Best Midwest Road Trip Vacation Ideas:  Explore the Heartland

Looking for some great Midwest vacation ideas?

Get ready to hit the road and explore the best of the Midwest. From Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Iowa's covered bridges, there's something for everyone on these unforgettable road trips. Discover hidden gems, outdoor adventures, charming small towns, and cultural attractions in the Heartland. Don't miss out on the ultimate Midwest road trip experience.


Historic Route 66
Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
Starved Rock State Park
Garden of the Gods


Indiana Dunes National Park
Brown County State Park
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Marengo Cave


Effigy Mounds National Monument
The Bridges of Madison County
Iowa Great Lakes
The Amana Colonies


Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home
Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Mackinac Island
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Traverse City Wineries


North Shore Scenic Drive
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Voyageurs National Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park


Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum
Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Katy Trail State Park
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield


Chimney Rock National Historic Site
Scotts Bluff National Monument
Sandhill Crane Migration
Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

North Dakota:

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Maah Daah Hey Trail
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
Enchanted Highway


Hocking Hills State Park
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Cedar Point Amusement Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park

South Dakota:

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Badlands National Park
Custer State Park
Wall Drug


Wisconsin Dells
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Door County
Harley-Davidson Museum

Midwest Vacation IdeasMidwest Vacation Ideas

The Midwest region of the United States is often overlooked as a vacation destination, with many travelers opting for more well-known coastal destinations or popular national parks. However, the Midwest offers a wealth of vacation ideas for those willing to explore the heartland of America. From outdoor adventures to unique cultural experiences, the Midwest has something for everyone. In this article, we'll share some of our favorite Midwest vacation ideas, complete with personal anecdotes, rich descriptions, and insights into each destination. So buckle up and get ready to discover the hidden treasures of the Midwest!

Illinois Road Trip Vacation Ideas

The video "Chicago Road Trip and Tips | Where to Road Trip From Chicago" by RoadTripWin provides viewers with a list of fun road trip destinations from Chicago that they can enjoy with their family. The video highlights some well-known and unknown places that are close by and can be completed in less than a day, particularly if there is more than one driver. The video gives a brief overview of each location, including attractions to visit and activities to do. Some of the recommended destinations include the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Indianapolis, Winterset, Iowa, Cambridge, Ohio, the Quad Cities, and Door County, Wisconsin.

Here are some Illinois road trip ideas from the perspective of Sarah, a 28-year-old freelance writer who loves to explore new places:

  1. Chicago: Of course, no trip to Illinois would be complete without a visit to Chicago. From the Magnificent Mile to Navy Pier to the iconic Willis Tower, there is so much to see and do in this vibrant city. I loved wandering through the city's diverse neighborhoods, trying new foods, and taking in the world-class museums and cultural institutions.
  2. Starved Rock State Park: If you're looking for a nature escape, Starved Rock State Park is the perfect place to go. With 13 miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, canyons, and stunning river views, this park is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts. I also loved staying at the park's historic lodge, which was built in the 1930s and is full of character and charm.
  3. Route 66: Illinois is home to some of the most iconic stretches of Route 66, the historic highway that runs from Chicago to Santa Monica. I loved driving along this famous road, stopping at roadside attractions like the Gemini Giant, the Dixie Truck Stop, and the Cozy Dog Drive-In.
  4. Shawnee National Forest: Located in southern Illinois, Shawnee National Forest is a beautiful and underrated gem. From the stunning Garden of the Gods to the dramatic cliffs of Jackson Falls, there is so much to explore in this natural wonderland. I also loved visiting the nearby historic town of Galena, which is full of quaint shops, restaurants, and beautiful 19th-century architecture.
  5. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum: As a history buff, I couldn't resist a trip to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. This incredible institution is dedicated to the life and legacy of our 16th president, and features immersive exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays that bring history to life. I especially loved the museum's stunning recreation of the White House's Blue Room, which is truly a sight to behold.

See the best things to do with kids from the Illinois official website.

Also Check Out:

  • Centennial Beach with four acres of gardens, a sand beach and water play features, this makes for a good family day trip.
  • American Girl Place in Water Tower Place, Chicago is the place your girls will want to visit
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL
  • Volcano Falls Adventure Park in Loves Park, IL
  • Aquatic Center in Great Rivers Country
  • Burpee Museum of Natural History
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Great Rivers Country is an Indian city is a great place to explore Native American culture.
  • Brookfield Zoo
  • Children's Discovery Museum in the Land of Lincoln

Indiana Road Trip Midwest Vacation Ideas

As we drove into the Hoosier State, we were excited to explore all that Indiana had to offer. Our first stop was the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, where we stepped back in time to learn about the childhood of one of America's most iconic presidents. The park was beautifully maintained, with tall trees providing shade on a hot summer day. As we walked along the trails, we imagined what life must have been like for young Abraham Lincoln, and we felt a newfound appreciation for the values and principles he stood for.

