It appears as though my wife and I will be driving from Toronto, Canada to San Diego between Christmas and New Year's because that's what life presents you with sometimes. We're on a timetable so we can't stop at every cool thing, but it would be nice to find some scenic spots and local chow that isn't Denny's. Route and other details inside.
We'll probably be taking a pretty southerly route to try to steer clear of winter weather. Right now, looking at Google Maps, that looks like crossing the border at Detroit, taking I-69 and I-70 through Indiana and Illinois, I-44 from the Mississippi to Oklahoma City, I-40 across to Arizona to I-8 on into San Diego. So the bigger cities we would pass include:
We could use tips on the following, in order of priority:
1) Locally-owned and awesome restaurants, not so corporate (though we're open to Regional chains that are worth checking out)
2) Pieces of local scenery or culture that aren't too far off the beaten path but that our GPS won't point us to. Places to stretch our legs. Nothing that would take more than an hour to appreciate. Already looking at Roadside America
3) Roads to avoid in December (we're open to course corrections)
4) Other road trip survival strategies. We've done several, but not for a couple of years, and only a couple of multi-day trips. We usually load up on podcasts. So we may not be up on the latest hacks.
Any and all advice appreciated!!