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  1. Default Midwest Road Tripping

    i am looking to throw together a nice little surprise road trip for myself and my girlfriend. ideally, the trip would be quite scenic, perhaps historically rich through the midwest states (IL, WI, OH, IA) in late october. any thoughts? i appreciate your input very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Oh the possibilities

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There really are too many possibilities of things to do to list, so could you help us narrow things down by telling us where you are starting from, and how long you plan on being gone?

    I will start you off with some history suggestions, while there are tons of great museums in this area on a million different subjects, one of my favorites is the Abe Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, IL. I'd highly recommend it if your trip will be taking you in that general area.

  3. Default

    starting in chicago...

    plan is to be on the road for about 3 days.

    thanks for your thoughts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Heading South

    Well, I think then I would head south toward Springfield to start. Heading there, you can follow sections of the Illinois part of Route 66, which is fairly well marked in many places. After spending several hours touring the Lincoln museum, I'd keep going to St. Louis for a trip up inside the arch and a tour of the Museum of Westward Expansion below.

    After that, I'd start heading back north following the very scenic Mississippi River. The Great River Road is always a nice drive, but I suspect late october would also let you see a fairly good amount of fall color along the drive in Northern Missouri and Iowa.

    There are lots of other options, but I think that's the one I'd go with considering your interests and time available.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default I Agree

    Midwest Michael has given you a good trip in the amount of time you have.

    Possible stops on 66 in Illinois to eat would be the Riviera in Gardner, Fedderson's (old auto dealership with lots of automotive items on the walls, including a complete run of the same Illinois license number from the 20s to 70s) in Dwight, The Old Log Cabin in Pontiac, Kicks on 66 in Towanda (an old gas station), the Dixie Trucker's Home (good buffet in one of the first truckstops in the US) in McLean, and a Cozy Dog in Springfield.

    You might have to forego St. Louis if you want to do a roadtrip along the Mississippi with its views and color as well as a definite stop in Galena, the town that time forgot (1840s). Perhaps a night at the Desoto House Hotel where US Grant and Lincoln stayed.

    Then there is a great US-20 drive from Galena to Freeport (and especially the little town of Elizabeth, a personal favorite) on your way back to Chicago.

    There is still leaf color here in northern Illinois.

    That would be one busy three days.

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway. --RoadDog

  6. Default

    thanks for your thoughts-- really appreciate your input. anything else you come up with in the next few days is welcomed. cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Anything Else

    I'm not arguing with Michael or RoadDog, but there is far more Lincolnania in Illinois than just Springfield. I have often found that the smaller, more out-of-the-way sites can be just as intriguing as the major venues, since the local guides or docents can talk to you in a much more personal manner. So have a look at some of the other possibilities and how they might fit into your plans.

    One other spot is the monument on the Illinois side of the Mississippi just north of St. Louis where Lewis and Clark pushed off on their little trip up the Missouri. There's not much there, just some tablets telling the story, but that's part of the site's charm. You can actually imagine the Corps of Discovery in a setting that is pretty much as they saw it.

    One final place you should look into, of course, is Hannibal, MO. I've not been there and fear that it may be a bit kitschy, but if you're into Mark Twain at all, it would be worth a stop and I'm sure others here would like to hear about it.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Just Off 66

    I believe the site now has a recently opened (last several years) museum that is very interactive. How would you load the keel boat without tipping it over. Also there is a full-size replica of that boat that is cut in half so you can see the inside. Definitely a great sidetrip. Kids will enjoy this if they liked what they found at the Lincoln Museum. It is just north of the I-270 bypass bridge. Wood's River is the name of the town I believe.

    As far as Lincoln stuff in Illinois, the town of Lincoln, on the old Route 66, has the place Abe christened the town with watermelon juice as well as a reconstructed courthouse on the site of the original (now out in Ford's Village outside of Detroit) where Liincoln practiced law on his horseback rides on the circuit. Lincoln is the only town named for him while he was still alive.

    Lincoln College has a big collection of Lincoln memorabilia plus a part of the World Trade Center.

  9. #9


    For one of the best places to eat ....... If you can stop in one of the Amanna villages of Iowa , its about 10 miles west of Iowa city. Exit 225 of I80

  10. Default hiking?

    any areas in the above mentioned routing that have particularly good hiking? (or just anywhere in the the general area... could still change the route easily)

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