60 days in Great Lakes USA Itinerary

60 days in Great Lakes USA Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Great Lakes USA trip planner

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Route & dates

60 days in Great Lakes USA Itinerary

Start: South Bend
Train:  1 h 30 min
1
Chicago
— 6 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
2
Springfield
— 3 nights
Drive:  5 h 15 min
3
Wisconsin Dells
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
4
Minneapolis
— 5 nights
Fly + Drive:  4 h 30 min
5
Ely
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
6
Ironwood
— 5 nights
Drive:  6 h 30 min
7
Petoskey
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
8
Detroit
— 5 nights
Drive:  3 h
9
Cleveland
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
10
Columbus
— 5 nights
Bus:  1 h 45 min
11
Cincinnati
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h
12
Indianapolis
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h 15 min
13
Fort Wayne
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h
End: South Bend

6
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Bring the kids along to Museum of Science and Industry and Shedd Aquarium. Change things up with these side-trips from Chicago: Little Red Schoolhouse (in Willow Springs) and First Division Museum at Cantigny (in Wheaton). The adventure continues: admire the masterpieces at The Art Institute of Chicago, make a trip to Millennium Park, enjoy breathtaking views from 360 Chicago Observation Deck, and take a stroll through The Magnificent Mile.

To find reviews, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Chicago attractions planner.

South Bend to Chicago is an approximately 1.5- hour train ride. You can also drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from South Bend to Chicago. In March, daytime highs in Chicago are 45°F, while nighttime lows are 30°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to drive to Springfield.

Things to do in Chicago

Museums Parks Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Horseshoe Hammond, Little Red Schoolhouse, First Division Museum at Cantigny
Highlights from your plan
The Art Institute of Chicago ©
The Art Institute of Chicago
Museum of Science and Industry ©
Museum of Science and Industry
Shedd Aquarium ©
Shedd Aquarium

3
nights
Springfield

Springfield ©
Springfield is the capital of Illinois, but its real significance is as the hometown of Abraham Lincoln.
Attractions like Children's Discovery Museum and Wildlife Prairie Park make great kid-friendly stops. Change things up with these side-trips from Springfield: Peoria (Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum & Grand View Drive). There's lots more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Lincoln Memorial Garden, contemplate the long history of Dana-Thomas House, take an in-depth tour of Lincoln Home National Historic Site, and get your bearings at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

To see photos, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Springfield trip builder website.

Traveling by car from Chicago to Springfield takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and bus. While traveling from Chicago, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Springfield, ranging from highs of 51°F to lows of 31°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can drive to Wisconsin Dells.

Things to do in Springfield

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Peoria, Wildlife Prairie Park, Children's Discovery Museum
Highlights from your plan
Lincoln Memorial Garden ©
Lincoln Memorial Garden
Grand View Drive ©
Grand View Drive

4
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.
Attractions like Mr Marvel's Wondertorium and Wizard Quest make great kid-friendly stops. Change things up with these side-trips from Wisconsin Dells: Snowflake Ski Club (in Westby), Rotary Botanical Gardens (in Janesville) and Horicon Marsh (in Mayville). And it doesn't end there: have some family-friendly fun at Elusive Escape Rooms, immerse yourself in nature at Devil's Lake State Park, brush up on your military savvy at Portage WWII History Museum, and whizz through the canopy at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks.

To find ratings, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Wisconsin Dells trip site.

Getting from Springfield to Wisconsin Dells by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or do a combination of bus, flight, and train. In April, Wisconsin Dells is a bit cooler than Springfield - with highs of 53°F and lows of 34°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Minneapolis.

Things to do in Wisconsin Dells

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Rotary Botanical Gardens, Portage WWII History Museum, Horicon Marsh, Devil's Lake State Park, Snowflake Ski Club
Highlights from your plan
Elusive Escape Rooms ©
Elusive Escape Rooms
Zipline
Devil's Lake State Park ©
Devil's Lake State Park

5
nights
Minneapolis

Minneapolis ©
Located on both banks of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis salutes the state's love of the outdoors with numerous lakes, wetlands, creeks, and waterfalls--many connected to one another by a national scenic byway great for sightseeing.
Kids will enjoy Nickelodeon Universe and SEA LIFE at Mall of America. Change things up with these side-trips from Minneapolis: Cannon Valley Trail (in Cannon Falls), Big Stone Mini-golf and Sculpture Garden (in Minnetrista) and Extreme Sandbox (in Hastings). There's still lots to do: test your problem-solving skills at The Escape Game, explore the world behind art at Minneapolis Institute of Art, contemplate the waterfront views at Chain of Lakes, and get your game on at Game Show Battle Rooms.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, use the Minneapolis online trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Wisconsin Dells to Minneapolis takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 54°F in April, and nighttime lows around 36°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to Ely.

