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Hi Folks....

Planning a 'road trip' leaving Peterborough, ONT to Calgary, AB early on Monday 29th June... looking at stopping around Chicago on the first night to visit a cousin then heading for Calgary arriving Saturday 4th July...

Thinking as we've gotta do the trip anyway, and don't wanna be a slave to the road, we would take a bit more time and might as well try to make it a pleasant trip...!!:)

If anyone here has done this trip, and know of ''nice but not too costly'' places to stay..or any 'must places' to visit.. I would appreciate any advice..!!

I've been told the gas is way cheaper and the divided highways make driving the US route better..? :juggle:

Thank you in advance....
 

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Good Morning!

I did the reverse of your proposed route back in August 2010. I drove from suburban Vancouver to Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota... it was a good trip. I drove back to Vancouver via the Prairies, entering Canada in southern Manitoba and taking the 401 west. I spent 2 weeks in total round trip (would have liked to have gone for longer, but I had to be back in Vancouver for a family function on a specific date).

Gas is definitely cheaper in the USA compared to Canada, and the highways are on par with the 401... to the US's benefit, there are lots of rest-stops along the way. Something you might see along the way is people stopping for photo ops with "Welcome to __(insert State name here)__ " signs... I didn't stop to do this, as I was travelling alone.

Coming from P'borough, I'm assuming that you'll be driving through T.O. and departing Canada via Windsor/Detroit, on the north-eastern shore of Lake Erie, as it's easy driving from Detroit to Chicago.

From there, you could make a bee-line up to Minneapolis St Paul... there's the Mall of America with a water park/amusement part attached to the mall.

Heading westward, De Smet, South Dakota, is the town where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived in and wrote about in her Little House on the Prairie series of books. They've got a few historic sites set up and a walking tour.

At the western edge of South Dakota, there's Mt. Rushmore National Memorial and the Black Hills National Forest. You need to drive through the Forest to get to the Memorial. Definitely worth the trip... your admission ticket to the Memorial will allow for as many return visit(s) you can manage for up to a year, so if you head back to Ontario via the US, you can stop in again on your way home.

Also in the area is the Dances With Wolves film set tour. If you've got time, there's also a Chuckwagon Supper & Cowboy Music Show. It's cafeteria style seating for the meal (nothing too fancy... don't expect Balmoral Hotel style fare or service) and the entertainment is good and wholesome if not a bit corny.

Cut through the north-east corner of Wyoming to get to Montana... not much to do/see en route, but at least you can say that you've been.

Once you've arrived in Montana, you'll probably want to meet up with the Lewis & Clark Trail, as you head north to Alberta.

If you book like yesterday, you may be able to camp in a tipi at one of the state parks along the way.


Once you get to Calgary, it will be Calgary Stampede time... you'll likely have missed the parade on the 3rd, but the rodeo will be on while you're in town. Oh, and if you have time, I'd definitely recommend a trip out to Dinosaur Provincial Park... it's an hour outside of Calgary, and very apropos given the impending release of the Jurassic World film.


Good luck to you and happy trip planning! I hope you have a fun and safe trip! :)
 
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I haven't driven west of Chicago and so won't comment on that part of your trip but I would suggest that you not cross the boarder at Detroit. Save yourself the hassle of the traffic when you cross into Detroit. Whenever, I head that way, I take the 402 west from London Ontario and cross into Port Huron Michigan. You can then take HWY 69 and pick up I-94 just east of Battle Creek and follow I-94 to Chicago.
 
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