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Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?
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Author:  mrsbadmouth [ Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

My sister-in-law is turning 30 in August, I thought it would be fun for us (her, me, a couple of her friends) to take a road trip because it's more affordable than flying anywhere and it's more fun than just throwing her a party. Here are the stipulations:

1. She's a hair dresser, she can't take a lot of time off of work especially around her birthday because it's still wedding season. So it needs to be a place that's close enough to the middle of Illinois that we can drive there in a day, spend a day having fun, drive back the third day. So no trips to the west coast or even the east coast or Florida. Google maps tells me we can make it to almost the bottom of Mississippi in less than 10 hours, so that's acceptable.
2. A place that has nature AND some kind of night entertainment would be ideal, she likes physical activity but she also likes things like riverboat gambling and bars (not clubs). Neither has to be particularly spectacular since it's only for a day, it just has to be there.
3. Not Chicago or St. Louis as those are both places that she can go to all the time and has, also not quite far enough.
4. I would be the only vegan so it's not a 'hit up vegan places' trip, but if there is any place I should totally avoid suggesting because i'll be eating Subway the entire time, please let me know.

So any ideas?

Author:  LazySmurf [ Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

Well you *can* make it to Austin in a day (it takes about 14 hours from spfld) but you would want to spend at least two days here.

Is this in the summer? Milwaukee is really fun if is. I've had tons of fun in Nashville and Memphis too, if you all like live music.

Author:  mrsbadmouth [ Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

Ha, if I could get someone to drive me to Austin i'd never leave.

Her birthday is August 9th, so yeah, we can go north and it'll be okay. It's tough because she would be happy with so many things, she'd be happy with a day of shopping, a water/amusement park, anything beer related, hiking...i've tried googling 'best road trips' and stuff like that but most of them are like, California! North Carolina! The mountains, any mountains!

Author:  katiejayne [ Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

Minneapolis? I went there for a work trip/long weekend vacation with a friend last year and it was super fun. We ate food, went on a bike ride, walked around, and went to bars. There was good beer there also.

Or be selfish and go to Omaha so you can go to Modern Love? My omnivore friends I stayed with in Omaha in the fall loved Modern Love though so maybe that would be an okay dinner destination? Omaha has lots of tasty breweries and a few fun bars that I went to when I was there in September.

Author:  LazySmurf [ Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

If you are both into water parks you could drive up to Wisconsin dells!!! Have you ever gone hiking down at Shawnee by Carbondale? It's gorgeous & there are places to swim & it's only a few hurs away.

Author:  mrsbadmouth [ Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

Have you been to Wisconsin Dells as a vegan? Would I starve?

If it were my birthday or a generic trip i'd try to swing it towards Omaha, but i'd feel like I was hijacking her birthday if our entire destination was based around some place I want to eat.

Author:  LazySmurf [ Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

No I haven't been since I was like 10. But it was so fun, except there was this one "ride" that was like the zipline in American Gladiators and I waited in line forever to try it cause it looked like so much fun and then when I finally got up to the huge, high platform I grabbed the bar and immediately fell because I was a weak child. It was so embarrassing. We were never allowed to eat at theme parks anyway since it was too expensive, we'd have a cooler in the car, you could always do that. Anyway, I remember we also went tubing and it was really fun too.

eta I just checked happy cow & there is a vegan restaurant in town called the cheese factory!!! Now I want to go when I go to Chicago this summer!

Author:  Fizzgig [ Wed May 06, 2015 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

I'd recommend checking out some Door County, WI places. There are several different B&Bs, wineries, etc. It has camping, bars...I really like it. I have been to a few spots and haven't had a problem eating pretty well as long as I ask for things to be sans cheese or whatever.

Author:  lycophyte [ Thu May 07, 2015 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

Cleveland has the bestest grilled cheese restaurant, with tons of vegan options. There is Sandusky nearby for Cedar Point and a trip out to the islands for nature things, then next stop Cleveland for the best art museum (Nikitee works there!) and of course the Rock Hall (I say meh, but it is popular). And vegan grilled cheese.

Author:  bluedawg [ Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

okay, i didn't see this thread before, sorry!

milwaukee is awesome, of course... ;)

but yes! there is an all-vegan restaurant in wisconsin dells! it used to be "very vegan-friendly" (i.e., you could ask for the vegan menu and they'd bring out a huge thing), and then they closed and remodeled and when they reopened they were entirely vegan. we went back in the 'vegan-friendly' days and it was pretty delicious.

http://www.cheezefactoryrestaurant.com

i was actually digging around in this forum because we're planning a trip to minneapolis soon, and possibly also one to columbus. i've heard both are vegan-friendly, but also big enough cities that there's plenty of other stuff to do. (also, if you drove to minneapolis, you could stop at the cheeze factory on the way, heh)

Author:  CLE-V [ Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

For grilled cheese in Cleveland, are you referring to Melt*, Lycophyte?

Cleveland's West Side: Rock Hall, Cleveland Vegan (pretty good, limited hours)

East Side (maybe 1/2 hour away):
Art Museum,
Cleveland cultural gardens*,
Tommy's has vegan options all over the menu.
Dunno about riverboat gambing, but the famous Hard Rock has the world's only Rocksino*. The July entertainment calendar looks pretty full, I'd guess they haven't filled in Aug yet.
The Feast of the Assumption*, an Italian festival, Aug 14-17, is after her actual birthday.

Further out:
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park: 1/2 hr or an hr away, and it's free! (Unlike, say the $30 National Parks.) Blue Hen Falls hike is lovely and rated easy. Can rent bikes for a flat, pretty ride on the no-cars towpath
- In Sandusky (1 hr west): [url=cedarpoint.com]Cedar Point[/url]* (epic amusement park); Kalahari*, big waterpark complex.
- Nature: About 3 hours south, Hocking Hills:
Image
Hocking Hills is also something like the zipline/canopy tour capital of the Midwest.

I know nothing about beer, except that the region's got a lot of it. How about the Cleveland Brew Bus*?

There's tons of live music, but again, I'm no help. Start with this free paper?

*never been, personally

There's gotta be a lot more, let me know if anything sounds interesting. You're awesome, MBM, for planning this for her!

Author:  CLE-V [ Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

What did you wind up doing, MBM? I'm sure it was great!

Also, I should have suspected that a place called "Kalahari [resorts and convention]" isn't just a water park: it seems they have some kind of safari animal park. Sorry, everyone.

Author:  lycophyte [ Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

CLE-V wrote:
For grilled cheese in Cleveland, are you referring to Melt*, Lycophyte?


Yessssss! It is so good!

Author:  mrsbadmouth [ Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Road trip ideas in/close to the midwest?

Ha, we didn't go anywhere. I think she ran a race on her birthday and didn't even have a party.

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