Planning a road trip through the US, what is there to see?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mumps, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Mumps

    Mumps <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and

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    Ok, I am going from Calgary Alberta, Canada (for those who don't know, Alberta is right above Montana) all the way to Indianapolis.

    We will be entering the States in Montana, probably go to Glacier National Park, not sure yet.
    We were thinking Mount Rushmore.

    Without taking into consideration how much time we have for the trip, what is there along the way for us to see?

    What is there to do in Chicago as well?
    Also, we are going to the Spam Museum
    <_<
    >_>
     
  2. Fairlady_Z

    Fairlady_Z Official Voice of Flareup

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    Chicago = must go up in Sears Tower! There are a lot of good museums in Chicago. Maybe a specialized city tour of Chicago that would cover all those old ganster hangouts from the 20s would be cool. Can't go wrong with Mt. Rushmore.
     
  3. 80Datsun210

    80Datsun210 Well-Known Member

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    If you go through Fargo, there's a restaurant that's a lot like "Pizza Planet" in Pixar's Toy Story: http://www.spacealiens.com/front.php They have really good pizza, and it's just off the interstate. If you take the northern route across North Dakota, I'd suggest stopping at Devil's Lake. It's a pretty area. And there's Spirit Lake Casino.

    Definitely stop in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There's a LOT to see! Ask more specific questions, I think there are a few people on these boards who live there; I lived there for 10 years (recently moved) and can recommend places depending on what you're interested in: state parks, art, theater, history, shopping, etc. You should see the Mall of America, if only because it's THE monument to American consumerism and everyone should see it (once).

    Madison, WI is a nice town, I really like it. Also in Wisconsin are the Wisconsin Dells, which are interesting hill-geological formations. There are actually "mountains" in Wisconsin! :)  Granted, OK, they're small, but when you grow up in a flat state... :) 

    At the Black River Falls exit in Wisconsin (on I-94) there is a macaroni-and-cheese-orange moose. Dunno why, but it's something to see.

    Also, a buddy of mine who used to be a semi-truck driver says there's a nice strip club in Bismarck, near the Freightliner truck stop. :peoples: 
     
  4. 80Datsun210

    80Datsun210 Well-Known Member

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    And if you go by Mt. Rushmore, you'll also want to see the Badlands, especially if you can manage to be there at sunrise or sunset=beautiful.
     
  5. cbff

    cbff Destroyer of Botcon

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    I'm guessing you will be taking this route:

    South on Canada 2 to Lethbridge
    South on Canada 4 to US Border
    Canada 4 turns into I-15
    South on I-15 to Butte, MT
    East on I-90 to Billings, MT

    Now if you want to go to Mt. Rushmore, you'll be taking I-90 to Rapid City, SD. If you continue on this route, you will go through Sioux Falls and Southern Minnesota. I do not know much about these areas, so you would have to ask members who live there.

    However, I-90 crosses the Mississippi River and goes to La Crosse, WI. If you go this route, you can check out Grand Dad Bluff: http://www.pbase.com/rampai65/image/47360388 I haven't been there since 6th grade, but it was really cool being up that high looking down on the city and river.

    So, so far, if you go with I-90, you have Mt. Rushmore and Grand Dad Bluff.

    However, if you chose to go the other way and take I-94, that will take you through the length of North Dakota. There's no real perk to that, however, on the decent southward, you will go through the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Plenty to see there, including the Mall of America.

    Then I-94 goes across the St. Croix River into Wisconsin. Once in Wisconsin, you can take a short detour north to Somerset, WI, the home of http://www.bigbadtoystore.com and do a little shopping for yourself. :D 

    If technology is your thing, or alcohol for that matter, check out Eau Claire, WI. The Cray Research Museum and Leinenkugels Brewery are both located there.

    So that's basically what there is taking I-94.

    Regardless though, the two highways (I-90 and I-94)meet up in Tomah, WI and you will be continuing down the highway to the Waterpark Capital of the World, Wisconsin Dells, WI! There is SOOO much in Wisconsin Dells, I'm not even going to bother listing it all.

    After that, you'll hit Madison, WI. Make sure to swing by Downtown Madison and checkout State Street. Always plenty to do there and plenty to buy.

