8 days in Midwest Itinerary

8 days in Midwest Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Midwest trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Badlands National Park
— 1 day
Drive
2
Custer
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Branson
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Saint Louis
— 1 night
Fly

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Badlands National Park

— 1 day
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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sat): take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall and then admire all the interesting features of Loop Road.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park trip builder.

New York City to Badlands National Park is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train, bus, and taxi. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time, which is usually a -2 hour difference. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from New York City in May since evenings lows in Badlands National Park dip to 42°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Custer.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Nature

Custer

— 3 nights
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Wind Cave National Park and Needles Eye Tunnel. Get out of town with these interesting Custer side-trips: Presidential Trail (in Keystone) and Mammoth Site of Hot Springs (in Hot Springs). And it doesn't end there: cruise along Iron Mountain Road, admire all the interesting features of Needles Highway, delve into the lush surroundings at Black Hills National Forest, and explore the activities along Sylvan Lake.

For where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read our Custer day trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Custer takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In May, Custer is a bit cooler than Badlands National Park - with highs of 59°F and lows of 37°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Branson.

Things to do in Custer

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Branson

— 3 nights

Live Entertainment Capital of the World

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 Fishing Charters & Tours and Veterans Memorial Museum. There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, buy something for everyone on your list at Branson Landing, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read Branson trip builder.

Traveling by flight from Custer to Branson takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Custer to Branson is 1 hour. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Custer in May: high temperatures in Branson hover around 75°F and lows are around 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Saint Louis.

Things to do in Branson

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Tours

Side Trip

Saint Louis

— 1 night

Gateway to the West

Test the local claim that Saint Louis is second only to Washington, D.C. in the number of free activities available by spending your holiday exploring the city's central neighborhoods, famous for their restored century-old red-brick buildings.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): relax in the rural setting at Grant’s Farm, then stroll around Forest Park, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Saint Louis vacation maker.

Traveling by car from Branson to Saint Louis takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In May in Saint Louis, expect temperatures between 77°F during the day and 57°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Saint Louis

Parks · Historic Sites