10 days in Midwest Itinerary

10 days in Midwest Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Midwest travel route planner

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Route & dates

10 days in Midwest Itinerary

Start: Rapid City
Drive:  1​h
1
Badlands National Park
— 1 day
taxi + Fly:  5​h 15​min
2
Chicago
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
3
Saint Louis
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Branson
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  6​h 15​min
5
Custer
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
End: Rapid City

1
day
Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park ©
Although Badlands National Park's name might not be the most inviting, its landscape of pinnacles, eroded buttes, spires, and an expansive, pristine mixed-grass prairie remain enticing.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, then admire all the interesting features of Loop Road, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Yellow Mounds Overlook.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Badlands National Park vacation app .

Rapid City to Badlands National Park is an approximately 1-hour car ride. You can also take a bus. While traveling from Rapid City, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Badlands National Park, ranging from highs of 91°F to lows of 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Chicago.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Nature Outdoors Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Yellow Mounds Overlook ©
Yellow Mounds Overlook

3
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Family-friendly places like Museum of Science and Industry and Lincoln Park Zoo will thrill your kids. There's still lots to do: admire the masterpieces at The Art Institute of Chicago, walk around Milton Lee Olive Park, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Shedd Aquarium, and pause for some photo ops at Cloud Gate.

For maps, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Chicago sightseeing planning site .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Badlands National Park to Chicago in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Badlands National Park to Chicago. While traveling from Badlands National Park, expect slightly colder days and somewhat warmer nights in Chicago, ranging from highs of 83°F to lows of 67°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to travel to Saint Louis.

Things to do in Chicago

Museums Parks Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Museum of Science and Industry ©
Museum of Science and Industry
Shedd Aquarium ©
Shedd Aquarium
Lincoln Park Zoo ©
Lincoln Park Zoo

2
nights
Saint Louis

Saint Louis ©
Test the local claim that Saint Louis is second only to Washington, D.C.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Fri): get to know the resident critters at Saint Louis Zoo, get your game on at Top Notch Axe Throwing St. Louis, and then see the interesting displays at City Museum. On the 27th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: look for all kinds of wild species at Sachs Butterfly House, enjoy breathtaking views from The Gateway Arch, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

To see maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Saint Louis online journey maker .

Traveling by flight from Chicago to Saint Louis takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Chicago in July, expect nights in Saint Louis to be about the same, around 68°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 89°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to travel to Branson.

Things to do in Saint Louis

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Wildlife

Side Trip

Sachs Butterfly House
Highlights from your plan
Top Notch Axe Throwing St. Louis ©
Top Notch Axe Throwing St. Louis
Saint Louis Zoo ©
Saint Louis Zoo
City Museum ©
City Museum

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.
On the 28th (Sun), contemplate the waterfront views at Table Rock Lake, then try out the rides at Bigfoot Fun Park, and then get your game on at Escape Code. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Mon): see the interesting displays at Titanic Museum and then make a splash at Silver Dollar City.

To find photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Branson trip planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Saint Louis to Branson takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Branson can reach 87°F, while at night they dip to 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Custer.

Things to do in Branson

Theme Parks Fun & Games Nature

Side Trip

Table Rock Lake
Highlights from your plan
Escape Code ©
Escape Code
Silver Dollar City ©
Silver Dollar City
Bigfoot Fun Park ©
Bigfoot Fun Park

2
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Tue): explore the activities along Sylvan Lake, then explore the striking landscape at Needles Eye Tunnel, and then take a memorable drive along Iron Mountain Road. On the 31st (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a peaceful walk through Black Hills National Forest, then discover the riches below the earth's surface at Big Thunder Gold Mine, and then explore the striking landscape of Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Custer itinerary builder site .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Branson to Custer in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, flight, and taxi; or drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Branson in July; daily highs in Custer reach 80°F and lows reach 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Custer

Nature Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Keystone
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Black Hills National Forest ©
Black Hills National Forest
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel

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