Hi everyone. I'm a longtime lurker. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip from Atlanta to Disneyland and back in mid-May. We have a pretty flexible block of time (I just finished grad school and have a month before starting my new job), but were thinking about 2 weeks for the whole trip.
We were thinking of taking the fastest route to get there and then driving back more leisurely, but we're open to any strategy. Planned stops (in either direction) are Dallas and Austin to visit friends and the Grand Canyon. We'll spend a few days doing Disney and visiting friends in L.A.
We'd like to visit some interesting parks if possible. (I lived in Arizona a few years ago and have done Chicago to Phoenix drives and the Phoenix to Houston drives a few times. I've also done most of the Arizona sights, a bit of route 66, and Monument Valley but not Zion or Bryce.) We also like quirky local stops/unique food, historical sites, and are fairly spontaneous on the road. We have lived in Atlanta for a couple years and have had fun exploring the southeast with shorter trips. Now we're ready for something a bit longer and in a westerly direction.
I'd appreciate any route suggestions. From what I've read on this board, we should plan about 4 days to drive directly there. Does it make sense to drive straight there and then meander a bit on the way back? Or should we split up the visits/stops more evenly? What parks would we be able to hit and keep the trip to 2 weeks?