take a boy to mt rushmore

Old Apr 10th, 2011, 11:10 AM
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take a boy to mt rushmore

My 10 year old grandson has asked me to take him from pa to Mt Rushmore this summer. 2800 miles. any suggestions on interesting historic, geologic, or quirky places we could visit along the way to make the trip less tiresome??
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Old Apr 10th, 2011, 01:50 PM
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If at all possible, I would fly from Pennsylvania to Rapid City and use your time sightseeing in and around the Black Hills. There are so many interesting things for kids there. (I spent my summers there as a kid.) Things to consider doing in addition to Mt. Rushmore are: Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park (prairie dogs and buffalo!), climb Harney Peak, paddleboats at Sylvan Lake, horseback riding and chuckwagon oookouats at Blue Bell Lodge, Badlands National Park, Wind Cave and Jewel Cave etc.
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Old Apr 10th, 2011, 04:51 PM
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longhorn 55 has a good suggestion. If that's not possible there are all sorts of options depending your route and how much time you have. Here are just a few

Dearborn Village in MI
Vist and tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Visit the Lincoln Museum and Libary in Springfield , IL
Check out Mark Twain's Hanibal, MO
Wall Drug
Follow some of Lewis & Clark's route along the Missouri River
Have a great trip!
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Old Apr 10th, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Between Pennsylvania and the Black Hills are major cities like Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis -- each of which have innumerable delights that may (or may not) appeal to your child. Family vacation areas include Cedar Point OH and the Wisconsin Dells.

I'll add to Boom_boom's excellent list by mentioning that several sites related to the "Little House" stories are along the way -- just understand that DeSmet, South Dakota looks NOTHING like the Simi Valley of California, where the TV series was filmed.

By "geologic" I'm going to presume you mean "scenic beauty." Unfortunately, there isn't much of that until you get to Badlands NP, which is almost in the Black Hills anyway. Cuyahoga Valley NP has some nice nature areas.

Quirky places (almost defined by Wall Drugs) are best found at
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 09:48 AM
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I am with longhorn55.. I have drove from chicago to rapidcity and it took me 16-18 hours and I don't think its worth it.. virtually there is nothing in between. Driving from PA to Rapid City would be too much for what you going to see in Rapid City.. i would rather fly and enjoy the rapid city and black hills area.. It's one of the most amazing area I have been..
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Old Apr 11th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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Gas prices alone these days surely suggest that it would be very cost effective to fly, as others have mentioned.

Mount Rushmore is pleasant, but I do wish there would be a few other interests nearby.

The most desolate segment of American highway I've ever encountered was the last 30 or 40 (or 60?... or it felt like 60?) miles of Wyoming, along I-90, before hitting the South Dakota border (which didn't exactly bring immediate relief).

Yet it sure seems like, with a starting point right near your destination, you could cover some other territory SOMEwhere. (vs. driving most of the way across the country)
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