US Highway 180, Alpine.

New Mexico

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

The White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

Hotels & Accommodation

  • Blue Swallow Motel. Historic motel from 1939 on the Historic Route 66. The rooms are restored to provide an overall experience of how it was to travel in the 40’s and 50’s. Rooms from $70/night. 815 E Route 66 Blvd, Rucumcari, New Mexico.

Eat & Drink

To Do

  • Lightning field, Catron County New Mexico.
  • Star Axis, Anton Chico. A giant staircase built into a mountain designed to showcase a specific starlight phenomenon (precession) and showing Polaris path both now and in the future during the ascent up the staircase. Officially not open for public, but individual showings are possible.


View over downtown Austin from the South Congress bridge

View over downtown Austin, Texas, from the South Congress bridge.

Hotels & Accommodation

  • Westin Austin Downtown. Sophisticated and cool hotel with Austins highest located roof-top pool, located downtown close from the Entertainment District. Opened in 2015. Rooms from $285/night. 310 East 5th Street, Austin, Texas.
  • Hotel San José. A hip, jungle oasis in the heart of South Congress with good access to the whole downtown area. Relaxing atmosphere, pool on the premises and parking for the hotel guests. From $160/night. 1316 South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas.
  • Lone Star Court. Retro-inspired, but modern, motor court style boutique hotel. Rooms from $200/night. 10901 Domain Drive, Austin, Texas.
  • Kimber Modern Hotel. Colorful, design-driven boutique hotel. Rooms from $319/night. 110 The Circle, Austin, Texas.
  • The Driskill. An historic landmark in downtown Austin, the Driskill is proudly describing itself as one of the world’s finest hotels. It might not be quite that good, but it certainly stands out in a positive way for old school luxury updated for the current ages. Rooms from $299/night.  604 Brazos Street, Austin, Texas.
  • Hotel Saint Cecilia. Artsy boutique hotel taking inspiration from the movements of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Rooms from $355/night. 112 Academy Drive, Austin, Texas.
  • W Austin. The hotel for a visiting rock star, this design hotel screams cool and hip for the clients who typically orders table service on a night out. Rooms from $269. 200 Lavaca Street, Austin, Texas.
  • Hotel Emma. Situated in an old brewery, Hotel Emma is a contemporary take on a repurposed location, blending old and new, torn and luxurious. Rooms from $276/night. 136 E. Grayson, San Antonio, Texas.
  • El Cosmico. Eclectic collection of trailers, yurts, tepees and safari style tents in the middle of nowhere in south western Texas (Marfa). Safari tent from $95/night, yurt and tepees from $150/night and a trailer from $120/night. 802 S. Highland Ave., Marfa, Texas.

Eat & Drink

Barbecue is big in Texas and something not to be missed. The popular spots can have hour long lines so a bit of planning is needed. Austin is a good starting point for some barbecue exploration.


  • Franklin BBQ. Quite simply the world’s best barbecue that continues to live up to the hype. Situated in central Austin, opens at 11 a.m. and serves until they’re sold out, which basically means only lunch. There’s usually a 3-4 hour line outside, standing in it at 9 a.m. will almost certainly guarantee an early position in. Closed on Mondays. 900 E. 11th Street, Austin, Texas.
  • Counter 3. Five. VII. Fixed menu international class restaurant.
  • Foreign & Domestic. Bistro style style restaurant in a small shed that’s making waves. Mains $9-32. 306 E. 53rd Street, Austin, Texas.
  • Uchi. Japanese fusion cusine. Mains from $12-24. 801 South Lamar, Austin, Texas.
  • Barley Swine. Strongly seasonal cuisine based on local produce. Reservations are strongly recommended. $85 for a 14 course tasting menu. 6555 Burnet Road Suite 400, Austin, TX.
  • Jo’s Coffee. Jo’s have three locations in central Austin, serving craft coffee, breakfast and more. The Downtown location serves full lunch and dinner, including burgers, while the South Congress location (just opposite Hotel San José) is more oriented towards breakfast but serves drinks and seasonal cuisine all day. 242 W. 2dn Street, Austin, Texas.
  • Round Rock Donuts. Round Rock Donuts have been serving hand-rolled yeast donuts since 1926. 106 W. Liberty Ave., Round Rock, Texas.

Rest of Texas

To Do