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  1. Default Chicago - Denver: which route?

    Hi all!
    This is my first post on the forum so thank you for welcoming me in the community.
    I will be traveling for 5 months through the US with my husband, 2.5-3yo and 6-11mo.
    We have most of the trip figured out (SF to Florida, exploring the South and then up to Chicago) but need some help for the last leg.

    We will be leaving from either Chicago or Madison, Wisconsin (friends reunion) on May 21st. We plan a stop in Belgium, Wisconsin as we are from Luxembourg and the village has an important Luxembourg heritage.
    Then we will need to leave our van in Denver on June 15th. I am trying to figure out how to fill those 3.5 weeks:

    1. Drive by Mount Rushmore, but then there's not much to see on the road to there it seems, so debating if we should leave that for another trip? Or is the drive between Mount Rushmore and Denver interesting enough to make the effort to drive longer stretches between Wisconsin and Mount Rushmore
    2. Drive parts of the roadtrips suggested in the Roadtrip USA books: combine some of the Loneliest Road (Colorado, Kansas) with the Road to Nowhere (South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas) and / or the Great River Road (Iowa, Missouri).
    3. Drive a longer stretch right away towards Colorado and explore that state (your favorites?)
    4. Other ideas?

    Our limitations:
    We try to limit ourselves to max 3 hour driving days, followed by a day of sightseeing or more if there is more to see, then driving again the following day
    If there is nothing to see we don't mind doing a few longer driving days, bearing in my mind our children will require us to take a few breaks.

    Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Jamie Jensen's RoadTrip USA has some great information, but the one pet peeve I have with them is that it tends gives some people the impression that those 10 routes are the best, or even only, routes for a great RoadTrip across America. He also uses some language that you literally won't found used outside of his book - for example, the "loneliest road" is commonly used to refer to US-50 across Nevada, but you won't see anyone else calling it that across the plains of Kansas and Missouri, similarly if you tell most people you're planning to follow "the road to nowhere" they won't know what you're talking about unless they've also read that book.

    Which gets back to the idea, just because the book doesn't include a route from Chicago to South Dakota, hardly means there's nothing to do along that route. There are many, many things you can see and do. This post is one a wrote a number of years ago with a quick overview of your many options. If you look around RTA, especially if you check out the Map Center, you'll find many more ideas and options.

  3. Default

    Thank you for the ideas! We ended up stopping in blue earth to boondock and did see the corn palace. Pretty meh but Badlands were beautiful and Walk drug was fun!

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