Midwest Road Trip – Road.Travel

Midwest Road Trip

Road Trip Route. We're looking forward to an incredible tour of the best museums, We'll also be in planetariums and zoos, We'll also stop by the most beautiful nature reserves and national parks.

A family trip through the Midwest is always interesting and fascinating, as the states of this region are located at the crossroads of the main transport arteries of the country, which, in turn, had a positive impact on the development of culture and tourism infrastructure. Our journey will begin in one of Missouri's largest cities, St. Louis. We plan to visit here various interesting museums, picturesque city parks and other significant sights. Next we intend to go east to Indianapolis. On the way we will definitely visit several natural parks, see various original monuments, and in the city itself we will make some fascinating excursions through its museums. We also have plans to go to Louisville and then back to St. Louis. We will not only drive between these cities, but also visit incredible National Parks on the way.

Families with Kids, Uninhabited Nature, History and Culture. From: St. Louis

Edward Harrington. Traveller.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Arrival night

We're flying to St. Louis today. We will probably only have the evening at our disposal, so we decided to make the necessary preparations, and then go to dinner in a cozy restaurant.

Polite Society

After renting a car at the airport, we went to a restaurant for dinner. Of all the places on the road, we liked the Polite Society the most. The atmosphere here is pleasant and hospitable, the interior is comfortable and very aesthetically pleasing. The menu is always full of seasonal dishes, we chose spring salad, pork brisket fried with peach slices, and also tasted chicken in Korean.

Day 2: The museums of St. Louis

Today we plan to devote our attention to several interesting museums of the city. We will get acquainted with the culture and history of these places, as well as make some fascinating walks through the iconic places of the city, of course, the day will not be without delicious cuisine.

Snarf's Sandwiches

We have big plans for the day today, so we got up early and went to Snarf's Sandwiches for breakfast. It's a pretty cozy environment here. The menu is mainly made up of sandwiches, and there are also many salads, soups and various snacks. We like potato salad and cheese and mushroom sandwiches.

Saint Louis Art Museum

One of the main attractions of the city is the St. Louis Art Museum, located directly in Forest Park. Various art collections from different eras and cultures are exhibited here. Besides, the expositions are not limited only to painting, there are also interesting collections of household items, sculptures and furniture. It is important to note that the museum is not open on Monday.

Saint Louis Zoo

Another interesting attraction in Forest Park is Saint Louis Zoo. Aviaries for animals are located in an area of about 90 acres and are fully adapted to their natural habitat. Here you can see polar bears, grizzlies, penguins, orangutans, camels, eagles and many other amazing and rare species. It's also nice that the zoo is free.

Courtesy Diner

After long excursions and walks around the zoo we decided to go to the Courtesy Diner for lunch. Facility's interior is very simple, but quite comfortable. Here are served such familiar dishes as sandwiches, salads, burgers, as well as various snacks, including onion rings, nachos, burritos. We chose a chef's salad and a chicken breast.

Missouri History Museum

After lunch we decided to return to Forest Park to visit another landmark place here - the Missouri History Museum. The main expositions of the museum are devoted, for the most part, to the history of St. Louis. Here you can learn a lot about how this land was colonized, about people who put their lives to improve their city and country. Many exhibitions are complemented by an interactive component.


After lunch we decided to stop by Citygarden Park. Walk here, of course, will not leave anyone disappointed, the garden is beautiful. Vegetation planted along the paths attracts a large number of different insects, so it seems as if you are not in the city, but somewhere in nature. The park is also decorated with various fountains, which are illuminated in the evening, which also creates an incredible atmosphere.

Sugarfire Smoke House

We decided to have dinner at Sugarfire Smoke House. The atmosphere here is quite hospitable, the interior in general is simple, but comfortable. Mainly meat dishes are served, there are also various snacks and salads. Pork stew, by the way, is delicious. In addition to the main courses, they took vegetable salads.

Day 3: We're going to Indianapolis

Today we plan to spend on a trip to Indianapolis. We'll start the day with a fun tour, and then we'll go on the road. On the way we will also stop at some interesting places.


