Planning a road pilgrimage from Texas come California? It can be a an overwhelming task! A road expedition like this consists 4 states, 3 time zones, and anywhere indigenous 1,600-2,100 miles depending on the course you take. And along the way, there are lots of amazing areas you could stop…plus what feels prefer a million spectacular sights come see!

I recently found myself road tripping native Texas to California and also was in the exact same boat you are appropriate now: trying to decide what stops would certainly be worth it. After ~ planning and also experiencing this road pilgrimage for myself, i have come up through two different routes because that a funny Texas come California road trip (one course along 1-40 and another along 1-10). So today I’m going to share my favorite stops I discovered along the way…so the you, too, can arrangement an epic roadway trip and make memories that will last a lifetime!

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Texas come California road Trip: Route choice #1

There space two key routes you have the right to take to gain from Texas come California—a high course (I-40) and also a low course (I-10). This road trip route, which i’m calling option 1, bring away you along the lower component of new Mexico and also Arizona on your means to mountain Diego, California. After ~ reading around the stop in path 1 and route 2, you have the right to decide i beg your pardon one sound most interesting to you! Or, the course, if you’re planning a round-trip road pilgrimage then you can do one every way.


1. Visit the Johnson an are Center in Texas

If you’re beginning from Houston, Texas ~ above your roadway trip, then that could mean the you room from Texas currently so you won’t desire to see numerous sights from where you already live. However if you no from Texas (or girlfriend haven’t explored over there much), then you might want to view some cool spots favor the Johnson room Center before you proceed on your trip.

The Johnson space Center is a fun and also interactive location to visit, with many exhibits and also galleries whereby you can obtain up close through exciting artefacts from across the year of human room exploration. If you room at all interested in space, science, or an innovation then this is a must-visit road pilgrimage stop! You have the right to learn an ext about visiting the an are Center here.


2. Explore Newman’s lock in Texas

For your following road pilgrimage stop in Texas, yes sir a beautiful castle v an intriguing origin story just a short ways from Houston. It’s referred to as Newman’s Castle and is situated in the little town the Bellville. If she curious about why yes sir a lock in Texas or what it might be like, friend will certainly want to avoid here!

This lock was built by and also belongs come Mike Newman that runs a local bakery shop. After ~ he built the castle, he discovered a lot of of human being were interested in his new home therefore he determined to open it up because that visitors! that a really cool framework to see and wander around during a tour, for this reason if you desire to visit you deserve to learn much more about the castle and how come visit in this guide.

3. Fill Up in ~ Buc-ee’s Gas terminal in Texas

If you’re indigenous Texas, you’ve likely currently been come a Buc-ee’s Gas Station…but if girlfriend haven’t been, climate this is a place you should stop! not only have the right to you to fill up your tank through gas at among the largest gas train station in the world, however you can likewise go into one of the biggest convenience stores in the world to stock up top top road expedition treats.

It’s a really impressive ar to visit and also you may discover yourself wandering roughly for longer than friend expect! few of the things they’re well-known for incorporate super clean and huge restrooms (great for road trippers!), a huge beef jerky counter (like a meat respond to in a grocery store!), their iconic “Beaver Nuggets,” and their at sight cheap and super vast sodas (think 40+ oz because that 79 cents!)

The best Buc-ee’s to avoid at because that this road expedition is the new Braunfels location, and it’s a quite cool one to stop at anyway since it’s the largest convenience keep in the world and also it functions amenities favor 120 gas pumps, 83 toilets, and also 80 soda fountain dispensers.


4. Visit Carlsbad Caverns national Park in new Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns nationwide Park is the next vital stop ~ above this Texas come California roadway trip. I’ve to be here plenty of times, and also every time that is a fascinating location to explore!

The main attraction right here is Carlsbad Cavern itself, which is a large cave that you can hike into using the natural cave entrance. Over there is also an elevator you can take straight into the cavern if needed, yet if you are physically able come hike the natural entrance ns think that is the best means to begin your experience of the cave. As soon as inside, you have the right to walk and also explore all the chambers (including the stunning large Room) and also see miscellaneous astounding cavern formations throughout the rooms.

Another attribute that paint, etc visitors below is that bats live in Carlsbad Cavern, and while girlfriend can’t directly visit your area of the cavern you have the right to still watch them in ~ night once they leaving the cavern. If you desire to, you have the right to go come a ranger speak in the night to clock the bats every fly the end of the cavern at once. The an i can not forget experience!

5. Eat at Mad Jack’s Mountaintop Barbecue in new Mexico

While road tripping new Mexico, i stumbled across this place called Mad Jack’s Mountaintop Barbecue in Cloudcroft. And let me call you—it is excellent! I would certainly happily drive all the means back to brand-new Mexico simply to eat here.

If you carry out want to stop here to eat, just know that they close when they operation out of food…whatever time that happens come be. Therefore if you want to acquire their ideal items (or any food in ~ all) then you require to acquire here early! They compose the names of your sold-out items up on a chalk board, so if you acquire here in the afternoon you’ll uncover a vast line of customers anxiously watching and also hoping mad Jack’s won’t market out of your favorite items prior to it’s their turn in line! yet if you’re here in time, make sure you stimulate the sliced brisket and also the cake cream-based potato salad, i beg your pardon are some of the best items ~ above the menu.


6. Protect against at White Sands national Monument in new Mexico

White Sands nationwide Monument in brand-new Mexico should definitely be on her road trip list. This gorgeous area is filled v sand that is much whiter and much more blinding than you’d expect…even though “white sand” is accurate in the surname so you would think the you’d recognize what you’re acquiring into.

There are some fun hiking trails here, some off-trail long options, and also you have the right to even try sledding under the dunes if friend want. It’s a good place to get out and also stretch her legs and see some of the organic beauty that the planet while you’re in ~ it! Be certain to inspect out an ext about the finest things to do at White Sands so girlfriend can setup what you want to do ahead of time.

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7. See Saguaro national Park in Arizona

Saguaro national Park is one more beautiful park come visit top top your road trip. Among the greatest attractions is the majestic and vast Saguaro cacti that deserve to be found throughout this slice of the Sonoran Desert!

While you here, you’ll desire to take a couple of hikes (be cautious if it’s hot outside, though, together you don’t desire to get heat stroke!). You’ll also want to try to find the best Saguaro feasible and marvel at it’s awe-inspiring size! It’s hard to yes, really understand simply how large these giants are until you are standing right alongside them. Overall, there are many fun points to do here in Saguaro, so this is another good place to stretch your legs during your drive!


8. Explore San Diego

San Diego is the last stop on this road pilgrimage guide, back of course you might easily work your means up the coast to many of various other amazing California cities like San luis Obispo or san Francisco.

But within san Diego, there are many fun points to do and you may also want to take into consideration spending number of days below (especially if that is her final destination on your roadway trip!) There are beautiful beaches come visit and also tide pools to see, spectacular hikes, city sights, an excellent sunset-watching spots, and more. Yes sir a huge variety of bucket perform worthy sights simply waiting because that you to explore!

So even if it is you have actually just one day in mountain Diego, a weekend, or even more time to spend in this city, it will certainly be the perfect end to your Texas-California roadway trip!