    Once again though, you will have two options as I-90 and I-94 once again separate. I-90 will take you through Janesville and Beloit of Wisconsin and Rockford of Illinois. I-94 will take you to Milwaukee, WI. I'm not the expert on either route, so somebody else would have to chime in to find out what's worth seeing either way.

    Then both routes rejoin in Chicago, and that's already been covered by others.

    So I guess if you are doing a round trip, you could follow I-90 there and I-94 on the way back. :) 
     
  6. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    SKIP MT RUSHMORE. Well, I would if I were you.

    It's out of the way from everything and it's incredibly unimpressive.

    Far as what else to see, there's just too much. I took a road trip last year from Atlanta, GA to Toledo, OH, then across to Helena, MT.

    We planned it by going to a Borders or Barnes & Noble, buying a coffee, and flipping though about a half-dozen travel guides. We picked the two we liked the most and planned our route around their suggestions.

    And we budgeted our time so that if we saw something interesting that was a little out of our way, we could still have time to go see it without ruining our schedule.

    I think that's the best way to do it--a road trip is kinda about freedom to me, so I think you should pick a coupla highlights and just make sure you stay at hotels with the internet so you can get some ideas for your next day.

    EDIT: Oh, and I'll second the Badlands. They're stunning. And if you're passing through Great Falls, MY as you leave Glacier, check out the Sip & Dip. It's a lounge bar with a mermaid tank, a real blast.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2007
  7. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    While in Indy, I recommend you eat at Yats, hands down the best etouffee I've ever had.
     
  8. llamatron

    llamatron Shut up, Nigel. TFW2005 Supporter

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    One day I'll do an awesome road tour of the States. Maybe next year? Who knows.
     
  9. b_ack51

    b_ack51 I'm on the interweb!

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    Chicago. Hit up Navy Pier, aquarium, museums, sears tower (or the john hancock). Also get some Chicago Pizza. That is a must. Maybe even check out a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley field.
     
  10. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

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    Go to Darwin Minnesota, and see the twine ball. It's even been immortalized in song:

    "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota," by 'Weird Al' Yankovic
    Well, I had two weeks of vacation time coming.
    After workin' all year down at Big Boy's Heating and Plumbing.
    So one night, when my family and I were gathered
    'round the dinner table, I said, "Kids...
    If you could go anywhere in this great big world, now
    Where'd you like to go to?"
    They said, "Dad...
    We wanna see the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota."
    They picked the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.

    So the very next day we loaded up the car
    With potato skins and pickled weiners,
    Crossword puzzles, Spiderman comics and mama's homemade rhubarb pie,
    Pulled out of the driveway, and the neighbors, they all waved goodby.
    And so began our three-day journey.
    We picked up a guy holdin' a sign that said "Twine Ball or Bust."
    He smelled real bad, and he said his name was Bernie.
    I put in a Slim Whitman tape, my wife put on a brand new hair net.
    Kids were in the back seat jumpin' up and down, yellin' "Are we there yet?"
    And all of us were joined together in one common thought,
    As we rolled down the long and winding Interstate in our '53 DeSoto.
    We're gonna see the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.
    We're headin' for the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.

    Oh, we couldn't wait to get there, so we drove straight through for
    three whole days and nights.
    Of course, we stopped for more pickled wieners now and then.
    The scenery was just so pretty,
    Boy, I wish the kids could've seen it.
    But you can't see out of the side of the car because the windows are
    completely covered with the decals from all the places where we've
    already been.
    Like Elvis-a-Rama, the Tupperware Museum,
    The Boll Weevil Monument, and Cranberry World,
    The Shuffleboard Hall of Fame, Poodle Dog Rock,
    And the Mecca of Albino Squirrels.
    We've been to ghost towns, theme parks, wax museums,
    And a place where you can drive through the middle of a tree.
    Seen alligator farms and tarantula ranches,
    But there's still one thing we've gotta see.
    Well, we crossed the state line about 6:39,
    And we saw the sign that said, "Twine Ball Exit - fifty miles."
    Oh, the kids were so happy, they started singing "99 Bottles of Beer
    on the Wall" for the twenty-seventh time that day.
    So we pulled off the road at the last chance gas station,
    Got a few more pickled weiners and a diet chocolate soda,
    On our way to see the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.
    We're gonna see the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.

