I'm trying to plan a trip with my husband sometime in Aug/Sept/Oct to the US. I posted an earlier thread a few days back about a trip along the west coast from San Fran up to Seattle/Oregon. We are also considering another totally different route which would see us land in Chicago, drive through Illinois, then down to Shenandoah National Park, along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Great Smoky Mountains, and then end up in New York. We have about 14 days for the trip and are looking for a mix of nature/city life.
I don't know much about this part of the USA. Based on the route I traced on google maps, it seems to involve a lot of driving. My rough itinerary is as follows:
Days 1-3: land in and explore Chicago
Days 4-5: drive to and visit Urbana Champaign (my husband's alma mater which he would like to include)
Day 6: drive to Louisville (purely as a stopover - are there any suggestions for another town to break the journey?)
Day 7-9: drive to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, explore
Day 9-11: drive to Shenandoah National Park, explore
Day 12-14: drive to New York, explore
Is this too much to do in 14 days and does anyone who has been to these places have any opinions on whether this is a nicer trip or the San Fran-Seattle-Oregon trip (where our highlights would include Olympic National Park, Mt Rainer National Park) a nicer one?
Thanks very much!