Let’s Go On A Road Trip

Alright, the itinerary has been finalized.

We started out all “let’s go to New Orleans! Let’s go to Montana! Let’s see EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD!” And then plugged all our dream destinations into a road trip planner and realized that those little “detours” that are only an inch or so long on the map amount to eight hundred extra hours in a car with two small children. And our kids are good in cars, but no kids are eight hundred hours of good in cars.

Fair enough: straight across America it is. We hit most of our must-sees that way anyway.

So here’s the plan:

map cross country route trip itinerary

1. Williamsburg, Virginia (to see Kendrick’s sister and her family).

2. Asheville, North Carolina, because it’s in between Williamsburg and Nashville, and I hear it’s a cool place.

3. Nashville, Tennessee (to see my friend Nesrin and her family).

4. Memphis (Graceland!).

5. HOT SPRINGS. Hot spriiiiings. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to a hot spring, and the Arkansas National Park is right there on in our path. We’re staying at a place called The Springs that apparently has a spa offering treatments right in the spot where the 147-degree therapeutic water comes out of the earth. Cool, so I’m going to just move in there for the duration of our stay.

6. Tentatively Oklahoma City, but this is just a stop-for-the-night-wherever situation, so we’re flexible.

7. Amarillo, Texas. The land of bad souvenirs and the Big Texan Steakhouse.

8. Santa Fe, New Mexico. One of my favorite places on the planet. We’re spending two nights here so we can take a day trip to…

9. Taos. It’s just spectacularly beautiful, and I want Kendrick to see it.

10. On the way down to Tucson, we’re thinking it might be a good idea to stop for the night at the Wigwam Motel 6. No?

11. Our longest stop will be three nights at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. Like everyone who has ever seen the movie City Slickers, one of my lifelong dreams is to visit a dude ranch, and I can. not. wait.

12. Kendrick’s never been to Joshua Tree, so we found a ridiculously cool Air BnB in the desert.

13. Finally, we’re spending a night in Los Angeles to see Francesca and pick up Lucy (who’s staying with her while we drive across; Virgil’s staying with Morgan in SF) before making the drive up the coast to our new home.

Obviously I would love all of the suggestions in the world.

  • Katie Kornstein

    My best friend lives in Tucson with her husband and daughter (she’s almost 10, so can play with the kiddies while you guys have drinks LOL) – if you want I can put you guys in contact and they can show you some cool places, you would love them!!

    • jordanreid

      really?! fun! i think we’re doing dude-ranching pretty much the whole time though; let me see what the day-to-day schedule looks like (it’s an all-inclusive, activities-type thing).

  • I went to Hot Springs 2 months ago. It is so lovely and wait until you see Bathhouse Row, there are shops and giant trees and yeah I will ramble because it is great. Make sure to go to Fordyce Bathhouse which is the National Park’s official site, you can see all of the ye olde bathhouse interiors which are incredible.

    • jordanreid

      Ooooh! Do you think it’s a mistake to go to the spa in the hotel? Is it, like, a “thing” to go to a spa on Bathhouse Row, or is that more a place you wander and look at…?

      • There are multiple spas on Bathhouse Row – but my understanding is that the whole place is teeming with hot spring water, so I’m guessing it is all the same? I looked at the map and you are really close to bathhouse row, you could probably stay in your hotel and review your bathing options separately. I didn’t get to do the bath thing but really wanted to at this place:

  • Erin

    Trip of a lifetime!!! Take a million pictures. Gonna miss you guys so, so much.

    • jordanreid

      I will. And back atcha.

  • Molly

    Ahhh New Mexico! My stomping grounds. In Santa Fe: the Jean Cocteau Cinema is owned by the author of Game of Thrones, and they always have cool movies playing, think cult classics and weird sci-fi. I also highly recommend the French Pastry Shop on the plaza. You get to see the awesome La Fonda hotel and browse the plaza with the vendors selling Native American jewelry. On your way up to Taos you have to stop at El Parasol restaurant. It is the absolute best New Mexican food and has a great atmosphere. We stop at the one in Pojoaque. In Taos, obviously the Rio Grande Gorge bridge, so awe inspiring. Then I have a soft spot for the Taos historic pueblo. You can do a tour of it, and I think it is so beautiful and so neat to have it preserved the way it is. Also, I love the Taos Mesa Brewery, they always have great shows and are kid friendly. Finally, Camino Real Imports. It has the coolest collection of Talavera pottery. It’s my dream to decorate my entire house with it.