Our next stop was the Lincoln Pioneer Village, where we continued our journey through history. The village was a living museum, with costumed interpreters providing an immersive experience of life in pioneer times. We watched as blacksmiths forged horseshoes and carpenters crafted wooden furniture, and we sampled homemade treats from the village bakery.

After a morning of history, we were ready for some adrenaline-pumping action. So we made our way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where we got behind the wheel of a high-speed race car. As we zoomed around the track, we felt the wind in our hair and the rush of excitement in our veins. It was an experience we'll never forget.

To cool off from the hot summer sun, we decided to head to a nearby water park. The slides were tall and twisting, and the lazy river was the perfect way to relax and unwind. We laughed and splashed and felt like kids again, enjoying a carefree day of fun in the sun.

As we continued our tour of Indiana, we discovered a wealth of summer festivals to enjoy. From the Charley Creek Arts Fest in Wabash to the Circus City Festival in Peru, we were impressed by the variety and quality of these events. We indulged in local cuisine, shopped for handmade crafts, and danced to live music under the stars.

In Evansville, we visited the Convention & Visitors Bureau to get recommendations for more places to explore. They pointed us to the Angel Mounds State Historic Site, where we learned about the lives of the Native Americans who once inhabited the area. We also visited the Mesker Park Zoo, where we saw exotic animals from all around the world.

As our Indiana adventure came to an end, we realized that the Midwest had so much to offer. From historic sites to thrilling adventures, from cultural events to natural wonders, Indiana was just the beginning of our Midwest vacation ideas. We couldn't wait to explore more of the heartland and discover the hidden gems that lay waiting to be uncovered.

VIDEO: Top 5 Family Fun Places in Central Indiana

 In the South see Mesker Park Zoo, Children's Museum of Evansville, Holiday World and more. Take a tourist train in the north or the south

The best Indiana family vacation ideas from the official website.

Iowa Road Trip Vacation Ideas

As we drove into Iowa, we were struck by the peaceful beauty of the countryside. The rolling hills and fields seemed to stretch on forever, and the clear blue sky was the perfect backdrop for our adventure. Our first stop was the historic Mississippi River, where we marveled at the power and majesty of the mighty waterway. We walked along the riverbank, watching as boats and barges floated by, and we imagined what life must have been like for the pioneers who once traveled this same route.

Next, we made our way to the equally impressive Missouri River. As we stood on the banks, we could feel the energy of the water as it rushed by. We learned about the history of the river, including its role in westward expansion and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was awe-inspiring to be in the presence of such a natural wonder.

As we continued our tour of Iowa, we discovered another gem: the tourist railroad that travels through the Des Moines River Valley. The train was an old-fashioned steam locomotive, and we felt like we were stepping back in time as we climbed aboard. The valley was stunning, with steep cliffs and lush greenery on either side of the tracks. We passed through small towns and saw wildlife in their natural habitat. The journey was slow and relaxing, allowing us to take in the sights and sounds of the Iowa countryside.

One of the highlights of our trip was the cuisine. We tried local specialties like corn on the cob, pork tenderloin sandwiches, and Maid-Rites, a classic Iowa loose-meat sandwich. We also indulged in sweet treats like homemade pie and ice cream, made with local dairy products.

As we drove through the state, we discovered charming small towns and vibrant cities. We visited historic landmarks like the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Amana Colonies, a living museum of German culture. We also explored the vibrant arts scene, attending concerts and theater performances in Iowa City and Des Moines.

At the end of our journey through Iowa, we were struck by the state's diversity and beauty. From the historic rivers to the tourist railroad, from the delicious cuisine to the vibrant arts scene, Iowa had something to offer for every type of traveler. We couldn't wait to come back and explore more of this hidden gem in the heartland of America.

Plan your Iowa Vacation on TA

Grotto of the Redemption

Visit Amana Colonies and the seven authentic German villages. Iowa vacation ideas from the official website.

Video: Iowa: The Don'ts of Visiting Iowa

Kansas Road Trip Vacation Ideas

As we crossed the border into Kansas, we were excited to explore all that this state had to offer. We knew that Kansas was famous for its wide open spaces and picturesque landscapes, and we were eager to experience it for ourselves.

Our first stop was the Flint Hills, a region of rolling hills and tallgrass prairies. The scenery was breathtaking, with miles of unspoiled wilderness stretching out before us. We hiked through the hills, taking in the sights and sounds of the natural world around us. We spotted wildlife like bison and prairie dogs, and we marveled at the beauty of the wildflowers and grasses that covered the hills.

