Hello everyone! I am planning a cross country road trip for the upcoming late Spring / early Summer, and I am looking for any advice/recommendations you have. In particular, what roads are the best to take (scenic, fast, or otherwise) and what are some must-see stops.
The itinerary is as follows:
Maryland to St. Louis
St. Louis to Denver
Denver to Arches, National Park
Arches to Mesa Verde, National Park
Mesa Verde to Grand Canyon, National Park
Grand Canyon to Bryce Canyon, National Park
Bryce Canyon to Zion, National Park
Zion to Sequoia, National Park
Sequoia to Yosemite, National Park
Yosemite to San Francisco
San Francisco to Craters of the Moon, National Preserve
Craters of the Moon to Grand Teton, National Park
Grand Teton to Yellowstone, National Park
Yellowstone to Mount Rushmore, National Monument
Mount Rushmore to Badlands, National Park
Badlands to Chicago
Chicago back to Maryland
*whew* I'm exhausted just typing that. Most of the stays are only for 24 hours (the exceptions being Zion, San Francisco, and Yosemite). I have already planned out general driving time, made reservations, and applied for permits to visit the Parks. This will be my first visit to every destination so I am unsure of what to expect.
This is the first road trip that I am leading. My family and I did a fair amount of road trips, travelling, and camping when I was growing up, but I know it'll be more challenging to be responsible for the trip.
Any advice/tips are welcome :)