21 days in Chicago and Beyond, Saint Louis & Dallas Itinerary

21 days in Chicago and Beyond, Saint Louis & Dallas Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Chicago and Beyond, Saint Louis & Dallas Itinerary

Start: Fort Lauderdale
Fly:  5​h 30​min
1
Chicago
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Rockford
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Utica
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
4
Nauvoo
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Saint Louis
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
6
Dallas
— 6 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
End: Fort Lauderdale

4
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Get outdoors at Lincoln Park Zoo and Grant Park. The Art Institute of Chicago and Ernest Hemingway Birthplace are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Change things up with these side-trips from Chicago: Swallow Cliff Stairs (in Palos Park), Matt's Produce (in Racine) and Little Red Schoolhouse (in Willow Springs). There's much more to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of Millennium Park, examine the collection at The Field Museum, admire the landmark architecture of Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower, and engage your brain at Museum of Science and Industry.

To find photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Chicago day trip site .

Fort Lauderdale to Chicago is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train, tram, and flight; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Expect colder temperatures when traveling from Fort Lauderdale in April; daily highs in Chicago reach 59°F and lows reach 40°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Fri) so you can travel to Rockford.

Things to do in Chicago

Parks Museums Trails

Side Trips

Oak Park, Grant Park, Swallow Cliff Stairs, Little Red Schoolhouse, Matt's Produce
Highlights from your plan
The Art Institute of Chicago ©
The Art Institute of Chicago
Field Museum ©
Field Museum
Museum of Science and Industry ©
Museum of Science and Industry

3
nights
Rockford

Rockford ©
Rockford is the third largest city in the U.S. Visiting Kishwaukee River Forest Preserve and Stone Bridge Trail will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rockford: White Pines Forest State Park (in Mount Morris), Three Oaks Recreation Area (in Crystal Lake) and Veterans' Memorial Arch (in Dixon). There's more to do: identify plant and animal life at Severson Dells Nature Center.

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

Drive from Chicago to Rockford in 2 hours. In April, plan for daily highs up to 59°F, and evening lows to 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to travel to Utica.

Things to do in Rockford

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Cherry Valley, Three Oaks Recreation Area, Veterans' Memorial Arch, Oakdale Nature Preserve, Stone Bridge Trail
Highlights from your plan
Kishwaukee River Forest Preserve ©
Kishwaukee River Forest Preserve
Three Oaks Recreation Area ©
Three Oaks Recreation Area
Severson Dells Nature Center ©
Severson Dells Nature Center

1
night
Utica

Utica ©
North Utica, often known as Utica, is a village in Utica Township, LaSalle County, Illinois. On the 9th (Tue), get engrossed in the history at Hegeler Carus Mansion, make a trip to Washington Square, then stroll through Starved Rock State Park, and finally do a tasting at August Hill Winery & Illinois Sparkling Co. Tasting Room.

To see ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Utica online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Rockford to Utica takes 1.5 hours. In April, daytime highs in Utica are 60°F, while nighttime lows are 39°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to travel to Nauvoo.

Things to do in Utica

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trips

Washington Square, Hegeler Carus Mansion
Highlights from your plan
Washington Square ©
Washington Square
Starved Rock State Park ©
Starved Rock State Park
Hegeler Carus Mansion ©
Hegeler Carus Mansion

2
nights
Nauvoo

Nauvoo ©
Nauvoo is a small city in Hancock County, Illinois, United States, on the Mississippi River near Fort Madison, Iowa. Start off your visit on the 10th (Wed): pause for some serene contemplation at Nauvoo Temple, then steep yourself in history at Historic Nauvoo, then make a trip to Snake Alley, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Mosquito Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Thu): admire the majestic nature at Lacey Keosauqua State Park, then get engrossed in the history at Midwest Old Threshers Heritage Museums, and then see the interesting displays at Theatre Museum of Repertoire Americana.

For photos, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Nauvoo trip app .

You can drive from Utica to Nauvoo in 3 hours. In April in Nauvoo, expect temperatures between 63°F during the day and 42°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can travel to Saint Louis.

Things to do in Nauvoo

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Mount Pleasant, Burlington, Lacey Keosauqua State Park
Highlights from your plan
Historic Nauvoo ©
Historic Nauvoo
Midwest Old Threshers ©
Midwest Old Threshers
Nauvoo Temple ©
Nauvoo Temple

2
nights
Saint Louis

Saint Louis ©
Test the local claim that Saint Louis is second only to Washington, D.C.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes The Gateway Arch as well as Busch Stadium. Kick off your visit on the 12th (Fri): explore and take pictures at Busch Stadium, see the interesting displays at City Museum, then meet the residents at Saint Louis Zoo, then pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, and finally take in panoramic vistas at The Gateway Arch. On the next day, take in nature's colorful creations at Missouri Botanical Garden, see the interesting displays at Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis, then relax in the rural setting at Grant's Farm, and finally identify plant and animal life at Sachs Butterfly House.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Saint Louis trip planner .

You can drive from Nauvoo to Saint Louis in 3.5 hours. In April, plan for daily highs up to 67°F, and evening lows to 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can travel to Dallas.

Things to do in Saint Louis

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Museums

Side Trip

Sachs Butterfly House
Highlights from your plan
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis ©
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
City Museum ©
City Museum
Missouri Botanical Garden ©
Missouri Botanical Garden

6
nights
Dallas

Dallas ©
One of the country's most popular shopping destinations, Dallas and its sprawling suburbs include more shopping centers per capita than any other urban center in America.
Popular historic sites such as Fort Worth Botanic Garden and Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District are in your itinerary. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Get out of town with these interesting Dallas side-trips: Fort Worth Zoo (in Fort Worth), Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (in Glen Rose) and Frontier Park (in Prosper). Spend the 17th (Wed) exploring nature at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Mineola Nature Preserve, tour the pleasant surroundings at Bluebonnet Trail, see the interesting displays at Salt Palace Museum, and immerse yourself in nature at Acton State Park.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Dallas travel site .

Getting from Saint Louis to Dallas by combination of flight and tram takes about 5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In April, Dallas is a bit warmer than Saint Louis - with highs of 77°F and lows of 57°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Dallas

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Fort Worth, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, The Windmill Farm, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Mineola Nature Preserve
Highlights from your plan
Top O'Hill Terrace ©
Top O'Hill Terrace

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