Next, we made our way to Wichita, a vibrant city that was full of surprises. We visited the Museum of World Treasures, which was home to an impressive collection of artifacts from around the world. From dinosaur bones to ancient artifacts, the museum was a fascinating glimpse into history. We also explored the city's arts scene, attending concerts and theater performances in the historic Orpheum Theatre.

One of the highlights of our trip was the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, a 10,000-acre preserve that was home to one of the last remaining tallgrass prairies in the world. We hiked through the grasses, feeling the wind on our faces and the sun on our backs. The scenery was breathtaking, with wide open spaces that seemed to stretch on forever. We even had the opportunity to see a controlled prairie fire, a natural event that is essential to the prairie ecosystem.

As we drove through the state, we discovered charming small towns and historic landmarks. We visited Dodge City, a town that was once a wild frontier outpost, and we learned about the history of the cattle drives and cowboys that made the town famous. We also explored the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, where we learned about the life and accomplishments of the famous aviator.

At the end of our journey through Kansas, we were struck by the state's natural beauty and rich history. From the Flint Hills to Wichita, from the Tallgrass Prairie to Dodge City, Kansas was a hidden gem that was just waiting to be discovered. We couldn't wait to come back and explore more of the heartland's best-kept secrets.

Kansas has many historic attractions along the I-70 including Superman's or Dorothy's homes (which is only a made up stories). Some other attractions include the Chisholm Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail, and the cowboy gun slinging Dodge City.

Vacation ideas in Kansas from the official tourism office.

Video: Kansas Tourist Attractions - 10 Best Places to Visit in Kansas 2022

Michigan Road trip Vacation Ideas

As we embarked on our Michigan road trip, we were filled with anticipation for the adventures that lay ahead. Our first stop was Mackinac Island, a picturesque island that was frozen in time. We explored the island by horse-drawn carriage, feeling like we had stepped back into the 19th century. The scenery was breathtaking, with clear blue waters and colorful gardens at every turn. We even tried the famous fudge, a local specialty that was rich and delicious.

Next, we made our way to Sleeping Bear Dunes, a National Lakeshore that was home to some of the most stunning sand dunes in the country. We climbed to the top of the dunes, feeling the soft sand beneath our feet and the sun on our faces. The view from the top was incredible, with miles of pristine beach stretching out before us. We even went for a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan, feeling the cool water refresh us on a hot summer day.

One of the highlights of our trip was the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a 42-mile stretch of colorful sandstone cliffs that rose out of Lake Superior. We hiked along the trails, taking in the magnificent scenery and the crystal-clear waters below us. We even took a kayak tour of the lakeshore, paddling along the cliffs and discovering hidden coves and beaches.

As we drove through the state, we discovered charming small towns and vibrant cities. We visited Traverse City, a town that was famous for its cherry orchards and wineries. We sampled local wines and enjoyed the picturesque countryside. We also explored the city's arts scene, attending concerts and theater performances at the historic City Opera House.

At the end of our journey through Michigan, we were struck by the state's natural beauty and diverse attractions. From the tranquil beauty of Mackinac Island to the stunning sand dunes of Sleeping Bear, from the colorful cliffs of Pictured Rocks to the vineyards of Traverse City, Michigan had something for everyone. We couldn't wait to come back and explore more of this beautiful state and discover the hidden treasures that lay waiting to be uncovered.

Michigan Midwest Vacation Ideas

Minnesota road trip vacation ideas

As we hit the road in Minnesota, we knew we were in for a treat. Our first stop was the picturesque town of Stillwater, nestled on the banks of the St. Croix River. We strolled along the riverfront, admiring the historic buildings and taking in the charming shops and restaurants. We even went on a paddleboat ride, soaking up the sun and the stunning scenery.

Next, we made our way to the vibrant city of Minneapolis. We explored the iconic Mall of America, which was home to over 500 stores and attractions, including an indoor amusement park and aquarium. We also visited the historic Stone Arch Bridge, a pedestrian and bike bridge that offered stunning views of the Mississippi River and the Minneapolis skyline.

One of the highlights of our trip was the Voyageurs National Park, a vast wilderness area that was home to over 500 lakes and miles of waterways. We kayaked through the tranquil waters, feeling the cool breeze on our faces and the sun on our backs. We even saw bald eagles soaring overhead and moose grazing in the water's edge.

As we drove through the state, we discovered charming small towns and historic landmarks. We visited the town of New Ulm, known for its rich German heritage and delicious bratwurst. We also explored the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse, perched atop a cliff and offering stunning views of Lake Superior.

