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Night between North Shore MN and Chicago

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I've already posted two threads about the North Shore, gotten great responses and made our reservation for there. Since I'm estimating the drive back to the western suburbs to be around 10 hours (does that sound right?), we thought we'd break it up and stay somewhere on the way home.

I could, of course, just look at a map and estimate a half-way point. But I thought I'd see if anyone has suggestions for a nice stopping point. It doesn't have to be half-way, in fact, a little closer to home than the North Shore would be great. But something scenic would be nice. And somewhere where we can fairly easily find an inexpensive hotel/motel and a good, casual place to eat.

I'm thinking maybe somewhere along the Mississippi? But we're open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks!:)

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