Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default Ottawa to Denver with 2 kids!

    Hi guys and gals
    We are a family of four with a 10 and an 11 year old and we are really excited about our first 'true' road trip! We're heading to Denver to visit family and friends and plan to depart on August 3rd to return on or about the 19th. We've never traveled farther then to NYC so we're really green when it comes to this and we're hoping for some of that friendly help we're seen extended on the forum. Primarily we'd love your feedback if you think our expectations are reasonable. From what we've researched we figure we could make it with a two nights three day trip on the way and we would love some advice on hotels or motels along the way that feature a pool (got to get the kids to expand the accumulated energy!) and the best route to get us there and back. We're going to save our days to visit our folks so sightseeing on the way is not the priority though if there's a must see along the way we would sure like your advice, especially if it'll get the kids interested. Google maps will only take you so far and we greatly appreciate human insight on how to make this a really enjoyable trip. Thanks for looking and for the tips!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Please Reconsider

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Trying to get from Ottawa to Denver in three days would require that you drive close to 600 miles a day. That is the legal limit for professional long-haul truckers. That limit is in place for safety reasons. Your skills, concentration, and response times simply start to erode after too many hours of passive sitting and watching the road. Besides, and no one ever called their job fun. If you want to show your kids a good time, and spare yourself three solid days of "Are we there yet?", I strongly suggest that you take four days for the drive and take some [post=60779}small breaks every few hours[/post] as well as a larger break each day. On the direct route, ON-401/ON-402/I-69/I-94/I-80/I-76, three evenly spaced overnight stops would then be London ON, De Kalb IL, and Lincoln NE. Those aren't exactly the same distance apart, but they are roughly the same. and they are all large enough to offer you several lodging options. For a longer stop each day, you might want to consider a stop at the harborfront in Toronto to view the visiting Tall Ships, a visit to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a tour of the Amana Colonies in Iowa, and a little investigation of the old Oregon Trail in western Nebraska.

    On the way home, taking four or five days would also let you explore something other than the same direct route that you used to get to Denver. maybe look at the possibility of getting home by going 'over the top' of the Great Lakes, entering Canada at Sault Ste Marie and returning to Ottawa by way of Sudbury and North Bay. One other general suggestion. If you get to any USA National Parks, Monuments, or Historic Sites, ask about their Junior Ranger Program. Your kids are just the right age to get the most out of it and it's free.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    DeKalb is on I-88, not I-80. Your appropriate stop on I-80 would be Morris, Ottawa, or LaSalle/Peru.

  4. Default

    Wow that was quick! And helpful too, of course, thanks a lot guys. I guess we need to rethink a little bit the time allocated though with two drivers its really the kids comfort that's the issue. We'll have a harder look at the roads and the times. We\re also curious about this Junior Ranger thing and will look it up. As to rest stops, can anyone recommend good options along the way, in the De Kalb and Lincoln areas? We keep hoping that we can find old style mom and pop road side motels with clean sheets and a little pool rather then the Super 8 option though if that's what it 'll take then so be it. Any way thanks again for all the help!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Mom-and-pop motels still exist, but many don't have much of an advertising budget nor an internet presence. Finding them is more of a game of chance, because of that. You could do a Google search under "motels LaSalle IL" or "motels Peru IL" and come up with a listing which will include the mom-and-pop ones. Write down the address and then find the likely ones. When you get there to check in, if the outside looks inviting, you can always ask to see a room before actually taking it.

    I understand where you're coming from, in regards to the kids. Our kids always knew, that Dad and Mom would try to find an overnight place with a pool if we had a long drive to make during the day. That kept our kids very happy!

    Something else we used to do with our kids: they were NOT allowed to ask either "are we there yet" or "when are we going to get there?" At the beginning of the day, they were told how many miles we intended to cover that day, and how long we thought it would take to do that. The only question they were allowed to ask were "how many miles have we driven already today?" THEY had to do the math -- okay, Dad said we were driving 600 miles today and we just drove 157, so that means we have 443 miles left to go. They also learned how to figure out how many hours it would take to drive that many miles.

    One of our daughters LOVES road trips, and has the skills needed to figure out the trip.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are looking for a "mom and pop" motel, Ottawa may give you the best chance, because of its proximity to Starved Rock State Park.

    In fact, the park has a lodge, and it appears rooms are about $125 a night. It's really a nice park, but I don't know if you would want to spend the time to see it.

Similar Threads

  1. Denver to Phoenix with kids in 6 days
    By allibweil in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-31-2012, 10:35 PM
  2. San Francisco to Denver on I-80 with kids
    By kampp in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-10-2011, 10:27 PM
  3. road trip from arizona to denver with kids
    By shanti09 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-06-2009, 03:31 AM
  4. Driving to Denver from San Francisco with 2 kids. Help!
    By dellasanta in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-09-2008, 03:45 PM
  5. S. CA to CO (Denver Area) w/2 kids & a dog
    By Momof2Girls in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-14-2005, 07:07 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name