It's not so easy to find a good place to have breakfast early in the morning as it's good that we met the Rooster Cafe on the way. The interior is quite cozy and comfortable. There are many variations of traditional breakfast dishes on the menu, including, of course, omelette, burgers and salads. The choice of desserts, among which we liked punk with caramelized bananas and nuts, did not upset us either.

City Museum

This morning we were wondering if we should visit another museum before leaving for Indianapolis. In the end, we didn't miss it at all. The first thing that came to our attention here is a fairly large number of screaming, happy children, but a little later we joined these children. The museum contains a lot of interesting rooms, passageways, slides and stairs, there is a Ferris wheel, a bar and many other things. If you have children or you are young in the shower, it is necessary to visit.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

It so happens that our route runs west through a group of Cahokia mounds. Around the 10th century A.D. there was a huge Indian settlement here, the approximate area of which was about 16 square kilometers. Now there is a very interesting museum, the exposition of which is devoted to the ancient settlement. It's open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hidden Lake Winery

We had a great opportunity to have lunch not just in a restaurant, but in a real winery. The interior of the dining room is quite elegant and comfortable. In addition to a large selection of wines, there are many other dishes on the menu, such as chicken wings, Thai chicken with salad leaves and even pizza. We tasted pizza from St. Louis and a fajita.

Kaskaskia Dragon

It is not always the case that there are a lot of interesting things on the way, but this time it was an exception. We, having uncovered our cameras, made a stop near the roadside sculpture of Kaskaskia Dragon. In the wine shop across the street, you can buy special tokens that can be used to make a dragon breathe fire.

World's Largest Golf Tee

Another interesting monument of roadside art for us was World's Largest Golf Tee. This large tower is a huge golf course. The park is equipped with special pedestals, from which it is very convenient to inspect everything.

Kleptz's Restaurant

At the entrance to Indianapolis we decided to stop for dinner at Kleptz's Restaurant. The atmosphere here is quite hospitable, the cuisine is usual - there are a lot of meat dishes, snacks, salads in the menu. We tasted pork steak with mushrooms and fried chicken breast, in addition we took vegetable salad and fried shrimps.

Day 4: Indianapolis museums tours

Today we are planning to visit the most interesting places in Indianapolis, among which there will be different museums. We will plunge into the culture and history of these places, and we will not forget and have fun.


Cool early in the morning we went to a little cafe for breakfast Yolk. This institution has a very pleasant interior, made in cozy light tones. The choice of dishes is quite decent, only types of omelets about 5, there are also burgers, soups, salads and sandwiches. For dessert here you can take cakes, punkeys and sweet toasts.

Indianapolis Zoo

We went to Indianapolis Zoo for our first positive impressions today. And we didn't miss it, because what could be more fun than a seagull that comes out in the sun to warm up, or a polar bear waving its paw. Very impressive dolphin show and butterfly habitat.

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art is one of the main museums in the city. Various collections of Western as well as Indian art are exhibited here. The museum also hosts various interesting installations demonstrating some of the cultural characteristics of the indigenous peoples of the United States of America.

P.F. Chang's

After a walk in the zoo and excursions in the museum, you need to eat well, for this we went to the Chinese restaurant P.F. Chang's. The atmosphere here is incredibly welcoming and cosy. The interior is decorated in a moderate Asian style. We chose chicken in sweet and sour sauce, noodles and sushi.

Rhythm! Discovery Center

Rhythm! Discovery Center is a great place for inquisitive and energetic people. Expositions of the museum are mainly devoted to various musical instruments. We all adore listening to music, and here we can get acquainted with each instrument, literally feel it, learn about its use and, of course, a little bit of indulge in a reasonable amount. When planning a visit here, it should be taken into account that the museum is not open on Tuesday.

University Park

After a fun excursion we decided to calm down a little and take a walk in the park, near the University Park. The landscape is decorated with various monuments, including statues in honor of Benjamin Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Schyler Colfax. In addition, in the heart of the park is a magnificent five-level fountain.

