How to recreate Britney Spears’ Crossroads American road trip

Grab a bucket hat, your best pals and a Britney Spears soundtrack and check out the best stops en route from Louisiana to California

Zoe Griffin
Friday 23 February 2024 10:30 GMT
Buckle up for the road trip of your life with a 3,000km route inspired by Crossroads
Buckle up for the road trip of your life with a 3,000km route inspired by Crossroads (Alamy)

The classic 2002 Britney Spears film Crossroads is back on Netflix, the tale of a raucous all-American road trip in a classic yellow convertible.

As Britney and her two best gal pals set out from Louisiana to California in pursuit of romance and record deals, the movie shines a spotlight on several American cities, including New Orleans, Tucson and Los Angeles.

It also shows how it’s possible to make the journey part of the fun, seeing the United States from the road instead of looking down on it during an aeroplane ride.

From a lucrative karaoke contest in a ‘dive bar’ to route planning sessions over waffles, the trio and their male friend Ben enjoy some traditional American hospitality along the way, providing plenty of inspiration for anyone wanting to make a classic US road trip of their own.

Here’s how to recreate the route, with things to do and places to stay along the way.

What is the route from New Orleans to Los Angeles?

A road trip allows you to see the desert in detail (

At the beginning of the film, we discover that Britney and her friends only have $486 for the whole journey, which means they can’t afford to fly and have to take the long way, road. The total distance is 3,000km, and includes the states of Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, crossing three time zones, past prairies, deserts and mountain ranges.

Without any stops, it’s estimated the journey would take 27 hours, but it’s much more fun to stop along the way — especially if there are karaoke contests to enter and motels to lose your virginity in (if you’re Britney’s character).

It’s a straightforward route, even if it’s a long one, as you can simply pick up the I-10 highway in New Orleans and follow it the entire way to Los Angeles.

What to do in New Orleans

Waffle House

The first stop in the movie is at a Waffle House, which is a chain of over 1,900 restaurants across 25 states but most popular in the mid-West. It’s here we find out about the friends’ lack of funds, but they still tuck into some of the eaterie’s famous fluffy pancakes, of which there are four varieties: classic, pecan, chocolate chip and peanut butter chip. Start your trip as you mean to go on by breakfasting on a pile of pecan pancakes with maple syrup and bacon.

Waffles from $5.49,

Cats Meow Karaoke bar

(Cat’s Meow)

After the friends’ car breaks down on the side of the road and they can’t afford to get it fixed, they enter a karaoke competition in a bar in the hope of winning money to be able to pay for the repairs. These scenes were shot in a Los Angeles bar that they made out to be in New Orleans, but have no fear, the Louisiana capital offers plenty of venues in which to perform like a rockstar – or like Britney, whatever takes your fancy. Cats Meow (which also has branches in Nevada and Michigan) has been welcoming both tourists and locals at its two NOLA joints for over 25 years, with over-the-top live entertainment and open-mic sessions. The top floor mezzanine has a gorgeous balcony overlooking Bourbon street when you need to rest your voice.

Hotel Roosevelt

(Hotel Roosevelt)

After winning the karaoke content, Britney and her pals decide to splash out on a room in a fancy hotel. If you’d like similar levels of luxury, the five-star Hotel Roosevelt is one of the most elegant places to stay in New Orleans. Part of the Waldorf Astoria collection, it offers a luxurious spa, an outdoor swimming pool and live jazz in their Blue Room bar. Rooms are generously sized with 42” flat screen TVs in the bedroom and smaller TVs in the bathroom.

Tucson, Arizona

Picacho state park

In the film, Britney is adopted and her biological mother is living in a gated community in Tucson, Arizona. On the way to pay her a surprise visit, the group decide to have a night camping out in the desert under the stars. Not only is it lovely to fall asleep and wake up to the sounds of nature in Arizona’s Picacho state park, but it’s an affordable place to stay without compromising on amenieties. The campsite has 85 electric sites for tent and RV camping that come with high speed Wi-Fi internet. June through September, it’s $25 per night per vehicle, rising to $30 from October though May.

From $25 per night,

Souvenir shopping

Immediately before meeting Britney’s mother, the gang drive to a Native American souvenir stand. Again, the actual location for this is in Los Angeles, but don’t let that stop you from shopping, especially if you’re after something unqiue to take back home. The Happy Sagurao has been selling Southwest home decor and gifts for more than 30 years. Inside you’ll find beautiful collections of ceramic tableware, glassware, lighting, furniture and Mexican Talavera and Native American pottery.


Palm trees and a swimming pool offer an affordable place to relax (Motel-6)

The visit to Britney’s mother doesn’t go entirely as she hoped, but the sadness soon turns to ecstasy in a motel room where she finally hooks up with male friend Ben, losing her virginity in the process. Motels offer a cheap and cheerful place to rest and they’re not all as dark and dreary as you’d imagine from watching other American movies. The Motel-6 in Tucson, where rooms start at $65 per night, even has a pool with palm trees around it, offering a comfortable and cheap place to rest your head before cracking on with the drive.

Los Angeles

Leo Carrillo state beach

Plunge into the Pacific ocean from Leo Carillo beach (Wikipedia)

At the very start of the movie, one of the girls says that her dream is to put her feet in the Pacific Ocean. Well, the gang end up fulfilling that dream, heading straight for the beach when they arrive in California, in fact. But there’s more to it than golden sands. In April and May, Leo Carrillo State Park is one of the best places to go whale-watching in Los Angeles. You can sometimes stand on the beach and see mother gray whales and their babies migrating north. It’s also great for swimming, windsurfing and scuba diving, thanks to its warm waters and abundance of marine life.

Hometown Inn, North Hills

The Hometown Inn was the location for one of Crossroads’ pivotal scenes (Home Town Inn)

The Hometown Inn is one of the motels the characters stay in on their road trip. It’s made out to be in Arizona but the actual location is in North Hills ,outside of Los Angeles. It’s worth a visit if you’re a Britney mega fan and want to see where she walked (and slept). It’s a mid-sized hotel, with 64 units, and it’s right by a huge shopping mall and a golf course. There’s a pool on-site, too, if you just want to relax on a lounger with a cold drink.

Cafe Club Fais Do-Do

Take a selfie outside Cafe Club Fais Do-Do, which is a filming location in Crossroads (Facebook / Cafe Club Fais Do Do)

This is where the New Orleans karaoke scene was actually shot. Once the hang out of John Coltrane and Marvin Gaye, the club offered an intimate setting for live music, as well as monthly burlesque shows, until it closed at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though it sadly never reopened, the front of the building still makes for a great photo opportunity for Crossroads fans.

The Belasco

The final filming spot is opulent and grand (The Belasco)

Crossroads ends with Britney auditioning for a record contract, waving goodbye to her domineering father and pursuing her dreams. This scene was shot at The Belasco, a working theatre that hosts gigs and club nights. It’s just as magnificent in real life as it is in the film, with the auditorium designed in a combination of Spanish Renaissance and Moorish styles, and containing a huge gilded dome.

Crossroads is available to stream on Netflix

Read more: 12 of the best things to do in Los Angeles

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