16 days in United States Itinerary

16 days in United States Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Santa Fe
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Cortez
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Zion National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Las Vegas
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Grand Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Alamogordo
— 2 nights
Drive

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Santa Fe

— 3 nights

City Different

Santa Fe continuously ranks among the world's top holiday destinations, attracting visitors with its unusual combination of scenic beauty, rich history, cultural diversity, and high concentration of performing arts venues, fine restaurants, and interesting attractions.
On the 20th (Sun), see the interesting displays at Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, trek along Dale Ball Trails, then see the interesting displays at The Harrell House Bug Museum, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at San Miguel Chapel. Keep things going the next day: look for all kinds of wild species at Randall Davey Audubon Center and then indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

For ratings, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Santa Fe trip maker.

Dallas to Santa Fe is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Dallas to Santa Fe. In December, Santa Fe is a bit cooler than Dallas - with highs of 45°F and lows of 22°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) to allow time to travel to Cortez.

Things to do in Santa Fe

Wineries · Tours · Museums · Parks

Cortez

— 2 nights
As the closest town to a national park known for its archeological dwellings, Cortez sits along ancient trails that native Puebloan tribes have used for millennia.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Tue): hike along Nordenskiold #16 Trail, then trek along Petroglyph Point Hike, and then see the interesting displays at Rio Grande Southern Railroad Museum.. Here are some ideas for day two: pause for some photo ops at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, learn more about the world around you at The Anasazi Heritage Center, then admire the masterpieces at Notah Dineh Trading Company and Museum, and finally get engrossed in the history at Cortez Cultural Center.

For more things to do, photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Cortez trip builder.

Traveling by car from Santa Fe to Cortez takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. Traveling from Santa Fe in December, Cortez is a bit cooler at night with lows of 15°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel to Zion National Park.

Things to do in Cortez

Museums · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Zion National Park

— 2 nights
Towering cliffs of red, white, and pink Navajo sandstone, stream-carved slot canyons, and big blue sky all characterize Zion National Park.
Visiting Kolob Canyons and Checkerboard Mesa will get you outdoors. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel and Kayenta Trail. Spend the 25th (Fri) exploring nature at Court of the Patriarchs. Next up on the itinerary: hike along Watchman Trail.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and tourist information, go to the Zion National Park online itinerary maker.

Explore your travel options from Cortez to Zion National Park with the Route module. Traveling from Cortez in December, expect nights in Zion National Park to be about the same, around 20°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 50°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Las Vegas.

Things to do in Zion National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Las Vegas

— 3 nights

Sin City

Nicknamed the "Entertainment Capital of the World," Las Vegas sits in the middle of a desert in the southern section of Nevada.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Fremont Street Experience as well as Hoover Dam. Start off your visit on the 27th (Sun): see human ingenuity at work at Hoover Dam, then don't miss a visit to Fremont Street Experience, then examine the collection at Pinball Hall of Fame, and finally shop like a local with The Strip. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Mon): take in the awesome beauty at Mount Charleston and then explore the stunning scenery at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Las Vegas vacation planner.

Getting from Zion National Park to Las Vegas by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of car and bus. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Zion National Park to Las Vegas due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Zion National Park in December, things will get a bit warmer in Las Vegas: highs are around 57°F and lows about 39°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can go by car to Grand Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Las Vegas

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trip

Grand Canyon National Park

— 2 nights
The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Tue): engage your brain at Yavapai Geology Museum, then take some stellar pictures from Yaki Point, and then get great views at Pipe Creek Vista. On your second day here, take some stellar pictures from Mohave Point, explore the stunning scenery at Hermit Road, then admire the striking features of Grand Canyon Railway Depot, and finally explore the stunning scenery at Yavapai Point.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Grand Canyon National Park day trip planning tool.

