This is my first posting on this Forum, though I've read through quite a few threads and must say I am very impressed by the collective knowledge you bring to people like me. I am a relatively new road-tripper as I attend conferences several times a year that are scattered throughout the country. I usually take my family (wife and two children - well, one to be born in April 2010) and drive the car. I really enjoy the drives as we get to see places of the country we would totally miss if we took the plane like my coworkers.
Anyway, to the point! Next year in June 2011, the conference will be held in Monterey, CA. We live just north of Detroit, MI, and have at most 10 days to get there (11-20 June 2011) and 11 days to return (25 June - 5 July 2011). Our two children (one is a girl, the other one we don't know yet) will be 3 years old and the baby will be 14 months.
From previous road trips we have taken in the past, I am comfortable driving 10 hours at a stretch (probably 500 miles) and perhaps more if my wife and I alternate driving. We don't want to entirely rush through the trip like we have done in the past, but would rather see the interesting and unique things that the country has to offer.
Neither one of us has ever driven out west before (farther than Kansas City, Missouri) so don't really know what there is to see, what is kid friendly, and how long is a good time to devote to seeing it. One place we would like to stop by is Denver, CO as my wife's uncle lives there, so that potentially anchors one point out there. Perhaps another would be Las Vegas, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea with kids?
Anyway, from the advice I've seen given in other threads, I look forward to reading anything you can provide for my trip. I know there are so many things to go and see - so the routes are endless. If it would be easier, then a string of cities or sites that you would highly recommend a family with young children seeing would be great.
My wife and I have very diverse interests ranging from science to history, and nature to contemporary style. So there really isn't much we wouldn't be interested in!
I thank you all for any time you can devote to answering this thread (and to making it this far with reading it!!).