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Best Road Trip Destinations In The Midwest

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Famed for its beautiful scenic landscapes, rich range of wildlife, and stunning natural landmarks, the Midwest is quite simply one of the most stunning regions of America. The likes of Ohio, Missouri, South Dakota, and Michigan offer some must-see sights and must-experience locations, and one of the best ways to explore the Midwest is by taking a road trip. 

But with so much to see in the Midwest, where do you even start? Well, a lot of folks find themselves faced with that very same question, but sometimes all you need is a little inspiration, and we’re here to provide. If you’re thinking about taking a road trip in the Midwest, you’ll find some great ideas and suggestions down below.

Before you take a closer look at our ideas, however, we have to take a moment to underline the importance of road trip safety. Countless accidents occur every year, and it’s not uncommon for road trip travelers to encounter issues on the road due to a lack of preparation, unfamiliar surroundings, or distracted driving. So be sure to stay safe out there, pack properly, stay alert, and follow the rules of the road. Now let’s take a closer look at some Midwest road trip ideas!

Lake Michigan 

The second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume, Lake Michigan is also one of the most awe-inspiring, and it’s a great place to either start or end a Midwest road trip, with a lot of great routes to follow and surrounding cities to stop off at. 

A good option is to start off in Michigan, exploring the charming city of Grand Rapids before heading for the coast, visiting local hotspots like Muskegon and Holland as you cruise around into Indiana, onwards into Chicago, and then further round-up towards Milwaukee.

All About Iowa 

Looking to experience the best Iowa has to offer in just a few days? Well, here’s a great Midwest road trip idea for you. Start off at Omaha, right on the state’s western edge, before heading across to the artsy haven of Des Moines, calling at any cute country towns that tempt you along the way. 

From there, continue eastwards on the I-80 towards Iowa City and why not check out Cedar Rapids too? If you want to expand the trip, consider heading over into Illinois towards Chicago and finish up on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Photo by May Guo from Pexels

The Black Hills and Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is one of the most-visited touristic landmarks in the whole of the Midwest, drawing in close to 2 million visitors each and every year, so it’s no surprise that it makes it onto our list of the best road trip destinations. 

But it’s not just Mount Rushmore that can draw in the crowds in South Dakota. The surrounding Black Hills region is terrific for road trips too, with surrounding and nearby cities like Keystone, Hot Springs, and Rapid City being great spots to visit along the way.

St. Louis to Kansas City 

Another awesome idea for road trips in the Midwest takes in two of the region’s most amazing cities: St. Louis and Kansas City. This road trip can be done in just a few days or a full week, depending on how many stops you want to make along the way. You can start off in St. Louis, a city filled with terrific bars and restaurants, along with some excellent museums. 

Next, head west towards the west into Missouri, following the Missouri river and calling at some of the charming towns along the way like New Haven, Berger, and Hermann, before ending up in Kansas City, a real haven for music lovers.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The Loess Hills 

The Loess Hills are a formation of beautiful hills across Iowa and Missouri, and they even stretch a little into neighboring Nebraska and Kansas too, all along the Missouri River. 

You can happily spend a few days cruising along the Loess Hills Scenic Byway here, stopping off at some great cities along the way like St. Joseph in Missouri or Sioux City in Iowa, as well as visiting local wineries, restaurants, and villages too.


The Midwest has so much to offer, and these are just a few simple ideas to give you inspiration for your next trip, but part of the fun of any road trip is making it your own. Instead of following each itinerary to the letter, let yourself be inspired by them all and make changes to suit you, discovering your own hidden gems along the way.

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