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How To Road Trip Across America In Under 10 Days

Travel Across America

We did it. Ten days in ten states. We took a what felt like the fastest road trip across America. Technically eleven states, if you count my stressful layover in Minneapolis, where the lovely women at the gate told me to come back in thirty minutes to see if I was to get a seat because, “there’s a bit of a situation right now..”

Siiiick.

A half hour and one large beer later, I was waiting back in line when out of the corner of my eye, I spot a folding table being set up and the smell of delicious pizza wafted on over in my direction. Minneapolis’ airport felt so bad about over-booking the flight to Seattle that they were giving away an INSANE amount of pizza. So, grabbing a slice as well as the very last ticket in the middle seat of the last row, I was ready to board.

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean


Day 1- Seattle, Washington

One of the cleanest cities I’ve ever been to. Everything is very modern, community gardens are very popular, and of course, the coffee is great. I was introduced to my very first toddy, aka not the alcoholic hot toddy, but cold brew coffee. The process of using cold water ends up creating a flavorful, concentrated coffee much less acidic than regular, hot brewed coffee. Very delicious.

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean

Broadcast Coffee in Seattle, WA.


Day 2- Olympia, Washington

My cousin’s stomping grounds for 4-5 years while he attended school. This one was fun because not only did I have a personal tour guide, but I was able to get a thrifted leather jacket as smooth as butter for $40. Not my cheapest of finds, but it fit oh so well I couldn’t pass it up.

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean

Olympia Forests Washington


Day 2 (cont.)-  Salem, Oregon

Bypassing Portland for sake of timing, we headed on down to Salem to spend the night on his buddy’s farm. Surrounded by vineyards and farmland was definitely not what I expected from this place at all. Wineries were aplenty when we checked the map.

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean


Day 3- The Pacific Coast Highway & Redwoods

Speeding down the highway whilst trying to stop at every beautiful spot along the way to drink it all in brought us to the Redwood Forest with about a half hour of daylight left, struggling to filter through the dense trees. We did the part before the more-traveled piece between San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the views were still just as stunning with half the amount of cars wedged into the scenic overlook parking lots.

Pacific Coast Highway

Day 4- San Francisco, California

We were able to take a quick detour through to Battery Spencer to really get a good look at the bridge. And boy was it wiiiiiindy! There was no way we spent more than a few minutes battling the wind. Onwards!

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean


Day 5- Los Angeles to Phoenix

Big day of road trip travel over here. Drove two hours into the heart of LA traffic. Stopped to see an old friend of mine near Manhattan beach for some good food and great beers, we made the long haul trek to Phoenix, AZ. There we were greeted by the friendliest dog and his owner & company where I promptly fell asleep in a hammock outside. It was perfect.

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean

Arizona Sunset

Day 6- Sunsets in New Mexico

This deserves its own post and I cannot wait to share it. It was one of the only states we didn’t stay in, yet left the biggest impact on me during this road trip. I can see why people brag about the sunsets here, it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean

New Mexico sunsets


Day 7- San Antonio, Texas

This place was packed on a Friday night with tourists, but the Riverwalk is where it was at for some Tex-Mex and hearty margaritas. We quickly discovered that the better places are always the ones tucked away, up the stairs and off the street.

San Antonio Riverwalk

Day 8- New Orleans, Louisiana

Cheap drinks and swing dancing is all I’m going to say for now. That, and this place has to be one of the more unique places I’ve ever visited with its brightly painted houses sitting next to completely dilapidated homes. That, and the stores that are grocery store on the bottom and party stores on the top, shelves stuffed with beads and feather boas.

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean

Typical example of a New Orleans paint job.


Day 9- Walking around NOLA & Tallahassee

The culture is vibrant in New Orleans and the air of the place whispers, “we do what we want” here and Tallahassee surprised me in the most pleasant way possible with its abundance of old oak trees covered in Spanish moss and thriving music scene.

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean

New Orleans had some crazy cool thrift stores.


Day 10- Jacksonville, Florida

We ended our road trip officially by dipping our toes into the Atlantic whilst admiring the double rainbow forming. Here is where I was able to visit some familiar faces, play bingo at the bar and learning how to (finally) eat Pho. I say goodbye to Bryan & family and head back up to Connecticut.

How To Road Trip Across America in 10 Under Days by Jetplane Jean

Parting words-

It was a whirlwind of a road trip and one that makes me glad I wrote every insignificant detail down just so I could keep track of the days, because boy, do they start to blend together after a while. Would I do it again with only ten days to spare? Probably not. You forget how much time will be spent stopping for bathroom breaks, food, gas, and actually seeing things. I was glad to see parts of the United States I had never laid eyes upon before, but I think next time I’ll double the days needed. At the very least.

What’s the shortest, wildest, and/or best road trip you’ve ever been on?

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    anupriyabasu123
    December 7, 2015 at 5:53 am

    That sunset picture at New Mexico is fab! Btw, I am traveling to Florida soon, do you have any suggestions for Orlando and Miami?! No Disneyworld!

    • Reply
      Wandering Words
      December 14, 2015 at 5:44 am

      Thank you! It absolutely blew me away. My last time in Orlando was as a kid (so of course Disney World was involved) and I have my sights on Miami for the early spring, but let me know if YOU find anything good there in the meantime 🙂

  • Reply
    The Time The Entire Island Was Invited To A Vow Renewal - Jetplane Jean
    November 21, 2016 at 9:30 am

    […] did an island with one restaurant and almost no cell service do in their down time? No stranger to last-minute road trips, we piled into the car and screamed our lungs out to fuzzy radio stations for the next six hours on […]

  • Reply
    Fae Nagara
    August 1, 2017 at 1:34 am

    We’re deep in the midst of figuring out how to road trip America at the beginning of next year and this is so helpful especially the ride sharing tips!

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