Best Stops on a Cross-Country Road Trip?

I just got an email from my friend Sandy asking for suggestions on where to stop on a summer road trip from California to Pennsylvania.  I’ve never driven across the country, but I’ve spent a lot of time in fly-over country (only have 5 states left to hit!), so this was a fun question to answer.  Below you’ll see my email to Sandy on some of the more random places I’ve enjoyed.  Anyone else have advice?

Utah is beautiful.  No matter how much time I spend out West, I’m still amazed by mountains.  Salt Lake City is easy to get around, has a number of good restaurants, and Temple Square is fascinating.  Park City also isn’t too far from there and is a cute, fun ski town!
This may be out of your way, but I love South Dakota!  It’s one state that I wasn’t excited about visiting, but ended up being on of my favorites in terms of random touristy stuff.  Mount Rushmore and the Badlands are on the Western side, and there’s so many random, silly tourist attractions as you drive through (think World’s Largest Ball of Twine…)  I loved seeing the Mitchell Corn Palace, and wish I had time to visit some of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesteads.
Kentucky’s another state that I love, that could be easy to miss.  It’s so pretty, and lots of great horse things to see and learn about.  Also lots of bourbon distilleries around Lexington.
Montana and Yellowstone are also favorites, but may be out of the way for that trip.  Chicago, Denver, and Vegas could also be great stops, but that’s probably no surprise!
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