Things to do in Minneapolis

Parks Fun & Games Outdoors

Side Trips

Bloomington, Saint Paul, Extreme Sandbox, Cannon Valley Trail, Clemens Gardens
Highlights from your plan
The Escape Game ©
The Escape Game
Extreme Sandbox ©
Extreme Sandbox
Game Show Battle Rooms ©
Game Show Battle Rooms

3
nights
Ely

Ely ©
Ely is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Ely: Lake Kabetogama (in Kabetogama), Crane Lake (in Voyageurs National Park) and Flathorn - Gegoka Cross Country Ski Trails (in Isabella). There's much more to do: hike along Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips, enjoy the sand and surf at Onyx Beach, stroll through Trezona Trail, and immerse yourself in nature at Temperance River State Park.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Ely vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Minneapolis to Ely by combination of flight and car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Minneapolis in April, things will get slightly colder in Ely: highs are around 45°F and lows about 23°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel to Ironwood.

Things to do in Ely

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Crane Lake, Lake Kabetogama, Flathorn - Gegoka Cross Country Ski Trails, Onyx Beach, Soudan Underground Mine
Highlights from your plan
Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips ©
Chilly Dogs Sled Dog Trips
Temperance River State Park ©
Temperance River State Park

5
nights
Ironwood

Ironwood ©
Ironwood is a city in Gogebic County in the U.S. Explore Ironwood's surroundings by going to Minocqua Winter Park (in Minocqua), Bayfield (Pike's Creek Mt Ashwabay Ski Trails & Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Caves) and Bond Falls (in Ontonagon). There's lots more to do: hit the slopes at Mt. Zion Ski Hill & Overlook, identify plant and animal life at North Lakeland Discovery Center, grab your bike and head to Boulder Junction, and hike along Michigan's Iron Belle Trail - Western Gateway Trail.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Ironwood trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Ely to Ironwood takes 4.5 hours. In April, daily temperatures in Ironwood can reach 46°F, while at night they dip to 28°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to travel to Petoskey.

Things to do in Ironwood

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trips

Boulder Junction, Bayfield, Bond Falls, Minocqua Winter Park, WinMan Trails
Highlights from your plan
Bond Falls ©
Bond Falls
Boulder Junction ©
Boulder Junction

3
nights
Petoskey

Petoskey ©
Petoskey is a city and coastal resort community in the U.S. Family-friendly places like Nub's Nob and Chillermania! will thrill your kids. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Petoskey: Hanson Hills Recreation Area (in Grayling), Beer Tastings & Tours (in Traverse City) and Frederic (Sledheads of Frederic & Forbush Corner Cross-Country Skiing). There's much more to do: fly down the slopes at Tommy's Ski and Wake School, learn about winemaking at Maple Moon Sugarbush and Winery, make a splash at Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, and work some fitness into your day at North Western State Trail.

To find maps, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read Petoskey road trip planner.

You can drive from Ironwood to Petoskey in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Ironwood to Petoskey is 1 hour. In April in Petoskey, expect temperatures between 47°F during the day and 29°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can go by car to Detroit.

Things to do in Petoskey

Outdoors Winter Sports Parks

Side Trips

Frederic, Indian River, Nub's Nob, Hanson Hills Recreation Area, Beer Tastings & Tours
Highlights from your plan
Hanson Hills Recreation Area ©
Hanson Hills Recreation Area
Chillermania! ©
Chillermania!
Sledheads of Frederic ©
Sledheads of Frederic

5
nights
Detroit

Detroit ©
Founded in 1701 by a French explorer and adventurer, Detroit exerted a profound impact on the world for most of the 20th century.
Family-friendly places like Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Toledo Zoo will thrill your kids. Get out of town with these interesting Detroit side-trips: Ann Arbor (Decode Ann Arbor & Parker Mill Park), Toledo (Oak Openings Preserve Metropark & Toledo Museum of Art) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (in Oak Harbor). Next up on the itinerary: get your game on at BATL - The Backyard Axe Throwing League, get outside with Drake Sports Park, see the interesting displays at The Henry Ford, and hike along West Bloomfield Woods Nature Preserve And Nature Trail.

To see where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Detroit online vacation planner.

Getting from Petoskey to Detroit by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. In April, Detroit is somewhat warmer than Petoskey - with highs of 57°F and lows of 38°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to drive to Cleveland.

Things to do in Detroit

Parks Museums Wildlife

Side Trips

Ann Arbor, Toledo, West Bloomfield, Black Swamp Bird Observatory, The Henry Ford
Highlights from your plan
BATL - The Backyard Axe Throwing League ©
Toledo Zoo ©
Toledo Zoo
Oak Openings Preserve Metropark ©
Oak Openings Preserve Metropark

5
nights
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.
Kids will enjoy Cedar Point and Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Venture out of the city with trips to Back to the Wild (in Castalia), F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm (in Akron) and Fellows Riverside Gardens (in Youngstown). There's much more to do: hike along Girdled Road Reservation, examine the collection at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, get some jogging in at Maple Highlands Trail, and admire the sheer force of Chagrin Waterfalls.

