There are some very nice ideas and I am interested in most of them.
My traveling for work over some 25 years took me to most western states, unfortunately it was mostly business.
I enjoyed some free time in Colorado – but Pike Peak might not be so good for children – drive through some Rocky Mountains is breathe taking.
Where you live – if Western North Carolina maybe driving with the first stop in Memphis, Tennessee. I don’t know the cost of air plane travel and car costs, but, it might be a budget consideration.
The Southwest is always good, although the Rio Grande area might be something to avoid. I spent a great amount of time in this area, South Padre Island, but maybe save that for just you and you wife.
The Grand Canyon got cancelled last year, rescheduled this summer.
It seemed like I lived in Memphis, Tennessee area for a few years, put Memphis in May in a todo list in following years. Especially if you currently live in West North Carolina.
I have friends that take their mobile home for six plus months a year and they seem to love the Parks in Utah. They actually had arrange working for a month in one part for a few different years.
Vancouver Canada and the Island are one of my favorites – I got to work that area a few months a year for a few years, weekends were mine – Again, put that on a todo list.
If your schedule is for September – check the weather history in the areas prior to making it part of this plan. I remember leaving San Francisco hot weather, flying into Denver and it was snowing.
You don’t need to sign up for a tour, but, I would guess there are some exciting western events as in Cowboys and Indians out west. If the trip is touring after an arrival by flight, drive breaks between points of interest.
Say your flight is round trip to Colorado than a rental car. A circle of destination stops.
I use to travel a two day trip to Cleveland twice a year to see family at Christmas and Summer for two weeks each trip. State parks for travel breaks and back when they were smaller some restaurants had play areas.
When I was a child, an annual trip to Nebraska, with a train change in Chicago. This was the 50s and 60s. I don’t know what it does now, but the train out of Chicago had dome cars with elevated seating as an activity for passengers. It was something for site seeing. They also had a California train starting from Chicago with the same type of cars. There were only a few of these cars on the total train, somewhat of an attraction, not a permanent seat.
We took a short cruise on the lower Mississippi – Starting in New Orleans and going North, but not to Tennessee. Avoid Hurricane season when you put this on your todo list for your wife and you.
Summer vacations offer more time as well as better weather in some of the Northern States.
My vacations to Cleveland were pretty popular with my daughters, when my mom passed away, they did not seem to want to tour the West. It seemed school trips to Europe became popular in high school and college.
Now retired and soon to become empty nesters, a two vacation per year is on the agenda.
Years of working for the hotel industry and collecting unrealistic travel points by air, many invitations to Israel. I declined, until about two to three years ago, a junior priest was going on a trip that was more religious than historical, but we got the best of both worlds. We did hear about a missile being shot out of the sky close to where we were the previous day. It was a tour of a life-time – Mostly high school teachers, since the young priest had two parents that were high school principals at two different Miami schools. The travel guide was a high school teacher and an Israel tour guide (older gentleman was in the military during the various wars). So, both the walk of Christ and the religious site, but the last 70+ years of Israel history. I have learned to say Yes to most ideas on travel my wife suggests.
I wish Andrew Berry would sign that DE and CB. I did get a few of my ATI questions answered while i was writing this message.