DC Road Trip to Central and Midwestern US

Jun 14th, 2016, 11:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1
DC Road Trip to Central and Midwestern US

Hey guys,

My girlfriend and I are going to do a road trip to central and midwestern US starting July 17 from DC and we plan to finish these following places within 25 days. If possible, I plan to drive 5 or 6 hours per day. That would be great if you guys can give me some advice of my itinerary, such as places to stop, routes, time, any advice is welcome!

I know when ask advice about road trip the answer I will get is "depending on the interest", but I prefer to see something could stand for the local. Here are my itinerary (by Google Map):

1. DC -Cleveland, OH 7h (400 mi) no toll

Our interest is Mackinac Island, but it will be 13 hour driving time from DC. We have been to Pittsburgh, PA, Columbus, OH and Cincinnati, OH before, therefore, I guess Cleveland might be a good place to stop. Any thoughts?

2. Cleveland, OH - Mackinac Island, MI 6.5h (440 mi) no toll

3. Mackinac Island, MI - Milwaukee, WI 6h (400 mi) 2 tolls

4. Milwaukee, WI - Pella, IA 5.5h (350 mi) no toll

5. Pella, IA - Minneapolis, MN 4h (280 mi) no toll

6. Minneapolis, MN - Bismarck, ND 6h (420 mi) no toll

7. Bismarck, ND - Rapid City, SD 5h (300 mi) no toll

8. Rapid City, SD - Omaha, NE 7h (530 mi) no toll

9. Omaha, NE - Kansa City, KS 3h (185 mi) no toll

10. Kansa City, KS - Oklahoma City, OK 5.5h (370 mi) no toll

11. Oklahoma City, OK - Little Rock, AK 5h (340 mi) no toll

12. Little Rock, AK - Nashville, TN 5h (400 mi) no toll

We have been to Nashville before, the reason we stop at Nashville is dividing the distance between Nashville and Bloomington where we went to school. Any other places we could stop?

13. Nashville, TN - Bloomington, IN 4h (270 mi) no toll

14. Bloomington, IN - Falling Water, PA 7h (440 mi) no toll

My girlfriend wants to see Fallingwater House.

15. Falling Water, PA -DC 4h (190 mi) no toll

Thank you so much for your time!
dmtl815 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2016, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 932
So let me see if I understand this: You visiting 15 destinations over 25 days. Where are you planning n spending your extra days? Even with those extra days, I feel like you're not going to have much time--where you're not doing more than an overnight to do much more than check into a hotel and eat dinner. Are you okay with that? If you're not, I would seriously scale down your trip.

I also think you need to factor some things into your drive time, e.g., lunch, bathroom breaks and construction. For instance, I-65 is under construction from Louisville northward. You will likely not get to from Nashville to Bloomington (I'm a fellow Hoosier btw) in 4 hours, especially if you're coming through on a weekend.
indyhiker is offline  
Jun 14th, 2016, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,362
Will you not spend at least a day in Mackinac Island?

I wonder what you are planning to see or do in some places where you drive most of the day to get there, with little time to be there.

You will not get to Falling Water in time to tour the house on your driving day. Touring the house will take some time. Be sure to check the hours and days it is open. You may need tickets in advance.

Bloomington, Indiana is a town with lots of interesting galleries and restaurants, great way to spend an afternoon.

So, you will probably want to do that tour on the next morning. It will be a late day getting into DC.

BTW, while I question the sanity of most of the trip, your GF is a smart young woman to want to see Falling Water, a masterpiece by one of the World's greatest architects.

If she has not read it, surprise her with this book: Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan. It is a well researched novel based on the love affair between Mamah Borthwick Cheney and Frank Lloyd Wright. It gives much insight into Wright's personality and relationships.

Also, looks as if you are from DC area. Has she been to the Pope-Leighey House? It is a small Frank Lloyd Wright house situated on the property of Woodlawn Plantation near Mount Vernon. If she has not been there, that would be a great date day.

Kansas City is a wonderful small city with an excellent museum (the Nelson Atkins), some fabulous food and fine theater. See what plays are on while you are there. Allow at least two days. It is a great place to visit.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jun 14th, 2016, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,869
For a "road trip" it is what it is--a road trip. Why are you going to these places. Are you international people?
I love the midwest--well, parts of it. I do not understand this trip, but it is yours, and that is fine.
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 15th, 2016, 08:06 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,615
ditto on KC. Also, we have enjoyed OKC and Omaha. Omaha has a nice art museum. OKC has the nice bricktown area and a great arts area (Paseo??). While you can avoid tolls getting from KC to OKC, that probably isn't the most efficient route. If you go through Wichita, there are some things to see/do there. I haven't been to Tulsa in decades but people report back that it is a neat town.
Bitter is online now  
Jun 17th, 2016, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,609
I recomend that you stay on Mackinac Island. The experience is different before and after most of the day tripers are there. Either go fairly inexpensive at one of the B&Bs (they all have good ratings) or splurge on a suite at the Chippewa Hotel. The Chippewa has a great location and you can have a large suite with a spectular view for the price of a nothing room at the Grand Hotel.

Some truely outstanding attractions along the later part of the trip:

Omaha - Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
Kansas City - Steamboat Arabia Museum
Hutchinson (near Wichita) - Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Stratica

The Cosmosphere has the actual Apollo 13 command capsule, the Liberty 7 Mercury capsule which was recovered from the bottom of the ocean and the largest collection of Soviet space artifacts outside the former USSR.

Stratica is the only underground salt mine museum in the Americas
Keith is offline  

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