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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, United States
    Posts
    6

    Default 2014 Summer Road Trip Midwest

    Hello everyone,

    Summer is coming, and my girlfriend and I are planning a summer road trip from 08/22-09/22/2014. We are from Seattle and plan to have a road trip in Midwest

    Our ideal destinations include:

    Chicago-Milwaukee-Detroit-Toronto-Buffalo-Cleveland-Columbus
    -Cincinnati-Louisville-Indianapolis-St.Louis-Kansas City-Omaha-Des Moines-Chicago

    A round trip, I have googled it, it will take around 35 hours just driving, but I think it's doable in an mounth.

    Does anyone have any advice and suggestion along the way or any must-see, or place I miss not listed above? such as Pittsburgh?
    And we kinda hope to go to Quebec in some way, but right now, I think it will become too many drivings and hurried that way.
    What do you think?

    I appreciate any advice!!!

    Josh

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,067

    Default just cities?

    The plan you've laid out is certainly possible. You've got 14 cities you want to visit, and none are more than about a half days drive away from each other, so you can spend at least a full day at each of them. The only thing with your current list I'd note is that unless you want to drive around the top of Lake Michigan, or spend quite a bit of money on a ferry, it would make more sense to do Milwaukee on your way back to Chicago, rather than before Detroit (otherwise you'll have to drive right back through Chicago, something that should always be avoided if possible!)

    I'd wait until you are done with Chicago to rent the car - as it is probably the only city on your list where having a car is a real disadvantage. Also, it should be noted, that you'll have to make sure that your rental car will even be allowed into Canada, as that could be an issue with your plans to head to Toronto.

    Quebec wouldn't be impossible to include, you could cross into the Province near Ottawa which is about 5 hours from Toronto, or your could get to Montreal in about 6 hours. The only real issue is that it is the opposite direction from every other spot you want to visit.

    Other cities you could potentially include are Pittsburgh, Nashville (really wouldn't add many miles at all, if you did it instead of Indianapolis), or Minneapolis/St. Paul. There are also lots of smaller cities too like Grand Rapids, or Madison, for example.

    Of course, that follows the idea that all you want to do with this month is visit cities. Personally, I would find that rather dull. There's certainly no shortage of great natural areas you could explore. I could spend weeks exploring Michigan's UP, and there are lots of great parks on the shores of all the Great Lakes. I'm thinking of places like Door County Wisconsin, the Apostle Islands, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. That's by no means a complete list, but rather a starting point - with even more options if you look at the Canadian side of the lakes. You've got Cuyahoga National Park not far from Cleveland, and Mammoth Cave just a short drive from Louisville, the Ozarks of southern Missouri, and really too many great state parks to even start listing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,937

    Default Covered bridges. historic barns and more.

    Michael asks a great question. There is a lot more in the midwest than cities and towns. Some of my favourites are the covered bridges and historic barns of Iowa. Then there are the many scenic drives, many of which will take you to little nooks and crannies with gems you had not even considered.

    A month should give you lots of time to explore if you allow yourselves to wander.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 05-30-2014 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Typo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, United States
    Posts
    6

    Default

    First of all, thank you very much for the reply. I really appreciate it.
    And No, not just cities, I was just listing the major cities along the way as we plan the route. We will definitely go to as many as natural parks, state parks as possible. The beauty of the Midwest is known. We want to explore as much as we can around one area in limited time, both cities and nature. We will definitely check out the places listed above, thank you very much. Please recommend more places if possible.
    And we have been to Minnesota and Nashville already. We love there, thank you for bringing them up.

    Right now, our plan is to fly from Seattle to Denver, staying in Denver for two days and fly from Denver to Omaha ,NE. I find it pretty cheap that is $303 round trip. SEA-DENVER-OMAHA-OMAHA-SEATTLE. Because the trip will be a loop (as better for flight ticket and car rental), it doesnt matter where we fly to. I just find it is cheapest to start from Omaha, NE. So if you have any better suggestion, please let me know as well. (thanks)
    If starting from Omaha, driving to Chicago is not avoidable. Is it that bad to drive there? I have driven in Boston and many major cities... is the traffic the concern or parking?

    And here is my tentative route on Yahoo Map

    https://maps.yahoo.com/directions/?l...20City%2C%20MO



    We hope to explore the region as much as we can, both nature and cities.
    Any must-see other than the places listed above?
    Thank you very much!!!

    Josh

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,937

    Default A great region to explore and wander.

    Quote Originally Posted by josh61516 View Post
    ... is the traffic the concern or parking?
    For me, it is both. But then, I can't say I enjoy driving in Boston either. Parking is harder to find in Chicago.

    We hope to explore the region as much as we can, both nature and cities.
    Go to AAA and pick up some really great maps of the midwest. AAA have a new 'regional' map of the area, but it is not as detailed as the individual maps of the States. I would get both, especially if you are a AAA member. These maps have many natural, historical and touristy attractions marked on them, as well as the scenic routes - which are marked with a dotted line. You really can't explore and appreciate this area without them.

    As well, I always pick up the State issued maps at the Welcome centres. Although the majority of the information is identical, often you find a little gem on a State map, which is not on the AAA map, or vice versa.

    Any must-see other than the places listed above?
    'Must see' places are the places you want to see. One person's must see is another's must by-pass. I take it your map is not indicating which roads/routes you will be taking. There are some great scenic routes throughout the area.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 05-30-2014 at 08:39 AM. Reason: typo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, United States
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thank you!!!
    I will certainly get those maps!!!

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