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Fetch’s Ultimate Midwest Road Trip Guide & Road Trip Hacks

By Team Fetch

August 28, 2023

When it comes to road trips, the Midwest is the perfect destination. After all, it’s home to some of the country’s best, most diverse landscapes. If you’re planning a Midwest road trip, you can make it even better with a few road trip hacks that will help you get the most out of your journey. From finding the best deals on gas to getting the most out of the local cuisine, these Midwest road trip hacks will make your journey all the more memorable. So, buckle up and get ready to explore the Midwest with Fetch.

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Madison Road Trips

Day Trips From Madison

Wisconsin Dells, WI

1 hour

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin is another great option for a weekend trip, as it’s a popular vacation destination known for its water parks, outdoor activities like zip-lining, and family-friendly attractions like miniature golf and go-karting.

Baraboo, WI

1 hour

Baraboo, Wisconsin is a great weekend road trip destination, with its quaint downtown area, fascinating circus history, and nearby natural wonders such as Devil’s Lake State Park and the Baraboo Range.

Mineral Point, WI

1 hour

Mineral Point, Wisconsin is a delightful weekend road trip destination, boasting a rich history as a 19th-century mining town and a thriving arts community today, with many galleries, studios, and workshops to explore, as well as unique architecture and delicious local cuisine.

Weekend Trips From Madison

Chippewa Falls, WI

3 hours

Chippewa Falls is a charming city in Wisconsin that offers a variety of fun and exciting activities for a weekend road trip, from exploring the historic downtown to touring the Leinenkugel’s Brewery and visiting the beautiful Irvine Park.

Chicago, IL

2.5 hours

Chicago is an incredible weekend road trip destination, offering endless entertainment options such as world-class museums, top-notch dining, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife, all set against the backdrop of the city’s iconic skyline and beautiful Lake Michigan beaches.

Indianapolis, IN

5 hours

Indianapolis is a fantastic weekend road trip destination, with something for everyone, from exploring the city’s rich history and culture to enjoying its vibrant sports scene, to indulging in delicious local cuisine and experiencing exciting festivals and events throughout the year.


Chicago Road Trips

Day Trips From Chicago

Indiana Dunes

1 hour

Indiana Dunes is a perfect day trip from Chicago, offering stunning views of Lake Michigan, sandy beaches, and over 15 miles of hiking trails.

Six Flags

1 hour

Six Flags Great America, located in Gurnee, Illinois, is an amusement park filled with thrilling roller coasters, water rides, and family-friendly attractions.

Springfield, IL

3 hours

Springfield, Illinois, the birthplace of President Abraham Lincoln, is an ideal destination for history buffs, offering numerous museums, historic sites, and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

Weekend Trips From Chicago

Southern Michigan

3 hours

Southern Michigan is a great weekend trip from Chicago as it offers scenic countryside drives, charming small towns, and plenty of outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, and fishing.

Nashville, TN

7 hours

Nashville, Tennessee is a perfect destination for music lovers as it’s known as the “Music City” and offers a vibrant live music scene, delicious southern cuisine, and unique shopping experiences.

Milwaukee, WI

2 hours

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a great weekend trip from Chicago, as it’s a bustling city with a rich history, a famous brewery tour, and plenty of cultural attractions such as museums and art galleries. Additionally, Milwaukee is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, which offers scenic waterfront views and outdoor activities like fishing and boating.


Minneapolis Road Trips

Day Trips From Minneapolis

St. Croix Falls, WI

1.5 hours

St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin is a great day trip from Minneapolis as it offers scenic river views, hiking trails, and a charming downtown area with unique shops and restaurants.

Taylors Falls, MN

1.5 hours

Taylors Falls, Minnesota is another great option, as it’s home to the beautiful Interstate State Park where visitors can see the dramatic potholes and rock formations created by the St. Croix River.

Elm Creek Park Reserve

30 minutes

Elm Creek Park Reserve, located in Maple Grove, Minnesota, is a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts as it offers hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Additionally, the park features a playground, swimming pond, and a disc golf course, making it a great destination for families.

Weekend Trips From Minneapolis

Duluth, MN

2.5 hours

Duluth, Minnesota is a great weekend trip from Minneapolis as it’s a picturesque city located on the shore of Lake Superior, offering stunning views of the lake, scenic hiking trails, and a lively downtown area with unique shops and restaurants.

Wisconsin Dells, WI

3 hours

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin is another great option for a weekend trip, as it’s a popular vacation destination known for its water parks, outdoor activities like zip-lining, and family-friendly attractions like miniature golf and go-karting.

Madison, WI

4 hours

Madison, Wisconsin is a perfect weekend trip from Minneapolis for those interested in history, culture, and great food. The city is home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, numerous museums, and art galleries, and offers plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and boating on the picturesque Lake Mendota.


