My wife and I are from New Zealand and we're coming to the US in April/May next year to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.
We lived in the US (Northeast) for a few years and during that time did a lot of travelling within the country, seeing 38 states in all. Now we've decided to come back for a holiday and knock off a few more states in an area we haven't been to (the Northwest).
We're going to be spending a few nights in LA seeing a friend, then a couple of nights in Las Vegas (renewing our vows), but then it's roadtrip time. We're flying from Vegas to Denver and then driving for the next two and a half weeks.
We won't be booking accommodation ahead of time, so there's some fluidity to the route and stop off points, but here's the basic route:
* From Denver, take a few days driving up through Montana, taking in Cheyenne, the Wind River Indian Reservation and Yellowstone National Park.
* Travel through Montana to Kalispell or somewhere up around there.
* Drive through Idaho to somewhere around Spokane, Washington. Then travel down through Washington to the Portland Oregon area.
* From there, head straight to the coast and spend 5-6 days driving down to San Francisco along the coast (US101 etc), staying in small coastal towns.
We fly home from San Francisco.
We're keen to stay away from the cities between Denver and San Fran, sticking instead to small towns. We both enjoy small town America more than the big cities.
Does anyone have any suggestions for must-see attractions in those general areas? My research shows that Montana is mostly wide open spaces, so I've calculated to do a lot of driving in a short period of time across there, then using the extra time to meander our way down the coast. Is that wise?
I'd really appreciate any input from people with experience in the areas we'll be visiting. Thanks in advance.