At the end of our journey through Minnesota, we were struck by the state's diversity and beauty. From the charming town of Stillwater to the vibrant city of Minneapolis, from the wilderness of Voyageurs National Park to the iconic Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota had something for everyone. We couldn't wait to come back and explore more of this hidden gem in the heartland of America.

Minnesota Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: Minnesota Travel Guide

From the headwaters of northern Mississippi to Crystal Lakes, Minnesota has a lot to offer in the outdoors.

  • Get a snowmobile if you are going in the winter months.
  • See the official Minnesota tourism site
  • Explore Minnesota's TV Spot, featuring Joe Mauer

Missouri Road Trip Vacation Ideas

As we hit the open road in Missouri, we were excited to explore all that this state had to offer. Our first stop was the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, a stunning monument that symbolized the westward expansion of the United States. We rode to the top of the arch, feeling the exhilaration of the view of the city below. We also visited the Missouri Botanical Garden, which was home to a variety of exotic plants and beautiful landscapes.

Next, we made our way to the Lake of the Ozarks, a popular vacation destination that was home to stunning scenery and outdoor adventures. We rented a boat and spent the day exploring the lake, swimming, and fishing. We even tried water sports like wakeboarding and tubing, feeling the rush of adrenaline as we skimmed over the water.

One of the highlights of our trip was the Katy Trail State Park, a 240-mile trail that followed the path of the Missouri River. We rented bikes and pedaled through the rolling hills and farmland, taking in the stunning scenery and the sights and sounds of nature around us. We even stopped in small towns along the way, sampling local cuisine and exploring the local attractions.

As we drove through the state, we discovered charming small towns and historic landmarks. We visited the historic town of Hermann, known for its award-winning wineries and beautiful scenery. We also explored the historic site of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, where a major Civil War battle took place.

At the end of our journey through Missouri, we were struck by the state's natural beauty and rich history. From the iconic Gateway Arch to the outdoor adventures of the Lake of the Ozarks, from the scenic Katy Trail to the historic town of Hermann, Missouri was a hidden gem that was just waiting to be discovered. We couldn't wait to come back and explore more of this beautiful state and discover the hidden treasures that lay waiting to be uncovered.

Come with us as we explore Mark Twain's boyhood home of Missouri including all the top family friendly attractions across the state. Some of these include Silver Dollar City, Gateway Arch, Titanic Museum, Forest Park, Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, City Museum, Table Rock Lake, Grant's Farm, Liberty Memorial, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

VIDEO: 12 Best Tourist Attractions in Missouri, USA

Nebraska Road Trip Vacation Ideas

This is a transcript of a travel vlog from a couple on a road trip through Nebraska. They talk about their experiences exploring various spots in Nebraska such as the Toadstool Geologic Park and Fort Robinson State Park. They also share some tips and recommendations for camping and exploring the state. The couple aims to show that Nebraska has much more to offer than just corn fields and it is a unique and beautiful place to visit.

Here are some Nebraska road trip vacation ideas:

  1. Toadstool Geologic Park: Visit this unique and stunning park in the northwest corner of Nebraska. The park is known for its unusual rock formations, including mushroom-shaped formations called "toadstools."
  2. Scotts Bluff National Monument: A must-see landmark in western Nebraska, this national monument features towering bluffs that rise over 800 feet above the surrounding landscape. Visitors can hike trails to the top for panoramic views of the area.
  3. Chimney Rock: Another iconic landmark on the Oregon Trail, Chimney Rock is a tall rock formation that guided pioneers on their journey westward. Visitors can hike to the top and take in the views of the surrounding countryside.
  4. Sandhills: The Sandhills region of Nebraska is a unique landscape of rolling sand dunes covered in grasses. Visitors can explore the area by driving scenic byways, hiking trails, and camping in the remote wilderness.
  5. Omaha: Nebraska's largest city offers plenty of things to do, from visiting the world-class Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to exploring the historic Old Market district with its unique shops and restaurants.
  6. Fort Robinson State Park: This former U.S. army base is now a state park that offers a variety of activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and Jeep tours. Visitors can also explore the park's museum and historic buildings.
  7. Lake McConaughy: Known as "Big Mac," this massive lake in western Nebraska is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. Visitors can also hike the trails around the lake and enjoy the stunning views.
  8. Valentine National Wildlife Refuge: This refuge in north-central Nebraska is home to a variety of wildlife, including bison, elk, and prairie dogs. Visitors can hike the trails and explore the wetlands and grasslands of the refuge.
  9. Carhenge: A quirky and unique roadside attraction, Carhenge is a replica of England's Stonehenge made entirely out of cars. Visitors can explore the site and take fun photos with the car sculptures.
  10. Great Platte River Road Archway Monument: This monument in Kearney, Nebraska is a tribute to the pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail and other westward routes. Visitors can explore the exhibits and interactive displays that bring the history of the area to life.

