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  1. #1

    Default Desperate for 3/4-day trip from Chicago

    Hi. My wife and son and I have been planning a 3 or 4 day road trip -- starting Thursday! -- but remain stumped for good destinations or routes.

    We naively planned to go to the Black Hills, but then realized it was a decent 2-day drive in each direction.

    Driving around Lake Michigan is fun, but we did that a few years ago. We've also done short trips to St. Louis and Madison, WI.

    Here's what we're looking for:

    - we like the road and don't mind if we spend most of our time on it (up to 7 or 8 hours/day)

    - but we want to be mostly on scenic, quieter roads, not major highways

    - beautiful sights are more important than tourist attractions (but the occasional tourist attraction is okay)

    - hills are good :-) (around here you can go a long way before you reach them)

    Some options we're considering:

    - Minneapolis/St. Paul -- but we don't know what to see around there

    - Wisconsin; maybe in a cabin on a lake? Or a better look around Madison?

    Grateful for any quick ideas -- thanks.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-14-2009 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Removed extra line feeds.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Additional Ideas

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums!

    You've actually already listed several very good ideas for places within a couple of days of Chicago. So let me give you just a few more destinations to consider:

    Great Smoky Mountains. US-231, US-31 and US-70 would offer alternatives to the Interstates and Mammoth Caves makes for an intriguing stop on the way.

    The Ozarks. Hills and lakes, and if you've already done St. Louis, try some of the smaller historic river towns such as Nauvoo, Hannibal and Ste. Genevieve.

    Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Quaint towns, presidential homes, Civil and Revolutionary War battlefields and scenery galore.


  3. #3

    Default Great ideas

    AZBuck, thanks for the good ideas.

    At first I though the Great Smoky Mountains must be too
    far, but google says only 607 miles -- not as bad as I thought.

    Then I thought it might be a little hot there this time of year,
    but it looks to be only around 80-82 for the next 5 days.

    The Blue Ridge mountains are another idea that I figured
    would be too far, but it's 694 mi to Roanoke, VA, which
    wouldn't be bad over 4 days.

    Any ideas for sights not far from Minneapolis?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you want to head up through MSP, you can head north through St. Cloud and Brainerd and up toward Bemidji. Not many hills up that way, but a LOT of lakes and forest land farther north.

    Northern Wisconsin is very scenic too - up in the Hayward area. So is the UP.

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