12 days in Continental USA Itinerary

12 days in Continental USA Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Springfield
Drive
2
Galena
— 1 night
Drive
3
Dubuque
— 1 night
Fly
4
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Keystone
— 1 night
Drive
6
Custer
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Glacier National Park
— 3 nights
Fly
8
Chicago
— 1 night
Fly

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1

Springfield

Flower City

Springfield is the capital of Illinois, but its real significance is as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): contemplate the long history of Pasfield House.

Before you visit Springfield, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Louisville to Springfield is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 86°F in July, and nighttime lows around 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can drive to Galena.

Things to do in Springfield

Historic Sites
Highlights from your trip

Galena

— 1 night
Galena is the largest city in and the county seat of Jo Daviess County, Illinois, with a population of 3,429 at the 2010 census. On the 19th (Sun), steep yourself in history at Ulysses S. Grant Home, then sample the fine beverages at Blaum Bros. Distilling Co., and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Galena road trip planning website.

Drive from Springfield to Galena in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and car. In July, Galena is little chillier than Springfield - with highs of 80°F and lows of 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can drive to Dubuque.

Things to do in Galena

Historic Sites · Breweries & Distilleries · Spas

Dubuque

— 1 night
Dubuque is the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, located along the Mississippi River. Start off your visit on the 20th (Mon): make a trip to Fenelon Place Elevator Co., get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, and then walk around Eagle Point Park.

To see reviews, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Dubuque vacation maker app.

Dubuque is just a stone's throw from Galena. In July, daytime highs in Dubuque are 80°F, while nighttime lows are 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly to Rapid City.

Things to do in Dubuque

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Museums

Rapid City

— 2 nights

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
On the 21st (Tue), examine the collection at South Dakota Air and Space Museum, take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Chapel in the Hills. Here are some ideas for day two: get engrossed in the history at Adams Museum, then take an in-depth tour of Adams House, then stroll the grounds of Mount Moriah Cemetery, and finally learn about winemaking at Belle Joli Winery Tasting Room.

To find photos, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read our Rapid City road trip planner.

You can fly from Dubuque to Rapid City in 7.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Dubuque to Rapid City. July in Rapid City sees daily highs of 85°F and lows of 62°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to drive to Keystone.

Things to do in Rapid City

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Wineries

Side Trip

Keystone

— 1 night

Home Of Mount Rushmore

Fewer than 400 people call Keystone home year-round, but the population explodes in summer when crowds flock to nearby Mount Rushmore.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): discover the riches below the earth's surface at Big Thunder Gold Mine, then learn about winemaking at Prairie Berry Winery, and then hike along Presidential Trail.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Keystone trip planning tool.

Keystone is just a stone's throw from Rapid City. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Rapid City in July: high temperatures in Keystone hover around 80°F and lows are around 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) so you can drive to Custer.

Things to do in Keystone

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Wineries

Side Trip

Custer

— 2 nights
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
On the 24th (Fri), take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Sylvan Lake. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: cruise along Needles Highway and then cruise along Iron Mountain Road.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Custer trip builder website.

Traveling by car from Keystone to Custer takes an hour. Expect a daytime high around 80°F in July, and nighttime lows around 53°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Glacier National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Glacier National Park

— 3 nights

Crown of the Continent

The glaciers from which Glacier National Park takes its name mostly dissipated eons ago, but they left behind a scoured landscape of high and steep mountain peaks, sparkling lakes, lush alpine meadows, and thick forests.
Step off the beaten path and head to Logan Pass and Avalanche Lake. Visiting Going-to-the-Sun Road and Iceberg Lake Trail will get you outdoors. There's much more to do: trek along Highline Trail, stroll through Grinnell Glacier, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake McDonald.

To find photos, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Glacier National Park online vacation planner.

You can fly from Custer to Glacier National Park in 7 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. In July, daytime highs in Glacier National Park are 85°F, while nighttime lows are 49°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can catch the flight to Chicago.

Things to do in Glacier National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Chicago

— 1 night

Windy City

A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
On the 29th (Wed), get to know the fascinating history of Chicago Riverwalk, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Michigan, and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Lakefront Trail.

To find reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Chicago trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Glacier National Park to Chicago takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Glacier National Park to Chicago. Traveling from Glacier National Park in July, Chicago is a bit warmer at night with lows of 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in Chicago

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Illinois travel guide

4.4
Observation Decks · Parks · Art Museums
The Prairie State
The most populous state in the country's Midwest region, Illinois features a diverse landscape that includes both the enormous urban sprawl of Chicago and flat central plains, devoted almost entirely to farmland. With a great selection of things to do, Chicago is the state's centerpiece, featuring world-famous architecture and renowned museums. Farther away from this giant urban center, you can explore historical landmarks dedicated to local heroes Abraham Lincoln and Ernest Hemingway. The state also includes a prehistoric Native American site, one of only 20 World Heritage Sites in the United States, a unique feature well-worth adding to your itinerary.

Iowa travel guide

4.1
Casinos · History Museums · Historic Sites
The Hawkeye State
Part of the American heartland, Iowa is marked by a strong agricultural heritage, with farmland encompassing around 90 percent of the state's land. However, a holiday in Iowa offers more than corn and cows: you'll also discover charming towns, beautiful lakes, and a handful of vibrant cities. Iowa City, a university town, provides a healthy dose of culture and nightlife, with a youthful and artistic vibe fueled by a sizable student population. A trip to some of Iowa's small towns provides a true American experience. Fortunately, the welcoming residents bear very little resemblance to the dour Iowans portrayed in Grant Wood's famous painting "American Gothic."

South Dakota travel guide

4.2
National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.

Montana travel guide

4.7
River Rafting & Tubing · Bodies of Water · Nature & Parks
The Crown of the Continent
With a population of only one million, Montana remains an untouched natural paradise of snowcapped peaks, expansive forests, and alpine lakes, dotted with Old West ghost towns, Indian reservations, and progressive urban communities. Appreciate the state's unique charm and beauty with a trip to Glacier National Park, where you can come face-to-face with Montana wildlife among its high peaks. Head to the state's largest cities, Billings and Missoula, for an array of historical attractions and cultural sightseeing.