The Destination Edit

The Classic American Road Trip

Is there anything more quintessentially American than the cross-country road trip? Spanning 13 states (we know!), 3,741 miles and racking up 58 hours of driving time, we’ve forged a route spotlighting the stops to make along the way. Filled with great art, fantastic food, breathtaking views and not a dodgy motel in sight, follow our lead as you journey west.

Stop 1

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

SEE: The city is the latest cultural hotspot. You have to visit the Andy Warhol museum (he was born there). The Mattress Factory, a hub for contemporary art, is another must-see.


STAY: The Ace Hotel. The hipster hotel chain is known for taking over cool spaces. This one is housed in a former YMCA building.


EAT: For some rustic American fare in a chic atmosphere, visit Butcher and the Rye. Editor's note: their James Beard award-winning bar is well worth a cocktail or two.

Stop 2

Louisville, Kentucky

SEE: This stop's less about "seeing" and more about imbibing. As Napa is to wine, Kentucky is to whiskey. Not only is the distillery for college-famous Jim Beam conveniently located just outside the city, its bourbon is known to be some of the best in the world. Don’t drink and drive—take a car from Mint Julep Tours.


STAY: You’re technically in the South, so why not channel some old school charm at the historic Brown Hotel.


EAT: It's all about going local. Harvest’s menu of novel takes on Southern cooking is all sourced locally (and we mean really local—80% of it comes from within a 100-mile radius). Go for brunch before you head off west.

Stop 3

Bentonville, Arkansas

SEE: There’s more to Arkansas than the Clintons and The Simple Life. In this unexpected home to some of the best American art, wander through The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (founded by the family behind Walmart), whose collection spans five centuries and features Georgia O’Keeffe, James Turrell and Norman Rockwell.


STAY: Cross the state line into Missouri and set up home in the Big Cedar Lodge on Table Rock Lake, a spa-cum-hotel. Relax with one of their award-winning treatments—you’ve earned it.


EAT: Chateau Grille is classic American but you’re really coming here for the view of the lake, so remember to ask for an outdoor table (and book in advance).

Stop 4

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

SEE: Don't miss two of the best Instagram opportunities. En route, stop off along the I-40 at the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas—the spray painted cars make for a great backdrop. Once you make it to White Sands, you'll find the notorious sand dunes—another chance to rack up your likes (they even offer sleds).


STAY: The place to stay is the very authentic Hacienda de Mesilla, located in nearby Las Cruces, New Mexico.


EAT: Fortunately, you don’t need to venture far for good food. The Hacienda’s rooftop Cantina serves the best lobster tacos for miles.

Stop 5

Zion National Park, Utah

SEE: By now it's time for a little nature—and some exercise. We suggest a hike over the steep red cliffs, with the towering waterfalls of the Emerald Pools visible throughout. With so many different routes, you could stay for days.


STAY: If you enjoy camping you're in a tent. If not, you'll be booking a room in the park’s local lodge.


EAT: In the middle of “meat and potatoes” country, King’s Landing Bistro in nearby Springdale serves a delicious organic-everything menu—more in line with the Moda choice.

Stop 6

San Francisco, California

SEE: You’ve made it! Here's the perfect way to spend the afternoon. Walk (or bike!) across the Golden Gate bridge and stop at Cavallo Point for a photo op (it notoriously has the best view of the bridge—cue hundreds of Instagram likes). Head to nearby Sausalito for lunch and then take the ferry back to the city. While there, don't miss The Summer of Love (an ode to 1967) at the de Young Museum—it's on through August 20th.


STAY: If it's your first time to the city, the Fairmont Hotel is a classic, complete with urban glamour and its famous tiki bar, the Tonga Room. Been here before? We suggest The Battery, a 14-room hotel with a cool, artsy vibe (think Soho House).


EAT: When the clock strikes cocktail hour, head to The Riddler, the buzzed-about champagne bar in Hayes Valley which boasts a nearly all-female team—and a sleek, bistro-like decor. Everyone is booking tables at the Tenderloin's Hitachino Beer & Wagyu, the new Japanese beer and beef hotspot with a fabulous wagyu tasting menu (and five-week waiting list).