Hey guys, my wife and I are going to be moving from St. Louis to Philly via car in a few weeks. We’re thinking of stretching out the trip over a few days, visiting some sights and generally making a roadtrip of it. We are kicking around the idea of a detour to either Washington DC or Chicago, but I’m not too familiar with any of the natural scenic sites that might be on the way. Anyone done such a trip and have recommendations?
There’s not a lot of “natural scenic sites” along that route, espeically in the western half of it, and especially if you take a northerly route, and go through Chicago. You’ll be driving past an awful lot of farm fields.
That said, there is the Indiana Dunes National Park (upgraded to full National Park status just a few weeks back), which is just east of Chicago.
Once you get into the mountains, in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, or Virginia (depending on your route), I suspect that there are more natural sites to be seen.
Not many scenic sites. The Arch is about the best of them.
I prefer Washington to Chicago in the way of things to do, but since you’ll be just a train ride away from Washington in Philly, you might want Chicago during the trip.
I spent (or rather “did”) time in northern Indiana and Ohio (Elkhart, South Bend, Toledo) … I’d stock up on good memories in Chicago to last me through that part of the trip.
Chicago is great, even lovely if the weather’s nice. Park downtown (maybe under Millennium Park) and wander the park, hit the Field Museum, the Aquarium and/or the Art Institute. Then walk over the river, snack on some baos or pierogies, then find some great pizza. Nothing’s better after a day of walking than a cold beer and deep dish at Pizzeria Uno, Due, or Giordano’s.
Last time we did that trip, we also did the river tour on a boat led by Architecture Society docents (excellent!), then we let our 30ish daughter find us a hipster gourmet place. Wonderful, but I’d’ve rather paid for pizza.
Not natural scenery, to be certain, but if either of the topics are of interest to you or your wife, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is in Cleveland, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Canton, Ohio.
A friend of mine has been one of the docents for those architecture tours for a number of years. They really do a great job, and the docents are extremely knowledgeable.
If you’re open to something other than natural scenery, there’s the Wright-Patterson Air Museum near Dayton, OH, just off I-70 a bit.
I keep thinking of the OP saying “I’m not too familiar with any of the natural scenic sites that might be on the way.” No one is, bud.
Oh, speaking of non-natural sites, if you get to Chicago and do Millenium Park/museums/Michigan Ave, the Chicago Cultural Center is just west of the Art Institute. And there are great record stores and my favorite comic book shop is right there too.
n/m (duplicate post, oops)
Thanks! This is actually of mild interest to me but not enough to make a specific trip later, so that works.
Also I think you guys are right about going the Chicago route instead of DC.
That’s mine, too. I work right across the street from the Art Institute, and their Loop store is a block away.
Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio. It’s a world class museum and it’s massive.
Mostly I agree, although I personally find I-70 in western Indiana to be nice. But if you want natural scenery, I’d take I-64 through southern Illinois and Indiana to Louisville, I-71 into Cincinnati, then take U.S. 52 east along the Ohio River all the way to Huntington WV. Then get back on I-64 through West Virginia and take your preferred route to get to Philadelphia. That’s a long trip through the Appalachians and the most beautiful route from St. Louis to the east I’ve seen.
Agreed; the OP is going to be living a 2 hour train ride away from DC, Chicago would be the better choice for this trip.
Mammoth Cave National Park is nice. It’s south of the direct route but it’s not too far off if you’re already including Washington.
Have you been to Cahokia Mounds?