Hipmunk Hotels: Dream Vacations in Saint Louis, Wichita, and More

In May of last year, I went on an epic three-week road trip as my graduation present to myself. I managed to get from Utah to Ottawa, hitting 12 states in between. In that journey, though, I skimmed or skipped a number of great cities. While I’m not sure when I’ll get back, there are a few cities I dream of returning to.

Saint Louis, MO

I arrived in Saint Louis after I’d hit road trip burnout, so all I really saw was the city’s famous arch (from a distance). When I return, I’ll definitely visit the Gateway Arch up close. Beyond that, the City Museum is an absurd and wonderful playground that I want to explore, the Saint Louis Science Center is said to be one of the best attractions of its kind, and the Cahokia Mounds are some of the best-preserved Native American ruins in the country. It’s certainly worth booking at least one night in a Saint Louis hotel.

Rosemont, IL

Chicago was amazing, and I absolutely plan to return. There’s just so much to see: The Magnificent Mile, the oodles of public art, the deep dish pizza, the Art Institute of Chicago, Lincoln Park … I could go on. The problem is that Chicago hotels are pricey and it’s a pain to get around by car. What I hope to do next time is stay in a low-cost hotel in Rosemont (a city with its own host of attractions) and take the train into the city.

South Bend, IN

South Bend is another option for trekking into Chicago. However, South Bend comes with its own juicy lineup of attractions. Even though I’m not much of a sports fan, I’d say Notre Dame stadium and the College Football Hall of Fame are must-see sights. The city also has multiple museums, a zoo, and the gorgeous Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Even if I don’t use it as a base of operations for a Chicago trip, staying a night or two in a South Bend hotel sounds like a great getaway.

Wisconsin Dells, WI

Weirdly enough, my favorite attraction during my epic road trip was the National Mustard Museum in Madison. Next time, I’ll book a hotel stay in Wisconsin Dells so I can make an easy day trip to Madison and then explore the many attractions of the Dells. For example, I need to go to Wizard Quest, a fantasy-themed maze chock full of riddles, puzzles, and other nerdy goodness — and I won’t pass up the city’s many water parks, museums, and boat tours.

Wichita, KS

In my rush through Kansas, I missed some of the great sights, many of which can be found in Wichita. Next time, a stay in a comfortable Wichita hotel like the Hawthorne Suites will let me recharge while I explore the region. I definitely want to check out the Museum of World Treasures (a stunning collection of artifacts and exhibits from around the world), the Old Cowtown Museum (which recreates Wichita as it was in the late 1800s), and the Wichita Gardens.

Those are just a few of the places I hope to return to when I get out on the road again. What about you? Where does your dream road trip take you to? Leave your thoughts and plans in the comments, below.