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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Brooklyn, but Seattle is my home.

    Default Northern mid-western states: any suggestions?

    Hello! I'm new to the forum but have been enjoying everyone's posts in preparation for my first cross-country drive in a few weeks. I'm looking for advice for the best views, hiking, camping, quirky sites, museums, food, anything that will fit into a college student's budget.

    A friend and I are starting in Brooklyn, heading out to western Pennsylvania, and then onwards towards Missoula, Seattle, the Oregon Coast, Ashland, San Francisco, and LA.

    You may notice a slight gap in our travel itinerary. You see, neither of us have really been in that west-of-Chicago/east-of-Cour D'Alene expanse of the country, so as you can imagine, we're really excited without knowing exactly where to go.

    Unfortunately we're a bit pressed on time, so we're planning to do one or two long driving days (but we'll keep it under 800 or so miles, thanks to this site) interspersed with shorter driving days. Right now we're thinking of meeting up with I-90 somewhere before Chicago and following it to Seattle, but if there are better routes, I'd love to hear them.

    So that's my question: if you had about 5 days and all of the space between Pennsylvania and Montana, where would you go?

    Thanks for the tips!

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

    Default Now you've got me thinking

    I-80 would hook up with I-90 in the Western suburbs of Cleveland, so should you choose that route, certainly it is easy enough to get to. You may want to consider at what time of day you would be traveling through the Chicago area as the traffic can get very heavy and would probably make that day quite stressful.

    Those 800-mile (~16 hour) days have me a bit concerned. Being pressed for time cuts out a lot of options. Looking at the map, using Pittsburgh as a starting point for the leg to Missoula, is roughly four days by the quickest route. With five days, I would try to fit in parts of South Dakota and Wyoming, but with that short period of time, the options are quite limited. What is the total time you have for this trip? It sounds like you may be trying to put just a bit too much into this one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Filling the Gap

    There is a ton of stuff between Western Pennsylvania and Missoula. The following should be taken as a starter set, not a definitive list by any means, but working westward, there's Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in the Cleveland area; Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore at the south end of Lake Michigan; the Great River Road in Wisconsin and Minnesota (and the chance to take a ferry across the Mississippi). If you take I-90 through South Dakota, hit the Corn Palace as well as the sights of western South Dakota particularly the Badlands; Devils Tower in Wyoming; and the Little Bighorn in Montana. It certainly shouldn't be boring.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default Couple more


    The only obvious additions I'd make are Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. I'd say they rate as "must see" on most anyone's list for someone heading west across I-90. The only thing is that you'll want to spend several days there because there is so much to see, but even a drive through and an overnight in West Yellowstone or Jackson will give you lots of scenic photo-ops and fun memories.

    Have a nice time, and don't push it too hard. 800 miles is indeed a long way to drive in a day.

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  5. Default Me too!

    I just posted a similar thread - a bit shorter route, but looking forward to reading the responses to your thread too! Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Brooklyn, but Seattle is my home.


    Thanks for your replies! I'll take it a bit slower and let you know how it goes.

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