    Finally at 7:37 early Wednesday evening, as the sun was setting
    in the Minnesota sky,
    Out in the distance, on the horizon it appeared to me like a vision
    before my unbelieving eyes.
    We parked the car and walked with awe-filled reverence toward that
    glorious, huge, majestic sphere.
    I was just so overwhelmed by its sheer immensity,
    I had to pop myself a beer.
    Yes, on these hallowed grounds, open 10 to 8 on weekdays,
    in a little shrine under a makeshift pagoda,
    There sits the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.
    I tell you, it's the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.

    Ohhh, what on Earth would make a man decide to do that kind of thing.
    Ohhh, windin' up 21,140 pounds of string.
    What was he tryin' to prove?
    Who was he tryin' to impress?
    Why did he build it? How did he do it?
    It's anybody's guess.
    Where did he get the twine?
    What was goin' through his mind?
    Did it just seem like a good idea at the time?

    Well, we walked up beside it, and I warned the kids,
    "Now you better not touch it, those ropes are there for a reason."
    I said, "Maybe if you're good, I'll tie it to the back of our car,
    and we can take it home." But I was only teasin'.
    Then we went to the gift shop and stood in line.
    Bought a souvenir miniature ball of twine,
    Some window decals, and anything else they'd sell us.
    And I bought a couple postcards: "Greetings from the Twine Ball,
    wish you were here." Won't the folks back home be jealous.
    I gave our camera to Bernie, and we stood by the ball,
    And we all gathered around and said, "Cheese."
    Then Bernie ran away with my brand new Instamatic,
    But at least we've got our memories.
    So we all just stared at the ball for awhile,
    And my eyes got moist, but I said with a smile,
    "Kids, this here's what America's all about."
    Then I started feelin' kinda gooey inside,
    And I fell on my knees and I cried and cried.
    And that's when those security guards threw us out.
    You know, I bet if we unraveled that sucker,
    it'd roll all the way down to Fargo, North Dakota,
    'Cause it's the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.
    I'm talkin' 'bout the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.

    Well, we stayed that night at the Twine Ball Inn.
    In the morning we were on our way home again.
    But we really didn't wanna leave, that was perfectly clear.
    I said, "Folks, I can tell you're all sad to go."
    Then I winked my eye and I said, "You know,
    I got a funny kinda feeling we'll be coming back again next year."
    'Cause I've been all around this great big world,
    and I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather go to
    Than the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.
    I said the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota.
    Minnesota.
    Minnesota.
    Minnesota.

    Where's all those songs about Mt. Rushmore, eh?
    -Tony!
     
  11. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    I love Chicago, but to me all the stuff you're talking about is basically a two-day trip minimum. And it would be awesome, but whenever I've road tripped I've wanted it to be about the journey, not the destination, y'know?
     
  12. Mumps

    Mumps <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and

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    Thanks a lot guys! Lots of great ideas.

    The whole reason for the road trip is Gencon. http://www.gencon.com/2007/indy/

    We will leave on either the evening of Friday Aug 10th, or the early morning of Saturday Aug 11th.
    We will arrive in Indy on the night of the 15th, or morning of the 16th.
    We'll be home by the 22nd.

    We just came up with this plan last night after I posted. But we are definately going to use some or most of the ideas here!
     
  13. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    The coolest natural stuff in the US is south of the route you're taking. I would suggest the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Meteor Crater, Monument Valley, etc. but all that is Nevada, Arizona, Calif. and just too far out of the way.

    I'm assuming you'll end up on route 70 at some point if you're heading from the west into Indiannapolis. Honestly...there's a lot of corn to the left and to the right from Nebraska onwards.

    I dunno. I lived up in Bloomington (an hour south of Indy) for like 4 years and I don't remember anything interesting in the midwest area that's worth visiting.
     
  14. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    John Mellencamp's house
     
  15. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Old

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    ...and Brown County.
     
  16. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    Being born and raised in North Dakota for 30 years, I can honestly say that there is absolutely nothing worth seeing outside of the Badlands. Avoid the middle and eastern parts of the state if you enjoy not being horribly bored.
     
  17. Lance Halberd

    Lance Halberd oh hai

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    If you come to Boston, i will give you hot man lovin'.


    And by "hot man lovin'," I mean "lively and trivia-filled guided tour."


    And by "trivia," I mean "penis."

    ...


    But yeah, to Mumps, if you stop in the Badlands, make sure to get some fossils.
     

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