Sunday, September 24, 2017

Best Places to Stop Traveling along the Southern Pacific

The Southern Pacific route is one of the most diverse, interesting ways to get from the West to the East Coast. The route begins in San Diego, California and ends in Georgia. If you need a route to follow you're in the right place! The route follows old US-80 and some of its new equivalents, spanning about 3,000 miles. Here are some of the states in which you can stop on this culturally varied route.


California 2014
From the golden beaches and Pacific bays of San Diego, to right down along the border to Mexico, US-80 takes you through quite a few little border towns, and even past a couple of roadside attractions. You will travel through towns you have heard of, like La Jolla, and through a few you might not know anything about, such as Felicity. If you plan to stop, you might want to get a bit of information about La Jolla, California, or even some of the roadside attractions – such as the Desert View Tower. Also, don’t forget to head south of the border real quick to get some Tecate beer right from where it is made. This is also a good place to stop for non-alcoholic libations before you begin the trek across the Mojave.

Arizona 2017

On the Southern Pacific Route, you’ll be passing through Southern Arizona, right next to the Mexican border. Tucson, AZ is a fantastic spot for natural beauty and parks, combined with a magnificent cultural history. Tucson’s history goes back much farther than many of its other southwestern neighbors, so there’s no shortage of cultural history and architecture, including Mission San Xavier del Bac, a 18th-century mission. The Arizona-Sonora Cultural Museum is a zoo, botanical garden, and art gallery all in one.

The Sabino Canyon is another part of Tucson that shouldn’t be missed. Located in the Catalina mountains, it’s a great place for swimming, hiking, biking and other activities. You’ll also pass through Yuma in Western Arizona, a popular place for golf, hiking, fishing, and bird watching. Here, you can also find historic attractions such as Yuma Territorial Prison State Park and Castle Dome Mines Museum & Ghost Towns.

New Mexico

Las Cruces is one of the cities you’ll pass through on the Southern Pacific route. This is the location of Mexico State University, and fine art galleries, Museums, and a lively theater scene are just some of the things you’ll find. Las Cruces boasts an average of 350 days a year with clear skies, making it the perfect location for outdoor activities. Enjoy the historic charm of Old Mesilla Village or take a scenic hike through Dripping Springs Natural Area.

Carlsbad Canyons is another one of the highlights that you should stop in while passing through Arizona. Above ground, you’ll find breathtaking canyons, desert wildlife, high sea ledges, and flowering cactus. Below the ground, there are more than 119 caves formed by limestone dissolved by sulfuric acid. You can either explore the caves yourself through a self-guided tour or embark on one of the ranger-guided tours.


Route 80 stops through several towns in Eastern Texas, including Dallas and Fort Worth. In Dallas, you can find lots of art museums with huge collections, such as The Sixth Floor Museum/Texas School Book Depository. You can also stop at the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, which was named “One of the Most Breathtaking Gardens in the World” by Architectural Digest. Fort Worth is a hub for Western culture and features cattle drives, nightlife, and cultural institutions.
Corpus Cristi, Texas - 2013

While on the Southern Pacific Route, you’ll also stop in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. At 8,749 feet, this is the highest peak in Texas. You’ll also pass through EL Paso Western Texas, which serves as a melting pot between American and Mexican culture. You can find extraordinary Tex-Mex cuisine here and visit the El Paso Museum of Art and Hueco Tanks State Park, which includes rock climbing and Indian petroglyphs. 


Louisiana is well-known for its cuisine, which includes such favorites as catfish fillets and boiled shrimp. Although it’s a bit out of the way of the Southern Pacific life, New Orleans is definitely worth a visit. Bourbon Street is well known for its party animal reputation because of the Mardi Gras celebration held there once a year. The French Quarter is another must-see location when visiting New Orleans: it’s known for its nightlife, jazz scene, fine architecture, and historic charm, along with some eclectic places to shop.

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is another not-to miss destination and contains a vast collection of history that tells the story of the war. Jackson Square is a historic park in the French Quarter where you can find a bevy of historic architecture and artists who paint, draw, display and sell their work. The death place of Bonnie and Clyde is located conveniently on Route 80, so you can stop while you’re on the road.


US 80 runs across Georgia on the fall line, which is a geological divide where you can view rivers dropping in a long series of rapids all the way up from the Piedmont Plateau down to the lower coastal plains. When the lands were being settled, early Americans used these areas for their settlements. Columbus, Georgia is right on the banks of the Chattahoochee, and more towards the center of the state, Macon is right on the banks of the Ocmulgee. 

On this route, you will cross nearly 300 miles of Georgia and can see anything from forests of pine and hardwood to rolling hills, dozens of sleepy southern towns, stately old farmsteads and even tin roofed shacks. You might even stop off in Warm Springs to see the home of Franklin Roosevelt, or in Plains to see the home of Jimmy Carter.

Atlanta 2006
With so much cultural history to see, the Southern Pacific route across the US is one of the most interesting ways to get from coast to coast. Although the states listed are amazing, there are many more sites to see along the way. Don’t be afraid to visit some out-of-the way places to add some spontaneity to make your trip more exciting.

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