8 days in Midwest Itinerary

8 days in Midwest Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Midwest trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

8 days in Midwest Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly + taxi:  7​h 45​min
1
Custer
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
taxi + Fly:  5​h 15​min
3
Chicago
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 15​min
4
Branson
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h
End: Houston

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Black Hills National Forest and Needles Eye Tunnel. Get in touch with nature at Iron Mountain Road and Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Custer: Presidential Trail (in Keystone) and Wind Cave National Park (in Wind Cave National Park). There's more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Sylvan Lake and explore the striking landscape of Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Custer online trip itinerary builder .

Houston to Custer is an approximately 8-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Houston to Custer due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Houston in December, expect Custer to be colder, temps between 34°F and 13°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Keystone, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Wind Cave National Park
Highlights from your plan
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel
Black Hills National Forest ©
Black Hills National Forest
Wind Cave National Park ©
Wind Cave National Park

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, cruise along Loop Road, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Big Badlands Overlook.

For reviews, more things to do, 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. Expect a daytime high around 33°F in December, and nighttime lows around 10°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Chicago.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Outdoors Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook

1
night
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
On the 13th (Fri), take in panoramic vistas at Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Michigan, then explore the world behind art at The Art Institute of Chicago, and finally explore and take pictures at Millennium Park.

To see other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Chicago holiday maker app .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Badlands National Park to Chicago in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Traveling from Badlands National Park in December, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Chicago, with lows around 26°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to travel to Branson.

Things to do in Chicago

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Lake Michigan
Highlights from your plan
The Art Institute of Chicago ©
The Art Institute of Chicago
Lake Michigan ©
Lake Michigan
Millennium Park ©
Millennium Park

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, then look for all kinds of wild species at National Tiger Sanctuary, and then test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms. Keep things going the next day: Head underground at Talking Rocks Cavern, walk around Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, and then explore the activities along Table Rock Lake.

To find more things to do, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Branson day trip website .

You can fly from Chicago to Branson in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Chicago in December: highs in Branson hover around 48°F, while lows dip to 31°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Branson

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Room Escape Games, Table Rock Lake, Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, National Tiger Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery ©
National Tiger Sanctuary ©
National Tiger Sanctuary
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park ©
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

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