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belle2b1g May 30th, 2019 03:48 PM

Road Trip Atlanta to Green Bay, WI, Minnesota and Chicago
Thinking about taking a road trip from Atlanta to Green Bay WI, Minnesota and Chicago in late July. Will be traveling with three kids (10,8,4). I have never done a road trip before and would love your ideas on where to start, route planning, budget, stops with fun and free activities for kids. I would prefer to head to Green Bay and MN first and end my trip in chicago before traveling back to Atlanta. We love the beach and would love to include a beach stop as part of our plans.
I need to do all of this during a two weeks time frame. Too much? Please help me think through the details. Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

tomfuller May 30th, 2019 09:40 PM

The most direct route from Atlanta to Green Bay goes through Gary IN and Chicago. If you want to see Minnesota, take a route that takes you through St. Louis MO. In St. Louis, see the Gateway Arch and decide if you or the kids want to ride the elevator to the top. (elevator ride not free). If anyone has an interest in major league baseball, check to see if there is a home game.
From St. Louis head for Minneapolis. Minneapolis has a great zoo and a great baseball stadium. If anyone likes visiting state capitols, you can cross the Mississippi River to visit St. Paul.
From Minneapolis/St. Paul, head to Green Bay. From Green Bay you should visit Door County for a beach experience.
There is a great deal to do and see in the Chicago area including the Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, Magnificent Mile and several great museums.
Another place to visit a good beach is the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore just east of Gary.
The road back to Atlanta goes through Indianapolis and Nashville.

WhereAreWe May 31st, 2019 06:02 AM

To start, it's at least 12 hours from Atlanta to Chicago counting stops, so plan on taking a long day or even two days for that (multiply by 2 since it's a round trip). That is 3-4 days of driving out of your two weeks.

I'd recommend driving to SW Michigan to start - there are some good beaches along the coast of Lake Michigan. There are two car ferries that could take you across Lake Michigan rather than driving down and around.
Ludington MI To Manitowoc WI SS Badger People & Car Ferry

Either of those will get you to the Wisconsin side, just head north from there to Green Bay.

For the Minnesota portion, I'd recommend at least driving to Duluth and 1-2 hours north along the Lake Superior shore and spending a day or two up there. You can head back south to Minneapolis/St. Paul and spend some time there before heading to Chicago.

Give us some ideas on your interests (other than the beach) so we can give you more recommendations on things to see and do along the way.

belle2b1g May 31st, 2019 01:57 PM

Thank you!!
Thank you for the responses. I usually travel to FL every summer- a ten hour drive. For that trip, I normally drive five hours out of Atlanta to Jacksonville, stop for breakfast, gas refill and continue on to South Florida (1to 1.5 hour stop). I don’t consider that a “road trip” since it’s just a straight drive without many stops. I technically could do the same thing for this trip but I am trying to see/do as much as possible without breaking the bank. I think 10 hours is the max I could go in a day if necessary. Here’s some of the things I am considering:

1. exploring as much as possible while spending the least amount of money possible,
2. fun and educational things for kids (must sees).
3. Spend as little as possible on hotels- even if that means longer driving days (but keeping in mind that three kids can only take so much).
4. beach- important
5. I will be visiting friends in MN and WI
6. Attending a graduation in Schaumburg,IL and want to see the must see/do in Chicago

how would you break down your days? Thank you for your help!!!

SusanM Jun 2nd, 2019 07:44 AM

While you're in the Chicago area, and IF you're up for going into the city, the relatively new Maggie Daley Park on the lake shore is awesome for the kids and free, as well as connected to Millenium Park, home of the Bean. I love to go there and stroll around, even without kids!

belle2b1g Jun 5th, 2019 06:44 AM

Thank you! O

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