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Best RV Routes in the Midwest


The Midwest offers a variety of scenic and enjoyable RV routes that showcase the region's natural beauty, historical sites, and charming small towns. Here are some of the best RV routes in the Midwest:

1. Great River Road (Minnesota to Louisiana)
  • Overview: This iconic route follows the Mississippi River from its headwaters in Minnesota all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The Midwest portion includes beautiful stretches through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri.
  • Highlights:
    • Minnesota: Visit the start of the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park.
    • Wisconsin: Explore the scenic bluffs and historic towns like La Crosse and Prairie du Chien.
    • Iowa: Enjoy the river views and attractions in Dubuque and Davenport.
    • Illinois: Discover the historic sites in Galena and the Quad Cities.
    • Missouri: Experience the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in St. Louis.
2. Lake Michigan Circle Tour (Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana)
  • Overview: This route circumnavigates Lake Michigan, offering stunning waterfront views, charming towns, and numerous state parks.
  • Highlights:
    • Michigan: Visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes, Traverse City, and Mackinac Island.
    • Wisconsin: Explore the Door Peninsula and the vibrant city of Milwaukee.
    • Illinois: Enjoy the beaches and attractions in Chicago.
    • Indiana: Relax on the sandy shores of the Indiana Dunes National Park.
3. The Black Hills and Badlands (South Dakota)
  • Overview: This route takes you through the rugged landscapes of the Black Hills and Badlands, featuring national parks, monuments, and historical sites.
  • Highlights:
    • Mount Rushmore: Visit the iconic national monument.
    • Badlands National Park: Marvel at the unique rock formations and expansive vistas.
    • Custer State Park: Spot wildlife like bison and enjoy scenic drives.
    • Deadwood: Experience the historic charm of this old gold rush town.
4. Route 66 (Illinois to Missouri)
  • Overview: Travel along the historic Route 66, known as the "Main Street of America," from Chicago, Illinois, to St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Highlights:
    • Chicago, IL: Start your journey in the Windy City with its rich history and culture.
    • Springfield, IL: Explore the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
    • Carthage, MO: Visit the 66 Drive-In Theatre for a nostalgic experience.
    • St. Louis, MO: End your trip at the iconic Gateway Arch.
5. Ohio River Scenic Byway (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois)
  • Overview: This route follows the Ohio River through the heart of the Midwest, passing through picturesque towns and lush landscapes.
  • Highlights:
    • Cincinnati, OH: Explore the vibrant riverfront and cultural attractions.
    • Madison, IN: Enjoy the historic architecture and river views.
    • Evansville, IN: Discover the museums and parks along the river.
    • Cairo, IL: Visit the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
6. Minnesota North Shore Drive (Minnesota)
  • Overview: This scenic route follows the shoreline of Lake Superior from Duluth to Grand Portage, offering breathtaking views and outdoor adventures.
  • Highlights:
    • Duluth: Start your journey in this charming city with its vibrant harbor.
    • Split Rock Lighthouse: Visit this historic lighthouse with stunning lake views.
    • Gooseberry Falls State Park: Explore the beautiful waterfalls and trails.
    • Grand Marais: Enjoy the artsy, picturesque town on the lake.
7. Ozark Mountains (Missouri, Arkansas)
  • Overview: This route takes you through the scenic Ozark Mountains, known for their rugged beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities.
  • Highlights:
    • Branson, MO: Experience the entertainment capital of the Ozarks with its shows and attractions.
    • Ozark National Scenic Riverways: Enjoy kayaking, fishing, and hiking in this beautiful area.
    • Eureka Springs, AR: Discover the historic and charming town with its unique architecture and hot springs.
Tips for RVing in the Midwest:
  1. Plan Ahead: Research campgrounds and RV parks along your route and make reservations, especially during peak travel seasons.
  2. Check Weather Conditions: The Midwest can experience diverse weather, so be prepared for changes and check forecasts regularly.
  3. Pack Accordingly: Bring layers of clothing, as temperatures can vary significantly between day and night.
  4. Explore Local Cuisine: Try regional specialties like Chicago deep-dish pizza, Wisconsin cheese, and Kansas City barbecue.
  5. Enjoy the Journey: Take your time to explore small towns, historical sites, and natural attractions along the way.

The Midwest offers a wealth of scenic and diverse RV routes that cater to nature lovers, history buffs, and adventure seekers alike. Whether you're exploring the shores of Lake Michigan, following the historic Route 66, or venturing through the rugged landscapes of the Black Hills, there's something for every RV enthusiast in this region. 

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