18 days in Midwest Itinerary

18 days in Midwest Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Midwest trip maker

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Route & dates

18 days in Midwest Itinerary

Start: New York City
foot + Fly:  5​h 15​min
1
Empire
— Few hours
Drive:  7​h
2
Sandusky
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
3
Chicago
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Wisconsin Dells
— 3 nights
+3
train + bus + subway + Fly:  8​h
5
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
6
Branson
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  3​h 45​min
7
Saint Louis
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h
End: New York City

few
hours
Empire

Empire ©
Empire is a village in Leelanau County in the U.S. To see traveler tips, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Empire day trip planner.

New York City to Empire is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. In July, Empire is little chillier than New York City - with highs of 75°F and lows of 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can drive to Sandusky.

Things to do in Empire

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Highlights from your plan

1
night
Sandusky

Sandusky ©
Sandusky positively bustles in the summertime due to its famed amusement park.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Thu): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at African Safari Wildlife Park and then cool off at Cedar Point. On your second day here, enjoy the sea views from Marblehead Lighthouse State Park.

For ratings, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Sandusky online trip itinerary maker .

Getting from Empire to Sandusky by car takes about 7 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or do a combination of car, flight, bus, and train. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Empire in July; daily highs in Sandusky reach 82°F and lows reach 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Chicago.

Things to do in Sandusky

Theme Parks Zoos & Aquariums Parks

Side Trips

African Safari Wildlife Park, Marblehead Lighthouse State Park
Highlights from your plan
Cedar Point ©
Cedar Point
Marblehead Lighthouse State Park ©
African Safari Wildlife Park ©
African Safari Wildlife Park

4
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Attractions like Museum of Science and Industry and Lincoln Park Zoo make great kid-friendly stops. The adventure continues: appreciate the extensive heritage of Millennium Park, admire the local landmark of Buckingham Fountain, take a leisurely stroll along Navy Pier, and get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Shedd Aquarium.

For photos, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Chicago trip builder tool .

Getting from Sandusky to Chicago by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: fly; or take a train. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. In July in Chicago, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 67°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) so you can go by car to Wisconsin Dells.

Things to do in Chicago

Parks Zoos & Aquariums 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

3
nights
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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Zipline and Mr Marvel's Wondertorium. Change things up with these side-trips from Wisconsin Dells: Horicon Marsh (in Mayville), Wisconsin State Capitol (in Madison) and Spring Green (House on the Rock & Taliesin Preservation: Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center). There's lots more to do: race across the water with a speed boat tour, look for all kinds of wild species at Witches Gulch, and have some family-friendly fun at Laser Warfare.

To see more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Wisconsin Dells holiday maker .

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 little chillier at night with lows of 59°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can travel to Rapid City.

Things to do in Wisconsin Dells

Tours Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Spring Green, Wisconsin State Capitol, Horicon Marsh
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Horicon Marsh ©
Horicon Marsh
Witches Gulch ©
Witches Gulch

2
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Change things up with these side-trips from Rapid City: Custer (Custer State Park, Black Hills National Forest, & more), Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone) and Delta-09 Missile Silo (in Wall). And it doesn't end there: get to know the resident critters at Reptile Gardens, explore and take pictures at Loop Road, explore the striking landscape at Yellow Mounds Overlook, and learn about winemaking at Firehouse Wine Cellars.

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

Getting from Wisconsin Dells to Rapid City by combination of train, bus, and flight takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and flight; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Wisconsin Dells to Rapid City is minus 1 hour. In July, daytime highs in Rapid City are 85°F, while nighttime lows are 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to travel to Branson.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Custer, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Delta-09 Missile Silo
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Reptile Gardens ©
Reptile Gardens
Black Hills National Forest ©
Black Hills National Forest

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.
Family-friendly places like Silver Dollar City and Castle of Chaos will thrill your kids. There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at National Tiger Sanctuary, test your team's savvy at Escape Code, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and see the interesting displays at Titanic Museum.

For reviews, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Branson road trip planning tool .

Traveling by flight from Rapid City to Branson takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 1 hour. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Rapid City in July since evenings lows in Branson dip to 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Saint Louis.

Things to do in Branson

Wildlife Theme Parks Tours

Side Trip

National Tiger Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Escape Code ©
Escape Code
Silver Dollar City ©
Silver Dollar City
National Tiger Sanctuary ©
National Tiger Sanctuary

2
nights
Saint Louis

Saint Louis ©
Test the local claim that Saint Louis is second only to Washington, D.C.
On the 19th (Fri), learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Saint Louis Zoo, look for all kinds of wild species at Sachs Butterfly House, and then examine the collection at Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, then steep yourself in history at Missouri Botanical Garden, then examine the collection at City Museum, and finally get your game on at Top Notch Axe Throwing St. Louis.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Saint Louis visit website .

Getting from Branson to Saint Louis by combination of car and flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In July in Saint Louis, expect temperatures between 89°F during the day and 68°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Saint Louis

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Sachs Butterfly House
Highlights from your plan
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis ©
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
Saint Louis Zoo ©
Saint Louis Zoo
City Museum ©
City Museum

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