You can drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park. When traveling from Las Vegas in December, plan for little chillier days in Grand Canyon National Park, with highs around 45°F, while nights are colder with lows around 15°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Thu) so you can drive to Alamogordo.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Nature · Parks · Childrens Museums · Outdoors

Alamogordo

— 2 nights
Alamogordo is the seat of Otero County, New Mexico, United States. Start off your visit on the 31st (Thu): see the interesting displays at Shroud Exhibit and Museum and then do a tasting at McGinn's PistachioLand. On the 1st (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: learn about winemaking at Tularosa Vineyards, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Joseph Apache Mission Church, then contemplate the long history of Sacramento Mountains Museum, and finally do a tasting at Heart of the Desert.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Alamogordo online sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Grand Canyon National Park to Alamogordo in 9 hours. In December, Alamogordo is a bit warmer than Grand Canyon National Park - with highs of 56°F and lows of 30°F. On the 2nd (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Alamogordo

Wineries · Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trips

United States travel guide

4.5
Specialty Museums · Beaches · Historic Sites
More than the country of car-packed streets seen in TV shows and movies, the United States of America is a complex and diverse home to over 300 million people living in a wide range of landscapes and climates. From its big-city skyscrapers to its sprawling natural parks, the country's ''melting pot'' combines many ethnic groups that share a strong sense of national identity despite their cultural differences. A country of road trips and big blue skies, the United States harbors orderly cities filled with restaurants, parks, museums, and innumerable sightseeing opportunities, as well as pristine natural areas perfect for a holiday in the great outdoors. To see as much as you can of this diverse land quickly, drive over some of the more than 6 million km (4 million mi) of highways leading through deserts, mountain peaks, fertile fields, and giant urban centers.

Colorado travel guide

4.4
River Rafting & Tubing · Parks · Scenic Drive
The Centennial State
Home to diverse natural ecosystems, Colorado boasts numerous ski resorts, vineyards, canyons, fossil-rich national parks, rugged natural trails, and picturesque scenic drives. Arguably the greatest of Colorado's many natural wonders is Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the North American Rockies. The state's natural beauty inspired the opening lyrics of the song "America the Beautiful." Aside from its abundant unspoiled wilderness, Colorado also offers many urban attractions, including award-winning restaurants and nationally praised microbreweries. With an extensive system of highways and railroads, the state provides visitors on vacation with a chance to explore this largely untamed part of the country by car or train.

Utah travel guide

4.7
Geologic Formations · Hiking Trails · Scenic Drive
The Beehive State
A huge but sparsely populated land, Utah remains a major holiday destination offering plenty of year-round outdoor vacation ideas, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, boating, horseback riding, and camping. The rugged terrain, defined by towering mountain peaks, deep canyons, and vast deserts, seems custom-made for adventurous nature lovers. With five national parks, the state has no shortage of pristine wilderness areas, causing many tourists to overlook the cultural attractions of its towns. Salt Lake City, the state's capital, features the headquarters of the Mormon Church, and draws over 5 million annual visitors. Utah also hosts several major film festivals each year, attracting young movie buffs from around the world.

Nevada travel guide

4.3
Performances · Fountains · Casinos
The Silver State
The neon streets of Las Vegas represent only one chapter in the story of Nevada, a sparsely populated state offering travelers a chance to discover the country's western frontier. Utterly unlike the more populated parts of the North American continent, Nevada's landscape includes huge deserts where you can easily leave modern civilization behind and enjoy a tranquil vacation. For a taste of untamed Nevada, explore the network of paved and unpaved roads leading to some of the world's most rugged and desolate natural wonders. If trying to make a fortune is high on your itinerary, remember that in the first state to legalize gambling, a slot machine is never too far away. Even gas stations and small motels in the largely deserted rural areas offer some form of gambling to the passing traveler.

Arizona travel guide

4.3
Canyons · Geologic Formations · Hiking Trails
The Grand Canyon State
Known as the "Grand Canyon State," Arizona boasts dense forests, deep gorges, sprawling national parks, and modern ski resorts. Native American reservations take up about a quarter of the state, housing several tribes and offering visitors a chance to discover the varied cultures of the country's indigenous population. A patchwork of diverse tourist attractions, Arizona features exclusive golf courses and upscale shops, as well as cactus-covered canyons and stretches of desolate desert straight out of old Westerns, perfect for a vacation far from the city bustle. Though the state still clings to its Old West flavor, its busy college towns packed with young students from around the world exude a cosmopolitan atmosphere.