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  1. #1
    jerseyprincess Guest

    Default Part of 50 state Road Trip!

    I'm thinking of a road trip from North Dakota to Kansas. (I'm going to OK and TX this year.) It would be me and my husband for 7-10 days. I want to fly to ND and rent a car there and drive to KS, stopping at places along the way. So far I have Mount Rushmore and going to a Kansas City Royals baseball game. (I have always admired their stadium.)
    Any suggestions as to other places to visit in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas? I enjoy beautifully scenery as well as interesting stops/attractions. Has anyone ever camped along that route? (I want to mix up hotels/camping/sleeping in the car.) Also, do you think that might be too much time for those states? Should I try to include Colorado? I'm also thinking in a budget of $1000per person ($2000 total combined.) Do you think this is realistic? Any feedback is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    I think a budget of $1000 per person is reasonable for the time you are planning on spending, provided you're not including the cost of plane tickets in this total. Depending on the rental rates for the car you plan on getting, that could take an additional, sizable chunk out of your budget.

    I have camped overlooking the Missouri River in Nebraska, and in the heart of Kansas in Salina. I found the state park in Nebraska to be well kept and extremely cheap to stay at ($3), and it even had a good shower ($0.50).

    North Dakota has Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a good portion of the mighty Missouri River, and the geographical center of North America near Rugby.

    In South Dakota, you could also check out Badlands, Wind Cave, and Custer National Forest.

    Nebraska doesn't have a lot of national parks/monuments (though it does have the Agate Fossil Beds). The roads in the area, however, offer up a lot of nice farmland scenery. You could head off the beaten path and just enjoy the ride for an hour or three. Looking at the map, you'll have better luck finding a place to camp in the Eastern part of the state.

    In Kansas, you could head over to the Mid-America Air Museum, this is the same town that plays up their Wizard of Oz connection, and in town, between the library's front doors is shaped like a giant open book. The Monument Rocks looks like an interesting place to go. Kansas also claims the geographic center of the conterminous United States near Lebanon, and the world's largest ball of twine in Cawker City.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Starting and Ending

    Where are you planning to start and end your trip exactly? It would seem like you are probably trying to do a trip from Western North Dakota and then kind of work down at a Diagonal towards KC?

    The one downside is that airline service into Western ND is going to be pretty spotty - and likely rather expensive.

    If you are a baseball fan you might try checking out a few minor league baseball games. The Omaha Royals play in the area you'll be visiting, and there are several teams in the American Association, and independant baseball league which play in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Western Missouri.

    I do think you will enjoy the Royal's stadium in KC. You can tell it was built in the 70's, but it was way ahead of its time, having lots of features that didn't become standard until the new wave of ballpark construction that started in the 90's.

  4. #4
    jerseyprincess Guest


    I'm not exactly sure where I want to start out or end up. I'm trying to visit all 50 states and I thought a road trip would be a great way to cross off the middle of the country. No, I would not be including the cost of airfare, or even the cost of the car rental, in my $2000 spending money.
    I was hoping for some more suggestions regarding where to start/stop. I'm actually fine with flying home a day or so after a Royals game. But other than that and Mt Rushmore, I'm not sure.

  5. Default N.d. & S.d.

    We spent the summer in N.D. workamping. We went to both Theodore Roosevelt National Parks. The one North is more rustic, but we enjoyed the trip and on the way up there we stopped at a little town called Grasse Butte. It had the original sod post office which they had made into a museum, and the price was right to go see was free. The lady was very informative about the area and the living quarters in the rear. We saw buffalo, prairie dogs, and wild horses at both parks. The one in Medora is a circular loop drive, the one up north is straight in and back out. We worked in Dickinson which was a short drive over to both parks. You don't want to stay in Medora because they are very expensive, I would suggest staying in Dickinson. You will probably want to look around Madora while you are at the park and it will take the biggest part of the day. You can do both parks in a day, but it's lots of driving. Be sure you take the enchanted highway drive. You can get to it off the interstate 94. It's huge sculptures of geese, deer, people, etc. It's a 36 mile drive from interstate 94 to the end of it. They were working on the fish sculpture when we were there. The sculptures are about 3 to 4 miles apart so don't give up until you see them all. It was a high light of our trip and we did enjoy them very much. The peoples feet were made out of watering tanks that they water cattle from to give you an idea of the size.

