Gearing Up: Where to Shop for Groceries and Gear in the US
The US is certainly not lacking for options when it comes time to start gearing up for your road trip. Below we’ll list a few of the more common options you’ll come across during your travels.
Road Trip Grocery Shopping
- Safeway: One of the nation’s largest supermarket chains that focuses solely on grocery items. One stop at Safeway and it’s a good bet you can gear up and hit the road with all the food items you’ll need for the next several weeks and be happy with your meals every night.
- Trader Joe’s: Although TJ’s typically has smaller stores than those mentioned above, they make up for it in better choices, tastier offerings, and great customer service all at a really competitive price. Trader Joe’s is where many Escape employees shop. Depending on where in the country you are, you can check out their sister store Aldi.
- Whole Foods: Sometimes known as ‘Whole Paycheck,’ this truly gourmet grocery chain is located in wealthy, heavily trafficked metro communities only. It’s a veritable buffet of incredible eats and drinks that will most certainly put a serious dent in your travel budget. Who wouldn’t want an $8 chia pomegranate juice that’s just been blended in front of you? Like Wal-Mart and Disneyland, it’s a little slice of Americana happening right in front of you.
- Albertson’s: Just like Safeway but with a blue logo.
- Winco: A great place to get cheap staples in bulk for your trip.
Tips for buying fruits and vegetables on the road
If the San Joaquin or Central Valley regions are a part of your California road trip itinerary, this is by far the best place to get high-quality fruits and veggies on the cheap straight from the source. These two farming regions supply 80% of the fruits and vegetables that go on American dinner tables. Take advantage of this opportunity and pull over at one, or several, of the roadside tents you’ll pass along the way.
- If you’re heading North out of Los Angeles, make sure you pull over in Ventura County. Oxnard, Ventura, and Camarillo are fantastic spots to purchase in-season vegetables.
- North of Big Sur, around the Monterey Region, is the asparagus, garlic, and artichoke capital of the world. Stock up at the roadside stands!
Road Trip Groceries & Gear
- Wal-Mart Supercenter: The king of retailers. This is where you can go to buy anything from a car tire to bananas. Walmart is where your travel dollar will go the farthest but, we gotta warn you, you get what you pay for. The fruit and vegetables taste just a little bit less flavorful than they should and that fishing rod you purchased for $30 definitely won’t be around for your grandkids.
- Target: Target offers similar wares to Walmart but at a slightly higher price at a slightly higher quality.
- Fred Meyer’s: Another option for groceries, automotive, electronics, basic camping/outdoor gear, and more.
Campervan Road Trip Gear
- Sportsman’s Warehouse & Cabela’s: Both good options for the hunting/fishing/camping crowd.
- REI: Carrier of more specialized outdoor gear, clothing, and footwear brands, such as The North Face, Patagonia, Marmot, Outdoor Research, Arc’teryx, Mountain Hardwear, Columbia, etc. This is the place to go for expert advice for all your adventuring needs! Note: The REI Flagship store is located downtown near our camper van rental site in Denver, and it’s quite the experience. Think 4 stories of all the outdoor gear you could ever want, plus an indoor rock climbing wall.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods: Equipment, apparel, footwear for athletics, outdoor recreation & fitness. They have everything from soccer cleats and baseball bats to kayaks to camping gear.