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Unique middle USA road trip

Australia
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Unique middle USA road trip

Hello everyone!

We're thinking of heading into middle of USA to experience the real towns and unique bits.

We don't have a starting point but we need to end up in Chicago.

Where are some of the unique places to eat, see, do in the neighbouring states around Illinois?

Chicago
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1. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

when are you coming? Cold or warm weather matters. How long do you have and do you plan to rent a car?

Illinois
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2. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

You might want to research and post your question in the Road Trips forum - tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12567-k4658026…

Australia
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3. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

We've only got 3 days so we'd prefer somewhere 8-10hrs from Chicago. However, we plan to stay away from the touristy places (museums, parks, etc) and look for the unique bars, foods, sights and activities that only certain places in US can offer.

chicago
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4. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

unique=tourists

i would go to michigan, warren dunes, st joe, holland, ludington, ect

Illinois
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5. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

Tourist and locals see/do unique "foods, sights and activities."

Take a ride to - http://www.visitmadison.com/ - http://www.visitquadcities.com/

You might want cruise around - http://www.roadsideamerica.com/

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

How about starting in St. Louis Mo and driving hwy 55 to Springfield IL (State Capitol and everything Lincoln with a little Frank Lloyd Wright thrown in for good measure), then to Peoria Il, and from there up the Mississippi River to Dubuque Iowa. Dubuque is a lovely, historic river city on the bluffs along the Mississippi tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g37853-Dubuque_Iowa-… From Dubuque drive Old Highway Road through Centralia (wave to my cousins), Epworth and Farley to Dyersville (Field of Dreams Movie). From Dyersville take hwy 136 north through New Vienna and Luxemburg to Guttenburg. Have lunch in Guttenburg in the river park at Lock and Dam #10 with the clam shell beach strewn with old fresh water clam shells from the button factory. (Check out the Antique Gallery, Casey's General Store, Christmas Around the World and - most surely - Kahn's Imports. Definitely Kahn's.) North of Guttenburg you cross the Mississippi into Prairie Du Chien Wisconsin and take hwy 18 to Madison (Dubuque to Madison can be done in one day with lunch in Guttenburg). From Madison it's an easy trip into Chicago. Another way to Chicago from Dubuque would be through Galena IL via hwy 20 (do some antique shopping and visit President Grant's home). There are lovely B&Bs in Galena if you chose to stay there. You would pick up the toll road (90/20) ourside Rockford IL fora straight shot into Chicago.

You can easily find recommendation on these towns and cities on TA

Edited: 27 February 2012, 17:41
Australia
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7. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

Thanks everyone for your responses. I'll look into these places and fit them into the trip. (esp shallow shoals. this will take a lot of looking into)

I'm also looking for off-the-tourist-radar activities. Things along the lines of:

- watching a college/high school football (or basketball) match (when, where, cost?, how does it work?)

- local diners with a popular specialty dish (may not be tasty but unique ie. deer pizza etc)

- game hunting?

- strange local festivals & markets (not your typical food or crafts)

- unique fishing (not with rod&reel but perhaps by hand or nets or traps)

- unique competitions (hot dog eating, apple bobbing, car kissing etc)

Chicago
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8. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

A lot of your questions (i.e. local festivals and so on) will depend on when you are coming. Do you have a timeframe picket out yet?

Football and basketball games obviously depend on the season of year. Basketball is nearly done at this point; football won't start until late August. High school games are very inexpensive (a few bucks); small colleges are also pretty cheap; major university sports can be expensive. It all depends on when you are coming, and where you decide to go.

Illinois
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9. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

You might like - http://roadfood.com/

USA
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10. Re: Unique middle USA road trip

My suggestions are similar to shallow_shoals', Galena, Illinois, Dubuque, Iowa and Dyersville, Iowa are interesting places to visit. With only three days, I would do it round trip from Chicago and forget St. Louis, Springfield, and Peoria. Monroe, Wisconsin is a great little town that is off the tourist radar. Have a meal at Baumgartner's Cheese Store and Tavern and take in the Minhas Brewery tour (their beer can't be any worse than Australian lagers). Baumgartner's is the only place I ever ate a Limburger Cheese and salami sandwich.

Like sola7 said, we need to know when you are considering traveling before suggesting sporting events, festivals, and the like.