Nebraska Vacation Ideas

A Sunny Day At Lake McConaughey

For families in Nebraska, try the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff. There are also water parks in Columbus, Lexington, Lincoln, Omaha and Hastings.

  • CoCo Key Water Resort in Omaha has a 60,000-square-foot indoor water park.
  • For zoo's, try Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, which is ranked among the top 25 by Parents magazine.
  • The top attractions from the Travel Nabraska site

Video: Beautiful Nebraska

North Dakota Road Trip Vacation Ideas

This is a video of a road trip across North Dakota, starting at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The video shows the scenic drive, different overlooks, and hikes with a hope to see some wildlife. The video also shows a cabin that Theodore Roosevelt lived in during his time in North Dakota. The video then moves on to the town of Medora, which has shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities. The video ends at the Painted Canyon overlook, where there is an option to hike or admire the views from the parking lot, and the ability to sleep there for free.

As we headed into North Dakota, we weren't quite sure what to expect. This state is often overlooked by travelers, but we were excited to explore it and discover what it had to offer. And we were not disappointed.

Our first stop was Theodore Roosevelt National Park, located in the western part of the state. As we drove through the park, we were amazed by the rugged beauty of the Badlands. The landscape was unlike anything we had seen before, with towering rock formations, deep canyons, and grassy prairies. We hiked the trails and saw bison, pronghorns, and wild horses roaming free.

Next, we headed to the town of Medora, located just outside the national park. This charming western town is full of history and character. We explored the shops and restaurants on the main street, and visited the Medora Musical, a popular outdoor musical that tells the story of the town's history.

From Medora, we drove to Fargo, located in the eastern part of the state. This vibrant city has a lot to offer, including a thriving arts and culture scene. We visited the Fargo Theatre, a historic cinema that shows classic films and hosts live events. We also checked out the Plains Art Museum, which features contemporary art and hosts a variety of exhibitions and events throughout the year.

Another highlight of our North Dakota road trip was the International Peace Garden, located on the border between the United States and Canada. This beautiful garden is a symbol of peace and friendship between the two countries, and features a variety of gardens, sculptures, and other attractions. We enjoyed strolling through the garden and admiring the colorful flowers and intricate designs.

Finally, we headed to the town of Rugby, which claims to be the geographic center of North America. We visited the monument that marks this spot and took some fun photos with the "Center of North America" sign.

Overall, our North Dakota road trip was a pleasant surprise. We discovered a state full of natural beauty, unique attractions, and friendly people. It may not be the most popular destination, but we highly recommend adding North Dakota to your travel list.

North Dakota Ideas

North Dakota is a great state to explore on a road trip, offering a range of natural and cultural attractions. Here are some vacation ideas for a North Dakota road trip:

  1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park: Start your road trip with a visit to this national park, which is located in western North Dakota. The park is home to over 400 types of plants, lots of wildlife, petrified forests, and badlands, and is made up of three different units: the north unit, elkhorn ranch unit, and the south unit. Take a scenic drive, explore some short hikes, and try to spot bison and other wildlife.
  2. Medora: This charming western town is located in the heart of the North Dakota badlands, close to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The town has shops, restaurants, and an outdoor musical in the summer. Check out the Pitchfork Fondue, a unique dining experience where you can cook your own steak on a pitchfork over an open flame.
  3. Fargo: This city in eastern North Dakota is known for its friendly people, rich history, and cultural attractions. Visit the Fargo Air Museum, which has a collection of classic aircraft, or the Plains Art Museum, which features contemporary art from the Northern Plains.
  4. Bonanzaville: This living history museum in West Fargo features over 40 historic buildings, including a schoolhouse, church, and blacksmith shop. Learn about the lives of early settlers in North Dakota and explore exhibits on transportation, agriculture, and more.
  5. Scandinavian Heritage Park: This park in Minot celebrates the heritage of North Dakota's Scandinavian immigrants. The park features a replica Stave Church, a Swedish Dala horse, and a Danish windmill, as well as a museum and gift shop.
  6. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site: This site near Williston preserves the history of the fur trade in North Dakota. Tour the reconstructed fort and learn about the people who lived and worked here in the 19th century.
  7. Try North Dakota Foods: No road trip is complete without trying some of the local cuisine. North Dakota is known for its lutefisk, a Scandinavian dish made from dried whitefish that has been soaked in lye. Other local specialties include knoephla soup, chokecherry jelly, and kuchen, a sweet past

North Dakota Vacation Ideas

VIDEO: North Dakota: Last Stop for Tourists

In Medora, play the Bully Pulpit Golf Course, visit South Unit or in Theodore Roosevelt National Park or take the Caprock-Coulee Trail through the wilderness.

