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  1. Default 9 days camper trip chicago, advice?

    We are a family (2 kids 7-9 yrs, 2 adults) from The Netherlands and would like to see more of Chicago. We are planning to rent a camper for 9 days for a roundtrip. What are the places we must see? July

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Quite Sure What You Have in Mind

    Welkom! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I really don't think you're planning on using the camper as your roundtrip transportation from the Netherlands, and it really doesn't make sense to have one as your mode of transport/lodging while in Chicago. So, I'm assuming that what you have in mind is a nine day, roundtrip RoadTrip from Chicago. In that case, I think the best use of your time would be to samples a few (actually as many as possible) of America's different regions. As a very general outline, then, I'd suggest something like east along the Great Lakes (Cedar Point, Bass Islands, Cuyahoga Valley National Park) to Niagara Falls, then down through the Finger Lakes and Susquehanna Valley (Watkins Glen, Gettysburg) to Washington DC, through the Historic Triangle (Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown) to the northern end of the Outer Banks (Kitty Hawk, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site), turning west through North Carolina (Tobacco farming, Research Triangle, Asheville) to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and then making the return to Chicago via Kentucky and the Midwest (Mammoth Cave, Indianapolis Motor Speedway).

    Now, to be honest, I was trying for a route that could be driven in four days so that you had a bit more than half of your time available for sight seeing. The above itinerary would take a shade over five days, so you may want to cut back on it a bit, especially if you are going to have fewer than nine days for the RoadTrip portion of your visit.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 02-19-2012 at 02:15 PM.

  3. Default

    Hi There,

    Thanks for your feedback!! Yes, we would like to stay first for a couple of days in Chicago and then rent an RV, we have already been to Niagara Falls/Fingerlakes 4 yrs ago (from NY - Buffalo - Lake Erie - Reading PA - NY). We are also looking for louisville and St Louis, what do you recommend? Thanks!

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Mery&Remko View Post
    Hi There,
    We are also looking for louisville and St Louis, what do you recommend? Thanks!
    Both are great cities. St. Louis has the arch & museum beneath it, Budweiser factory tour (free), Forest Park with lots of free museums and the zoo (also free...I love how so much is free in St. Louis!), a neat Italian district with lots of yummy food, and a lot more. We really enjoyed the outdoor sculpture park there a few years ago.

    Louisville (excuse my bias here - it's my hometown) has several museums (including a science museum aimed at kids), the Louisville Slugger factory tour, Falls of the Ohio (across the river in Indiana), a huge district of old Victorian homes (Old Louisville), a number of large parks (Cherokee Park, Iroquois Park, etc), the Louisville Zoo, historic homes that offer tours, the Belle of Louisville paddlewheel steamboat (so much fun to take a quick cruise on), and the Highlands area is full of fun little shops and eateries. If you're into hiking, Jefferson Memorial Forest is just south of the city and Bernheim Arboretum is a bit further south (they have a lot of fun kids' activities). If you spread out from the city into the state, there's Bardstown (historic old town), bourbon distilleries, Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington (great for kids), some beautiful horse-country drives, and Mammoth Cave NP.

    It's approximately a 4 - 4 1/2 hour drive (in my experience) between the two cities if you use I-64.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    We go to St Louis a lot, because we have a lot of family in the area. There is the Arch, of course, with the Museum of Westward Expansion at the bottom of it. Nearby is the old courthouse building. There's a fantastic hands-on children's museum in St Louis, plus Busch Gardens, the St Louis Zoo (FREE!!!! How many zoos are FREE any more!!!?!?!?), Busch Stadium with the St Louis Cardinals playing, the Budweiser brewery tour, and more. Scott Joplin has a museum/home dedicated to him, too, for fans of jazz (ragtime, in this case).

    Travel north on US 61 and you have views of the Mississippi River. In Hannibal, you can really learn a lot about Mark Twain -- his home, "Becky Thatcher's home", the old apothecary, "Huck Finn's home", and a wonderful couple of museums about Mark Twain. Then go a little south of town and do the cave tour. If it's summer, bring a sweater as the cave is 52F year-round.

    Travel inland a little bit from the river and see Mark Twain Lake (his birthplace is somewhere in there, though we didn't stop last summer), go even further into the state and travel around the touristy Lake of the Ozarks. (Lots of shopping, boating, motels, more, available there.) In Jefferson City you can take a free tour of the capitol building and Jefferson Landing State Park's buildings. Stop in Hermann and take tours (and wine tastings) in some of the many wineries, and there's a brewery or two there too. (We have yet to do the brewery tours.) In Columbia, check out the colleges. Go a little further west and stop at Isle of Capri Casino. There's also a winery on the bluffs of the Missouri River west of Columbia, though at the moment I can't think of the name of it!

    Missouri has a lot to offer -- you'd be really surprised!

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