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  1. Default Driving from DC to CO

    Hello everyone!

    I am new to the site and I would love to hear from people who has done this trip and can give me on suggestions on where to stop when driving with children.

    I have driven from Md to Co before through the I-70 route by myself and it was not what I was expecting. I wanted to experience driving by small towns, not just driving on big highways all the way to CO. Now, I am driving with my mother and my almost 3 year old son and I want to experience I-80. I understand to experience a true road trip with lots of small towns, farms and small communities along the way I would probably need to get off the interstate and take smaller highways. I am a little nervous driving with such an active little boy for so many hours and I am not sure I want to add that many hours more to my trip, but any suggestion is appreciated. I am really looking forward to hear from people who has done this trip specially with kids and can give me suggestions on "roadside" attractions for kids, nice place to stop with kids, places for activities or anything of a kind.
    I am planning on going at the first week of August s the weather will be nice.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default We love family road trips!

    Quote Originally Posted by lobr84 View Post
    Now, I am driving with my mother and my almost 3 year old son and I want to experience I-80. I understand to experience a true road trip with lots of small towns, farms and small communities along the way I would probably need to get off the interstate and take smaller highways.
    Tia, welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! The most important thing to remember when traveling with a kid about three is that attractions that might appeal to an adult might have the same weight as stopping at an ordinary playground or spending an extra day or two at the motel pool. I "acquired" my love of road tripping by traveling with my family when I was wee little kid.

    Here are some tips and suggestions about road tripping with kids:

    An overview article I penned a couple of years ago.

    Some road trip games and other ideas

    This article might be a bit "young" for your son, but you still might find some helpful tips in it.

    How long will your trip be? And is this a round trip trip? When do you have to be home?

    Interstate Highways are perfectly fine for traveling on. In fact, it is hard to beat the beauty of I-70 through Colorado and Utah!

    Since you are thinking about driving I-80 -- here is a list of some places you can stretch and wander as you travel along the interstate highways. Scroll down to see the ones along I-80!

    Enjoy the planning!

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default What a Difference a Day Makes

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You could just, and I mean just, make it from the DC area to Denver in three days via either I-70 or I-80, but that would be three days of fairly heavy driving on flat and smooth high-speed highways with only minimal stops. If, on the other hand, you can afford a fourth day then all sorts of great RoadTrip possibilities open up. The primary one I'd suggest is splitting the difference between I-70 and I-80 (with its heavy tolls until well past Chicago). Such a route would utilize many of the great four-lane surface highways of the 'US' system to both maintain decent speed while also giving you the chance to see something of small town America.

    Here is one such possible route of the many available to you. Leave the DC area on I-270/I-70 to Hancock MD and then continues westward on I-68 to I-79 north and I-70 west past Wheeling. At St. Clairsville OH take OH-9 and US-250 to New Philadelphia. This will take you through Ohio Amish countryside. Continue on US-250 (it will spend a bit of time duplexed with I-71) to Wooster and US-30 west. That will take you to Fort Wayne IN where you'll switch over to US-24 west. Use I-74 to get through Peoria IL and then pick up US-34 at Galesburg. Enjoy US-34 all the way across Iowa to Omaha and then use I-80 for a bit to Grand Isle NE. From there westward US-30 parallels I-80 along the Platte River and the old Oregon Trail with several historic sites and geologic landmarks. Finally, from Big Springs NE to Brush CO you have a similar situation with US-138/US-6 running parallel to I-76 allowing you to jump back and forth depending on whether you want to mosey through towns or cover some ground. I-70 would then get you the rest of the way into Denver.

    Such a route offers you the chance to take a break in the many state parks or even small town playgrounds whenever your son needs time out of the car. It also offers you a break from the monotony of hour after hour of straight, flat, constant speed driving. It will take more time, but that can be mostly time well spent doing something other than just driving for three days straight. There are similar options built around routes like US-36 across northern Kansas and Missouri, but the main point is that you are by no means limited to just I-70 or I-80.

    AZBuck

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