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  1. Default Road trip between Chesterton, IN and Driggs, ID first of May, 2014

    We are from Maine and have never been further west than Chesterton, IN (our college daughters are here). The first of May, we will set out from Chesterton, IN and continue to Driggs, ID. Other than Mt. Rushmore, where do you suggest we visit? We have to be EXTREMELY frugal, so we like FREE sights to see!! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Which attractions interests you?

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Besides 'free' things (which are also my favourites), what are your interests? If we knew a little about them, the advice could be more relevant to your trip.

    One free stop, which I really enjoyed, is Wall Drug at Wall ND. If you read some of its history, either before you go or from the brochures there, it is easier to appreciate. I loved just wandering through the store; ended up having lunch there. But you have to have your 5c cup of coffee and free iced water.

    On the way to ID you could divert from I-90 at Sheridan and take Alt 14 over the Big Horn Mts. Make a stop at the Medicine wheel and the Big Horn Canyon. If you are travelling over the high plain early or late in the day, the wildlife is prolific. This is the place where a moose appeared from seemingly nowhere and stood in front of my car. I was so awestruck that I did not even get out my camera. It was amazing.

    But as I said, they are things which interested me. There are many other free and low cost attractions along the way, such as the Corn Palace, Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, etc.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default That All Depends

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Is Diggs your final destination or will you be returning from there to God's Country (Maine)? Because that would make a big difference in my recommendations. If you're just going on to Diggs and not going back east afterwards, then yes - I'd suggest that you take I-90 west from Chicago through southern Wisconsin and Minnesota, South Dakota, and all the way to Buffalo WY. From there US-16, the Cloud Peak Skyway, through the Powder River Pass to US-20 and Shoshoni then US-26 to Grand Teton National Park and US-191 south to Jackson where your final bit will be on WY-22 and ID-33 into Diggs. Highlights would be the many sites around Rapid City including, but not limited to, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, Wind and Jewel Caves, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and Devils Tower. Other places worth considering for a stop would be Circus World Museum in Baraboo WI, the Corn Palace in Mitchell SD, perhaps a slight detour to the Little Bighorn Battlefield, and a larger more time-consuming detour to Yellowstone.

    But if you'll be heading back east to Maine after Diggs, then I'd suggest you head west on I-80 out of Chicago, stop at the Amana Colonies in Iowa, check out the Lewes and Clark sites around Council Bluffs IA, follow the old Oregon Trail along the Platte River in Nebraska, and visit Cheyenne and Laramie WY. Then leave I-80 at Rawlins and take US-287 up through the Great Divide Basin and along the Wind River Range to US-26 to the Grand Tetons etc. as above. You could then take the I-90 route eastbound into Wisconsin. If you have a valid passport, when you get to the junction with I-94, take I-94 westbound to WI-21 east to Oshkosh and US-41 up to Menominee MI. There MI-35/US-2/MI-117/MI-28/I-75 take you to Sault Ste. Marie, across into Canada and the Trans-Canada Highway all the way to Montréal. Finish up with Eastern Townships Autoroute (A-10) and a series of scenic northern New England Roads A-55/ON-141/VT-114/US-3/NH-26 into Maine and I'll let you find your way from there.

    If frugality is paramount, then I suggest you concentrate on state parks and local museums which all tend to be low cost or even free. If sight-seeing funds are available but limited, then invest in a national parks annual pass ($80) at the first park or monument you come to and make as much use of that pass as you can, especially in the west. Also check out welcome centers along the major highways as you enter each state. These often have discount coupons good at motels and tourist attractions in the state as well as up-to-date knowledge of fairs, local celebrations, and the like that can give you a lot of entertainment for not too many dollars.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Bear in mind, Mt Rushmore itself is free, but there is a fee to park. Go figure.

    Do you have a membership in AAA? You can get free maps, TripTiks and Tour Books from them if you are a member, and it's a nice peace-of-mind when traveling for Emergency Road services! I love to look at the Tour Books ahead of time, as I get ideas for low-cost places to visit from those.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default From a distance.

    Not only is Mt Rushmore free, but you get the best views from a distance. Some of the roads around there afford magnificent views of the sculptures. Close up you get a sense of the sheer size, but to really appreciate them, I think they need to be viewed from at least a bit of a way away. Been there three times, but have never parked there.


  6. Default

    Wow! Thanks already for the tips from 3 of you! I think this forum will be helpful to us. We are doing a 3 day trip from Chesterton, IN to Driggs (we'll include Mt. Rushmore in here somewhere), where'll we park for 7 days, then head back east to Chesterton for a graduation. Then, we'll be hurrying back to sightseeing on this leg. We enjoy hiking, wildlife and historical. Do you know of Christian history or Christian/Church museums out there in that area....?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    3 Days isn't a lot of time to to get from Indiana to Driggs. Certainly, it can be done, but you won't have much time to linger or take detours much beyond the direct interstate route.

    What's the reason for your trip to Driggs?

    Depending upon your definition of "Christian," there's a fair number of Mormon related sites in Eastern Idaho, as that was a big area for Mormon settlements in the late 1800's.

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