8 Best Road Trips From Minnesota

road trips from mn
Sharon A.
Sharon A.  

Road trips are adventurous, therapeutic and extremely relieving. They take you to destinations you have never been to before, expose you to attractions you might have never known existed, and sometimes they throw certain challenges your way which you never thought you could handle. If only time and resources would allow, everyone needs to go for a road trip at least once every year. With the scenic nature of the United States, destinations for road trips abound in plenty, and it is entirely up to you to choose an itinerary based on the kind of experiences you would like to have. Read below for a brief look at some of the options you may have if you are looking for the best road trips from Minnesota, USA.

1. Chicago, IL

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user quinntheislander used under CC0

If you were to drive non-stop from Minneapolis to Chicago, the trip would take about eight hours, but this would underscore the essence of a road trip. The good news is that there are plenty of things to see and do en-route to Chicago, and if you are not in any hurry, you can take as much time as you want to explore the various attractions. This city is a road trip idea from Minnesota that needs almost no introduction, but some of the notable stops you shouldn’t miss on this trip include Minnehaha Falls, Paul Bunyan Logging Museum, Wisconsin Dale for the views and some photos with the pink elephant, and if you won’t be too exhausted when approaching Chicago, a stop at Jelly Belly Warehouse for about an hour should complete your list of activities for the trip.

2. Detroit, MI

Detroit Michigan
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Derek Gauci used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A road trip from Minnesota to Michigan depending on the actual route you take, as well as the time of your travel, should take just over 7 hours. The most recommended time for such a trip would be in summer or fall. And for better exposure to scenery and attractions, you should consider using Highway 61 because it is one of the most scenic roads in North America. Some of the attractions you are likely to encounter during the trip, and which you should take some time to explore include: the Split Rock Lighthouse just north of Two Harbors, Grand Marais, Silver Bay, Grand Rapids, and Circus World in Baraboo. Choose your stops accordingly based on whether you are interested in outdoor or indoor attractions.

3. Cincinnati, OH

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Carew Tower Observation Deck Cincinnati Oh</div>
Source: Photo by user Sorah Fukumori used under CC BY 3.0

The distance between Minneapolis to Cincinnati is about 710 miles (1140km), and if you were to drive without making any stops, then you will spend about 13 hours getting to Cincinnati. This is not only tiring but also potentially dangerous. However, with plenty of attractions in between, you will have more than enough to see and do and you can spend as long as you want on the road. On this road trip, your likely stops should be at Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, Chicago, Indianapolis, and finally Cincinnati. On attractions and activities, you have a whole world to choose from, and it is entirely upon you to choose based on the specific experiences you are going after.

4. Indianapolis, IN

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user tpsdave used under CC0

If you are planning for a road trip from Minnesota to Indianapolis, then you have a bunch of options, both route, and attractions at your disposal. You can start on US 14 just west of Madison, then join US 61 which will lead you to Lacrosse and finally, the Twin Cities. If you have time, you can check out Lloyd Wright Museum and the House on the Rock at Spring Green. New Glarus Brewery and Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Lacrosse are also potential attractions you could consider on this road trip. Other than these attractions, Wisconsin is blessed with a plethora of beautiful scenery you will enjoy seeing throughout the state.

5. St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, MO Union Station
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ron Reiring used under CC BY 2.0

Minneapolis to St Louis in Missouri is about nine hours apart by road, and though you may not have the pleasure of driving on some of the most scenic roads during this trip, there are plenty of attractions where you can make stops for short tours and enjoy the sceneries. Some of the highly recommended stops during this tour include Cedar Falls, Clear Lake, Faribault, O’Fallon Brewery, Amana Colonies and Nauvoo among others.

6. Denver, CO

Denver Colorado downtown
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Zenhaus used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Minneapolis and Denver are about 950 miles (1528km) apart and if you were to drive non-stop at about 70mph (113km/h), it would take you at least 13 hours to get to Denver. But the longer the distance, the higher the number of attractions and stops you can make. Some of the possible stops for tours and sightseeing for this trip include Clear Lake, Des Moines, Omaha, Hastings, North Plate, and Brush before finally arriving in Denver. This city is one of the best places to road trip from Minnesota!

7. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Skyline
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Caleb Long used under CC BY-SA 2.5

If you are driving from Minneapolis to Tulsa, you will need at least ten hours to cover a distance of about 706 miles (1136km), and for a good road trip experience, you should set aside at least two days so that you also have good contact time with the attractions at the various stops. Some of the places you are likely to stop at include Bancroft, Des Moines, Nevada in Missouri, and Joplin before you finally make it to Tulsa. Nestled in between is a plethora of attractions including tours and sightseeing adventures that will make the road trip worth the while.

8. Columbia, MO

Columbia River Gorge (3)
Source: Photo by user Bala used under CC BY 2.0

Owing to the distance between Minnesota and Columbia, a road trip between Minneapolis and Columbia is bound to be filled with lots of thrills and challenges. With a solid itinerary, clearly mapping your stops, tours and sightseeing adventures, it should be a wonderful time covering the 468 miles (753km) that separates the two.

Enjoy the trip and the beautiful sceneries with these road trips from Minnesota

There are lots of road trip opportunities from Minnesota and you should seize every chance you get for these scenic drives. Read through the list of the best driving vacations from Minnesota, USA described above, and choose the ones you think are likely to bring you the greatest pleasure.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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My name is Sharon, but I won't get offended if you called me Shaz. I live in the City in the Sun. I travel, interact with cultures, eat their foods, dance with them and then write about my...Read more

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