Ever wanted to travel coast to coast? This itinerary will take you from New York City to San Francisco, via some of the country’s most amazing cities, monuments, national parks, and heritage sites. What are you waiting for? Start planning your cross country road trip ASAP!

NYC-SFO cross country road trip

  1. New York City, New York
  2. Niagara Falls, New York
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  4. Indianapolis, Indiana
  5. Chicago, Illinois
  6. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  7. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  8. Mt Rushmore, South Dakota
  9. Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
  10. Salt Lake City, Utah
  11. Reno, Nevada
  12. San Francisco, California

Manhattan, New York City

New York City

  • Start your trip in the city that never sleeps. No visit is complete without a visit to the iconic Statue of Liberty.
  • Check out the Financial District of Manhattan. Stop by the 9/11 memorial, One World Trade Center, and Wall Street.
  • Head up to Midtown to see the bright lights of Times Square, the famous Empire State Building, and the glitz and glamour of Broadway.
  • Don’t forget to slow down and relax while you check out Central Park, and walk along the stunning Brooklyn Bridge.

City guide: 12 fabulous things to do in New York City

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls

  • Take a ride on the Maid of the Mist, where you’ll get drenched from the spray of the falls.
  • Go up the Observation Tower for awesome views of the falls and Canada.
  • Walk along the Goat Island pedestrian bridge to get to Cave of the Winds. Take the elevator down to Niagara Gorge, then walk along the wooden boardwalks which will take you to Hurricane Deck where you can feel the powerful winds created by the falls.

Where to stay: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Niagara Falls


  • Go up the Duquesne Incline for some city views.
  • Check out the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
  • Visit the The Andy Warhol Museum for your art fix, then to the Strip District to shop and eat.

Where to stay: Hyatt Place Pittsburgh-North Shore


  • Check out some museums, such as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians, the Indiana State Museum, or SpaceQuest Planetarium.
  • Tour the Lockerbie Square Historic District for its Queen Anne style architecture, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Take a walk through downtown and check out Monument Circle, the Canal Walk, and White River State Park.

Where to stay: Residence Inn by Marriott Indianapolis Downtown on the Canal

North Ave Beach, Chicago


  • Be sure to take an architecture boat tour to learn all about the city’s many skyscrapers.
  • Wander around Cloud Gate and Millennium Park.
  • Walk out to the end of Navy Pier and gaze out at Lake Michigan.
  • Sip some fancy cocktails in a speakeasy and try some deep dish pizza.

City guide: 12 awesome things to do in Chicago


  • Visit the Mall Of America – a giant shopping center containing its own theme park.
  • Check out the Midtown Global Market for some cheap eats and gifts.
  • Walk Over the Mississippi River via the Stone Arch Bridge.
  • Go for a nature walk to Minnehaha Park to see the pretty Minnehaha Falls.

Where to stay: Aloft Minneapolis

Sioux Falls

  • Visit Falls Park, where the Big Sioux River drops in a multi-layered waterfall. Take the elevator up the viewing tower for the best views.
  • Take a walk around downtown to enjoy the various sculptures that are part of the SculptureWalk.
  • Interact with butterflies, sting rays, and sharks at the Sertoma Butterfly House & Marine Cove.

Where to stay: Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Sioux Falls

Mt Rushmore, South Dakota

Mt Rushmore

  • Be sure to stop in at Badlands National Park on the way for some otherworldly landscapes.
  • Check out the 60 foot high granite faces of former US presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln at Mt Rushmore. Be sure to walk the Presidential Trail for a closer look.
  • 30 minutes away is the Crazy Horse Monument – a mountain carving which honors a Sioux warrior known for his bravery in battle. It’s bigger and arguably more impressive than Mt Rushmore. Don’t miss it!

Where to stay: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mt. Rushmore

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

  • Drive around the north loop of Yellowstone, stopping in at Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, and the Canyon. Inspiration Point and Artist Point are both good vistas.
  • Drive around the south loop, and check out Yellowstone LakeOld Faithful geyser, Morning Glory Pool, and Grand Prismatic Spring.

Where to stay: Holiday Inn – West Yellowstone

Salt Lake City

  • See the ballet or a Broadway show at the Capital Theatre.
  • Visit the grand six-spired temple, flower gardens and fountains at Temple Square.
  • Enjoy the outdoors at Red Butte Gardens, This is the Place Heritage Park, or Hogle Zoo.
  • Visit the Utah State Capitol at Capitol Hill. Free guided tours are available between 9 AM and 4 PM weekdays.

Where to stay: Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel


  • Try your hand at poker in Reno’s casino district.
  • Check out the National Automobile Museum and take photos of historic cars.
  • Wander along the Riverwalk in downtown.
  • Take a trip to the picturesque Lake Tahoe for some skiing or watersports, depending on the season.

Where to stay: Plaza On The River

Painted Ladies, San Francisco

San Francisco

  • Visit some of San Francisco’s most famous attractions, such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, and Lombard Street.
  • Head to Land’s End for views of the Golden Gate Bridge, then wander around the hippie district of Haight-Ashbury.
  • Explore the Mission District, which is known for its amazing street art, quirky shops, and mission burritos.

City guide: 12 things to do in San Francisco


  1. How long does this itinerary take on average?

  2. Bharti Patel

    Hi! I do like this itenarary. The only thing is we would like someone to drive us throughout the trip. Is that a possibility and if not then are you able to suggest how and who would do this.

    Thank you,

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