  • In Fargo, see the Air Museum or a recreated pioneer village at the Bonanzaville, USA Center. Then there is always the Red River Zoo.
  • Perhaps you would like to visit the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown.
  • Things to do from the tourism authority

Ohio Road Trip Vacation Ideas

A road trip itinerary to Ohio, with a focus on its top five destinations. The five locations mentioned are the Serpent Mound Historic Site, Hocking Hills, Amish Country, Cleveland, and Put-In-Bay. The video also gives a brief history of Ohio and its national parks, and then provides a detailed description of each location on the road trip. 

As we set out on our road trip across Ohio, we were excited to explore the state's rich cultural and artistic offerings. Our first stop was Cleveland, where we checked into our hotel in the city's trendy Ohio City neighborhood. After a quick refresh, we headed to the Cleveland Museum of Art. The museum was full of world-class collections of ancient and contemporary art from all over the world. We spent hours exploring the galleries, admiring the works of famous artists like Van Gogh, Monet, and Rembrandt.

The next day, we drove to the small town of Peninsula, located in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This park is a nature lover's paradise, filled with stunning vistas, hiking trails, and waterfalls. We went for a hike along the Ledges Trail, where we were treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding cliffs and valleys. We also visited the park's historic Boston Mill Visitor Center, which offered fascinating insights into the region's history.

From Cuyahoga Valley, we headed to Cincinnati, a city renowned for its arts and cultural scene. Our first stop was the Cincinnati Art Museum, which was a true delight for art lovers. We were impressed by the museum's extensive collection of works, from ancient to contemporary art. We also visited the Cincinnati Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark that has been a cultural hub of the city since the 1800s. We took a tour of the hall and learned about its rich history and the famous musicians who have performed there.

Our final stop was Columbus, Ohio's capital city, and a hub of creativity and innovation. We headed to the Short North Arts District, where we were blown away by the array of galleries, boutiques, and eateries. The district's vibrant energy and street art murals made it one of the most photogenic places we visited on our trip. We also visited the Wexner Center for the Arts, which offered an immersive and thought-provoking experience of contemporary art.

Overall, our road trip through Ohio was a wonderful experience. The state's artistic and creative offerings are second to none, and we left feeling inspired and enriched by the beauty and diversity of the region. Whether you're an art lover or a nature enthusiast, Ohio has something to offer everyone.

Ohio Vacation Ideas

Lake Erie Shores and Islands the nearby islands in Ohio are home to lots of family activities. Take a ferry to a nearby island or visit the infamous Cedar Point amusement park. This area also has its share of lighthouses to visit and a Merry Go round museum.

The Kalahari Resort in Sandusky Ohio has an African look and is the largest indoor water park in the U.S.A. See more information on this outstanding family resort—Kalahari Resort Sandusky Ohio.

No doubt, the family-friendly heart of Ohio's Lake Erie shore is Sandusky (60 miles east of Toledo). It's home to gigantic  (pictured), as well as four indoor water-park resorts.

VIDEO:  5 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Ohio

South Dakota Road Trip Vacation Ideas

Name: Sarah Age: 28 Occupation: Freelance Writer Personality: Adventurous, curious, and loves exploring new places

I couldn't wait to get on the road and start exploring South Dakota. I had been dreaming of this trip for months and had planned out every detail of my itinerary. As I got into my car, I felt a rush of excitement and anticipation for the adventure that awaited me.

The first stop on my road trip was the Badlands National Park. I had heard that the landscape there was like nothing else on earth, and I was eager to see it for myself. As I drove into the park, the view was absolutely breathtaking. The rugged canyons, towering rock formations, and colorful striations in the rock layers left me in awe. I spent hours hiking through the park and taking in the stunning views.

After leaving Badlands National Park, I drove to the city of Deadwood. As a history buff, I was fascinated by the city's wild west past and wanted to see it for myself. I explored the historic downtown and visited the Adams Museum and House, where I learned about the city's early pioneers and infamous characters like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. It was a surreal experience to walk in the same places as these legendary figures.

My next stop was Mount Rushmore, one of the most iconic landmarks in America. As I approached the monument, I felt a sense of pride and awe for my country. The intricate carvings of the four presidents were simply stunning, and I couldn't help but feel a sense of reverence for the great leaders they represented.

As I continued my road trip, I also visited Custer State Park, where I had an unforgettable wildlife encounter. As I was driving through the park, I saw a herd of bison grazing in a nearby field. I pulled over to take some photos, but to my surprise, one of the bison started to walk towards me! I quickly got back in my car and rolled up the windows, but I couldn't help feeling a rush of excitement and adrenaline.

