Apr 06 2011

Minnesota to St. Louis Road Trip Itinerary

We’ve taken a lot of road trips, and I’ve written about a lot of places we stopped, but I realized today that I never really spelled out any of our itineraries.  I like how the family-travel site Pit Stops for Kids has laid out some travel itineraries, so I’m going to try my hand at it to give an example of a trip that has worked for us.  I hope you’ll check out Pit Stops for Kids for more tried-and-true family road trips, and let me know if you’d like to see more itineraries like this on Travels with Children.

So, here it goes.  This was our itinerary for our Christmas 2010 trip to St. Louis from our home in Minnesota.

  • Day 1:  Home to Iowa City, Iowa.  Stay at Comfort Suites, Coralville, Iowa, and enjoy some time in the pool with its waterslide.
  • Day 2:  Iowa City to Hannibal, Missouri.  Lunch at Mark Twain Dinette, then 1-3 hours touring Mark Twain sites.  Continue on to St. Louis; drive directly to Gateway Arch.  (Purchase tickets ahead of time for the ride to the top if you’ll be arriving late in the day like this, otherwise enjoy the Museum of Westward Expansion and purchase tickets for first thing the next morning.)
  • Day 3:  Get to Gateway Arch when it opens, see the films, and travel to the top of the Arch.  Visit the Old Courthouse if you wish.  Lunch in nearby LaClede’s Landing (we chose Subway for a quick meal).  Drive slightly south of downtown to tour the Anheuser Busch Brewery.  If you have time (and young children), try to see the Magic House, St. Louis’ children’s museum.
  • Day 4:  Arrive at City Museum bright and early before it’s too crowded and stay as long as you want.  Afterward, explore Forest Park–the St. Louis Zoo, Missouri History Center, Art Museum, or Science Center.  Good spot to eat: Fitz’s has excellent burgers and made-on-site root beer and soda.
  • Day 5:  Head for home if there’s a snowstorm coming.  Otherwise, explore such St. Louis sites such as the Botanical Gardens, Ulysses S Grant Home, or Grant’s Farm (open seasonally) or venture out a bit farther to Cahokia Mounds.
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