Midwest Road Trip

This was an insane 6,000 mile road trip we went on in the summer of 2019. I created this itinerary to check off 13 new states for our family bucket list. We left our home in Connecticut, drove across to Nebraska, then down the Midwest states, turned at New Orleans, and drove down into Florida. We visited family and friends, then drove up the East Coast back home.

To be honest, it was a whirlwind. We literally drove about 7 hours a day and stopped at new cities for lunch and dinner. We only had time to visit one or two attractions at each stop. While it was a blast, we knew that we missed some great activities in the bigger cities. Overall, I compare it to a wine tasting or a flight of beer (nice samples, but too quick to fully enjoy).

Day 1

  • Leave CT at 6AM
  • Drive 3h 45m to Knoebels and have lunch there (buy tickets)
  • See Penn State
  • Drive 4h to Pittsburgh
  • Dinner – walk to Meat and Potatoes
  • Stay – Renaissance Downtown (points)

Day 2

  • Leave at 7am – See Steelers and Pirates stadiums 
  • Drive 4h 40m to Cincinnati 
  • See Reds stadium and downtown
  • Cross border into WV 
  • Lunch – Reinghest Brewery and Findlay Market 
  • Cross the border into Kentucky 
  • Stop in Knightstown, for Hoosiers gym
  • Drive 2h to Indianapolis
  • See the speedway 
  • Dinner – eagle or Krueger’s tavern 
  • Nicey Treat – popsicle ice cream
  • Stay – Hyatt Place Indianapolis Airport (points)

Day 3

  • Leave at 7am (grab coffee and check out downtown)
  • Stop in Casey, IL to see big mailbox and other roadside attractions
  • Drive 4h to St. Louis, Missouri 
  • Budweiser tour – opens at 11am
  • Lunch – Sugarfire smokehouse 
  • Gateway Arch (2pm ) 
  • See Cardinals Stadium area
  • Dinner – Fitz’s
  • Drive 2h to Columbia, Missouri 
  • Stay – Springhill Suites (points)

Day 4

  • Drive 1h 30m to Marceline, MO
  • Visit Disney Hometown Museum
  • Lunch –  Six Mile Cafe
  • Drive 3h 32m to Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (Nebraska/Iowa border)
  • Drive 2h 50m to Kansas City 
  • Stay – Hotel Indigo Crossroads arts district (points)
  • Dinner – walk to Jack’s Stack BBQ

Day 5

  • See Arrowhead stadium 
  • WWI Museum – opens at 10am (Read my review about the Kansas City WWI Museum here)
  • Lunch – Q39
  • Drive 3h 15m to Bentonville, AR to have ice cream 
  • Dinner in Brickwalk OKC- Fuzzy’s Taco
  • Stay in OKC – Hyatt place Airport (points)

Day 7

  • Leave 6:45am – drive by University of Oklahoma
  • Drive 3h 15m to Six Flags over Texas opens at 10:30 (leave by 2) 
  • See ATT stadium
  • Perot museum
  • Dinner – Velvet Tacos 
  • Stay in Dallas – Adolphus (points)

Day 8

  • See Dealey Plaza
  • Leave at 7am
  • Drive 3h 49 min to Natchitoches, LA 
  • Lunch – Laysone’s Meat Pie
  • Steel Magnolias driving tour
  • Kaffie Fredrick General Mercantile Store
  • Drive 4h to New Orleans 
  • Stay in NOLA – Hyatt Eliza Jane
  • Dinner – Chartes House
  • Walk to Cafe du Monde and explore Jackson Square

Day 9 

  • WWII Museum (opens at 9AM)- and lunch there
  • Take pics in AL and MS
  • Dinner in Fairhope AL
  • Drive 3h to Pensacola
  • Visit the National Aviation Museum (free – closes at 5)
  • Drive 3h 30m to Tallahassee
  • Stay – holiday inn I10 east

Day 10

  • Drive to Miami
  • See UF
  • Lunch stop at Crackerbarrell

Days 11-17

Day 18

  • Leave at 7am (9hr drive)
  • Stop in St. Augustine for Chocolate Tasting Tour and lunch
  • Drive to Florence, SC (Hilton)

Day 19

  • Leave at 7am
  • Drive to Kennett Square, PA 8h
  • Airbnb

Day 20

  • Valley Forge 
  • Drive home 

Midwest Road Trip