16 days in Midwest Itinerary

16 days in Midwest Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Midwest trip planner

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Route & dates

16 days in Midwest Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  3​h 45​min
1
Chicago
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Wisconsin Dells
— 3 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
3
Munising
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  6​h 15​min
4
Custer
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
5
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
taxi + Fly:  6​h 15​min
6
Branson
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  6​h 30​min
End: Washington DC

1
night
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Mon): admire the striking features of Reliance Building, don't miss a visit to Buckingham Fountain, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Michigan. Keep things going the next day: take in panoramic vistas at Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower, don't miss a visit to Millennium Park, then admire the masterpieces at The Art Institute of Chicago, and finally make a trip to Cloud Gate.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Chicago online travel route planner .

Washington DC to Chicago is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Washington DC to Chicago, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Washington DC in July, expect Chicago to be little chillier, temps between 83°F and 67°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Wisconsin Dells.

Things to do in Chicago

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trip

Lake Michigan
Highlights from your plan
The Art Institute of Chicago ©
The Art Institute of Chicago
Lake Michigan ©
Lake Michigan
Millennium Park ©
Millennium Park

3
nights
Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells ©
Named after a nearby scenic gorge famous for its steep sandstone formations, Wisconsin Dells features more than 20 water parks, making it one of the most popular vacation areas in this region.
Step off the beaten path and head to Zipline and Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf. Get in touch with nature at Devil's Lake State Park and International Crane Foundation. Go for a jaunt from Wisconsin Dells to Blue Mounds to see Cave of the Mounds about 1h 05 min away. There's still lots to do: race across the water with a speed boat tour, have some family-friendly fun at Laser Warfare, and cool off at Noah's Ark Water Park.

For other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Wisconsin Dells online itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Chicago to Wisconsin Dells takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from Chicago in July, Wisconsin Dells is a bit cooler at night with lows of 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Munising.

Things to do in Wisconsin Dells

Outdoors Parks Theme Parks

Side Trips

Baraboo, Cave of the Mounds
Highlights from your plan
Devil's Lake State Park ©
Devil's Lake State Park
Zipline
International Crane Foundation ©
International Crane Foundation

2
nights
Munising

Munising ©
Munising is a city on the southern shore of Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Miners Falls. Visiting Miners Castle Rock and Wagner Falls will get you outdoors. There's more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Munising Falls and Head underground at Eben Ice Caves and Canyon Falls & Gorge.

To find ratings, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Munising trip planner.

Getting from Wisconsin Dells to Munising by car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, bus, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of train, flight, and taxi. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Wisconsin Dells to Munising. While traveling from Wisconsin Dells, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Munising, ranging from highs of 74°F to lows of 57°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can travel to Custer.

Things to do in Munising

Nature Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Eben Ice Caves and Canyon Falls & Gorge
Highlights from your plan
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore ©
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Miners Falls ©
Miners Falls
Wagner Falls ©
Wagner Falls

3
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
Step off the beaten path and head to Sylvan Lake and Needles Highway. Get outdoors at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Presidential Trail. Take a break from Custer with a short trip to Wind Cave National Park in Wind Cave National Park, about 44 minutes away. There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel, cruise along Iron Mountain Road, and take a peaceful walk through Black Hills National Forest.

For reviews and more tourist information, go to the Custer travel planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Munising to Custer in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Munising to Custer. Traveling from Munising in August, Custer is a bit cooler at night with lows of 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Keystone, Needles Highway, Wind Cave National Park
Highlights from your plan
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel
Black Hills National Forest ©
Black Hills National Forest
Wind Cave National Park ©
Wind Cave National Park

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Badlands National Park. Here are some ideas for day two: cruise along Loop Road, then take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, and then identify plant and animal life at Roberts Prairie Dog Town.

To see maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park online driving holiday planner .

You can drive from Custer to Badlands National Park in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Custer in August, expect Badlands National Park to be a bit warmer, temps between 87°F and 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can travel to Branson.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Dogwood Canyon Nature Park and Zipline. Escape the urban bustle at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery and Talking Rocks Cavern. There's more to do: see what you can catch with a fishing tour and get great views at 165 Scenic Overlook.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Branson road trip website .

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Badlands National Park to Branson in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and car; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Badlands National Park to Branson is 1 hour. Traveling from Badlands National Park in August, expect a bit warmer with lows of 66°F in Branson. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Branson

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
Highlights from your plan
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park ©
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
Fishing Charters & Tours
Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery ©

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