Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Default Chicago to RMNP/Estes Park, CO

    Hello all & thanks for reading --

    Traveling in a couple weeks from northern Illinois to Colorado and would like to hit some cool stops on the way with the family (historic, cool, or weird!) kids are 6 and 8 .... I-70 and I-80 can both be painful - any tips on which would be the better route for purposes of a fun family road trip? I actually think I-90 would be great but it would bite into our travel time too much...

    Appreciate any thoughts or recs!
    Erin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Recreation stops along the interstates.

    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    There is a thread with recreation stops along most of the interstate highways;. Perhaps if you go through that, you will find some stops which will suit you and your children. Furthermore you will find lots of interesting attractions on good paper maps. You might also like to check out the map wizard on the green bar above.

    Lifey

  3. Default

    Thank you - I was looking around the mobile site and didn't see those - definitely will check out. Appreciate your help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Chow

    Cool, historic, or weird (CHOW) stops between Chicago and Estes Park, while still only taking two days to get there might be a bit tough as it would take nearly that long just to take the 'painful' drive straight out I-80/I-76. But if you can add just half a day to your journey, you can turn that drive from a slog into part of the adventure. I know that when my wife and I RoadTrip with our grandsons (about your kids' ages) they really enjoy making multiple short stops over just driving, driving, driving. And they probably wouldn't even notice that they spent two half days less at RMNP. So, some CHOW stops along I-80 in addition to those already listed...

    Bickelhaupt Arboretum: I am constantly surprised by how much our two young boys(!!) enjoy walking through flower gardens and nature centers. The fact that you could combine this stop with a close-up view of the Big Muddy in Clinton makes it a twofer.

    Amana Colonies: Here's a chance to at least sample life lived at a completely different pace than what you're used to in Chicago.

    Danish Immigrant Museum: The story of just one of the many nationalities that pioneered the plains.

    Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Visitor Center: One of two major westward trails you'll be crossing or following and about as historic a venue as you'll see on this trip. As at any national park or monument, be sure to sign your children up for the Junior Ranger Program.

    Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center: Bisons and Whooping Cranes! See them before they disappear.

    Oregon Trail: Sites are scattered all along your route through western Nebraska. This might be a good time to get off I-80 and use the parallel US-30 instead.

    What kid wouldn't rather spend a little time stopping at sites like those rather than being cooped up in a car for two straight days?

    AZBuck

  5. #5

    Default

    The CHOW sites are all good, but you might want to include a stop at The Archway at Exit 275 near Kearney, Nebraska. If you miss it, you'll at least drive right under it on I-80, but it would make a good rest stop for the kids.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I-70 would take you a bit out of the way, but via I-80 to I-76 to US-36, you'd have a little over 1000 miles to drive. I didn't see anywhere that you'd planned on doing this in 2 days, though it's certainly possible if you don't mind 500 miles in a day. (We routinely did that many miles when our kids were growing up, and stopped every two hours or so to stretch our legs anyway.) The sites mentioned above are all good ideas. Your 8-year-old will be studying the Oregon Trail in either 3rd or 4th grade in school, so seeing some of the sites (and taking pictures of them!) will bring the studies to life. There's also the Buffalo Bill State Historic Park, near North Platte, NE.


    Donna

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Erin_McS View Post
    Thank you - I was looking around the mobile site and didn't see those - definitely will check out. Appreciate your help.
    Go get some decent paper maps, and see what is available in each area. Paper maps have a wealth of information you will never find on mobile devices.

    Lifey

  8. Default

    Ok, so I'm so new I didn't know "CHOW" was a thing! Thanks all for the input - AZBuck great detailed info. We are thinking about 2.5-3 days each way rather than speeding by. Before kids, we'd just speed through the plains and get there ASAP. But now we really have a personal interest and educational interest in taking it slower and appreciating all there is to see. Thanks all! And yes, I definitely am working with a paper map as the online is just not anywhere near helpful enough.

Similar Threads

  1. Texas to Estes Park Co.
    By txcarwashman in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-10-2011, 01:07 AM
  2. Denver to Estes Park
    By norvel in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-30-2009, 08:21 AM
  3. Estes Park, Colorado
    By Sharry in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-29-2006, 04:28 PM
  4. Delaware to Estes Park
    By Dee August in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-21-2005, 02:19 PM
  5. traveling to Estes Park Colorado
    By LCY in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-22-2003, 10:16 AM

Bookmarks

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

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES