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View Full Version : Help plan trip from San Francisco to Minneapolis and back.



TrippingDad
03-30-2008, 05:41 PM
Hi Folks,

The Wife and I are planning a road trip from San Francisco (Where we live) to Minneapolis, MN (Inlaws place) this summer. We are in our late 20's and early 30's. We have a 3 year old, who'll be 4 by the time we head out. We will travel in a Mini van. We plan on staying in motels and taking food with us to keep our costs down.

So far I've picked Yellow Stone park (old Faithfull), mount Rushmore, Crazy horse monument as definitive places to see.

Please suggest places along the way. We'll probably take 80E, then head up 15 to Yellowstone, 90 to Mount Rushmore and 35 into Minnesota. We'd like to see some stuff on the way there and some on the way back. We've visited most of the places inside California and are looking to see places out of state. Wife knows Minnesota well so she has that covered, but please feel free to suggest places to see there too.

I like natural wonders like Yellow stone. The wife likes hiking (easy hikes, we have a little boy) and she would like hunting for precious stones in fields and mines, though she has never done it before. I promised to let her have a day, she loves the Cash and Treasures on the discovery show (http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Cash_and_Treasures).

My son likes dinosaurs, zoos and things boys his age like.

So , please be free to give your suggestions.

Thank You,
Chris

AZBuck
03-30-2008, 10:07 PM
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

Depending on how much time you have for the drive, there are several other places along your general route that easily fit in with your stated preferences. Some of them require significant, but not unreasonable, detours. The first such detour starts at Salt Lake City and involves taking US-40 east to Vernal, UT and Dinosaur National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/dino/). From there head north on US-191 and then use UT-44 and WY-530 to come up the west side of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area (http://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/flaming_gorge/nra.html). When you rejoin I-80, head west to US-30 and then take US-189 north through Grand Teton National Park (http://www.nps.gov/grte/) into Yellowstone.

If you then head out of Yellowstone northbound to I-90, you can take that eastbound through Montana to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/libi/). Your next 'little detour' is in eastern Wyoming, taking US-14 and WY-24 to Devils Tower National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/deto/). Then east of Rapid City, after seeing Mount Rushmore, take the Wall, SD exit for a visit to Wall Drug (http://www.walldrug.com/) and then SD-240 through Badlands National Park (http://www.nps.gov/badl/). One final stop in South Dakota (http://www.cornpalace.org/) and you'll be in your wife's territory

AZBuck

TrippingDad
03-31-2008, 08:21 PM
Hi AZBuck,

Fantastic! Excellent suggestions..
I found tenton right after posting.. but this saves me a ton of research.
The Dinosaur National Monument is an excellent suggestion, the little boy will be thrilled to bits. I need to find a mine/field or some such to keep the mrs happy, she wants to bake in the sun looking for precious stones and what not.

I noticed others posted gas and food budgets. I'm on a tight budget, but don't have any definitive limits. We'll be staying with the inlaws in MN, so that helps.

I'll go through your suggestions and add any place I come up with and post the final plan.

If there are any other suggestions you or someone else has, please do let me know.

I'm digging through the forum too. Found this thread Boston to San Francisco and Back (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16494) , there are some similarities and over lap with my route.

Thank You,
Chris