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  1. #1

    Default Mini-road trip ideas

    My family and I were originally planning a summer road trip from St. Louis to California. We decided that was too much for our first road trip so have decided to plan a mini-road trip. We would like to stay within a six hour drive of St. Louis. We would like to camp with maybe one hotel stay. We love hiking and exploring. The kids are 5, 7, and 9. Only problem is we have no idea where to go. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-17-2012 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Added link to previous trip discussion

  2. Default

    5,7&9 are years of how about visiting the Mammoth Cave National Park where the kids can learn about stalactites, etc; nearby you can go to Bowling Green to see the assembly plant for Corvettes (Dad would really like this, even tho they do not give samples); and, nearby is the Dinosaur World -- all kids like dinosaurs and fossils -- I read of this but have not been there so you should get other info on this. Just camping as a family is an adventure and should make your vacation memorable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Never at a Loss for Suggestions

    Being smack dab in the heart of the country helps quite a bit - you have a plethora of opportunities within 6 hours of downtown St. Louis. To list just a few:

    North: Up the Little Dixie scenic byway along the Mississippi to Hannibal MO and Nauvoo IL. Besides the historical aspects, there are a number of wildlife refuges, working locks, and state parks. Return down the Illinois side of the river and cross back into the St. Louis area by way of the Golden Eagle Ferry.

    South: Some great destinations in the little riverfront towns of Ste. Genevieve (French heritage), Cape Girardeau (waterpark), Cairo (river junction), and then on to Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky.

    East: Head through Lincoln Country in both Illinois and Kentucky to caving and hiking in the western foothills of the Appalachians in Daniel Boone National Forest.

    Southwest: The Ozarks and Branson make an obvious family destination.

    All of those are within 6 hours of St. Louis and the sites I've listed are just the tip of the iceberg. See which of them appeal to your kids and then have them start finding more places that pique their interests in the chosen area.


  4. #4


    Thanks for the tips. I was actually looking into Land Between the Lakes. We'll be doing Branson for spring break. The only concern about LbL is it looks like it could get pretty crowded. Looking for something a little more isolated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I was thinking LBL would work very well on a loop that could also include Mammoth Cave.

    I've been there a couple of times, but only in spring and winter, when there were very little crowds. I suspect it would get much busier during the summer, but mostly if you are looking to play on the water. The park covers a large enough area where I don't think you'd be overwhelmed.

    If you're fans of history and the civil war, also make sure to check out Fort Donaldson right on the southern edge of the park. Its a very nice stop.

    If you are looking for something more isolated than that, I'd check out any of the National Forests in that general area. Many times these are very underused areas with lots of great opportunities.

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