My Mom & I will be driving from the Philadelphia area to San Francisco at end of January/beginning of February. We'd like to make it out there in about 9 days. I know that I definitely want to drive the coastal route once we get to California (LA to SF) instead of taking 5 straight to SF, but I'm having a little trouble deciding the best route to California considering: a. road conditions in the winter b. we want it to be as enjoyable as possible and see some sites along the way.
Because of weather conditions we're thinking a more southern route, so one option is 70 to 44 to 40. The other option is cutting down south initially towards Tennessee 81 to 40, (maybe an initial detour in Asheville), then passing through Nashville, Arkansas & meeting up with the above route in Oklahoma City.
-Does anyone have any suggestions for the best route at this time of year? An interesting route, but a route that won't be too badly affected by bad road conditions?
-Should we shift it even more south (avoiding Northern Texas, Northern Arizona, Northern New Mexico)?
-Any must see stops or detours worth taking along the way?