West Design Roadtrip

I am considering undertaking a design (read: job search) and fun related trip out west and wanted to solicit some ideas from the community here. I will be starting out from Ohio and will probably take the northern route out, Through Chicago, Madison, Twin Cities (where I can probably manage staying with family, although it would probably be better to stay in the cities and be a bit more involved).

Then across the top of the lower 48, maybe stopping in Yellowstone to camp a few days, Then hit Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Probably LA and San Diego, and come back through the Southwest, maybe stopping in Austin and New Orleans if I can make the time/connections and assuming a lack of hurricanes.

Anybody have ideas for design related stops, or just fun things in general? I might try to hit both Taliesins (haven’t seen either). Any good design get togethers in cities mentioned (I know Yo has heralded a pretty good PDX thread, and their are other local ones starting…maybe this could be a prompt to flesh them out), or conferences that might be happening for those who are there (thinking late September through mid October)? I think I might try some Air B & B stops to get some good insider perspectives on the cities. I might also blog it, will keep you guys updated on this idea.

Definitely hit up designers at big firms and corporations and just see if you can get a “tour”, most people love giving a good tour. Email me and I’ll give you some names of people to contact.

Thats a good plan. I hope to be able to make at least one good design contact and tour in all the big cities I stop in.

I remember as a kid we used to take kind of historical themed road trips as a family. Are there any design related monuments out there? I guess there are museums… Maybe the first IDEO location, or Steve Jobs’ old garage or something? I guess I could try to take pictures in front of apple before they tell me to leave (is it as elusive as trying to take a picture in an apple store?). How about design pioneers…Brooks Stevens in Milwaukee, Teague in Seattle (although I guess their old historic offices would have been NY)… anyone else on the way out West?