If you’re a boomer traveler looking for adventures in the American Southwest, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a part of the United States that we love to explore, and know well.
American Southwest travel tips
Which states make up the American Southwest? Arizona and New Mexico are the heart of the region. But most experts also include Utah, Nevada, California, Colorado and parts of Texas. Those are the destinations that we’ll feature here.
When should you visit the American Southwest? We recommend avoiding the hot summer temperatures in favor of spring or fall. Winter is also a fine time to explore, however higher elevations might have snow. Plus you’ll run into the winter snowbird crowds, especially in southern Arizona.
How do you plan your American Southwest trips? When researching road trips, as well as off-road adventures, The Bench Press Road & Recreation Atlas is our go-to guide. You’ll find individual versions for all the western states.
When it comes to hiking, we are big fans of Falcon Guide hiking books. Again, you can find versions by state, national park or even regions of the U.S.
And if you’re looking to visit a national park in the American Southwest, start your research at our national park adventures page. Road trippers will want to check out our US road trips page for more southwestern travel ideas. Now let’s get started on what you came here for—adventure!
Boomer Travel Tip
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The best adventures in the American Southwest for boomer travelers
From hiking to biking to bird watching to simply exploring, this region of the U.S. has it all. Active boomer travelers will find more than enough to do. We promise!
After living in Tucson, Arizona, for eleven years, it’s safe to say that we know active travel in the Southwestern United States. We spent much of our time hiking, four-wheeling, road tripping and exploring, especially in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
The Ultimate Guide to a Monument Valley Scenic Drive
Are you planning a road trip in the American Southwest? A scenic drive in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the border of Arizona and Utah places you in the middle of nature’s wonderland of spires, buttes and red rock creations. Grab your camera (I use a Panasonic Lumix) and let’s get started! The Ultimate […]
Active Travel In Taos, New Mexico
If you’re looking for active travel ideas in Taos, New Mexico, we can help! the region is filled with Native American culture, beautiful hikes and gorgeous drives like the High Road to Taos. Enveloped by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is especially lively, and well-known for its active travel options. From mountain adventures, to […]
Exploring the White Pocket on a Boomer Adventure in Arizona
If anything piques our travel radar, it’s exploring the many off-the beaten-path travel destinations located throughout the American Southwest. Guest writer, Bill Haskamp, is here to tell us all about one of the most remarkable and isolated sites in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument as we go exploring White Pocket, Arizona. Discover an off-the-beaten-path adventure in […]
Driving the Burr Trail on a Boomer Road Trip in Southern Utah
Alan and I are huge fans of exploring the country lanes and dirt roads of the United States. And when it comes to finding adventure in the American Southwest, a bumpy dirt road is the place to be. On a visit to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, we had our pick of dirt roads […]
36 Hours in Tucson for the Active Baby Boomer
When it comes to American Southwest adventures, Tucson is full of them. Having lived in this southwestern city for eleven years, I can safely say active boomer travelers won’t be bored. But what if you have to cram all of that adventure into 36 hours? Finding fun in Tucson in only 36 hours How do […]
5 Adventures on the Navajo Rez
Exploring the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona is one of my favorite baby boomer travel memories. However, with just two visits under my belt, I’m far from an expert. Not to worry. Vera Marie Badertscher became extremely familiar with the area during the ten years that she researched her current book, which she co-authored with […]
How to Visit Valley of the Gods in Southeastern Utah
Let me take you on a Valley of the Gods tour, one of my favorite off-the-beaten-path Utah destinations. Alan’s, too. It’s the very best kind of do-it-yourself adventure. If you’ve hung around My Itchy Travel Feet for very long, you know that Alan and I enjoy nothing better than to take the road less […]
Dead Horse Point State Park: at the End of the Road in Utah
This article has moved to: Explore Dead Horse Point State Park on a Scenic Drive.
