I'm taking a road trip from Indianapolis, IN to Phoenix, AZ beginning the end of July. I have no real time limitations for reaching my destination though I'd like for the trip to take approximately 4-6 days total. My primary goal is not necessarily making it to Phoenix as quickly as possible, but rather seeing parts of the US that I will be passing along my journey. My route is yet to be determined. I am a fan of historical landmarks, literature, and art as well as taking in nature's beauty.

1) Can you suggest some places that might be of interest based on the above?
2) Due to weather conditions (I've heard of some flooding down south) are there certain routes I should steer clear of?
3) Any suggestions for dining? I'm a fan of the little "hidden gems" rather than restaurant chains.
4) Any website or book suggestions would also prove helpful to planning my itinerary.

Thanks, in advance, for any help you offer!