Wichita, KS to San Francisco, CA
We are planning to drive from Wichita, KS to San Francisco, CA this summer and would like to know of interesting stops, points of interest, good food finds, etc. We are open to any suggestions as far as routes, maps, and helpful web sites in trip planning. We would like to take a more "northern" route going and little more "southern" route on the return. Just to be able to visit different states/cities. We will be traveling with a 2 1/2 year old, any suggestions on how to keep her occupied would be appreciated also.
You could always take Hwy 50 due west to San Francisco (although it bears mentioning that Hwy 50 merges with Interstate 80 just west of Sacramento). I am told that Hwy 50 through the Rocky Mountains is very scenic indeed. What I do know is that 50 through Nevada is some of the most starkly beautiful desert country I have ever seen. It's known as "The Loneliest Road" due to the emptiness of the country--only four towns over a stretch of well over 400 miles. A wise traveler, of course, will gas up every chance he gets and carry the appropriate supplies, but if you do, Hwy 50 offers several charms, such as Sand Mountain, Stone Age rock carvings at Grimes Point and Hickinson Petroglyphs, ruins of Pony Express stations, Fort Churchill, and the handsome Jackson Hotel in Eureka.
Going further west, Hwy 50 over the Sierras goes past south Lake Tahoe, and then through some gorgeous mountain country as it crosses the Sierras.
I won't speak to more northerly routes, except to note that if you take Interstate 80 over the Sierras, you will see more stunning mountain views, and you will pass right by Donner Lake and the Donner Party museum.