This is my first time posting here, but of what I've read so far, it has all been useful. I, along with three of my best buddies, just graduated from college and in our hopes to push off the real world for some more time, have decided to plan a road trip. Another friend took a job for the summer at a guest ranch in Wyoming, so we're headed there to visit him, but not before planning to see many of the scenic spots around the US.
Here's a layout of our TENTATIVE route:
Philly to St. Louis
St. Louis to New Mexico (with probably a night stop along the way)
New Mexico to Arizona
Arizona to Vegas to Utah
Utah to Denver area
Denver to Laramie, Wyoming
Laramie to possibly Yellowstone
Yellowstone to South Dakota
South Dakota to Chicago
Chicago back to Philly
What we have planned so far:
We are hoping to make this trip last for about 2 and a half weeks - From the beginning of July until the 16th or 17th. We will be leaving from Pittsburgh, and heading straight to St. Louis for a night. From St. Louis, we hope to bypass Oklahoma and Texas without stopping, and head for New Mexico. Maybe a stop in Albuquerque or Gallup? Then head to Arizona to hit the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon. Following that, we'd like to at LEAST pass through Vegas, and maybe stop for a few hands of Hold 'Em... From there, come back through Utah with a possible stop in Salt Lake City, and then head to Denver for a night. From Denver, we'll head into Wyoming, near Laramie, to see our buddy. We'd like to go to Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons if we can fit it in. Then we're heading to Mt. Rushmore, and the Badlands, and then to Chicago for a Cubs game. We'll be leaving Chicago and heading for home.
I know it sounds like a lot, but we do have some flexibility with our timing. In addition, we do have four drivers to split the load. We'd like to camp a couple times, while otherwise we'll be hitting motels. Could anyone give us any advice as this is our first time doing this? Better/Worse places to see? Any interesting activities happening along our route during that time period that we shouldn't miss? Like festivals/fairs/annual events? Suggestions for specific camp sites or motels (remember we're on recent graduate budgets!!!)? Travel books or guides that are best to get? Anything that those experienced roadtrippers can tell us is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
Any suggestions, tips, etc. are most appreciated. Thanks!