To see photos, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Cleveland travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Detroit to Cleveland in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and train; or do a combination of bus and flight. In April in Cleveland, expect temperatures between 57°F during the day and 40°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Columbus.

Things to do in Cleveland

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Chagrin Waterfalls, Cedar Point, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail Park, Maple Highlands Trail
Highlights from your plan
Girdled Road Reservation ©
Girdled Road Reservation
Cedar Point ©
Cedar Point
F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm ©
F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm

5
nights
Columbus

More than just one of the nation's top business centers, Columbus is a mixture of many different parts of America, situated at the spot where the so-called "Bible Belt" meets the varied cultures of the Great Plains and Appalachia.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Richland Carrousel Park. Venture out of the city with trips to Rockbridge (Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve & Zipline), Logan (Old Man's Cave & Ash Cave) and Snow Trails (in Mansfield). And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum, grab your bike and head to Homestead Metro Park, look for all kinds of wild species at Gallant Farm Preserve, and admire the sheer force of Honey Run Waterfall.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Columbus trip builder app.

You can drive from Cleveland to Columbus in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In May, daily temperatures in Columbus can reach 74°F, while at night they dip to 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Cincinnati.

Things to do in Columbus

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Logan, Mansfield, Powell, Rockbridge, Hockhocking Adena bikeway
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium ©
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve ©

5
nights
Cincinnati

Cincinnati ©
Situated on the north bank of the Ohio River, Cincinnati distinguished itself as the only U.S.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and Kings Island. Get out of town with these interesting Cincinnati side-trips: Miami Valley Gaming (in Lebanon), Cincinnati Nature Center (in Milford) and Cincinnati Axe Throwing (in West Chester). There's still lots to do: partake in some friendly competition at Houdini's Room Escape, try to win big at JACK Cincinnati Casino, head outdoors with Dayton Dragons Baseball, and delve into the lush surroundings at Redbird Hollow Preserve.

For maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Cincinnati holiday builder tool.

Traveling by bus from Columbus to Cincinnati takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 75°F in May, and nighttime lows around 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can drive to Indianapolis.

Things to do in Cincinnati

Parks Fun & Games Wildlife

Side Trips

Dayton, Kings Island, Cincinnati Nature Center, Miami Valley Gaming, Cincinnati Axe Throwing
Highlights from your plan
Houdini's Room Escape ©
Houdini's Room Escape
Kings Island ©
Kings Island
Miami Valley Gaming ©
Miami Valley Gaming

5
nights
Indianapolis

Indianapolis ©
Indiana's capital and most populous city, Indianapolis is best known for its racecar events and impressive museums, and as the hometown of Kurt Vonnegut.
Kids will enjoy Children's Museum of Indianapolis and Deming Park. Explore Indianapolis' surroundings by going to Morse Reservoir (in Cicero), Monon Trail (in Carmel) and Urban Vines Winery & Brewery Co. (in Westfield). And it doesn't end there: have some family-friendly fun at Ragnarok Axe Throwing, tour the pleasant surroundings at Salt Creek Trail, look for all kinds of wild species at Exotic Feline Rescue Center, and experience the excitement of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson.

Plan my trip to Indianapolis with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Cincinnati to Indianapolis takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Indianapolis can reach 73°F, while at night they dip to 54°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Fort Wayne.

Things to do in Indianapolis

Parks Fun & Games Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Terre Haute, Bloomington, Monon Trail, Urban Vines Winery & Brewery Co., Morse Reservoir
Highlights from your plan
Ragnarok Axe Throwing ©
Ragnarok Axe Throwing
Bad Axe Throwing ©
Bad Axe Throwing
Children's Museum of Indianapolis ©
Children's Museum of Indianapolis

4
nights
Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne ©
Fort Wayne is a city in the U.S. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. Get out of town with these interesting Fort Wayne side-trips: South Bend (Basilica of the Sacred Heart & Grotto of Our Lady Lourdes), Winamac (Pulaski County Public Library & Panhandle Pathway) and Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum (in Auburn). Next up on the itinerary: test your problem-solving skills at Room to Escape and browse the collection at Allen County Public Library.

To see maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Fort Wayne travel route planner.

You can drive from Indianapolis to Fort Wayne in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 73°F, and evening lows to 51°F. On the 23rd (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Fort Wayne

Parks Outdoors Historic Sites

Side Trips

South Bend, Winamac, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Room to Escape ©
Room to Escape
Fort Wayne Children's Zoo ©
Fort Wayne Children's Zoo
Black Pine Animal Sanctuary ©
Black Pine Animal Sanctuary