The American Southwest is filled with fun towns, cities, landscapes and history of the country.
The US southwest is an amazing place to visit. When looking for US travel ideas, we highly recommend exploring the southwest on a road trip!
We have put together a list of US Southwest vacation ideas so various locations, resources and tips are all in one place to make it easier to decide where to go, when to go and what to do.
There are resources below that include travel guides, packing checklists, travel tips and more to plan your trip to the Southwest USA!
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Southwest USA Vacations and Road Trips
Use the vacation ideas and guides below to plan your Southwest USA trip. We’ve included multi-day itineraries we recommend for making the most of exploring the area!
- 8 Day American Southwest Road Trip Guide
- 55 Southwest USA Road Trip Ideas
- 10 Days in the American Southwest
- Family Vacation Ideas in the Southwest US
Things to Do in the US Southwest
Here’s a list of things to do, see and photograph in the US Southwest. Explore the various points of interest by driving, hiking or biking. And don’t forget to learn about all the best photo spots.
- Southwest USA Road Trip Ideas
- 25 Things to Do in the Southwest
- Bucket List-Worthy Things to Do in the Southwest
National Parks in the US Southwest
The landscape of the national parks in the southwest are unique and stunning. There is so much to see, do and photograph at each park! We have created a list of helpful resources like travel guides, packing checklists, tips and more to help you decide which US national parks to visit on your American southwest trip!
- Utah National Parks
- Arches National Park travel guide
- Bryce Canyon travel guide
- Canyonlands National Park guide
- Capitol Reef National Park guide
- Zion National Park travel guide
- Arches and Canyonlands Photography Guide
- Bryce Canyon Photography Guide
- Capitol Reef Photography Guide
- Zion National Park Photography Guide
US Southwest Ideas by Season
There are important things to know about traveling in the Southwest at various times of the year. Use these resources if you’re looking for ideas on the best times to this area and things to do during each season.
- Spring in the Southwest
- Summer Vacations in the Southwest
- Fall Colors in the Southwest
- American Southwest in the Winter
Tips and Resources for Visiting the Southwest
Helpful resources for what to pack, road trip tips, healthy snacks to eat, and more. Many of these checklists you can download and print!
- Family Road Trip Items to Pack
- Healthy Road Trip Snacks
- National Park Packing Lists for Summer & Winter
- Is the US National Park Pass a Good Deal?
- Holiday Road Trips with Kids
- Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!
Southwest USA Packing List
When you are visiting the US Southwest it is important to be prepared. This includes wearing the proper clothes and shoes to be comfortable for the climate and the terrain.
→ CHECK OUT: National park packing list for summer and winter
- Hiking shoes – we like Merrell Moab and Oboz hiking shoes
- Hiking socks – we always wear Darn Tough socks to keep our feet happy!
- Lots of Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Food – healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Lip Balm – get lip balm with UV protection
- Sunscreen – sun protection is important in the summer and winter!
- Hand sanitizer – travel hand sanitizer is good for those times when you can’t wash your hands thoroughly!
- Flashlight or headlamp – a headlamp is perfect for those morning or evening hikes
- Maps of the park – national park maps are essential if you’ll do any hiking
- Guide book for the park – national park guide books are a wonderful resource to keep with you!
- Sunglasses – UV sunglasses are good for summer and winter
- First aid kit – carry a first aid kit in your car and in your backpack when hiking
- Insect repellent – bug bites are no fun!
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!