31 days in Midwest Itinerary

31 days in Midwest Itinerary

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Route & dates

31 days in Midwest Itinerary

Start: Columbia
Drive:  5​h
1
Branson
— 3 nights
Fly + Taxi:  6​h 15​min
2
Custer
— 3 nights
+2
Taxi + Fly + Taxi:  6​h 15​min
3
Munising
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Paradise
— 1 night
Drive + Ferry:  2​h
5
Mackinac Island
— 4 nights
Ferry:  30​min
6
Mackinaw City
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
7
Empire
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
8
Duluth
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
9
Wisconsin Dells
— 4 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
End: Columbia

3
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery and Fishing Charters & Tours. When in Branson, make a side trip to see Dogwood Canyon Nature Park in Lampe, approximately 42 minutes away. There's still lots to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, go for a stroll along the water at State Park Marina, Head underground at Marvel Cave, and buy something for everyone on your list at Branson Landing.

For ratings, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read Branson trip site .

Columbia to Branson is an approximately 3.5-hour car ride. In June in Branson, expect temperatures between 84°F during the day and 65°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to travel to Custer.

Things to do in Branson

Parks Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

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

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Iron Mountain Road and Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. Get out of town with these interesting Custer side-trips: Keystone (Big Thunder Gold Mine & Presidential Trail) and Insideout (in Hill City). The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Sylvan Lake, explore the striking landscape of Jewel Cave National Monument, take a peaceful walk through Black Hills National Forest, and take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel.

For photos, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Custer journey builder tool .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Branson to Custer in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, flight, and taxi; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Branson to Custer due to the time zone difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Branson in June: high temperatures in Custer hover around 73°F and lows are around 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can travel to Munising.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Keystone, Insideout, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Highlights from your plan
Sylvan Lake ©
Sylvan Lake
Iron Mountain Road ©
Iron Mountain Road
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel

3
nights
Munising

Munising ©
Munising is a city on the southern shore of Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. Explore hidden gems such as Miners Castle Rock and Wagner Falls. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Munising: Chapel Falls (in Grand Marais) and Kitch-Iti-Kipi (The Big Spring) (in Manistique). Spend the 9th (Sun) exploring nature at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. And it doesn't end there: take in the dramatic scenery at Munising Falls, get engrossed in the history at Pictured Rocks Interpretive Center, tour the pleasant surroundings at Sand Point Beach, and go for a walk through Autrain Falls.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Munising sightseeing planning site .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Custer to Munising takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and car. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Custer to Munising due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Custer in June, you will find days in Munising are little chillier (68°F), and nights are about the same (49°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Paradise.

Things to do in Munising

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Kitch-Iti-Kipi (The Big Spring)
Highlights from your plan
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore ©
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Kitch-Iti-Kipi (The Big Spring) ©
Kitch-Iti-Kipi (The Big Spring)
Miners Falls ©
Miners Falls

1
night
Paradise

Paradise ©
Paradise is an unincorporated community in Whitefish Township, Chippewa County in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 13th (Thu): examine the collection at Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Whitefish Point Light, and then take in the dramatic scenery at Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

To see reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read Paradise travel route builder .

Traveling by car from Munising to Paradise takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and car. In June, daily temperatures in Paradise can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 49°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can travel to Mackinac Island.

Things to do in Paradise

Museums Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum ©
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
Tahquamenon Falls State Park ©
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Whitefish Point Light ©
Whitefish Point Light

4
nights
Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island ©
Mackinac Island is a city in Mackinac County in the U.S. Discover out-of-the-way places like Mackinac Island State Park and St Anne's Catholic Church. There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House & Insect World, take in the dramatic natural features at Arch Rock, trot along with a tour on horseback, and stop by Island House Bike Shop.

To see more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Mackinac Island trip builder website .

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Paradise to Mackinac Island takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry. In June, daily temperatures in Mackinac Island can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to catch the ferry to Mackinaw City.

