We’re celebrating Independence Day with a short and sweet rundown of some must-visit road trip destinations (that just so happen to share the shades of our grand ole flag). So while you’re waiting for the grill to heat up, grab something cold to sip on and come along for the ride with us:
The sheer size (277 miles long, a whopping 18 miles wide) and beauty of this red-hued marvel lead to many a dropped jaw. This ancient canyon became a national park in 1919 and is (unsurprisingly) the most popular attraction in Arizona today. Tempted to head that way? Don’t forget your camera to capture some prime photo ops, a trusty backpack to bring on a day hike and a bathing suit to wear during a rafting cruise down the Colorado River. (Which is waaay down in the bottom of the canyon— a full day’s hike to get there.)
Another awe-inspiring western stop, this New Mexico national monument is the world’s largest dune field of gypsum (a soft mineral that turns to white sand when crystalized). Fun fact: Gypsum grains are fine and don’t bake in the sun, so walking barefoot in the sand is totally doable even on the hottest of days. In addition to spectacular sunsets, you can also witness incredible moonrises followed by some serious stargazing. We’re talking major Instagram moments here.
For something a bit more off the beaten path, we have a soft spot for the small town of Wimberley, Texas, home to a hidden burst of blue. This treasured water world is what summer swimming dreams are made of. Imagine floating in crystal-clear water framed by native grass fields and under the shade of cypress trees. When you’re feeling more adventurous, the rope swings will come in handy. A picnic (or that summer read) is perfect for drying off post-dip.