    This is a ton, but I just love New Mexico. You’re going to have so much fun Jordan! This seems like the best trip.

    • jordanreid

      ah, this is great – thank you! isn’t the rio grande gorge bridge the one that was in natural born killers…?

      • Molly

        It is! Do you know the general days you’re going to be here? We’re going to be up in Taos seeing the Growlers at the beginning of June

        • jordanreid

          we’re there the nights of may 27 and may 28.

  • Julie Gilmore

    Memphis: Rendezvous or Central BBQ and Gus’s Fried Chicken. STAX museum if you can fit it in. Levitt Shell has free outdoor concerts and is great for kids. Children’s Museum and Pink Palace are good for kids too. And we have an amazing zoo!

    • jordanreid

      yes! thank you!

  • My favorite hot chocolate I’ve ever had was in Asheville

    Finally, spend an entire day at the Biltmore. Pack a picnic.

    • jordanreid

      sold 🙂

  • Jaime

    Oh Jordan. If you are a hot springs fan there is a GREAT one in Taos- Manby springs. Right on the banks of the Rio Grande, so gorgeous. They filmed Easy Rider there. It is a short hike (less than a mile) but you do have to go down (and then of course back up). I think Indy would do fine holding a hand but you’d want to put the baby in a pack. The bit of effort it takes to get there is worth it and it’s usually pretty quiet because most people don’t bother. If you can’t find directions let me know and I can send you a map.

    You might want to think about spending one of your NM nights in Taos (so much to see, and so much more beautiful than Santa Fe, in my biased opinion as a former Taos resident). The Love Apple and El Meze are both great dinner options. Sushi a La Hattori also. Very good sushi run by a Japanese couple who has the fish flown in, well-priced, casual. Difficult to find because they have only a teeny sign- it is behind the Overland Sheepskin Co (which is also worth a stop if you are in the market for, you know, sheepskins). Taos diner is great for breakfast and lunch. KTAOS is the local radio station, but they also have a bar/restaurant with a huge backyard full of kid toys and with an unbelievable mountain view. Apparently my life revolves around food so that is most of my recommendations. Wherever you end up, don’t forget to eat green chiles!

    The plaza has been overrun with mostly junk shops but there is a good toy store. And if you like ceramics, Taos Clay is a local studio (my husband used to be a potter there); they have an (affordable) gallery and are super nice. OH also there is a couple that makes beautiful coats etc out of native american blankets. I don’t remember the shop name, but I think it is on Kit Carson across from the plaza. Anyone in town could tell you. You are going at the perfect time of year. We moved to Austin last year but I definitely miss the mountains as things start to get steamy down south.

    • jordanreid

      this all sounds so amazing. i cannot wait. taos is one of the stops i’m most excited for – we booked our santa fe airbnb for two nights already, but are planning a whole day in taos (we’ll just drive back to santa fe at night).

      • Jaime

        The Tune Up Cafe and Cafe Pasqual’s in Santa Fe are also favorites of mine. Kakawa chocolate and some other chocolate shops in town do a lot of things with pinon and chile and are delicious. There’s good thrift/antique shopping too– Double take has lots of vintage western wear etc.

        • jordanreid

          i am SOOOO on the thrift-store shopping during this trip. super excited about that.

  • I just got home on Monday from a 5 day trip to Nashville. SO awesome! Enjoy every second of every place you go! I can’t wait to do this someday!

  • Emily G.

    Yay! The south! (I’m from the better Carolina though… heh! :)) But, since you aren’t inching to SC, as far as Asheville goes – which by the way, you’re right about the cool factor and just being an all around great town – I would absolutely suggest Salsa’s (mexican/caribbean food). That city is chalk full of amazing places to lounge (seriously, they have a chocolate lounge – – but Salsa’s is a CAN’T MISS if you’re in the city. The food is unbelievable.

