I'm wanting to take a roadtrip from the St. Louis area where I live all the way down the remains of Route 66 to Los Angeles. I'm going to be getting a book with tons of directions and suggested sights to see along the way so I can have a good *physical* reference for that (The EZ guide. Looks like it has the *best* reviews and everything on amazon) Internet references are wonderful, but there's just something about having a solid book to make it feel more real, and of course, physical stuff is easier to use on the road ;) )
Anyways, first off, does anyone have suggestions for that leg of the trip? I'm definitely going to see Meremac Caverns (I saw them on a family trip years ago, but I'm older now and would appreciate it more, and when I'm on my own, I can go at my own pace and really absorb it), a lot of the old abandoned things along the route, Cadillac Ranch, the Texas Steakhouse, and other symbols of Route 66. (More research as well as the book will give me a lot more specific stops). Does anyone have any suggestions of *MUST SEE* places along the old Mother Road? I'm for sure diverting to see the Grand Canyon as well!
I'm going to hang in LA for a day or two (I don't know if I want to stay too long. The crime's pretty bad through a lot, isn't it? (There I go with preconceived notions and stereotypes of areas :P)) After LA, I plan to head to Death Valley. The deserts have always been something that *fascinates* me and they almost have a calling to me, like a second home I've never been to. I plan to trek around there for a day or so, maybe a second day if I can find nearby lodging. What are *the best* areas of Death Valley to hit, for those who have been there?
Finally, I'm planning to hit Vegas for a day or so (I'm not 21 so there's not a whole lot I can do there), then return through Colorado and see the Rockies and such. Any good stops along the general I-15 / I-70 route? (That's the route I plan to take. I'm hoping to kind of truck along a bit faster on this leg since I want as much time as I can allot for the Route 66, LA, and Death Valley time).
Side note: I'm planning to allot about 3 weeks, maybe a bit less for this trip, since I've got a summer job (I can get off that much, but any more would be pushing it)
"PS": I'm hoping to camp a lot of this trip to save on cash. If you have any suggestions for the best and safest grounds along the way, that'd be swell if you could share those too!
Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for all replies and information! :)