Just got back from my first big road trip! and WOW it was the experience of a lifetime! Everything was absolutely perfect!
3 of us went, for 2 weeks, on a budget of $6000 (although we managed in the end to stay under $3000 easily)
We saw St. Louis, Amarillo, Holbrook, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Zion, and Yellowstone all in that time frame, and timing was great.
The highlights for me were:
Downtown St. Louis: I could easily spend a week here. This city is wonderful, the arch is incredible.
The Big Texan Motel and Steak Ranch in Amarillo: these places are FUN! The motel was Texas themed, and the food at the Steak Ranch was unique and delicious.
The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook: Another really fun place (and cheap!).. Besides having the nicest people I've ever met as employees (it's family-owned), this place has classic American autos parked outside each Wigwam- very cool!
Sedona: This place is gorgeous. We only saw the uptown, with it's fun touristy shops and restaurants, but I would love to come back and explore this place more sometime.
Grand Canyon: Beyond my expectations.. absolutely GORGEOUS. This is where we started to see some wildlife, too- Elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, condors. We hiked a bit below the rim- I have a goal now to come back here someday and hike all the way down to the river.
Zion: AMAZING!! Some of the coolest hiking trails I've ever seen. I was so excited about it, I did over 8 miles of them in one day, before it started to get stormy. We didn't get to do The Narrows, because of the threat of a flash flood, but, next time! Another place I WILL come back to!
Yellowstone: I think I could be happy here for a month. I'm wildlife and photography crazy, and this is the place to be for that. I think this place is as close to Utopia as it gets for me.. the mountains, the plains, the canyon, the endless lakes, rivers, and falls.. this place is infinitely beautiful. Oh, and let's not forget about the thermal features that make it so unique! LOVED it!!
So... I'm already planning for next summer.. hmm I think that's a topic for another forum!