    In S.D. the badlands are a must see. While there you can get a pass to the other state parks that you can see in a week. Be sure you take the Needles Highway drive, and Custer State Park. We went by Mt. Rushmore. They don't charge to get into the monument, but do charge $8 to park. We could see it from the road so opted to take pictures from the road and go on to Crazy Horse Monument. When we pulled onto the lot they wanted $20 for each person in the car to park. Then you were ask for donations in the monument, so we didn't go in. A lady at the park said that the museum was wonderful, but they didn't have to pay that much to get in when they went. I'm sorry but I think that was too steep just to park a vehicle. We went to Wall Drug while in the S.D. badlands. I really wasn't impressed with it too much or the Corn Palace in Mitchel S.D. It was interesting, but if you are on tight time line as far as I'm concerned you won't miss much.

    I hope this helps you figure out what you want to see. We enjoyed both states, and there are still things in N.D. we would like to see, but that's another trip. I thought that S.D. was just beautiful and we really enjoyed the drives through the parks and the animals we saw. While going through the one in Custer they had a rain storm where we were and when we came into Custer they had snow. My hubby couldn't get out of there quickly enough....giggle.

    I hope you have a grand trip and enjoy all that you see. Happy traveling.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-15-2007 at 06:42 PM. Reason: Removed the bold -- easier to read

  6. #6
    jerseyprincess Guest

    Default Type of Vehicle

    I'm going to be traveling (during August) from SD to ND to MT to WY and stopping in CO. I want to rent a car in SD and drop it off in CO. Along my trip I will be mixing some camping with hotel stays for approximately 10 days. (The only place I will not have to worry about lodging is CO, where I will be staying with relatives.) I will be flying to SD first and then renting a car there. So here comes my questions:
    1. Do you think it's realistic to think I will be able to take camping gear on the plane? This might sound stupid, but since you cant bring more than 3 ounces of fluid, I'm a little concerned.
    2. What type of rental should I get? I've taken other small road trips (up and down the east coast often) and for those I find my regular sedan to be fine. However, usually at the end of those trips I have crap everywhere and the backseat is usually loaded up with stuff we've accumulated along the way. I was thinking about getting an SUV so we could keep all of our gear in the back. (These vehicles usually tint their back windows and even if they are not, I can make a quick curtain that wouldnt be obvious like it would in a regular car.
    3. Do you think the costs of renting a SUV over a car will be extremely different? I'd like to stay in the range of $500-$700 for 10 days of renting.

    Any advice would be great.
    Thanks in advance.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default rental car options

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyprincess View Post
    1. Do you think it's realistic to think I will be able to take camping gear on the plane?
    No liquids -- of course, but the rest of your gear can be checked into baggage -- liquid fuel and other such supplies can be purchased once you are on the ground portion of the trip.
    2. What type of rental should I get? I've taken other small road trips (up and down the east coast often) and for those I find my regular sedan to be fine.
    Car camping in a sedan is fine. You should get a car you feel comfortable in. I prefer SUVs when I camp-travel -- but the type of car is not the much of concern.
    3. Do you think the costs of renting a SUV over a car will be extremely different? I'd like to stay in the range of $500-$700 for 10 days of renting.
    While SUVs are more expensive, and you will have a drop-off charge, I just checked the public rates for National Car Rental and the 10 day rate with a drop-off in a different state is $490 for a full-size SUV like a Chevy Trailblazer.


  8. #8
    jerseyprincess Guest

    Default Another Curiousity

    Thank you for the reply! I'm excited to see the Trailblazer quote to be just under what I wanted.

    Another difficult is it to rent vehicles from one state and drop off in another? Sorry if that sounds stupid, but in the past, I've only used a rental when staying around one place. Will it be unusual to the car rental center that I want to take it to a different state or is this something they come across all the time.

    Also, do you have a site or link on here where I can get info on this? It would prevent me from asking more stupid questions if I could look them up myself.

    Thank you for the North Dakota info. That is the place I was finding to be the most difficult when looking up information I wanted. I was planning on visiting Dickinson. Did you go to the Dinosaur Museum there?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Its only a matter of money

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyprincess View Post
    Another difficult is it to rent vehicles from one state and drop off in another?
    Virtually every national car rental firm allows this. Some have hefty drop-off fees, some don't. You can look at a variety of firms if you click on the "Travel Reservations" link in the green navigation bar on this page.
    Also, do you have a site or link on here where I can get info on this?
    If you look at the Gear-up forum or click on this link, you can look at some other rental car information.


  10. #10
    jerseyprincess Guest

    Default Truck Stop vs Rest Areas

    It was suggested somewhere on this site (which is very awesome and informative, btw) that truck stops would be a good place to sleep in your car overnight as opposed to highway rest areas, which I know is illegal to do. How do I find these truck stops? Or how do I know which ones are truck stops? Even when I'm at rest areas, I see trucks parked there and for about a 1/2 mile along the side of the road leaving the rest area. I'm not sure. I'm hoping someone can help me out.


    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-18-2007 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Merged with Previous Thread

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