As we all know, cross-country road trips and demigods don’t usually mix well. Forget sightseeing and spending quality time with friends. Demigods are typically too busy fighting for their lives against Furies, dragons, giants, Empousai, skeletal warriors, etc.
Thankfully, for the rest of us, mythological monsters can’t stop us from retracing Percy’s steps and crafting the ultimate demigod coast-to-coast adventure. That’s why we’ve assembled a list of some of the most notable landmarks Percy and his crew visited during the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
(Disclaimer: We can’t promise you won’t get attacked by monsters while driving across America. But hey, you only live once, right?)
First stop: Santa Monica Beach, California
Seeing as how Percy, Annabeth, and Grover have all relocated to the West Coast, we’ve decided to start there. First up is Santa Monica Beach, famous for its giant boardwalk, Ferris wheel, and gorgeous views of the sunset. This is also where Percy first battled Ares in The Lightning Thief.
Overall, it’s a relaxing and energizing way to begin your road trip. But if you happen to see a big, burly man in a leather jacket and sunglasses slowly following you and your friends down the pier, it might be time to pack up the car and head to the next stop.
Second stop: Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Nico, and Rachel visited these caverns in The Battle of the Labyrinth in order to locate the lost satyr god Pan. Good luck finding him on your own, though. There are over 100 caves to explore at this park. Oh, and he’s also “dead.”
But maybe you’ll uncover the entrance to the Labyrinth somewhere in these caverns. Be sure to pack some snacks for the Minotaur just in case.
Third Stop: The Gateway Arch, Missouri
More commonly known as the St. Louis Arch, this national monument was visited by Percy, Annabeth, and Grover during their first quest in The Lightning Thief. The Annabeth of your friend group will probably want to stop here anyway to admire the architectural wonder of America’s tallest monument. And you can stop to think about how it was at all possible that Percy survived a 600-feet fall from the top.
Fourth Stop: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C.
What’s a cross-country road trip without an educational excursion to one of America’s finest museums? You may remember Percy’s trip to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with Grover, Thalia, Bianca, and Zoë during the events of The Titan’s Curse. As far as we can tell, no more lions or saber-toothed tigers have attacked the museum lately. But you can still find freeze-dried astronaut food in the gift shop if you’re itching for a different kind of near-death experience.
Fifth Stop: The Empire State Building, New York City
Obviously, your cross-country trip must end at the top of the Empire State Building, aka the current location of Mount Olympus. If you can somehow convince the security guards to take you to the 600th floor, maybe you’ll even meet the Greek gods.
Or maybe you’ll meet other obsessive Percy Jackson fans trying to do the same thing. They really don’t pay those security guards enough . . .
Are there any essential Percy Jackson road-trip stops we missed? Let us know!