First, I've never been on any significant road trips, so excuse any ignorance. With that said, I'm planning to move out to the San Francisco Bay area for an internship next year and I plan to drive out there with my girlfriend and make a road trip out of it.
Obviously, this is still pretty far off so the details aren't exact, but we should be leaving roughly Dec. 18 and, depending what day I have to start work, we should have 2-3 weeks of travel time available. The plan is to travel down the east coast for a while and then cut west across the southern part of the country, finishing with a trip up the coast of California from San Diego to San Francisco. I'd like to stop in New Orleans and also visit the Grand Canyon, but apart from that we're very open as to the route we take. The main goal is to see what the rest of the country has to offer and go exploring, so I want to stay away from long stretches of interstate wherever there are more interesting roads available.
Some questions I have:
-Is this sort of timeline realistic? Particularly, will two weeks (hopefully the minimum time) be enough time to travel at a comfortable pace (maybe 6 hours of driving per day) and allow us to explore off the interstates a bit?
-Is this sort of southern route a good way to go? I figure it will be a bit warmer and more enjoyable than a more direct northern route in the winter. Also, we'll have to make the return trip in the summer so that seems like a better time to stay north.
-Does anyone have some insight with regard to when/where we should opt for the interstate to cut down on travel time vs. when we should take our time and enjoy the countryside?
As I said before, I don't have any experience driving much farther than Maine and I've never been to any middle states so I have a feeling I'm underestimating just how empty certain regions are. I want to make sure that we get to see and experience as much as possible, but also keep our timeline efficient by "skipping" some of the more barren parts of the trip (i.e. bombing down the interstate).
Any advice/insight/suggested routes would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!