Finally, I ended my trip in the vibrant city of Sioux Falls. I explored the city's parks, museums, and local shops, and was amazed by the friendliness and hospitality of the people there. It was the perfect end to an incredible road trip.

As I drove back home, I couldn't stop thinking about all the amazing experiences I had on my trip. South Dakota had exceeded my expectations in every way, and I knew that I would never forget the memories I made there.

The video starts with Jenna and Jeremy, a young couple who quit their jobs, bought an RV, and hit the road full-time in August 2020. They invite us to follow their adventures as they explore more of our incredible planet Earth. In the next few minutes, they take us on a journey to the top 14 places to visit in South Dakota.

They start with Palisade State Park, where unique quartzite rock features stand on either side of Split Rock Creek, some over 50 feet tall that have been formed over millions of years. Jenna and Jeremy recommend hiking, camping, climbing, rappelling, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and much more in this beautiful park.

Next on the list is the Notch Trail in Badlands National Park, a short 1.3-mile out-and-back trail with about 130 feet of climbing and a nice overview at the end. Jenna is surprised to find ladders to climb on this hike, but the amazing view at the top is worth it.

They also visit the Ben Rifle Visitor Center, where they learn from a park ranger that bison in Badlands National Park are larger than those found in Yellowstone due to the lack of predators here. They also discover that during the age of the dinosaurs, a warm and shallow sea covered this area, and no fossils have been found in the park.

The couple spends a good chunk of a day at Roberts Prairie Dog Town, watching the prairie dogs greeting the occasional bison and enjoying a beautiful sunset in Badlands National Park.

The Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park is next on the list, full of life and worth a second visit. Jenna and Jeremy enjoyed it so much that they contemplated coming back to drive the same two-hour loop again. They also visit Wind Cave National Park, where they see a few images from the National Park website to give an idea of what it looks like since the cave was closed.

Further north into the Black Hills, Jenna and Jeremy visit Sylvan Lake, where they enjoy a leisurely float on the water, watching some rock climbers, and hiking around. They hike the Little Devils Tower Spur Trail and see the Cathedral Spires and Black Elk Peak from up here.

No trip to South Dakota would be complete without visiting Mount Rushmore National Memorial, an impressive sculpture that took 14 years to create and 90% of it was carved with dynamite. Jenna and Jeremy enjoyed a nice hike around and learned about each of the prominent four figures portrayed on the mountainside.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is next on the list, the world's largest mountain carving depicting Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse riding a horse and pointing to his tribal land. Jenna and Jeremy found it interesting to learn about the complex story of America here.

The Big Thunder Gold Mine was discovered in 1892 by two German immigrant miners, and Jenna and Jeremy had the opportunity to tour the mine, learning about what drove people in those times.

In Deadwood, they checked out the visitor center, biked around town, and enjoyed some sweet treats. They hiked up to the Mount Roosevelt Friendship Tower, a monument created by Seth Bullock in memory of the friendship he had with President Theodore Roosevelt.

Lastly, they hiked the Devil's Bathtub Trail in Spearfish Canyon, a little over a mile with approximately one gazillion creek crossings, which made it fun and exciting. The trail opens up into more of a canyon with some huge rock walls, big boulders, and a freezing cold bathtub of crystal-clear water.

South Dakota Road Trip Vacation Ideas

I packed my bags and hit the road, eager to explore the beauty of South Dakota. As a freelance writer, I always crave new experiences to inspire my work, and this road trip promised to deliver just that.

My first stop was Palisade State Park, a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of the state. I was immediately in awe of the unique quartzite rock formations that towered over me, some over 50 feet tall. As I hiked through the park, I felt a sense of wonder as I imagined the millions of years it took for these spires to form.

Next on my list was the Notch Trail in Badlands National Park. I must admit, I was a bit hesitant when I saw the ladders that had to be climbed to reach the end of the trail. But as I reached the top and looked out at the stunning panoramic view, I knew it was worth the climb. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I made my way back down, grateful for the rush of adrenaline that came with conquering my fears.

As I continued my journey, I learned about the rich history of the area. The Ben Rifle Visitor Center in the Badlands gave me a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the bison that roam the park. I was amazed to discover that they can weigh up to two to three hundred pounds more than the ones found in Yellowstone, thanks to the lack of predators in the area.

I also visited the Big Thunder Gold Mine, where I learned about the German immigrant miners who worked tirelessly to strike it rich in the late 1800s. Walking through the dark tunnels of the mine, I could feel the weight of history on my shoulders and gained a newfound respect for the hard work and determination of the people who came before us.