Fogo de Chao

During the whole trip we have already visited a lot of restaurants, however, it turned out that in terms of cooking there is still something to surprise us. Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian steakhouse. The atmosphere here is quite hospitable. The menu has a huge number of different meat dishes, steaks, slices, sandwiches, burgers and seafood.

Day 5: A day in the countryside

While driving through different cities, we mainly focus on museums and some cultural objects, today we plan to interrupt this tradition, because on the way to Louisville there are an incredible number of beautiful natural places.

Shapiro's Delicatessen

We woke up early in the morning and set off for breakfast at Shapiro's Delicatessen. The interior of the cafe is very simple, but comfortable, clean and clean everywhere. The menu is very diverse, there is a wide choice of salads, soups, sandwiches. Among the breakfast dishes there are also various toasts, omelets and porridge.

Yellowwood State Forest

The first stop on our journey today was the Yellowwood State Forest. After a long journey, it was a pleasure to walk along the quiet, shady paths. There are many rare species of trees and shrubs planted here. Fishing and picnics are allowed.

Monroe Lake

The next stop for us was Lake Monroe Lake. Incredibly attractive place for tourists, our arrival here was very crowded. A lot of people were engaged in water sports here, a lot of people just bathed and rested. There are also special fishing areas along the coast.

Express China

We got a nice Chinese restaurant on the way to Louisville. The interior decoration here is quite ordinary, but comfortable. The menu is divided into categories, including pork, beef, chicken, rice, seafood and vegetables. We tasted pork and beef with beans, as well as beef in Mongolian style - quite tasty, I recommend.

Cherokee Park

We arrived in Louisville late in the evening, and all the interesting museums and galleries were closed, so we decided to go for a walk in Cherokee Park. After a long drive, it was very nice to get some fresh forest air. Many people here do sports, we just relaxed and photographed against the backdrop of natural beauty.

Bonefish Grill

After a long walk in the park, we got hungry and went to the Bonefish Grill restaurant. It was pretty crowded and even festive tonight. Characteristic feature of this institution is preparation of the majority of dishes on a grill. We were very pleased with the roasted salmon, as well as the Caesar salad.

Day 6: Walks for the inquisitive

Once in Louisville, we have planned our time here to visit the most interesting museums and attractions, including the planetarium and zoo. Besides, we're gonna go for a walk through the picturesque parks of the center.

Wild Eggs

The first day in Louisville we decided to start early and went for breakfast at Wild Eggs. The interior of this cafe is quite usual - everything is very neat and clean, but without any excesses. In the menu we liked homemade toasts and sausages with sauce, and also liked the traditional recipe of porridge.

Frazier History Museum

The stop in any city has always been accompanied by visits to various museums, including those devoted to historical subjects, and this time was no exception. There were a lot of different expositions waiting for us here, but our attention was immediately attracted by the collection of miniatures dedicated to battles and other historical events, so that a trip to this museum became interesting not only for us adults, but also for children. It is also worth saying that when planning your visit here, we must remember that on Sunday the museum is open from noon.

Gheens Science Hall And Rauch Planetarium

We, as very inquisitive tourists, couldn't help but visit the local planetarium Gheens Science Hall And Rauch Planetarium and were impressed in the end. There are exhibitions devoted not only to planets and space, but also to various wonders of the planet Earth, including, for example, super-volcanoes. The space exhibitions are also magnificent, especially the hall of black holes, as well as the exposition telling about the distant exoplanets. The particularly inquisitive can come here for half a day or more.

The Post

We decided to take a break and get some strength in the middle of it at The Post, a pizzeria near the planetarium. Inside it is very comfortable and pleasant to sit, there is also a small veranda, where you can also take a table. In addition to a large selection of pizzas, the menu also includes a selection of salads, sandwiches and various snacks.

