Amongst the greats of formative literature is Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series: six books following demigod Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, as he restores Olympus. I’ve always been a fan of mythology, and somehow Riordan brought the Gods into the 21st century.
Five years after the first book was released, Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief came out in theaters. Starring Logan Lerman (the internet’s perpetual white boy of the month), Alexandra Daddario, and Brandon T. Jackson, these movies were a cultural reset. I’ll never forget the Vegas scene, the epitome of glamor and camp.
Now, Disney Plus has released its own take on our favorite demigods. They’ve even cast appropriately-aged actors, which is just about as shocking as it gets. Starring Walker Scobell as Percy, Leah Jeffries as Annabeth, and Aryan Simhadri as Grover, this cast is undeniably star-studded.
It also features appearances from Adam Copeland, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Jason Mantzoukas. The show is actually great, with weekly releases to prevent the bingers from consuming it all in one night.
If you, your kids, or someone in your life can’t get enough of Percy Jackson, take a little trip inspired by the franchise! The characters travel all over the country, so it’s easy to take a cross-country road trip to satiate your sense of adventure without breaking the bank.
Here are my favorite destinations to travel like Percy Jackson (except, unlike Percy, Zeus won’t try to harm you if you take an airplane):
Episode One: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
As most good stories start, Percy’s tenure as a demigod begins at The Met. His Latin teacher gives him a sword in the form of a ballpoint pen, Percy has no idea this sword will go on to save his life time and time again.
Go see the fountain, sit on the steps, and even channel your inner Gossip Girl while you’re at it. Plus, we’re getting close to Met Gala season, which means their “Sleeping Beauties” exhibit will be out soon!
Episode Two: Camp Half-Blood
Okay, I get that Long Island may be at the top of your dream vacation list — but think of the bigger picture: Montauk, the Hamptons, Sag Harbor. Camp Half Blood is located in Long Island. While we may be too old to do summer camp, we’re never too old for the Hamptons.
Take in the beautiful views of Block Island, soak up the East Coast sunshine, and most importantly, eat a lobster roll. There are luxurious coastal mansions and small-town vibes alike, go horseback riding, and just relax.
Episode Three: Sea Girt, New Jersey
The Parker House, Sea Girt, NJ
Again, don’t hate me for sending you to New Jersey. Percy and his crew hike through the state and then meet Medusa, so I’m also picking the beaches here to make you feel better.
Sea Girt is a small beach town located on the coast of New Jersey surrounded by a litany of other tiny towns. They have a great bar scene, historical lore, and iconic restaurants that will keep you coming back.
Episode Four: St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, MO
In the show, the iconic Gateway Arch is a monument for Athena, and because Annabeth is her daughter, the trio can take refuge there. In our world, the Gateway Arch is simply known as the gateway to the South.
St. Louis is home to blues and barbecue, river boat tours, and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery where you can take a tour and enjoy the Biergarten. Even better, the St. Louis Cardinals have the incredible Busch Stadium for a game.
Episode Five: Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica, CA
Before learning that they’re wanted, Percy wants to find Poseidon in Santa Monica. Obviously, plans can change if you’re Percy Jackson…but you should keep Santa Monica on your travel list.
Visit the iconic Santa Monica Pier, ride the Ferris wheel, and get the experience of shops, hecklers, and bargaining. I once got a tattoo for $40 on their makeshift boardwalk just by walking around and asking the shop minimum. Anything goes in SanMo.
Episode Six: Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, NV
The Lotus Hotel and Casino in the Percy Jackson series is a Hotel California-inspired setting where time stops and you can’t really leave. Luckily, you can get that same experience by just entering any given casino in Las Vegas. Time will stop, you’ll feel a little trapped, but you’ll have the time of your life.
Vegas is known for its nightlife: insane nightclubs, pool parties led by renowned DJ’s, concert residencies, shopping, and restaurants led by famous chefs. There’s never going to be a shortage of things to do in Vegas, so go now.
Episode Seven: Central Park
Central Park Conservancy
Back to New York, where the entrance to Olympus is hundreds of floors up the Empire State Building. Percy Jackson and his trio will ultimately have to face Zeus to return the order of the Gods…but one of the entrances to the Underworld (Hell) also lies within Central Park.
843 acres of conserved nature, there is nothing like this in New York City. See the cherry blossoms in the early spring, go ice skating in the winter, or take a guided tour of the park. Good for lounging about and picnics, Central Park is a must-see.