One of the highlights of my trip was the Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park. I marveled at the herds of bison, deer, and antelope that roamed the rolling hills, feeling a deep sense of gratitude for the chance to witness such magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

And, of course, no visit to South Dakota would be complete without a stop at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. As I gazed up at the massive sculptures of four of our nation's most iconic figures, I felt a sense of pride and awe. Despite the controversy surrounding the site's history, there was no denying the incredible skill and dedication it took to create such a masterpiece.

As I made my way back home, I couldn't help but feel a sense of gratitude for the adventure I had just experienced. South Dakota may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a road trip, but for me, it was the perfect destination to spark my creativity and satisfy my thirst for adventure.

South Dakota Vacation Ideas

With Aerials views of Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, Badlands National Park, and the Missouri River, there is not any shortage of  family attractions in South Dakota. This is one of your best chances to catch a glimpse of one of the thousands of roaming buffalo in the wild.

Video: Top 7 Places to Visit in South Dakota

Wisconsin Road Trip Vacation Ideas

The video "Wisconsin Road Trip: Finding the Perfect Stay for Any Season (Segment)" from Discover Wisconsin follows the crew as they hit the road in an RV for a family-style vacation to Turtle Lake and Barron County in Wisconsin. The video showcases the various lodging options available in the area, from RV parks to bed and breakfasts, and features interviews with local residents and business owners. Viewers get a glimpse of the beauty of the area, including kayaking on Skin Away Lake and exploring the cut flower farm, Green Light Farm. The video captures the laid-back and family-friendly atmosphere of the area, making it a perfect road trip destination for any season.

My first stop was the capital city of Madison, and I immediately fell in love with its charming, bohemian vibe. The streets were lined with cute coffee shops, trendy boutiques, and colorful street art. I spent hours wandering around the city, sampling local treats like cheese curds and butter burgers, and chatting with the friendly locals.

One of my favorite experiences in Madison was visiting the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The gardens were an oasis of tranquility, with beautifully landscaped paths, serene water features, and stunning floral displays. I spent hours strolling through the gardens, taking in the scents and sights of the various plants and flowers.

From Madison, I headed up north to the picturesque town of Bayfield, which sits on the shores of Lake Superior. The lake was a breathtaking sight, with its crystal-clear waters and endless horizon. I decided to take a ferry ride to the nearby Apostle Islands, a group of 22 islands known for their pristine beaches, sea caves, and old-growth forests.

The ferry ride itself was a highlight of the trip, with stunning views of the islands and the lake. Once I arrived on the islands, I spent hours hiking through the dense forests, exploring the rocky shoreline, and marveling at the ancient sea caves. It was a surreal experience, being surrounded by such natural beauty and solitude.

Next, I headed west to the charming town of La Crosse, which sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. The town was full of historic architecture, trendy restaurants, and quaint shops. I spent a day kayaking down the river, taking in the scenic views and spotting bald eagles and herons along the way.

The highlight of my time in La Crosse, however, was visiting the Grandad Bluff, a towering cliff that overlooks the city and the river. The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking, with miles of rolling hills and river valleys stretching out in every direction. It was a serene moment, and I felt like I could just stand there forever, taking in the beauty of the world around me.

My final stop in Wisconsin was the city of Milwaukee, a vibrant and diverse city on the shores of Lake Michigan. I spent my days exploring the historic neighborhoods, indulging in local delicacies like bratwurst and beer cheese soup, and taking in the rich cultural offerings of the city.

One of my favorite experiences in Milwaukee was visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum, a stunning architectural masterpiece with a world-class collection of art. I spent hours marveling at the various exhibits, from ancient Asian pottery to contemporary American art. The highlight of the museum, however, was the iconic "wings" of the building, which opened and closed to simulate the motion of a bird in flight.

As my road trip through Wisconsin came to an end, I felt grateful for the experiences and memories I had made along the way. The natural beauty, charming towns, and friendly people had all left a lasting impression on me, and I knew I would be back to explore more of this idyllic state in the future.

Wisconsin Vacation Ideas

Wisconsin Dells resorts is known as the water park capital of the world.  You have a huge 250,000 square feet of water park at the Wilderness Hotel and also the Noah's Ark. This is the largest outdoor water-park in America,

Door County, Wisconsin also offers an interesting old school seaside / lakeside way of life which the kid swill thrive in. Beautiful little bay townships, and lighthouse trails are sure to keep mum and dad satisfied as well.

The vacation town of Monocoque, Wisconsin has thousands of little lakes is a great place for kids to jump off the jetty and the odd opportunity to build a sand castle.

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Unided States

United States Resorts



Carolina's Outer Banks



Midwest Vacation Ideas

Myrtle Beach All Inclusive, adult only, and family waterpark resort awards 

Pocono Mountains


Hilton Head

Ski Vacations


Virginia Beach

Wisconsin Dells

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