21 days in Midwest Itinerary

21 days in Midwest Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Midwest Itinerary

Start: Bowling Green
Drive:  9​h
1
Branson
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
2
Kansas City
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Saint Louis
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Springfield
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Chicago
— 5 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
6
Cleveland
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
Dayton
— 3 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
End: Bowling Green

2
nights
Branson

Branson ©
Nestled in Missouri's beautiful Ozark Mountains lies one of the country's most attractive vacation towns for year-round family entertainment.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Titanic Museum and Thorncrown Chapel. Plan for a day of cool, family-friendly fun on the 7th (Tue) at Silver Dollar City. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the waterfront views at Table Rock Lake, stop by Crooked Sky Trading Post, take in nature's colorful creations at College of the Ozarks, and see the interesting displays at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Branson.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Branson road trip website .

Bowling Green to Branson is an approximately 9-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 85°F in August, and nighttime lows around 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Kansas City.

Things to do in Branson

#Theme Parks, #Parks, #Museums

Side Trips

Thorncrown Chapel, Table Rock Lake
Highlights from your plan
Silver Dollar City ©
Silver Dollar City
Titanic Museum ©
Titanic Museum
Thorncrown Chapel ©
Thorncrown Chapel

3
nights
Kansas City

Kansas City ©
The largest municipality in Missouri, Kansas City has an impressive array of world-class museums, shopping areas, and great places to eat, all of which attract tourism to the area.
You'll explore and learn at National World War I Museum and Memorial and Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Popular historic sites such as Union Station and Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site are in your itinerary. The adventure continues: explore the world behind art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, stop by Kansas City River Market, pause for some photo ops at Rosedale Memorial Arch, and test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms.

To see where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, use the Kansas City trip planner .

You can drive from Branson to Kansas City in 4 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. In August, daytime highs in Kansas City are 87°F, while nighttime lows are 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Saint Louis.

Things to do in Kansas City

#Museums, #Historic Sites, #Theme Parks

Side Trips

Independence, Rosedale Memorial Arch
Highlights from your plan
National WWI Museum and Memorial ©
National WWI Museum and Memorial
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art ©
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum ©

3
nights
Saint Louis

Saint Louis ©
Test the local claim that Saint Louis is second only to Washington, D.C.
Popular historic sites such as The Gateway Arch and Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis are in your itinerary. Get a sense of the local culture at Missouri Botanical Garden and Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. There's still lots to do: examine the collection at City Museum, make a trip to Citygarden, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Saint Louis Zoo, and admire all the interesting features of Busch Stadium.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Saint Louis day trip planning website .

Getting from Kansas City to Saint Louis by combination of bus and flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 87°F in August, and nighttime lows around 66°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can go by car to Springfield.

Things to do in Saint Louis

#Parks, #Historic Sites, #Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Highlights from your plan
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis ©
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
The Gateway Arch ©
The Gateway Arch
City Museum ©
City Museum

2
nights
Springfield

Springfield ©
Springfield is the capital of Illinois, but its real significance is as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln.
On the 14th (Tue), steep yourself in history at Dana-Thomas House, get to know the fascinating history of Lincoln Home National Historic Site, then take an in-depth tour of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and finally admire the striking features of Elijah Iles House. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Lincolns New Salem State Park, steep yourself in history at Old State Capitol, then contemplate the long history of Vachel Lindsay Home, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Lincoln Memorial Garden.

To see other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Springfield day trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Saint Louis to Springfield takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Springfield can reach 84°F, while at night they dip to 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel to Chicago.

Things to do in Springfield

#Historic Sites, #Museums, #Parks

Side Trip

Lincolns New Salem State Park
Highlights from your plan
Dana-Thomas House ©
Dana-Thomas House
Lincoln Home National Historic Site ©

5
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Popular historic sites such as Millennium Park and Ernest Hemingway Birthplace are in your itinerary. The Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Science and Industry will appeal to museum buffs. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at The Field Museum, wander the streets of The Magnificent Mile, admire the striking features of Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, and take in the waterfront at Navy Pier.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Chicago online travel route planner .

Do a combination of flight and subway from Springfield to Chicago in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 83°F in August, and nighttime lows around 67°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can travel to Cleveland.

Things to do in Chicago

#Museums, #Parks, #Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Oak Park
Highlights from your plan
Millennium Park ©
Millennium Park
The Art Institute of Chicago ©
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Field Museum ©
The Field Museum

2
nights
Cleveland

Cleveland ©
A culturally diverse city situated on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland boasts many places to visit, such as world-class museums, popular amusement parks, and sprawling recreational areas.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Tue): admire the masterpieces at The Cleveland Museum of Art, then admire all the interesting features of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, and then step into the grandiose world of Squire's Castle. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at West Side Market, then see the interesting displays at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, then contemplate the long history of USS Cod Submarine Memorial, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St John's Cathedral.

To find traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Cleveland tour itinerary planning website .

Fly from Chicago to Cleveland in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Chicago to Cleveland is 1 hour. In August in Cleveland, expect temperatures between 80°F during the day and 67°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Dayton.

Things to do in Cleveland

#Historic Sites, #Museums, #Parks

Side Trips

Squire's Castle, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Highlights from your plan
The Cleveland Museum of Art ©
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ©
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens ©
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

3
nights
Dayton

Dayton ©
Home of airplane pioneers the Wright brothers, Dayton prides itself on its inventors, including Charles F.
Do some cultural sightseeing at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and Carillon Historical Park. Visit Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and Frank Lloyd Wright's Westcott House for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to German Village (in Columbus), Young's Jersey Dairy Farm (in Yellow Springs) and Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum (in Cincinnati).

To find maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, use the Dayton planning app .

Drive from Cleveland to Dayton in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to drive back home.

Things to do in Dayton

#Historic Sites, #Parks, #Nature

Side Trips

Young's Jersey Dairy Farm, Frank Lloyd Wright's Westcott House, German Village, Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum
Highlights from your plan
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force ©
Carillon Historical Park ©
Carillon Historical Park
German Village ©
German Village

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