What do you do when your friend decides to have her wedding in California? Make a road trip out of it! My boyfriend Ryan and I have a love for road trips and national parks, so we decided to drive south towards the Grand Canyon, before heading on to Joshua Tree. We drove about 11 hours from Kansas City to Las Vegas, New Mexico, where we stayed the night in the Historic Plaza Hotel (as seen in No Country For Old Men). The next day we made a pit stop in Santa Fe to eat tamales in the historic square, & took a minor detour through Petrified Forest National Park before arriving in Flagstaff, Arizona. We spent 1 full day exploring the Grand Canyon (which is very grand, if you haven't seen it), and then drove onward to Yucca Valley, California. Outside of wedding events, we got to explore the town a little, aka go shopping (some of my favorite stops were Shop on the Mesa, Acme 5, The End, Hoof & Horn, Black Luck Vintage, Jen's Pirate Booty, & random antique shops), along with spending a day in the national park. We stayed in a very small Scandinavian inspired cabin that was a 5 minute drive into the town, but far enough up the bumpy dirt roads that you felt like you were on your own. My friend's wedding ceremony was in the national park, but her reception was held at this kitschy trailer park out in the desert (it's called Hicksville Trailer Park, if you're interested). When it was time to head home, we decided to drive north to I-70 so we could drive through the Rockies....which ended up being a mistake, because we got rained on and then snowed on, and narrowly escaped being part of a 20 car pile up! Beyond that, I would 100% recommend road tripping to your destinations if you have time, because there's so much more that you see along the way!
I would love to hear about your favorite road trips in the comments! We are always looking for inspiration for our next adventure.
Modern General in Santa Fe, NM. They had great fresh juices & breakfast/lunch options.
Sunset over the Grand Canyon
Acme 5 in Yucca Valley
Looking out the door from our Airbnb in Yucca Valley
The End Vintage in Yucca Valley