45 days in Midwest Itinerary

45 days in Midwest Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Midwest route builder

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Route & dates

45 days in Midwest Itinerary

Start: New York City
bus + Fly:  4​h
1
Cleveland
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 15​min
2
Chicago
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
3
Des Moines
— 3 nights
Fly + shuttle:  6​h 30​min
4
Nashville
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
5
Springfield
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
6
Saint Louis
— 4 nights
Fly + Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
Branson
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
8
Kansas City
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
9
Wichita
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  5​h 15​min
10
Custer
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
11
Badlands National Park
— 3 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + Drive:  7​h
12
Ely
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
13
Ontonagon
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
14
Minocqua
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
15
Traverse City
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  4​h 30​min
End: New York City

1
night
Cleveland

Cleveland ©
A culturally diverse city situated on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland boasts many places to visit, such as world-class museums, popular amusement parks, and sprawling recreational areas.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): explore the world behind art at The Cleveland Museum of Art and then ski along the peaceful trails at Girdled Road Reservation. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Wed): browse the eclectic array of goods at West Side Market, examine the collection at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, then look for all kinds of wild species at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, and finally identify plant and animal life at Brecksville Reservation.

For reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, use the Cleveland driving holiday planner .

New York City to Cleveland is an approximately 4-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also fly; or drive. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from New York City in March: high temperatures in Cleveland hover around 42°F and lows are around 29°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Chicago.

Things to do in Cleveland

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Brecksville Reservation, Girdled Road Reservation, F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm
Highlights from your plan
The Cleveland Museum of Art ©
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ©
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Girdled Road Reservation ©
Girdled Road Reservation

4
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Get in touch with nature at Lincoln Park Zoo and Swallow Cliff Stairs. The Art Institute of Chicago and The Field Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Veteran Acres Park (in Crystal Lake) and Little Red Schoolhouse (in Willow Springs). There's much more to do: appreciate the extensive heritage of Millennium Park, get a taste of the local shopping with The Magnificent Mile, pause for some photo ops at Cloud Gate, and get engrossed in the history at Ernest Hemingway Birthplace.

For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Chicago tour itinerary maker app .

You can fly from Cleveland to Chicago in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and subway; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Cleveland to Chicago is minus 1 hour. In March, daytime highs in Chicago are 45°F, while nighttime lows are 30°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can travel to Des Moines.

Things to do in Chicago

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Little Red Schoolhouse, Ernest Hemingway Birthplace, Swallow Cliff Stairs, Veteran Acres Park
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
Des Moines

Des Moines ©
Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. Visiting Fun Valley Ski Area and Brown's Woods will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Des Moines: Seven Oaks Recreation (in Boone), Raccoon River Valley Trail (in Redfield) and Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve (in Grinnell). Next up on the itinerary: explore the landscape on two wheels at High Trestle Trail, get a sense of history and politics at Capitol Building, take a peaceful walk through Walnut Woods State Park, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Saylorville Trail.

To find maps, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Des Moines day trip planning website .

Getting from Chicago to Des Moines by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 49°F, and evening lows to 30°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can travel to Nashville.

Things to do in Des Moines

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Fun Valley Ski Area, Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve, Seven Oaks Recreation, Raccoon River Valley Trail, High Trestle Trail
Highlights from your plan
Seven Oaks Recreation ©
Seven Oaks Recreation
Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve ©
Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve
Walnut Woods State Park ©
Walnut Woods State Park

2
nights
Nashville

Nashville ©
Nashville is a town in Washington Township, Brown County, Indiana, United States. Get a sense of the local culture at Spring Mill State Park and Virgil I. Gus Grissom Memorial Museum. Take a break from the city and head to Zipline and Stables At French Lick. Change things up with these side-trips from Nashville: Hemlock Cliffs in Hoosier National Forest (in English), Exotic Feline Rescue Center (in Centerpoint) and Wilstem (in Paoli). It doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Salt Creek Trail and admire all the interesting features of Indiana University.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Nashville road trip tool .

Getting from Des Moines to Nashville by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Des Moines to Nashville, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. March in Nashville sees daily highs of 49°F and lows of 27°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to drive to Springfield.

Things to do in Nashville

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Mitchell, Hemlock Cliffs in Hoosier National Forest, Indiana University, Wilstem, Exotic Feline Rescue Center
Highlights from your plan
Exotic Feline Rescue Center ©
Exotic Feline Rescue Center
Spring Mill State Park ©
Spring Mill State Park
Wilstem ©
Wilstem

2
nights
Springfield

Springfield ©
Springfield is the capital of Illinois, but its real significance is as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): make a trip to Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, contemplate the long history of Dana-Thomas House, get engrossed in the history at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Lincoln Home National Historic Site, and finally let the kids burn off some steam at Washington Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: walk around Rock Springs Conservation Area & Nature Center, tour the pleasant surroundings at Scovill Zoo, then identify plant and animal life at Sand Creek Conservation Area, and finally admire the natural beauty at Lincoln Memorial Garden.

