Road Trip

5 min read

NY to AZ: Uncover Hidden Gems on Your Ultimate Road Trip

Buckle up, wanderlust warriors! From the Big Apple buzz to Phoenix's sun-kissed saguaros, we're mapping out an epic asphalt adventure that'll turn miles into memories.

Tobi Miles
February 9, 2020

New York City is one of the greatest & most iconic cities in the world, filled with skyscrapers such Empire State Building, one world trade center and the Rockefeller centre!

In addition, to it being a melting pot for culture, from Chinatown to Little Italy. As the hub of the east coast its the ideal launching pad for some epic road trips!

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona, know for its year-round sun, hot temperatures and the vibrant metropolitan area known as the  “Valley of the sun”.

A road trip between New York City & Phoenix will take you through some of unique cities and states in the USA. From Philadelphia to historic Charleston, New Orleans, Memphis, quirky Austin and many more!

How long is the drive from New York to Phoenix, Arizona?

Very long! Driving Directly from New York to Phoenix, Arizona would take you 36 hours and you would cover (2,406.8 miles) via I-40 W.

Of course the best part about any U.S Road Trip is the diverse range of incredible places you can stop enroute!

There is a vast amount of different driving routes depending upon what you wish to see enroute, me and my friends took Route 1 via Philadelphia, Atlanta & New Orleans.

However, for extra information i have included two extra routes one including the historic cities of Savannah & Charleston and the other via Blue Ridge parkway, Nashville and Memphis!

Interactive map (New York to Phoenix Road Trip):

Dive into our Interactive map below!

In the map below i have outlined three driving Routes:

  • Route 1 Via Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Orleans
  • Route 2 via Savannah, Charleston
  • Route 3: Via Blue Ridge, Nashville, Memphis (Blues Highway)

(The Routes are very similar for the first leg to Charleston, NC. Full Itinerary below)

User guide: Use the +/- buttons to zoom in and out of the attractions.

Top Tip: Many visitors choose to share the post on Facebook to inspire friends and help plan their road trip.

Hit the link below to share!

Road Trip Itinerary (New York to Phoenix):

In the map above I have outlined three driving routes for this epic road trip:

(I have highlighted the common part of the routes in orange)

Route 1 Via Philadelphia:

  1. New York City
  2. Atlantic City – Optional
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Baltimore
  5. Washington D.C
  6. Richmond, VA
  7. Raleigh, NC
  8. Charlotte, SC
  9. Atlanta, GA
  10. Mississippi
  11. New Orleans, LA
  12. Houston, TX
  13. Austin, TX
  14. Albuquerque, NM - Home to the Worlds Largest Hot Air Balloon Festival!
  15. Phoenix, AR

Road Trip Highlights:

Richmond, VA

Richmond, Virginia is one of the most underrated cities to visit in the USA. Despite it being the capital of Virginia, the southern charm of this city has been Americas best kept secret.

Apart from it’s history, Richmond is evolving into a college city with an up & coming culinary & arts scene.

Map of Things to do in Richmond:

Attractions, Museums, Breweries & Places to EAT!

Charlotte, SC

Charlotte, is a beautiful city known as “the Queen City”. It perfectly marries the vibrancy of a large city with the charm of small town!

It’s the birthplace of NASCAR and home to the NASCAR Hall of fame Museum.  Charlotte is also a city known for documenting post civil war history in the south, at the popular, Levine Museum of the New South. Whereas, Uptown Charlotte has a modern Commercial hub.

Charlotte Travel Guide 1 day Itinerary

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is a city with soul, history and great locals who really go out of there way to make sure your have a fantastic time. Expect that famous “Southern Hospitality” to not disappoint!

With “Let the Good times Roll” as New Orleans Unofficial motto this is a true symbol of the vibes expected. From the Garden District and Jazz clubs to the bustling  Bourbon Street.

Mardi Gras New Orleans

The Mardi Gras, was included in our; 12 Epic Parades in the U.S.A

In addition, one of the Town & Tourist community wrote about the “free love” and “boot knocking” aspect in this post: 7 Erotic Festivals USA: Why I dragged my Boyfriend!?

For more on New Orleans road trips check out: Atlanta to New Orleans Road Trip

Route 2: Via Savannah, Charleston:

  1. New York City
  2. Atlantic City – Optional
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Baltimore
  5. Washington D.C
  6. Richmond, VA
  7. Raleigh, NC
  8. Charleston, SC
  9. Savannah, GA
  10. Jacksonville, FL
  11. New Orleans, LA
  12. Houston, TX
  13. Austin, TX
  14. Albuquerque, NM - Home to the Worlds Largest Hot Air Balloon Festival!
  15. Phoenix, AR

Road Trip Highlights:

Savannah, GA

Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia and one of the original 13 colonies. This quaint city is filled with cobblestoned streets, manicured parks and horse drawn carriages.

Due to its age, Savannah is a history buffs dream with a variety of Civil war & Revolutionary sites making it a popular place to visit.

