This Is How You Do A Crossroads-Inspired Road Trip

Photo: Everette Collection
Real talk: 2002's Crossroads was one of the best road trip movies of all time.

It had everything you could ask for in a movie: romance, friendship, teen pregnancy, and Britney Spears lip-syncing *NSYNC (while she was dating Justin Timberlake, which is so meta).

Nothing brings friends together quite like a road trip across the U.S. — especially a road trip that was written for the big screen by none-other than Shonda Rhimes. Just ask Britney (Lucy), Zoe Saldana (Kit), and Taryn Manning (Mimi). Together, the girls join forces with Ben (played by Anson Mount), a brooding guitar player with a car — who they meet at their school dance — and hit the road.

They leave their small hometown in Louisiana and head to California to fulfill Mimi's childhood dream — and some of their own. There are few detours along the way, but you'll have to suspend disbelief a bit to believe how long it takes them to get to California and the serious lack of pit stops along the way.

Chances are, you've thought about hitting the road with some of your friends. Well, there's no time like the present. Crimp your hair, grab that bucket hat, and prepare to belt out "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" with your squad.

Click ahead for our guide to a Crossroads-inspired road trip.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
What You'll Need For This Trip:
1. A car — preferably a 1973 Buick Skylark
2. A map of the U.S. to keep on your dashboard
3. Three of your best friends from yesteryear
4. A bucket hat — because you're reliving 2002 here
5. A brooding guitar player/driver
6. More than $486 — unless your friend always wins karaoke contests
7. A friend who slays at karaoke contests
8. A killer playlist — which we can help you with, BTW
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Playlist Must-Have: Madonna's "Open Your Heart"
Crossroads opens with Lucy singing Madonna's "Open Your Heart" in her underwear (and a cowboy hat). Who can blame her? It's a great sing-along song! And fitting, since Madonna and Britney later collaborated on music ("Me Against The Music") and famously shared a kiss.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Pit Stop: Waffle House
The first place where Kit, Ben, Mimi, and Lucy stop is a Waffle House. It's where they make a financial plan — after Lucy realizes that $486 might not be enough for four people to travel across the U.S. For those who don't know, Waffle House is a chain with more than 2,100 restaurants across the country and a major following in the South. Order the smothered hash browns.
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Place To Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton
Remember that time Lucy found out that Ben might be a killer? Remember the hotel room? It had red velvet walls and Kit was not having it. The real hotel used for those scenes is actually called the Shed Dran motel — and based on reviews, you should NEVER stay there. So, we recommend staying at the Hilton Kit saw a while back, instead. The Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, in Baton Rouge, LA, isn't fancy, but it does look clean and neat, with rooms as cheap as $111 a night.
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Playlist Must-Have: *NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye"
Crossroads was filmed while Britney and Justin were still Britney and Justin. But by the time the movie was released, their romance (replete with matching ensembles) had come to an end. Still, Lucy, Kit, and Mimi sing along to this early '00s jams during their road trip, and you should, too.
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Photo: Sally Mundy / Alamy Stock Photo.
Pit Stop: Le Bon Temps Roulé
After their epic karaoke victory, Ben and the girls head to a "fancy" hotel to celebrate with their winnings. At one point, as Bustle points out, you can see that a sign in the hotel room reads "Le Bon Temps Roulé." But there's no Le Bon Temps Roulé hotel. In real life, Le Bon Temps Roulé is a bar in New Orleans featuring live music, pool tables, and good late-night grub.
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Photo: Courtesy of Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast’s Facebook.
Place To Stay: Grand Victorian B & B
Since the New Orleans leg of the Crossroads road trip is supposed to include one night in a nice hotel, spring for a stay at the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast in the city's Garden District. The inn was built in 1873 and includes four-poster beds with full canopies and chandeliers. Rooms start at $165 a night.
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Playlist Must-Have: Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like A Woman"
"Let's go girls!" Remember when Lucy and the girls all steal Ben's car? Naturally, they start rocking out to some Shania Twain. "Man! I Feel Like A Woman" is the perfect fun song for the ride to Arizona (where you'll be looking for Lucy's mother). The only unrealistic moment in this scene is when Ben didn't join in and sing with the girls — because this song is catchy AF!
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Photo: Lokibaho / Getty Images.
Pit Stop/Place To Stay: Picacho Peak State Park, AZ
While in Arizona, the gang makes a stop in the desert — and decides to spend the night. That scene was actually shot somewhere in California, but for the sake of making this trip as authentic as possible, we suggest taking a stop at one of Arizona's numerous camping grounds.

Picacho Peak State Park
— right off I-10 — boasts amazing sunsets and great hiking. It also has an LEED-certified visitor's center with access to a gift shop and food. And you can't miss the 1,500-foot Picacho Peak (pictured) during you stay. There is a $5 non-refundable reservation fee per site; you can make reservations online or by calling 520-586-2283.
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Playlist Must-Have: Britney Spears' "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman"
This song and movie were a defining moment in Britney's career. And in the film, she belts out this ballad wearing a crop top with bell sleeves while standing on the edge of a cliff. A precipice, if you will. Sing this one with your BFFs somewhere between Arizona and California.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Pit Stop: Sanctuary Adventist Church
Remember the Arizona-area Native American souvenir stand where the gang stops before meeting Lucy's mom? It's really in California. The Sanctuary Adventist Church, formerly known as the Calvary Baptist Chuch, is a working church at the intersection of 198th Street East and East Avenue G in Lancaster, CA. It's been used in several movies, including Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill (yes, it's that church). Definitely a must-see for film buffs.
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Playlist Must-Have/Pit Stop: "I Love Rock 'N Roll" & Cafe Club Fais Do-Do
In Crossroads, the memorable karaoke scene happens while the group is in New Orleans. But since the real life location of Club Bayou is in Downtown Los Angeles, we're adding it to the L.A. leg of your road trip. According to an extra (with photographic proof), the real location is Cafe Club Fais Do-Do. No, the club doesn't have karaoke contests, but there are live music and burlesque performances. This shouldn't discourage you from listening to "I Love Rock 'N Roll" during your journey.

You can find Cafe Club Fais Do-Do at 5257 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. Or give them a buzz at 323-931-4636.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Place To Stay: The Home Town Inn
When Lucy finally hooks up with Ben (who isn't a murderer — false alarm guys), it's at the Home Town Inn in North Hills, CA. It's mid-sized hotel, with 64 units, and it's right by tourist attractions. You can book rooms for as little as $65 per night. Be sure to bring your boo/driver along.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Pit Stop: Leo Carrillo State Beach
At the beginning of Crossroads, Mimi says that her dream is to put her feet in the Pacific Ocean. Well, the girls do just that. When they arrive in California, they head straight for the beach. According to fans, that scene was shot at Leo Carrillo beach at Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu. The park includes part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and 1.5 miles of beach at the foot of the Santa Monica mountains. It's great for swimming, surfing, and fishing.
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Playlist Must-Have: Britney Spears' "Overprotected"
Before you conclude your trip — and since you'll be driving everywhere in L.A. — enjoy one more jam. How about Crossroads' second anthem: "Overprotected"? Britney actually does a special performance of the song with the end credits (which you can see in the video). Admit it, you know all the words.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Destination: The Belasco
It all ends with Lucy's final performance for a recording contract. The location is The Belasco Theater & Club. The theater holds private and public events, but there's also a club space if you're looking to party. Again, we can't guarantee that you'll get a chance to perform an emotional power ballad or score a recording deal, but you can definitely dance and wear a bell-sleeved crop top.

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