There’s nothing quite like the thrill of a road trip. Whether you’re taking a short journey or embarking upon a massive cross-country road trip, the thrill of driving hundreds of miles on the open road is an almost uniquely American experience.
There is no better way to undertake the Great American Road Trip than by driving a Mercedes-Benz. After all, the quality of the ride is of no small importance to your enjoyment.
Driving a E-Class wagon or an SUV will give you more room, but a coupe, roadster or even a sedan will provide better handling and a more fluid experience. However, you won’t have as much room to carry your luggage. It’s a tough choice.
The United States is a huge country. There are 1500 to 2000 miles between Canada and Mexico (depending on whether you start in San Diego or Brownsville) and over 3000 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic. In between is nearly four million squares miles of vast country that includes major urban areas, prairies, mountains, deserts, forests, swamps, lakes, grassland and nearly every other environment imaginable.
Planning the ultimate road trip is difficult. There’s so much to see! Fortunately, you can launch an amazing journey. For simplicity’s sake, we’re starting the trip in San Diego, California, but you could undertake this trip or a thousand variants by starting the expedition in your home state and following the route we provide.
If you’re heading from San Diego, Death Valley National Park is a must-see. The lowest elevation in the United States, Death Valley is one of the driest places in the world. Next, cross the state line into Nevada and check out Las Vegas. Whether you like gambling or just want to take in the sights, there’s a lot to do here. Head south across the Colorado River and visit Grand Canyon National Park.
From there, head on down south to Flagstaff. If you plan on making this trip during the winter, consider bringing some ski equipment with you, or at the very least ski clothes. Flagstaff has some excellent ski resorts! In Flagstaff, take I-40 to Gallup, New Mexico. While in New Mexico, you’re going to want to see Santa Fe. At 7200 feet, it is both the highest and oldest capital in the United States.
There isn’t much to see in the Texas Panhandle, so head south from Santa Fe down towards Las Cruces and El Paso. You’ll want to see the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and witness the magnificent El Capitan in the Guadalupe Mountains of Texas. From here, you have a choice. You can head north to Dallas or south to San Antonio, and potentially on to Austin or Houston.
The great thing about this trip is you can do it any time of year. You’re so far south that even the high elevations of Flagstaff and Santa Fe don’t get too much snow in the winter. There’s definitely winter sports for the taking, however; ski resorts near Flagstaff and Santa Fe. You can even combine skiing and hiking on the same trip, as the mountains near El Paso may be free of snow. Be sure to wear warm clothes, though! Even on the Mexico border, it can get cold at 7000 feet!
In the summer the hiking options are more abundant, and many new opportunities abound, such as rafting along the mighty Rio Grande near El Paso. Santa Fe and El Paso are bustling cultural hubs in the summer, with an endless array of plays, shows and other events to experience. If you head east to Dallas, Houston or San Antonio, you can take in major league sporting events all year long. From the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros to the ever-popular Dallas Cowboys and San Antonio Spurs, there’s usually something going on most of the year.
If you have the time, you should also make your way to Austin. The capital of Texas is known for its vibrant and diverse culture.
No matter when you go, be sure to bring a variety of clothes. Even in the summer, it can get cool at night at the higher elevations, but you don’t want a shortage of t-shirts when you’re in the desert. Do some research on local events you’d like to experience and gas up the Mercedes-Benz. It’s time for an adventure.
Approximate Mileage (One Way)
San Diego to Carlsbad Caverns: 1528 miles
San Diego to San Antonio: 1990 miles
San Diego to Dallas: 2029 miles