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Old 04-16-2012, 09:58 PM   #1
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Summer trip through the midwest: Must Sees!

I have a couple months off this summer and I am taking a trip from Arizona to Michigan. Going to see my folks and stay with them for a couple weeks.

I would like some suggestions on what is a "MUST" on this journey!

The plan is to leave at the end of May and return at the beginning of August (Yippee!). We may route through San Antonio to see my girlfriend's folks but we may save that trip until the fall. If we do not go through SA then the route is tentatively: New Mexico to Oklahoma, stopping to do some fishing.

Anyone have feedback on the memorial in OKC?

From OK we plan on going to Branson. Again, do some fishing and check it out. Neither of us have been to this area.

From there we are flexible. One option is to visit family in southern Illinois.
Planning on staying around Cave In Rock...

Next is a MUST on this trip. It has actually become a tradition: Cedar Point Amusement Park. I have made this a part of my Michigan migration for the last several years. I fell in love with this park as a Yout' and it is fun and brings back nice memories. The campground there is my all time favorite.

After CP we will go to my folks place outside Grand Rapids.

The return trip is through the UP, can't miss Mackinac...to visit friends in Minneapolis.

From there to SD to see the sites. Then on to Colorado to see family and do some rafting! Finally to return home....

Looking for insight: Oklahoma, Minnesota, anything worthy from MO to Mich, New Mexico?

Thanks and I hope this becomes a fun discussion!
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:40 PM   #2
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Lake Tenkiller in OK.. Welcome to Lake Tenkiller - Lake Tenkiller

http://www.rondayphotography.com/Scenic%20Gallery.htm

Use to go there as a kid

You said Branson.. Hit up the Six Flags in St. Louis also..
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:19 AM   #3
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The out door resorts in blue ridge ark is 30 minutes or so from Branson great place to stay
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:06 AM   #4
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Sounds like a great trip. On your way North from Grand Rapids a stop in Traverse City would be nice. It's a great town and the State Park just accross from East Bay is a great place to stay. Just a thought. Have a great time.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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Anyone have feedback on the memorial in OKC?
Yes!
You should not stop at OKC without visiting two sites.
- The OKN National Memorial and Museum is a must-see! It is very well done.
- The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. On our first visit I was reluctant, but did I ever change my mind. We stopped again on another trip thru OKC! You will see artwork relating to cowboys, cowboys in the movies, how lariats and whips are made from leather strips, how cowboy hats differ according to what part of the west you are in, learn about Will Rogers, etc., etc.

We stayed at the Rockwell RV Park at I-40 Exit 143. Convenient and nice CG.

FJF
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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Nice campground in OKC is Twin Fountains! Close to cowboy hall of fame, zoo, horse racing at Remington Park. The river in downtown is getting to be nice & Bass Pro shop . Lots of lakes in Oklahoma.
Mary. Native Okie!
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:55 AM   #7
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Do you have an extra bed so that I can go along and offer suggestions as we go? Grand Canyon, Custer Battle Field, Carlsbad Caverns,River Walk in San Antonio. Don't hurry,stop and smell the roses or the coffee and be flexible.

Don
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
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In the midwest?
Corn of the left, soybeans on the right.

Illinois and indiana are to be avoided if possible.
Some parts of ohio and iowa are ok.
Most all of minnesota, wisconsin, and michigan are not too bad.

Oklahoma is not in the midwest.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:20 PM   #9
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In the midwest?
Corn of the left, soybeans on the right.

Illinois and indiana are to be avoided if possible.
Some parts of ohio and iowa are ok.
Most all of minnesota, wisconsin, and michigan are not too bad.

