13 days in Continental USA Itinerary

13 days in Continental USA Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Continental USA travel planner

Make it your trip
— 1 night
— 1 night
— 3 nights
Drive to Grand Junction, Fly to Rapid City
Rapid City
— 4 nights
— 3 nights



— 1 night

Live Entertainment Capital of the World

Nestled in Missouri's beautiful Ozark Mountains lies one of the country's most attractive vacation towns for year-round family entertainment.
On the 10th (Mon), whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For maps, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Branson day trip planner.

Charlotte to Branson is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Charlotte to Branson. In August, daily temperatures in Branson can reach 85°F, while at night they dip to 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can travel to Durango.

Things to do in Branson

Wildlife · Parks · Museums · Adventure


— 1 night
Originally a frontier mining town, Durango is known today for its scenic setting, outdoor activities, and the 1880s steam-powered railway that takes visitors through sections of the mountains where roads don't reach.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Wed): take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Durango trip planner.

You can fly from Branson to Durango in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Branson in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Durango, with lows of 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Moab.

Things to do in Durango

Tours · Outdoors
Highlights from your trip


— 3 nights

Red Desert

The gateway to Utah's popular canyon country, Moab sits engulfed in the middle of desert wilderness.
Step out of the city life by going to Delicate Arch and River Rafting & Tubing. Family-friendly places like Canyoning & Rappelling Tours and Copper Ridge Dinosaur Trackways will thrill your kids. Step out of Moab to go to Arches National Park and see Tunnel Arch, which is approximately 42 minutes away. There's more to do: admire the majestic nature at Dead Horse Point State Park.

For where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Moab online trip builder.

You can drive from Durango to Moab in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Durango in August, things will get a bit warmer in Moab: highs are around 92°F and lows about 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Rapid City.

Things to do in Moab

Outdoors · Tours · Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Rapid City

— 4 nights

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Sylvan Lake and Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. Get outdoors at Needles Eye Tunnel and Custer State Park Resort. Change things up with these side-trips from Rapid City: Elk Mountain Nature Trail (in Wind Cave National Park) and Custer (Wildlife Loop Road & Iron Mountain Road). The adventure continues: discover the riches below the earth's surface at Big Thunder Gold Mine, identify plant and animal life at Bear Country USA, and wander the streets of Downtown Rapid City.

For ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Rapid City attractions website.

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Moab to Rapid City takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Moab in August: highs in Rapid City hover around 83°F, while lows dip to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Gatlinburg.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trips


— 3 nights

The Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains

Nestled in the lush, wooded forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is Tennessee’s premier mountain resort destination.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and The Coaster at Goats on the Roof. Get outdoors at Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook and River Rafting & Tubing. Change things up with a short trip to Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (about 48 minutes away). The adventure continues: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take in panoramic vistas at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, get in on the family fun at Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, and take in nature's colorful creations at Parrot Mountain & Gardens.

To see more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Gatlinburg trip itinerary builder.

You can fly from Rapid City to Gatlinburg in 8.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and car. Traveling from Rapid City to Gatlinburg, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Rapid City in August, expect a bit warmer with lows of 68°F in Gatlinburg. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) early enough to go by car back home.

Things to do in Gatlinburg

Outdoors · Parks · Adventure · Tours

Side Trips

Missouri travel guide

Theaters · Performances · Specialty Museums
The Show-Me State
Acquired from France as part of the famous Louisiana Purchase, Missouri offers visitors equal amounts of urban and rural tourist attractions, with a good sprinkling of lush valleys and meandering back roads ideal for leisurely road trips. The state has a highly varied geography, ranging from the till plains in the north to the rolling Ozark Mountains in the south. The state sits at the intersection of North America's three greatest rivers, creating fertile plains known for supporting extensive farms and ranches. Now generally considered part of the country's Midwest, most people used to count Missouri among the southern states, primarily due to its status as a slave state before the Civil War.

Colorado travel guide

River Rafting & Tubing · Parks · Scenic Drive
The Centennial State
Home to diverse natural ecosystems, Colorado boasts numerous ski resorts, vineyards, canyons, fossil-rich national parks, rugged natural trails, and picturesque scenic drives. Arguably the greatest of Colorado's many natural wonders is Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the North American Rockies. The state's natural beauty inspired the opening lyrics of the song "America the Beautiful." Aside from its abundant unspoiled wilderness, Colorado also offers many urban attractions, including award-winning restaurants and nationally praised microbreweries. With an extensive system of highways and railroads, the state provides visitors on vacation with a chance to explore this largely untamed part of the country by car or train.

Utah travel guide

Geologic Formations · Hiking Trails · Scenic Drive
The Beehive State
A huge but sparsely populated land, Utah remains a major holiday destination offering plenty of year-round outdoor vacation ideas, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, boating, horseback riding, and camping. The rugged terrain, defined by towering mountain peaks, deep canyons, and vast deserts, seems custom-made for adventurous nature lovers. With five national parks, the state has no shortage of pristine wilderness areas, causing many tourists to overlook the cultural attractions of its towns. Salt Lake City, the state's capital, features the headquarters of the Mormon Church, and draws over 5 million annual visitors. Utah also hosts several major film festivals each year, attracting young movie buffs from around the world.

South Dakota travel guide

National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.

Tennessee travel guide

Specialty Museums · Distilleries · Theaters
The Volunteer State
Divided by law, geography, and custom into three major regions, represented by the three stars on state's flag, Tennessee boasts a distinctive musical heritage that includes elements of bluegrass, country-western, and blues. With a countryside as diverse as its people, Tennessee includes landscapes ranging from a mountainous region in the east to the lowlands of the west, with gently rolling hills in the middle. For a well-rounded vacation, you can hike remote mountain trails in the morning and explore the crowded bars of Nashville in the evening. Visit the urban attractions, such as Elvis Presley's former residence in Memphis, but don't miss a chance to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, situated in the eastern part of the state.