    Enjoy! And have fun! I’ll wave to you from SC.

    • jordanreid

      PERFECT. done. thank you!

  • Stephanie Retchless

    This is not so much a road trip recommendation as it is a “once you get here” offer! We live in Menlo Park and have two boys the same ages as your little ones. I stay home with my little monkeys and would love to meet up for a play date or glass of wine to welcome you to this crazy place! I am sure getting random offers from readers can be a bit eery…I keep a blog ( if you want to do a little background checking ;-). I also used to do PR for Crocs before moving West and worked with Claire Tindall who I think you know from your days of sponsorship with them. Anyway, I know moving to a new place can be a bit daunting and I just wanted to extend the offer in case you find yourself looking for new people and places to visit!

    • jordanreid

      how sweet are you?! i would love that.

  • Valerie

    That trip looks amazing fun! Eat breakfast at The Pantry when you’re in Santa Fe – it’s so, so good.

    • jordanreid

      will do! i remember from my last trip this amazing, amazing cafe…i want to say it was called the…guadalupe cafe, maybe? it was outdoors, right near the plaza. i’ll try this one too!

  • Kathleen Jaynes

    Hi Jordan,

    I’m a long time reader who has never commented (on this blog or really ANY for that matter). But…I gotta share. If you’re in Amarillo and have time, you should check out Palo Duro State Park for a hike. And if you’re into it, the Texas musical ( Indy might love this. And I’m assuming you’re going to the the Big Texas Steak Ranch…the whole thing is unlike anything you’ve ever experiended. You’ll love it! Texas Forever.

    Enjoy your trip!

    • jordanreid

      oh, we’re going to the steak ranch. i am so excited. do we actually try to do the challenge? …it’s impossible, right?

  • Karen

    Another Amarillo spot you have to stop by is Cadillac Ranch.

    • jordanreid

      DONE. i’ve been before, but k hasn’t and i think indy would totally freak out.

  • ellaquinlan

    I know someone who can give you some great tips on Santa Fe and Taos. 😉

    • jordanreid

      hahaha i need to pick up some extra green chilis so they don’t have to be flown in next time 😉

  • lili

    Please, please post all the pictures you take of your trip. Your itinerary sounds exciting and I can’t wait to read about your travel recommendations. (especially on Santa Fe, Nashville, Memphis, Amarillo) Have a great trip!

    • jordanreid

      i totally will! videos, photos, all of it. i didn’t pre-write content, so it’s going to be all road trippin’, all the time while we’re on our way out there 🙂 i’m hoping i’ll have internet access at all of our stops, but will for sure find a way to post daily regardless.

  • Shannon

    Yay Santa Fe! Sounds like you know your way around but let me know if you need recommendations.

    I would not stop at the wigwam. First, in real life it looks horrible. Second it’s not actually the quickest route to Tucson; you want to go south on I25 and then take I10 and you’ll save about 3 hours. If you want to stay halfway, do it in Truth or Consequences – there are about eight different hotels with hot springs, all super funky and affordable. Try Blackstone or La Paloma, you’ll want to book the room in advance.

    • jordanreid

      THANK YOU. i didn’t want to go way out of our way for the wigwam but didn’t know anywhere else to stop in between. we’ll stop at truth or consequences. thank you!

  • I can’t wait to follow your journey on Insta! And I remember this outfit from last year when you were still pregnant! Gorgeous.

  • Audrey

    Please let me know if you need anything while you’re in LA! And of course, if you have any spare time at all I would LOVE to see you. xo

  • Rachael Barry

    In Asheville, Rezaz and Tupelo Honey Cafe are two great restaurants to try. In between Asheville and Nashville, you’ll pass right through Knoxville (where I live.) You should stop and get some wonderful sushi at Nama sushi bar. I know, Tennessee sushi doesn’t sound like it would be great, but it is the best I’ve ever had anywhere.

    • jordanreid

      thank you so much for the recommendations, rachael! will definitely try at least one of these, hopefully more.