As summer is slowly winding down, it’s crunch time to get that summer road trip in! Summer goes by so fast, granted, for us in North Dakota, we only get 3-4 months of summer, it least it feels that way! Fortunately, the hubby and I were able to escape the demands of the farm and ranch to get away a couple of times this summer. Once, to the Southwestern part of North Dakota, to Medora and our second road trip will be next week to my brother-in-law’s Minnesota lake cabin.
On the way to the lake, we plan to go through Wahpeton, where I went to college for a pit stop and then North Dakota’s biggest city, Fargo on the way home. We will only be gone three days, but it will be a nice mini-vacation.
Growing up, my dad wasn’t a rancher, so it was a little easier for him to take time off and the three of us would go on roadtrips to Medora, Big Sky, Yellowstone, and The Grand Tetons. It was a fun experience that I’ll never forget. For as young as I am, I am a well seasoned traveler, thanks to mom and dad. Now as an adult, I have that same travel itch they passed down to me.
Today, I am going to share with you some of my favorite roadtrips for Midwest Summer Vacations!
1. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone has always been a family favorite of ours! From Old Faithful and the Old Faithful Lodge to spending long, lazy afternoon hours at Yellowstone Lake Lodge to the Upper and Lower Falls, Yellowstone has a variety of beauty for everyone.
Things to Do: Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, Hiking in the Canyon, White Water Rafting, Horseback Riding, Colorful Hot Springs, Wildlife, Helicopter Tours
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The Grand Tetons is another family favorite and it does not disappoint! These are some of the most beatiful mountains in the U.S. Towering to almost 14,000 feet, I can almost guarantee that you’ll be impressed enough to come back! Jackson Hole not only provides sweeping views, but it’s also a great skiing lodge and shopping extravaganza!
Things to Do: Teton Village and Ski Tram, Horseback Riding, Shopping in Jackson Hole, Jenny Lake, Jackson Lake, Hiking, Wildlife, Rafting, Town Square, Sled Rides, Skiing Paradise in winter, Grand Teton National Park,
Where to Stay: Jackson Hole Lake Lodge
3. Black Hills, South Dakota
The Black Hills of South Dakota will always hold a special place in my heart. I came here many times growing up with my grandparents and it’s where Taylor and I honeymooned after our wedding. It’s only 6-7 hours away from our ranch, but it seems much farther because it is stunning and a relaxing escape.
What to Do: Mount Rushmore, Shopping, Custer State Park, Hot Springs, Crazy Horse, Pigtail Road, Sylvan Lake, Keystone, Rapid City Waterpark, Rapid City, Hill City, Salt Water Taffy, Caves, Custer, Hiking, Helicopter Tours, Wildlife, Black Hills National Forest
4. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis is for your inner, big city lover! I don’t get here very often at all, but when I do it is always fun! What girl doesn’t love to spend hours and hours at the Mall of America?! The Minnesota Zoo is always a wonderful way to spend the day. And, Valley Fair!! The best part, the funky,
What to Do: Valley Fair, Mall of America,
5. Craters of the Moon, Idaho
Have you ever wanted to visit the moon?! Well, Craters of the Moon will take you there! It’s not far from Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons, and so worth the drive! It is amazing! It literally seems like you are in the middle of the moon (not that I know, since I’ve never been there 🙂 ). The amazing frozen in time lava formations will have you in awe. It is unbelievable until you experience it for yourself!
What to Do: Hiking, not far from other National Parks, Twin Falls
Where to Stay: Wood River Inn
6. Medora, North Dakota
Year after year, summer after summer, this is probably every North Dakota familys’ summer vacation. It’s fun and a 4 hour drive for us.
What to Do: Horseback Riding, Taffy, National Park, Hiking, Biking, Shops, Mini-Golf, Historical, Medora Musical, Pitchfork Fondue