The coolest must-see attractions along I-10


Giant dinosaurs, Wild West gunfights, and spring-fed pools, oh my!

Traveling coast to coast on Interstate 10 will take you right through a huge section of the country. From the Pacific through the desert along the Gulf of Mexico and then to the Atlantic, and across 8 states, you'll find plenty to see and do along the route. You'll get to experience all kinds of classic attractions and experience tons of different cities as you make your way across the country-- so make sure to take advantage of the route by stopping off to take it all in. Here are some of the coolest attractions along I-10!

California

As you travel I-10 from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and into Arizona, you'll pass tons of rad and quirky attractions. The totally-free Griffith Observatory offers amazing views of Los Angeles's many neighborhoods, the Hollywood Sign, and has a museum dedicated to the stars.  There's also the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as the deeply strange Museum of Jurassic Technology. Closer to Palm Springs, you'll find the Cabazon Dinosaurs (which you might recognize as a filming location from Pee Wee's Big Adventure) and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which takes you up a mountain in the world's largest rotating tramcar!

Arizona

Taking you through major hubs like Tucson and Phoenix means tons to see and do along the interstate. From historical museums like the Titan Missile Museum and the Pima Air and Space Museum (which offers tours of the epic AMARG Plane Boneyard) to scenic stops like Desert Botanical Garden and offbeat roadside stops like The Thing, there's something to amuse just about anyone. Plus, famed attractions like Biosphere 2 and the O.K. Corral are right off the route as well, if you don't mind a short detour!

New Mexico

I-10 is only in New Mexico for a few miles, but there are still some great attrations in the Land of Enchantment. Stop by the quirky La Posta de Mesilla & Billy the Kid's jail for a taste of old-school New Mexico, visit the Bataan Death March Monument in White Sands to commemorate the brutal forced march of American and Filipino prisoners of war in Japan during WWII, and learn all about the atomic age at the White Sands Missile Range Museum.

Texas

A lot of the interstate's route is in Texas, so you'll get the chance to pass by some classic icons like the San Antonio River Walk (seriously, you could spend a whole day here), Space Center Houston, and, of course, The Alamo, but you can find some more off-the-beaten-path hidden gems along I-10 as well. There's the The Buckhorn Saloon and Texas Ranger Museum, the wacky Art Car Museum, and the folk art shrine known as The Orange Show Monument, among other offbeat oddities. You can also take a dip in largest spring-fed swimming pool at Balmorhea State Park, explore the recreated 19th century village at Fort Lancaster State Historic Site, or cool off underground at the stunning Caverns of Sonora.

Louisiana

Get a taste of Cajun Country at the Mardi Gras Museum in Lake Charles-- the colorful costumes, delicious King cakes, and demonstrations are completely festive. You'll also pass near another famous roadside attraction: the Abita Mystery House. Part museum, part folk art display, and all awesome, this "mystery house" features all kinds of crazy exhibits, from a 100-year-old Creole cabin to loads of antiques to a display of minature scenes that come to life with the push of a button. If you want to add some spice to your trip, Avery Island, also known as the Tabasco Factory, is about half an hour off the route: you can see the peppers they use in the sauce, learn how they make it, and check out their aviary. The USS Kidd Veterans Memorial & Museum is another great stop: you can walk the decks of a WWII destroyer while learning about its fascinating history. Plus, since I-10 goes right through New Orleans, you can stop off at The French Quarter to let the good times roll!

Mississippi and Alabama

I-10 quickly trails through these Southern states, which both offer plenty of fun! Mississippi offers the cute and quirky Alice Moseley Folk Art and Antique Museum and the Biloxi Lighthouse for views of the Gulf of Mexico, and in Alabama, you can tour another famous battleship, the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park (bonus: you can also see a submarine, the USS Drum, and 25 or so war planes here as well) or pose for a picture with the strange and mysterious Chicken Statue and Car.

Florida

The Sunshine State at last! Cutting across the Panhandle, you'll pass by tons of awesome attractions. There's the National Naval Aviation Museum, where you can get up close and personal with Phantoms, Tomcats, Skytrains and more. And if you prefer cars to boats and planes, there's the Tallahassee Automobile Museum, where you can see vintage roadsters and cars from film and TV! If you're looking to get a little wet on your trip through Florida, then you'll want to spend a few hours hitting the slides at Big Kahunas Water and Adventure Park in Destin as well. And once you reach Jacksonville, you can reflect on your journey at Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens or Jacksonville Beach-- they're both gorgeous places to relax after an epically long trip!

Want more fun on I-10? Here are some other guides to help you plan your trip!

Finding family fun on Florida's I-10

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The ultimate I-10 road trip

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Header via Flickr/m01229

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This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
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