My wife and I want to drive west from Texas to the Grand Canyon. We're leaving from Abilene, and will probably go in January. We'll have our 5-month-old son with us. Because it's a road trip, I'm as interested in destinations along the way as I am in the final destination itself. Has anyone made this trip by car during the winter? What surprised you about the route, and where did you stay along the way, or once you reached Arizona? We won't go higher than $150 or $200/night for lodging, but we appreciate places that are a step or two above the seedy motel. Whimsical spots like El Cosmico in Marfa appeal to us. We're also both photographers and I'm a filmmaker, and we would love tips on less-traveled scenic detours. You might tell me approximately what the budget for your trip was, to give me context for your response.
My family and I did this trip when I was younger but we drove from California all the way to Texas! We stopped at the Grand Canyon but I would say another beautiful spot you shouldn't miss would be at White Sands in New Mexico. Especially if you're a photographer, this area is so beautiful, perfect for pictures.