Oklahoma is not in the midwest.
'bout sums it up!
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:36 AM   #10
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There are some great cities in Iowa. Pella is a Dutch city with a windmill that was brought over from Holland, The Amana's are a German community, with great shops, mini brewery, bakeries, and wineries. Kalona which is near Iowa City is an Amish town. Lots of wonderful little towns in Iowa.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:52 PM   #11
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To many places, Not enuf Time! Fredericksburk, Tx is home to Admiral Nimitz and has the Pacific War Museum, and LBJ'S Ranch and Texas White House is open for viewing nearby. Austin is close by and the Capitol Building is open for tours. It is a great stop as is most of our States Capitol Buildings. Iowa has a good one! Ok has another Museum that I liked in Tulsa as well as Ponca City. Kansas City offers a wonderful Museum of a recovered 1800's sunken Paddle wheel boat and all of it's contents. It also has a good Zoo and the Worlds of Fun. Iowa can offer up John Wayne's birth place and the Bridges of Madison County. The Living History Farms is near Des Moines and there is a good Core Of Engineers Park at Saylorville Lake. Yes the Ammana Colonies are a good stop but I would not want to miss stopping at any of the Locks along the Mississippi River to watch the Tow Boats lock through, Especially lock 15 in the quad Cities. You can also visit the John Deere Museum while there and take a ride on a Paddle Wheeler on the Mississippi. Maybe a tour of the old Arsenal while you are at the Lock would be enjoyed! Of course if you missed the Field of Dreams when you passed it might have been an enjoyment as well. Iowa is not all Corn and Beans but because of the amount of them it will be one of the greenest states that you will travel in. It is not as flat as it is said to be. Most of Iowa is rolling hills. One of the most scenic ones is in Pikes Peak state Park over looking The Mississippi River and the Mouth of the Wisconsin river. You get a birds eye view. There is not a better place to rent a boat and do some fishing! Even a Carp is fun to catch! But a walleye or catfish will be just as available! You do not want to miss historic Galena' Ill. You like Railroad museums? There is one nearby Rockford, Ill that is wonderful. Chi Town has enuf to offer that you could spend most of your vacation just touring it's attractions. Wisc, has the House on the Rocks that will take you more than a day to completly see all that it offers. Door County Ws. is a must. Work your way around the lake to the UP and cross the Mac bridge and visit the island. That big old Hotel is worth the stop by itself. Several light Houses open to climb and read about their history around Lake Michigan.
I am runing out of energy but not things to see!
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:02 PM   #12
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Larry, you had me going with the Texas stuff (also not in the midwest!)O but you are very right on about the mississippi. Lots of cool lil river towns all the way up. St Louis is awesome, as is Galena and Dubuque. Further north, lacrosse WI is a great lil town.

On the Lake michigan side of wisconsain, this is the place to be if you like lighthouses, lots and lots northward from milwaukee. There is a real nice big state park with camping and a lighthouse just south of sheyboygan. The two rivers area is nice. Door county is another world. Green bay is cool, and Escanaba has a beautiful lakefront park, about 5 miles worth!

Many of these towns have gorgeous old downtown areas. Most are located where a river dumps into the big lake. Lots of nice campgrounds, good resturants, great people.

If you stay on the interstate though, it's corn on the right soybeans on the l;eft, and your are roaring past everything worth seeing and doing.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:46 PM   #13
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OK, after some discussion we have agreed that we are traveling through San Antonio to see my GF's folks. We will push through southern NM and El Paso. I have been this to visit my family when they wintered down in Texas. I may route through OKC after all the cool suggestions. I will check the schedule and adjust if the time constraints call for it. Maybe cancel Branson and stay in OK and fish and hit the Ozarks in MO. I planned on just driving through the belt (Ill, Ind,OH). I know there is stuff to see but I don't want to allot the time. Chicago is great but too far north on this trip.

Someone mentioned caving; Carlsbad is great but may save the caving for Missouri. Just want to get some miles under my belt at the beginning of the trip

When in Michigan I can see Holland and Frankfurt and get the small town, old country, experience. I am planning on going to Muskegon with family and then visit more cousins in Traverse City. From there we are going to Mackinac, the Soo Locks, Tahquamenon Falls, and along the lakeshore. Next stop is Minneapolis to visit friends. Last time I took this trip I crossed in Minnesota further south, I took the ferry from Michigan across Lake Michigan into Wisconsin, as I entered Minn I camped at a state park overlooking the Mississippi. That was my favorite camp on that trip. Purely spontaneous and really nice!

I have gone through Iowa in the past but we are heading up to SD so I'm gonna miss that area this time. Probably hit Wall Drug, Rushmore, the Badlands, and hopefully Custer.

From there it's down to Colorado to raft and visit family before heading back to AZ for the rest of the summer....
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:19 AM   #14
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I have gone through Iowa in the past but we are heading up to SD so I'm gonna miss that area this time. Probably hit Wall Drug, Rushmore, the Badlands, and hopefully Custer...
Now were getting on topic. This area is a must and your need several days. Custer SP is a must, you also have Devils Tower a bit west, Deadwood is close by. You said no caves, but for the thread Wind Cave NP and Jewel Cave NM are in the area. SD Air & Space Museum on the way to the Badlands NP & Wall. This area ranks way up there on our favorites, but it is a big area so you do need some time.

Bob
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