Things to do in Mackinac Island

Outdoors Parks Golf
Highlights from your plan
Mackinac Island State Park ©
Mackinac Island State Park
Fort Mackinac ©
Fort Mackinac
St Anne's Catholic Church ©
St Anne's Catholic Church

4
nights
Mackinaw City

Mackinaw City ©
Mackinaw City is a village in Emmet and Cheboygan counties in the U.S. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Soo Locks and Colonial Michilimackinac. Explore Mackinaw City's surroundings by going to USDA Iroquois Lighthouse (in Sault Ste. Marie), Cross In The Woods National Shrine (in Indian River) and Petoskey State Park (in Petoskey). There's still lots to do: snap pictures at Mackinac Bridge, contemplate the long history of Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park, take some stellar pictures from Castle Rock, and examine the collection at Museum of Ojibwa Culture.

For ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Mackinaw City trip maker tool .

Mackinaw City is just a short distance from Mackinac Island. In June, daily temperatures in Mackinaw City can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) early enough to go by car to Empire.

Things to do in Mackinaw City

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Saint Ignace, Soo Locks, Petoskey State Park, Cross In The Woods National Shrine, Point Iroquois Lighthouse
Highlights from your plan
Colonial Michilimackinac ©
Colonial Michilimackinac
Mackinac Bridge ©
Mackinac Bridge
Soo Locks ©
Soo Locks

3
nights
Empire

Empire ©
Empire is a village in Leelanau County in the U.S. Explore hidden gems such as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Point Betsie Lighthouse. Venture out of the city with trips to Leland (Fishtown & South Manitou Island). Next up on the itinerary: take a memorable drive along Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, look for gifts at Cherry Republic - Glen Arbor, brush up on your military savvy at Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum, and hike along Empire Bluff Trail.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Empire trip website .

Getting from Mackinaw City to Empire by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 72°F in June, and nighttime lows around 52°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to travel to Duluth.

Things to do in Empire

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Glen Arbor, Leland, Point Betsie Lighthouse
Highlights from your plan
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore ©
Point Betsie Lighthouse ©
Point Betsie Lighthouse
Cherry Republic of Glen Arbor
Cherry Republic of Glen Arbor

2
nights
Duluth

Duluth ©
Situated on the westernmost point of the Lake Superior, Duluth represents a booming port city.
Explore hidden gems such as Gooseberry Falls State Park and Canal Park. Step out of Duluth to go to Two Harbors and see Superior Hiking Trail, which is approximately 34 minutes away. There's lots more to do: take a memorable drive along Minnesota's North Shore Scenic Drive, examine the collection at Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, make a trip to Enger Park and Tower, and get to know the fascinating history of Lakewalk.

For traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Duluth trip website .

Fly from Empire to Duluth in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and flight; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Empire in June: highs in Duluth hover around 65°F, while lows dip to 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to drive to Wisconsin Dells.

Things to do in Duluth

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Two Harbors, Great Lakes Candy Kitchen
Highlights from your plan
Gooseberry Falls State Park ©
Gooseberry Falls State Park
Minnesota's North Shore Scenic Drive ©
Aerial Lift Bridge ©
Aerial Lift Bridge

4
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Wisconsin Deer Park and Olbrich Botanical Gardens. When in Wisconsin Dells, make a side trip to see Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, approximately 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: have some family-friendly fun at Wizard Quest, see the interesting displays at Mr Marvel's Wondertorium, tee off at Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, and race across the water with a speed boat tour.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Wisconsin Dells travel route builder .

Getting from Duluth to Wisconsin Dells by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Duluth in June; daily highs in Wisconsin Dells reach 77°F and lows reach 57°F. On the 1st (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Wisconsin Dells

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Baraboo, Madison
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Olbrich Botanical Gardens ©
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Devil's Lake State Park ©
Devil's Lake State Park

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