To find more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Springfield sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Nashville to Springfield in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and flight; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Nashville to Springfield is minus 1 hour. In March, plan for daily highs up to 51°F, and evening lows to 31°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Saint Louis.

Things to do in Springfield

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Decatur
Highlights from your plan
Lincoln Memorial Garden ©
Lincoln Memorial Garden
Lincoln Home National Historic Site ©

4
nights
Saint Louis

Saint Louis ©
Test the local claim that Saint Louis is second only to Washington, D.C.
Visiting Saint Louis Zoo and Arcadia Valley will get you outdoors. Get a sense of the local culture at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis and Missouri Botanical Garden. Change things up with these side-trips from Saint Louis: Veterans Honor Park (in Chesterfield), Rock Hollow Trial (in Ballwin) and Katy Trail State Park (in Saint Charles). There's lots more to do: admire the majestic nature at Elephant Rocks State Park, explore the landscape on two wheels at Al Foster Memorial Trail, identify plant and animal life at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, and examine the collection at City Museum.

To find more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Saint Louis trip planner.

Traveling by car from Springfield to Saint Louis takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of bus and train. In March in Saint Louis, expect temperatures between 54°F during the day and 35°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Branson.

Things to do in Saint Louis

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Ballwin, Chesterfield, Wildwood, Elephant Rocks State Park, Arcadia Valley
Highlights from your plan
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis ©
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
Elephant Rocks State Park ©
Elephant Rocks State Park
City Museum ©
City Museum

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.
Visiting National Tiger Sanctuary and Table Rock Lake will get you outdoors. Do some cultural sightseeing at Titanic Museum and Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church. Plan for a day of cool, family-friendly fun on the 23rd (Mon) at Silver Dollar City. Next up on the itinerary: cast your line with a fishing tour, identify plant and animal life at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and trek along Table Rock Lakeshore Trail.

To find reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Branson online travel planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Saint Louis to Branson takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. March in Branson sees daily highs of 58°F and lows of 37°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Kansas City.

Things to do in Branson

Theme Parks Wildlife Parks

Side Trips

Table Rock Lake, National Tiger Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church ©
Titanic Museum ©
Titanic Museum
National Tiger Sanctuary ©
National Tiger Sanctuary

3
nights
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like National WWI Museum and Memorial and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Step out of the city life by going to Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area and Little Blue Trace Trail. Get out of town with these interesting Kansas City side-trips: Wallace State Park (in Cameron), Watkins Mill State Park (in Lawson) and Forest Park (in Ottawa). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Bingham Waggoner Estate, admire the majestic nature at Wyandotte County Lake Park, test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms, and get engrossed in the history at Arabia Steamboat Museum.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Kansas City vacation builder .

Traveling by car from Branson to Kansas City takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. March in Kansas City sees daily highs of 57°F and lows of 37°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Wichita.

Things to do in Kansas City

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Independence, Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area, Watkins Mill State Park, Wallace State Park, Forest Park
Highlights from your plan
Bingham Waggoner Estate ©
Bingham Waggoner Estate
National WWI Museum and Memorial ©
National WWI Museum and Memorial
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art ©
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

3
nights
Wichita

Wichita ©
Wichita is the largest city in the U.S. Get in touch with nature at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Wichita: Newton Bike Shop (in Newton), Maxwell Wildlife Refuge (in Canton) and Bartlett Arboretum (in Belle Plaine). The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Pratt Fish Hatchery.

For more things to do and tourist information, refer to the Wichita tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Kansas City to Wichita takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a daytime high around 61°F in March, and nighttime lows around 35°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can travel to Custer.

Things to do in Wichita

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Pratt Fish Hatchery, Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, Bartlett Arboretum, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Highlights from your plan
Quivira National Wildlife Refuge ©
Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve ©
Maxwell Wildlife Refuge ©
Maxwell Wildlife Refuge

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.
Get outdoors at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Hell Canyon Trail. Change things up with these side-trips from Custer: Insideout (in Hill City) and Roughlock Falls State Nature Area (in Lead). There's still lots to do: immerse yourself in nature at Custer State Park, cruise along Iron Mountain Road, tour the pleasant surroundings at Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, and trek along Little Devil's Tower Trail.