Uncrowded Summer destinations in the American West
Cummins is sponsoring this look at summer travel in the American West. If you’re like Alan and me, traveling in the summer is a challenge. Crowds, especially over the July 4th and Labor Day holidays are not for us. But who wants to stay home during beautiful days filled with long hours of sunlight? We […]
Five Fun Places to Go in Southern Utah
When it comes to visiting Utah, boomers will find plenty to see and do. The entire state is an active traveler’s paradise. But Alan and I are particularly drawn to the fun places to go in Southern Utah. You could spend most of your southern Utah vacation exploring the Mighty 5—Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and […]
Discovering Arizona’s slot canyons
Water Holes, Lower Antelope, Upper Antelope. Are these the names of hiking trails? No, they’re Arizona slot canyons located on the Navajo Reservation near Page, Arizona. Alan and I discovered the photogenic gems while on a photo workshop. But you don’t have to be a boomer photographer to enjoy exploring canyons carved by nature’s power. Walking […]
Flying in a Hot Air Balloon Over Bluff, Utah
When Alan and I attended the 2010 Bluff Balloon Festival in Bluff, we enjoyed a boomer trip to Utah that included our favorite activities—photography and exploring. But what we really longed to do was fly in a hot air balloon. During check-in at our accommodations, Desert Rose Inn, I mentioned to innkeeper Cindy Tumeh that […]
New Mexico Backroads Adventure
There’s nothing that Alan and I like better than an off-the-beaten-travel experience, especially if it includes driving. Here’s a New Mexico backroads trip that’s one of our favorites. It includes national monuments, out-of-the-way destinations with plenty of history. New Mexico backroads trip itinerary At the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook (you have clicked […]
Go Off-the-Beaten-Path in Ouray, Colorado
Do you have a favorite off-the-beaten-path mountain town in Colorado? For Alan and me, Ouray takes that honor. Situated at 7,700 ft in the San Juan Mountains, the former mining town is a quaint counterpart to upscale Telluride—a skip and a jump over the mountains to the west. When it comes to charm combined with fun […]
San Antonio, Beyond the Alamo
Although many would be wise to pay heed to the warning, “Don’t mess with Texas” when it comes to active travel, the Lone Star State has a wealth of interesting sites as well as its own rich history to explore. Guest writer, Sam Lowe, explains the best way to see one of the state’s most […]
Birding South Texas on a Rio Grande Valley Road Trip
Did you know that the birding in South Texas is world class? For avid birdwatchers, stopping to observe the birds is a fun addition to a Rio Grande Valley road trip itinerary. James Richardson is here with the best places to go for birding in South Texas. What a unique road trip! Birding South Texas […]
Two Off the Beaten Path Treasures for New Mexican Travel
When it comes to New Mexican travel, you won’t find a more vibrant state in the US. From colorful Santa Fe to off-the-beaten-path El Morro active boomers will find plenty of adventure. Our previous trips to the Land of Enchantment have been nothing short of spectacular, especially our New Mexico Backroads Adventure. Guest writer, Sam […]
Traveling Off the Beaten Path in the Chiricahuas
We’re often asked about our favorite off-the-beaten-path travel experiences. In Arizona, that would have to be Chiricahua National Monument. Whether camping or RVing in Bonita Canyon campground or staying at nearby Sunglow Ranch, active travelers will get their fill of hikes, 4-wheel driving, exploring history or photographing the scenery in a less-crowded southeastern Arizona setting. […]
Exploring Canyon de Chelly on a four-wheel-drive adventure
What would you rather do? Peer down into a canyon from the rim drive or venture inside? If you chose being in the canyon, then we recommend exploring Canyon de Chelly by four-wheel-drive. For an introduction to off-roading, Canyon de Chelly National Monument near Chinlé, Arizona, offers baby boomers easy to moderate driving challenges in […]
Southwestern Road Trips Inspired by a Coloring Book
Can your Southwestern road trips be inspired by a coloring book? The answer is yes if it’s Coloring the West, An Adult Coloring Book for Travelers. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite completed pages from the book, paired with road trip suggestions on how you can travel in my footsteps! Page, Arizona On a road […]
Go Roadtripping in New Mexico With Our New Ebook
Boomer roadtrippers, are you looking for a fun weekend adventure in New Mexico? New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure, takes readers off-the-beaten path in a remote corner of New Mexico. This weekend road trip guide travels up the border between Arizona and New Mexico to Grants, NM. Along the way, discover off-the-beaten-path destinations like the Gila Wilderness, the […]