4 Best Midwest Road Trips
When it comes to travel destinations, is there anything more American than a road trip? Here at Bowlus, we don’t think so. If you’re heading out on your next big adventure and are trying to keep your travels in the Midwest, you don’t have to worry about missing out! There are plenty of great sites to experience without making the trip to either coast. Here is a list of the four best Midwest road trips and how Bowlus can make them even better.
#1) Route 66
The most classic road trip you can take, not only in the Midwest but anywhere in the country, is traveling Route 66.
Route 66, also known as U.S. Highway 66 or the “Mother Road,” is iconic. It was the first all-weather highway in the country, linking Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. Established in 1926, it spans just under 2,500 miles and crosses through eight states—Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
The attraction of Route 66 is its ability to take you back in time to when life was simpler. Instead of traveling on highways full of fast-food restaurants, a road trip on Route 66 will allow you to experience life as it used to be. There are plenty of unique places to stop and visit, including the following highlights:
- The Standard Oil Gas Station (Odell, Illinois) – While it’s no longer a working gas station, the Standard Oil Gas Station is a blast from the past. We’ve gotten used to big, flashy gas stations, so seeing their roots is a reminder of how much things have changed.
- Route 66 Historic District (East Galena, Kansas) – The historic mining town of Galena was founded in 1876 and maintained its roots as the town grew and changed. Check out the Litch Historical and Mining Museum while passing through.
- Nob Hill Shopping Center (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – Opened in 1946, the Nob Hill Shopping Center is an anchor on Route 66 for its stunning architecture and the actual shops it contains.
- Arroyo Seco Parkway (Los Angeles, California) – Many argue that Arroyo Seco was the birthplace of LA car culture. It was also an engineering marvel and the first “freeway” in the west of the country.
Traveling the historic Route 66 in your Bowlus is one of the best ways to go back in time while still enjoying the ultimate performance, technology, and luxury of land travel. In between visiting historic sites, relax in supreme comfort in either the Endless Highways Edition or the Endless Highways Performance Edition. When you’re not worrying about where you’re going to sleep, you can spend the time you’re not sleeping on your high-quality memory foam mattress getting out and enjoying the world the way that it used to be.
#2) Flint Hills to Wichita, Kansas
The 190 miles between Flint Hills and Wichita, Kansas are beautiful all year round, but they are stunning when you take the road trip in the spring or fall.
If you want to enjoy undisturbed nature, check out the 11,000 acres of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City, Kansas. While 11,000 acres may seem like a lot, when you consider that tallgrass prairies used to cover around 170 million acres of the country, you’ll be able to appreciate it for what it is—the last stand of the tallgrass prairie. There is a historic ranch, a one-room schoolhouse, and even a bison herd to see while there. And, with the zero-emissions road trip that a Bowlus provides, you won’t have to worry about your environmental impact.
If historic architecture is your thing, visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House. The Allen House, which was finished in 1918, is the last of Wright’s famous prairie houses, and its living room has been called “one of the great rooms of the 20th century.” It is a must-see if you’re in the area.
When you’re not enjoying the sights or finding random side trips, enjoy some off-grid camping in your Bowlus. With the industry’s largest lithium iron phosphate batteries, you can spend up to two weeks off-grid while still enjoying all the Bowlus features.
Continue to make gourmet meals on the two-burner Italian-style cooktop in the galley, or read a book on the high-quality seating in the living room. The entire Bowlus Power Management System is connected via Bluetooth and the internet, meaning that all the critical data you’ll need to keep everything running smoothly is available in the palm of your hand.
#3) US 12 Heritage Trail
The US 12 Heritage Trail goes from New Buffalo to Detroit, Michigan. It comes in at around 180 miles in length and is considered one of the “quirkier” Midwest road trips. Although the trail’s roots trace all the way back to a mastodon corridor and a Native American trail (known as the Sauk trail), it is now known for a different distinction. Annually, on the second weekend in August, the US 12 Heritage Trail turns into Michigan’s Largest Garage Sale!
If you’re looking for a place to stay on your trip, there are plenty of camping options that can accommodate your Bowlus. From the Spaulding Lake Campground in Niles to Dr. T.K. Lawless Park in Vandalia (which is an official International Dark Sky Park), show off your luxury travel trailer without venturing too far off the main trail.
In addition to finding treasures from the roadside vendors, the greatest attraction is getting to know the people who call this area home. When you take the trip from the comfort of your Bowlus, you’ll be able to experience a different way of life without giving up any of the luxury and comfort of home.
#4) Lake Michigan to Brown County, Indiana
Indiana often gets written off as just another Midwest state, but there is much more to explore when you see it through your Bowlus.
A good place to start is Indiana Dunes National Park, a 15,000-acre wonder that sits on the southern shore of the beautiful Lake Michigan. It’s one of the most interesting national parks in the Midwest, with over 50 miles of hikeable trails as well as stunning beaches and an abundance of other outdoor activities to enjoy. The park also hosts an Outdoor Adventure Festival in October, welcoming people outdoors with biking, fishing, birding, and paddling activities to take part in.
From there, head out on the open road. Check out the waterfront shops by Winona Lake, enjoy the hustle and bustle of Indianapolis, walk the picturesque campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, and finish up in Brown County State Park.
Brown Country State Park is the perfect endpoint for your road trip because it is arguably the most beautiful outdoor area that the state of Indiana has to offer. The park is the biggest in the state and the most diverse in terms of activities to partake in, including hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking trails, and fishing and boating spots. There is also a nature center with informative displays, interactive exhibits, interpretive naturalist services, and cultural arts programs.
No matter where you go, go there in your Bowlus. You’ll be able to end each night on a king-sized memory foam mattress with eco linen sheets in your temperature-controlled bedroom after taking a hot shower in your large hotel-style bathroom. That’s why it’s been called the ultimate in land travel, allowing you to make your own rules and go wherever your heart leads you.
Whether you are exploring the historic Mother Road, checking out US 12 Heritage Trail, or checking out the best that the state of Indiana has to offer, do it in your Bowlus. Experience the best in luxury and performance and enjoy effortless off-grid adventures without giving up any of the comforts of home.
No detail was too small when we designed our luxury travel trailer. From the meticulous stitching on the living room seating to the precise metal work on the aircraft-grade aluminum monocoque exterior skin, you’ll never want to take another road trip without it.