To see ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Custer online sightseeing planner .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Wichita to Custer in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Wichita to Custer, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Wichita in March; daily highs in Custer reach 46°F and lows reach 22°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Insideout, Roughlock Falls State Nature Area, Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park
Black Hills National Forest ©
Black Hills National Forest

3
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Loop Road and Big Badlands Overlook. Spend the 3rd (Fri) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape at Panorama Point Overlook, take some stellar pictures from Yellow Mounds Overlook, explore the striking landscape of Conata Basin Overlook, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Cliff Shelf Nature Trailhead.

To find ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Badlands National Park trip 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 April, you will find days in Badlands National Park are somewhat warmer (58°F), and nights are about the same (30°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Ely.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall

1
night
Ely

Ely ©
Ely is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. On the 5th (Sun), admire all the interesting features of Soudan Underground Mine, then glide through natural beauty at Flathorn - Gegoka Cross Country Ski Trails, and then head outdoors with Canadian Border Outfitters. On your second day here, admire the sheer force of Vermilion Falls, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Vermilion Gorge Trail, then trek along Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips, and finally hike along Trezona Trail.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Ely trip maker .

You can do a combination of taxi, flight, and car from Badlands National Park to Ely in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Badlands National Park to Ely, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Badlands National Park in April: high temperatures in Ely hover around 45°F and lows are around 23°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel to Ontonagon.

Things to do in Ely

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Vermilion Gorge Trail, Flathorn - Gegoka Cross Country Ski Trails, Soudan Underground Mine, Vermilion Falls
Highlights from your plan
Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips ©
Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips
Vermilion Gorge Trail ©
Vermilion Gorge Trail
Canadian Border Outfitters ©
Canadian Border Outfitters

3
nights
Ontonagon

Ontonagon ©
Ontonagon is a village in the U.S. Take a break from the city and head to Bond Falls and Porcupine Mountains Ski Area. Get out of town with these interesting Ontonagon side-trips: Lower Silver Falls (in Baraga), Hungarian Falls (in Hubbell) and Swedetown Ski Trails (in Calumet). It doesn't end there: take a peaceful walk through Porcupine Mountains State Park and immerse yourself in nature at Lake Gogebic State Park.

To find traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Ontonagon trip builder tool .

Traveling by car from Ely to Ontonagon takes 5.5 hours. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 1 hour. April in Ontonagon sees daily highs of 43°F and lows of 28°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Minocqua.

Things to do in Ontonagon

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Swedetown Ski Trails, Lower Silver Falls, Hungarian Falls, Lake Gogebic State Park
Highlights from your plan
Bond Falls ©
Bond Falls
Porcupine Mountains State Park ©
Porcupine Mountains State Park
Hungarian Falls ©
Hungarian Falls

3
nights
Minocqua

Minocqua ©
Minocqua is a town in northwestern Oneida County, Wisconsin, United States. Visiting Mt. Zion Ski Hill & Overlook and WinMan Trails will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Minocqua: ABR Trails (in Ironwood) and Boulder Junction (in Boulder Junction). There's lots more to do: ski along the peaceful trails at Minocqua Winter Park, examine the collection at Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center, grab your bike and head to Boulder Junction Area Trail System, and get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

To find traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Minocqua travel route planner.

Drive from Ontonagon to Minocqua in 2 hours. The time zone difference when traveling from Ontonagon to Minocqua is minus 1 hour. In April, plan for daily highs up to 48°F, and evening lows to 28°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to Traverse City.

Things to do in Minocqua

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Ironwood, Boulder Junction, WinMan Trails, Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center
Highlights from your plan
WinMan Trails ©
WinMan Trails
Boulder Junction ©
Boulder Junction
ABR Trails ©
ABR Trails

3
nights
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.
Get in touch with nature at Tommy's Ski and Wake School and Forbush Corner Cross-Country Skiing. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Traverse City: North Western State Trail (in Petoskey), Hanson Hills Recreation Area (in Grayling) and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (in Empire). There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Aspen Park, trek along Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails, head outdoors with Sledheads of Frederic, and meet the residents at GT Butterfly House and Bug Zoo.

To see maps, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Traverse City trip itinerary tool .

You can drive from Minocqua to Traverse City in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Minocqua to Traverse City due to the time zone difference. In April, plan for daily highs up to 51°F, and evening lows to 32°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Thu) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Traverse City

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports

Side Trips

Frederic, Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Hanson Hills Recreation Area, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, North Western State Trail
Highlights from your plan
Aspen Park ©
Aspen Park

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