Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default chicago to seattle

    Hello friends !

    Moving from Chicago to San Diego by the end of the summer, with my wife and a 2 year old baby. Trying to make the best out of this trip, because it is also our this year's vacation. The plan is to drive to Seattle, and then south all the way to San Diego. I am thinking to do WI-MN-SD(or ND)-WY-MO-ID-WA. Any suggestions, must see places please? Probably 8-10 days to Seattle, and looking for scenic routes.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default What are your interests ?

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    One common theme that you will notice here is that we don't do 'best' or 'must see' without first knowing your interests and some idea of what places it is that attracted you along that particular route. One persons "must see" is another's "must avoid at all costs". There are thousands of possibilities along such a route so help us narrow it down. How much time are you planning for from Seattle to SD and are you shipping your belongings or will you be in a truck/towing ?

  3. #3


    I live in Seattle. Montana is absolutely gorgeous. When you get there, its easy to understand why they call it "Big Sky" country. Idaho is a "blink and you'll miss it" kind of place (at least on 90) but, if you need a hotel for the night in that part of the world, the Coeur d'Alene resort is fantastic. Its right on the lake in the city of the same name. Once you hit Washington, you basically have 2 options. You can stay on 90 and cross the mountains through Snoqualmie Pass. That way is high speed with little to no traffic and the pass shouldn't be any issue in the summer. Its also not very scenic or interesting. If you have the time, I would go the alternate route. In Spokane, get on Rt 2 and go West that way. You go right past the Grand Coulee Dam and then through Leavenworth. Leavenworth is designed to look just like a Bavarian village- very cool. That route through the mountains takes longer but is much more scenic. It dumps you into the Seattle area east of the city and you can drive across the I520 floating bridge past Bill Gates' house to get into downtown.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Following I-90 takes you past some pretty famous sites and National Parks. In South Dakota, you've got the Badlands and Black Hills - which is much more than just Mount Rushmore. Places like Custer State Park, Wind/Jewel Caves, and several great scenic drives that could easily take up a couple day.

    Continuing West, you'll head right past Devils Tower and Little Bighorn Battlefield, before you could turn off onto the Beartooth Highway and head into Yellowstone - a huge park that deserves at least 2-3 days of time to see the high points.

    If you still have time after that, you could look to head down to the Tetons, or up to Glacier NP, before continuing towards Washington.

  5. Default

    Thank you for your prompt answer ! I am thinking up to 10 days from Seattle to SD. My interests...wilderness , not to much into " man made stuff ", for ex I'll skip Mt. Rushmore. Historic places, not so much. And eventually good food . I'll send all of our stuff ahead, driving a SUV.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    My husband and I are like you, enjoying the wilderness and natural stuff more than "man made". But Mount Rushmore is something that we were amazed at. Each of us had been there as kids, then we made the stop this past summer and were glad we did. OTOH, Badlands wasn't that thrilling to us. If you click here, and start at Post #57, you will see our trip from the Badlands all the way out to Yellowstone, along I-90, to see what Michael was talking about.

    BTW, welcome to San Diego ... before you get here.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Some is better than nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Beartooth Highway and head into Yellowstone - a huge park that deserves at least 2-3 days of time to see the high points.
    Even if you cannot allot that amount of time to really see Yellowstone, there is nothing like routing your trip through the park. You will see some of the amazing sights from your car, and whet your appetite for a holiday just to Yellowstone.

    My first two visits to Yellowstone were drive throughs, both of which gave me a sense of how much time I would need, and made me determined to spend some time there. The Beartooth Highway and Pass is an amazing drive.

    Not that your two year old will remember any of it.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Now for something completely different.

    Probably 8-10 days to Seattle, and looking for scenic routes.
    I am thinking up to 10 days from Seattle to SD.
    The reason I asked was because of your first post saying 8-10 days to Seattle, but with 'up to' 10 days to SD you won't have time for huge detours, or ANY time to enjoy the sights between Seattle and SD if you only allow 2 days, as that would be 2 very long days on the road. At least 2 overnight stops would be more comfortable with the child. In total you have 6 days that will be dedicated to driving with time for frequent breaks, but no major sight seeing, so that does leave you time to enjoy the trip.

    In your first post you also said "thinking of going .." so I am also curious as to whether you need to go to Seattle [or want to ]for a particular reason. There is nothing wrong at all with your chosen route, but the fact you prefer the wilderness, I have to suggest you look at Colorado, southern Utah and Arizona on the way to SD rather than Seattle. It would be 1200 miles less driving [by the most direct routes] which would give you more time off Interstate and you would travel through the Alpine scenery of the Rockies and the Red rocks of Utah into Arizona via Monument valley and the Grand canyon. There are a number of great National parks along the way, incredible scenic highways and mountain towns to enjoy along the way. I am not trying to persuade you, just putting it 'out there' as a suggestion.

  9. Default

    Dave, I guess I said it wrong. I will allow 10 day from Chicago to Seattle, PLUS 10 more days from Seattle to San Diego.

    The reasons why I consider driving to Seattle first, and not straight to SD
    - I would rather drive through WI-MN-Dakotas, rather than Iowa and Nebraska
    - I would love to see as much as possible of the Pacific Coast before ending our trip in SD.
    -I am moving to California to pursue my dream in wine making, so I want to check the wine countries of Washington, Oregon, Napa and Sonoma .

    Appreciate your alternative route, and your advice so far !

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default It's me !

    Nah, I read it wrong ! lol I was concerned it was a lot of miles for 10 days, but 20 days overall gives you a nice relaxed pace to deal with.

    From Seattle you could check out Mt Ranier, Mt St Helens, the Columbia River Gorge inland as well as the many coastal areas. As previously mentioned, Yellowstone and the Tetons are pretty spectacular on route to Seattle, but you could also look at Glacier NP to the north and the spectacular drive over the 'Going to the sun road'. There's always too much to choose from !

Similar Threads

  1. Chicago to Seattle?
    By jazierae in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-15-2011, 07:46 AM
  2. Chicago to San Diego, up to Seattle then back to Chicago
    By jnemco in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-19-2011, 06:24 PM
  3. Seattle to Chicago
    By cecilia in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-27-2009, 01:16 PM
  4. chicago to seattle
    By ronaldo in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-01-2009, 03:48 AM
  5. Chicago to Seattle
    By inthenickoftime4 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-11-2008, 08:36 AM


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