In the centre of Savannah you will find the stunning Gothic-Revival Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.  My favourite thing to do here was to drive through Oak tree lane, a breath taking Instagrammable road! It actually made our list: 25 Most Epic Driving Roads in the U.S.A: Road Trip Ideas!

A Road Trip Savannah Georgia from New York has some memorable drives through oak tree tunnels! Source: getty

For more on Savannah and Charleston check out: Atlanta to Charleston Road Trip: Via Savannah

Austin, Texas:

Austin, Texas is famous for its nightlife & awesome live music venues! It was even dubbed “the drunkest city in the US”! But is there more to Austin?

Yes definitely, check out the vibrant food scene, the outdoor graffiti art gallery and soak up the unique and friendly atmosphere!

Austin offers the perfect balance between “small town and Big city”.

Things to do in Austin?

  1. Visit the Texas Capitol
  2. Photograph the Outdoor Graffiti Galley
  3. Check out the 1.5 Million Bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge!
  4. Explore the Interactive Texas State History Museum
  5. Relax in Zilker Park
  6. Enjoy Live music at the Continental Club
  7. Experience Austins Wild nightlife on "dirty sixth" street.

For our full Austin Itinerary including places to eat check out: Ultimate New York to Austin Road Trip Itinerary!

Route 3: Via Blue Ridge, Nashville, Memphis (Blues Highway)

  1. New York City
  2. Atlantic City – Optional
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Baltimore
  5. Washington D.C
  6. Richmond, VA
  7. Raleigh, NC
  8. Charlotte, SC
  9. Blue Ridge Parkway
  10. Nashville, TN
  11. Memphis, TN
  12. Blues Highway
  13. Austin, TX
  14. Albuquerque, NM - Home to the Worlds Largest Hot Air Balloon Festival!
  15. Phoenix, AR

Road Trip Highlights:

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway which is the longest linear park in the U.S, around 469-miles in length through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties.

Expect smooth roads, sweeping curves and exquisite natural beauty as a backdrop! It is advised to spend at least two days to enjoy every part of this drive.

Memphis, TN

Memphis Tennessee. This is the ultimate place to learn about the history of Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Things to do:

Memphis, Tennessee

Where to Stay in Memphis?

If you plan on staying in downtown Memphis I recommended:

La Quinta Inn & Suites – A superb hotel in Downtown Memphis. There is an indoor swimming pool, free parking on site and free WiFi throughout the hotel.

If you are an Elvis Fan, then you should definitely stay at:

The Guest House at Graceland – A fantastic hotel which is just a five-minute walk from the gates of the Graceland Mansion. There are two restaurants in-house and an outdoor swimming pool.

For more on Memphis, check out:Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip: Blues Highway 61

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Located in the heart of New Mexico beats, the pulse of a vibrant city. With a great atmosphere, historic traditions and lots to do, Albuquerque is definitely the place to be.

One of the most famous highlights, is the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, is the Largest and arguably the most extravagant Hot Air Balloon festival in the world!

It will “Inflate” the minds of that attend and truly take your breath away.

No matter your interests, the city has countless other things for you to explore.  From sampling the tasty New Mexican cuisine, to exploring museums, landmarks and even Route 66. Are you a fan of Breaking Bad? The popular netflix series was filmed here in Albuquerque so you can actually check out “Walter Whites House” or even get your car washed in his car wash.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona. Known for its year-round sun, hot temperatures and vibrant metropolitan area known as the  “Valley of the sun”. Here you can also find many high end spa resorts, Jack Nicklaus–designed golf courses and exciting nightclubs!

Phoenix, Arizona

Things to do in Phoenix:

Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden is a 140 acre botanical garden know for its thousands of species of cacti, trees and flowers from all over the world.

Address: 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, United States

Hall of Flame! Fire Fighting Museum

The “Hall of Flame!” was opened in 1961 as a place to collect, preserve and showcase the great firefighting equipment used throughout the past decades.

Here you will be able to see vintage fire engines and other antique equipment.

Address: 6101 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85008, United States

Papago Park

Papago Park is an historic hiking haven which includes also includes the iconic Hunt’s Tomb, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Address: 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, United States.

While in Phoenix, you should also take a Havasu Falls hike which offers  breath taking aquamarine waterfalls pouring out of red rocks!

Remember though a reservation is required so book well in advance.

Where to Eat?

Its been a long drive, so you deserve some good food!

A few of my favourite places to eat in Phoenix include: Rusconi’s American Kitchen, a warm place serving wood-fired New American dishes in a chic, contemporary setting.

Address: 10637 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85028, United States

Little Miss BBQ is a retro restaurant which serves smoked Texas–style BBQ & traditional sides.

Address: 4301 E University Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85034, United States

Where to stay?

For a full list of our recommended places to stay in Phoenix, Arizona Follow the link HERE

Also check out: How to find the Best Hotel Deals??

Essential Road Trip Tips:

How to get the best car rental Deals?

Check out: Ultimate Car Rental Travel Hacks!

For RV Rentals we always use: RV Share

Bring your RV to Tiden Park.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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