Louisville Zoo Glacier Run

Having had a snack and gained strength, we headed to Louisville Zoo Glacier Run Zoo. Incredible place, a huge number of interesting and funny animals, the territory is divided into thematic areas to make it easier to navigate and find what is interesting. The area of Australia was amazingly interesting, and we saw a lot of unusual animals here, including wallabies and wallabies, colorful lorquettes and many others.

Big Rock

By this time we had time to visit almost everything we had planned, so we decided just to go for a walk in one of the most famous parks of the city - Big Rock. The landscape here is simply magnificent, a walk along the neat paths along the ponds and greenery so much carried away that at some point we just forgot that we are in the city.

Mission Bbq

After a long walk and getting tired, we went to have dinner at Mission Bbq restaurant, which is just on the way to the hotel. The atmosphere here is very comfortable and cozy, the interior is made very beautiful. The menu is full of meat dishes, among which we tasted beef slices, brisket, vegetable salad and fried potatoes with sauce as a side dish.

Day 7: The unbelievable nature of the Midwest

Today we are going to be mainly in small towns, not big cities, and that's why our plans include trips to beautiful natural places that we meet on our way. We'll stop by the national park as well as the beach and visit some beautiful parks.

Toast On Market

There's not a minute to lose today, so when we woke up, we headed straight to St. Louis and stopped for breakfast on the way. It has a nice, welcoming atmosphere and a nice interior. Among the offered breakfast dishes we chose traditional omelette with bacon, and also took waffles and a couple of punkeys for dessert.

Hoosier National Forest

The first stop on our trip today is the Hoosier National Forest. In this huge reserve of about 800 square kilometers, we decided to stop only for a short time, because there is still a long way to go. The landscape here has turned out to be fantastic - dense and quiet forest, small rivers and cascades, in general, if desired, you can spend much more time here than one hour and enjoy the natural beauty.

Jasper Riverwalk

Leaving Khuzier National Park, we decided to stop at a very beautiful, but small park Jasper Riverwalk. The main attraction of the park is the bridge over the river and the embankment, here you can see the water mill, as well as a beautiful cascade, along the coast are equipped with a picnic area and just benches for recreation.


We've come almost halfway through our journey today. After getting pretty hungry, we decided to stop by the Chinese restaurant Gracie's, located in Evansville. It's pretty simple, no gourmet, but it's delicious. The food I liked best was pork in sweet and sour sauce. When planning your visit here, you should take into account that the restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Leo French Park

The next "entrepot" for us was a small, quiet park in the small town of Fairfield. Picturesque and well-groomed, it is located right next to a beautiful pond. There are all conditions for sports and active recreation, fishing is allowed, there are special places for picnics.

Carlyle Lake

When we arrived at St. Louis, we were tired, so it was decided to have a little rest and make a stop at the beach near Lake Carlyle Lake. The area of this reservoir is almost 25000 acres. The coastline here is stony, and there is often a yachting competition. There are also various sports grounds, picnic and recreation areas in the immediate vicinity of the shore.

Mission Taco Joint

So we got to St. Louis, and, frankly, we were tired on the way, so, without delay, to go for dinner at the Mexican restaurant Mission Taco Joint. The interior here was very pleasant and cartoon-like bright. Choosing dishes, we decided to choose traditional tacos and burritos, in addition to which we ordered chicken flies. Everything's delicious, the portions are medium, so you can order more food.

Day 8: Morning in the greenhouses

Tonight we're finishing our Midwest trip. We've already seen a lot of things in St. Louis, but there's still one more place that might surprise us - the state botanical garden, where we'll go.

Chris' @ the Docket

Let's start our day at Chris'@the Docket's breakfast cafe. It's very cozy and comfortable here. A distinctive feature of the restaurant's menu is that in addition to the main dishes for breakfast there are also many different desserts and cocktails. We got ourselves pancakes and berries and some burgers.

Missouri Botanical Garden

We decided to spend the last morning in the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is divided into several thematic zones: Japanese garden, butterfly garden, Linnaeus' house, children's garden and several other greenhouses. Here you can literally smell the spring, because the microclimate maintained here promotes abundant flowering of plants.