North America

The Ultimate Road Trip Guide to USA: Part 2

Written by: Sheida

All photos are taken and owned by Andrea Hansen

In the second and final part of our USA Roadtrip Guide, we’re visiting Elvis’ hometown, the White Sands and celebrating Halloween in New Orleans. Make sure to read the first part of the guide here if you haven’t already!

Monument Valley

Nights stayed: 1
Where we stayed:
Teardrop Arch Bed and Breakfast (87$/night)
What to do:
October 21 – From Grand Canyon our road trip continued to the red-sand desert in Monument Valley! (National park in Arizona) Driving time: 3,5 h.

Roadtrip 101: Keep in mind that the roads may have fees, so always have coins and bills ready. And make sure to enter the correct city in the GPS, there are many cities that have the same name! 

Santa Fe

Nights stayed: 1
Where we stayed:
Guadalupe Inn (approx. 280$ for 2 nights)
What to do:

October 22 – Drive early from Monument Valley to Santa Fe.
Driving time: About 6 h, our longest drive so far! We stayed the night at Guadalupe Inn, a super cozy inn with a “bohemian mountain hut feel”.

The Shed in Santa Fe is the perfect spot for a cooling beer & lemonade-break. 

October 23 –
Next stop is the White Sands National Monument! They collect an entrance fee, but it’s not expensive.
We stayed at a cheap motel nearby called Super 8 Alamogordo for approx 70$/night.
Driving time: 4 h.

October 24 – Off to Dallas!
Driving time: 9,5-10 h, but we didn’t want to drive that far so we did a stopover at a motel in Abilene before continuing.


Nights stayed: 1
Where we stayed: At a friend’s house!
What to do:
October 25 – After a good night’s sleep we were ready to explore Dallas! Visit Elm Street where President Kennedy was assassinated, eat delicious shrimps with BBQ-marinade at The Shell Shack and splurge on a fancy dinner at fusion restaurant Abacus. The lobster shooters are an excellent choice for appetizer!


Nights stayed: 2
Where we stayed: 
Airbnb-loft in downtown Memphis! Price: 159$/2 nights.
Driving time: Approximately 6.5-7 h from Dallas.
What to do:
October 26 – We had booked 2 nights at a private room through Airbnb. The owner knew a cheap garage nearby for 6$/night where we parked our car.

Memphis was amazing – partly because of this amazing downtown loft rented through Airbnb! 

October 27 – Spend the whole day out & about in Memphis. Our recommended spots to visit is Elvis Presley’s home Graceland, room 306 at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King got shot, and the famous Sun Studio.

… and when the clock strikes lunch,
try Gus Fried Chicken for super tasty fried chicken and a genuine Southern vibe. A good place for breakfast is Cafe Keough.

The tour at Graceland was the best tourist attraction of the trip according to both Andrea and her boyfriend. You will see Elvis in a whole new light, Andrea says. When the tour finishes by his grave, you are more than ready to shed a tear.


Nights stayed: 2
Where we stayed:
Airbnb in East Nashville (79$/night)
What to do:
October 28 – On to the country mecca Nashville! We lived in East Nashville, a young and hip area with a lot of restaurants, bars and vintage boutiques.
Driving time: About 3.5-4 h.

October 29 –
Spend the day sightseeing in Nashville! Eat breakfast at Sky Blue Cafe, visit Honky Tonk Highway, Country Music Hall of Fame and stop by Bluebird Cafe or The Listening Room Cafe for writer’s night.

New Orleans

Nights stayed: 4
Where we stayed:
Airbnb close to the Garden District (74$).
What to do:
October 30 – Have an early start and continue to (our favorite city) New Orleans!
Driving time: About 7,5-8,5 hours.

October 31 – HALLOWEEN! Spend the day strolling around in the city and enjoy the festive vibe – visit Bourbon street in the evening (for party), but don’t live close to it because it’s a loud and noisy area. Also, make sure to visit Lafayette Cemetery.

Café Du Monde, the city’s most famous coffee shop, serves the popular and delicious pastry Beignets – a deep-fried dough with hoards of icing sugar on, much like a doughnut.

November 1 – Visit the beautiful old houses in the Garden District, check out the French Quarters and go on a plantation tour (Oak Alley is a beautiful old mansion, open 9-17, costs 22$ per person).

November 2 & 3 – Sightseeing in New Orleans. Spend a full day at the World War II Museum, and dine at Peche – they serve great food, perfect for sharing various small dishes!

Breaux Bridge

Nights stayed: 2
Where we stayed:
1 night at Maison Madeleine B&B and 1 night at the hotel Maison des Amis
What to do:
November 4 – Next up is the tiny city Breaux Bridge, “the crawfish capital of the world”. We stayed here for 2 nights, but in hindsight 1 night would’ve been enough.
Driving time: around 2.5 h.

November 5 – Go on a swamp tour! Eat a Southern breakfast at the Café Des Amis and experience the delightful vibe with live music and locals dancing in the early morning (!) hours (only on Saturdays, entrance is 5$).

The best “homemade” breakfast of the trip was served at Maison Madeleine B&B and consisted of fluffy pain perdu’s with icing sugar and fresh berries, bacon, orange juice and fresh coffee.

And the best burger was to be found at Angelle’s Old Fashion Hamburgers which Andrea warmly recommends.  


Nights stayed: 1
Where we stayed:
At a friend’s house!
What to do:
November 6 – The final stop is Houston! We stayed at a friend’s house outside the city and spent the evening chilling & eating dinner before packing up for our trip to South America.
Driving time: Approximately 3.5-4 hours.

November 7 – Pack, leave the car at 07.00 am at George Bush Airport, Houston and fly off to Cancun!
But that’s a whole other story and another guide…


  • Michael Taylor

    I just stumbled across this post while thinking about visiting the United States because of the total solar eclipse this summer, and I’;m going to have to go back through it carefully for inspiration as I haven’t really seriously started considering my itinerary, but it could well include Nashville (or Salem). Should I pop on over to Memphis, as well IWalking in Memphis is one of my favourite songs)? I notice that you both said that Graceland was the top tourist attraction o your trip, which I found interesting.Many years ago, a friend said the same thing. She went there purely out of curiosity – expecting it to be really tacky, but instead she loved it. Ever since then I’ve thought sooner or later I should see the place. Will return to your site later to go through this and other posts more carefully.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *