15 days in Midwest Itinerary

15 days in Midwest Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Midwest Itinerary

Start: Madrid
Fly:  11​h
1
Traverse City
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 15​min
2
Rapid City
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
3
Kansas City
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
4
Branson
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  3​h 45​min
5
Saint Louis
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
6
Chicago
— 4 nights
Fly:  11​h 30​min
End: Madrid

1
night
Traverse City

Traverse City ©
Traverse City might be well known for its huge cherry industry, but its position along Grand Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan endows it with fine scenery and a wealth of outdoor attractions.
On the 20th (Fri), take in the exciting artwork at Higher Art Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: browse the different shops at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, explore the striking landscape of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and then take a stroll through Front Street.

To find ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, go to the Traverse City travel site .

Madrid, Spain to Traverse City is an approximately 11-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Central European Time to Eastern Standard Time is minus 6 hours. Traveling from Madrid in December, you will find days in Traverse City are much colder (1°C), and nights are slightly colder (-5°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to travel to Rapid City.

Things to do in Traverse City

Historic Sites Shopping Parks

Side Trip

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Highlights from your plan
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons ©
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore ©
Higher Art Gallery ©
Higher Art Gallery

3
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Step off the beaten path and head to Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries and Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. You'll explore and learn at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and Adams Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Rapid City side-trips: Insideout (in Hill City) and Deadwood (Mount Moriah Cemetery, Scott Jacobs Studio, & more). There's lots more to do: brush up on your military savvy at South Dakota Air and Space Museum, admire the landmark architecture of Chapel in the Hills, view the masterpieces at Suzie Cappa Art Center, and wander the streets of Downtown Rapid City.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Rapid City travel planner .

You can fly from Traverse City to Rapid City in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Traverse City to Rapid City, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Traverse City in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Rapid City, with lows of -10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Tue) so you can travel to Kansas City.

Things to do in Rapid City

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Deadwood, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Insideout
Highlights from your plan
Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries ©
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs ©
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Wed): take an in-depth tour of Arabia Steamboat Museum, then contemplate the long history of Union Station, and then wander the streets of Country Club Plaza. On the 26th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at Cabela's, get engrossed in the history at National WWI Museum and Memorial, then get engrossed in the history at Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, and finally examine the collection at Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Kansas City online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by flight from Rapid City to Kansas City takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Rapid City in December; daily highs in Kansas City reach 7°C and lows reach -2°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Branson.

Things to do in Kansas City

Museums Shopping Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Cabela's, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
Highlights from your plan
Arabia Steamboat Museum ©
Arabia Steamboat Museum
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum ©
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum ©
Negro Leagues Baseball 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.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Fri): get great views at 165 Scenic Overlook, stop by Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, then identify plant and animal life at National Tiger Sanctuary, and finally browse the different shops at Branson Landing. Keep things going the next day: stroll around Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, then look for all kinds of wild species at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, and then admire the local landmark of Dancing Water Fountain.

To find other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Branson itinerary planner .

Drive from Kansas City to Branson in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. December in Branson sees daily highs of 10°C and lows of 0°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to travel to Saint Louis.

Things to do in Branson

Parks Wildlife Shopping

Side Trips

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, National Tiger Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
National Tiger Sanctuary ©
National Tiger Sanctuary
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park ©
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery ©

2
nights
Saint Louis

Saint Louis ©
Test the local claim that Saint Louis is second only to Washington, D.C.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): contemplate the long history of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, appreciate the extensive heritage of St. Charles Historic District, then admire the masterpieces at Saint Louis Art Museum, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. On the 30th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get curious at Saint Louis Science Center, then get engrossed in the history at Missouri Civil War Museum, and then have fun and explore at The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum.

For where to stay, photos, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Saint Louis online visit planner .

You can do a combination of car and flight from Branson to Saint Louis in 4 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 8°C in December, and nighttime lows around -1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Chicago.

Things to do in Saint Louis

Museums Childrens Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, St. Charles Historic District
Highlights from your plan
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis ©
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site ©
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
St. Charles Historic District ©
St. Charles Historic District

4
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Chicago Cultural Center and Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. Visit Millennium Park and Ernest Hemingway Birthplace for their historical value. There's much more to do: admire the masterpieces at The Art Institute of Chicago, don't miss a visit to The Magnificent Mile, engage your brain at Museum of Science and Industry, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fourth Presbyterian Church.

To see reviews, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our Chicago trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Saint Louis to Chicago takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or drive. While traveling from Saint Louis, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Chicago, ranging from highs of 3°C to lows of -3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Chicago

Museums Shopping Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Ernest Hemingway Birthplace, Lake Michigan, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
Highlights from your plan
The Art Institute of Chicago ©
The Art Institute of Chicago
Field Museum ©
Field Museum
Chicago Cultural Center ©
Chicago Cultural Center

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