St. Louis Road Trips

Day Trips From St. Louis

Springfield, IL

1.5 hours

Springfield, Illinois is a great day trip from St. Louis, as it’s the capital of Illinois and offers a wealth of history and culture, including numerous Abraham Lincoln-related sites such as the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Hannibal, MO

2 hours

Hannibal, Missouri is a charming small town located on the banks of the Mississippi River and is known as the hometown of famous author Mark Twain. Visitors can visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum and explore the quaint downtown area with unique shops and restaurants.

Meramec Caverns

1 hour

Meramec Caverns, located in Sullivan, Missouri, is a great day trip destination from St. Louis as it offers visitors the chance to explore a fascinating underground cave system with guided tours, hiking trails, and other outdoor activities like zip-lining.

Weekend Trips From St. Louis

Kansas City, MO

4 hours

Kansas City, Missouri is a vibrant and bustling city that offers visitors a wealth of cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, and performing arts venues. The city is also known for its delicious barbecue and unique shopping experiences, making it a great weekend getaway from St. Louis.

Lake of the Ozarks

3 hours

Lake of the Ozarks, located in central Missouri, is a popular weekend getaway destination from St. Louis due to its beautiful natural scenery, water sports, and outdoor activities like hiking and fishing. The area is also home to numerous restaurants and entertainment venues.

Mark Twain National Forest

1.5 hours

Mark Twain National Forest, located in southern Missouri, is a perfect weekend trip for nature enthusiasts, offering miles of hiking and biking trails, beautiful natural scenery, and a variety of outdoor activities like camping and fishing.


Indianapolis Road Trips

Day Trips From Indianapolis

Marengo Cave

2 hours

Marengo Cave, located in southern Indiana, is a great day trip destination from Indianapolis as it offers visitors the chance to explore a fascinating underground cave system with guided tours, hiking trails, and other outdoor activities like gemstone mining.

Patoka Lake

2.5 hours

Patoka Lake, located in Hoosier National Forest, is a perfect day trip for nature enthusiasts as it offers beautiful natural scenery, water sports, and outdoor activities like fishing and hiking. Visitors can also rent boats and explore the lake at their leisure.

Brown County State Park

1 hour

Brown County State Park, located in Nashville, Indiana, is a great day trip destination from Indianapolis as it offers visitors the chance to explore a picturesque state park with hiking and biking trails, camping facilities, and stunning fall foliage.

Weekend Trips From Indianapolis

Put-in-Bay, OH

5 hours

Put-in-Bay, located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, Ohio, is a perfect weekend trip from Indianapolis for those looking for a fun and lively atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy water sports, wineries, and a bustling downtown area with unique shops and restaurants.

Pigeon Forge, TN

6 hours

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a perfect weekend trip from Indianapolis for those interested in outdoor activities, entertainment, and family-friendly attractions. The city offers visitors a wide range of activities such as hiking, amusement parks, theaters, and shopping.

Milwaukee, WI

4.5 hours

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a great weekend trip from Indianapolis as it’s a bustling city with a rich history, a famous brewery tour, and plenty of cultural attractions such as museums and art galleries. Additionally, Milwaukee is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, which offers scenic waterfront views and outdoor activities like fishing and boating.


Nashville Road Trips

Day Trips From Nashville

Mammoth Cave National Park

1.5 hours

Mammoth Cave National Park, located in Kentucky, is a perfect day trip from Nashville for nature enthusiasts, offering visitors the chance to explore the world’s largest cave system. The park also offers hiking trails, camping facilities, and beautiful natural scenery.

Land Between the Lakes

1.5 hours

Land Between the Lakes, located in western Kentucky, is a great day trip destination from Nashville as it offers visitors the chance to enjoy water sports, hiking, and wildlife viewing in a beautiful natural setting.

Louisville, KY

2.5 hours

Louisville, Kentucky is a great day trip from Nashville for those interested in history, culture, and great food. The city is known for its bourbon distilleries, horse racing, and unique attractions such as the Muhammad Ali Center and the Kentucky Derby Museum.

Weekend Trips From Nashville

Knoxville, TN

3 hours

Knoxville, Tennessee is a great weekend trip from Nashville as it’s a bustling city with a rich history, outdoor activities like hiking and biking, and cultural attractions such as museums and art galleries. The city is also home to the University of Tennessee and offers a lively downtown area with unique shops and restaurants.

Gatlinburg, TN

4 hours

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a perfect weekend trip from Nashville for those interested in outdoor activities, entertainment, and family-friendly attractions. The city is located in the beautiful Smoky Mountains and offers visitors a wide range of activities such as hiking, amusement parks, and shopping.

Indianapolis, IN

4.5 hours

Indianapolis, Indiana is a great weekend trip from Nashville as it’s a vibrant and bustling city with a rich history, cultural attractions such as museums and art galleries, and plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. Additionally, Indianapolis is home to the famous Indianapolis 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Road Trip Hacks

Road Trip Hacks

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Redeem Your Fetch Points Prior to Your Trip

Get Visa Gift Cards for gas prior to your trip to help save on those gas costs!
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Use Fetch to Save on Hotels and Stays

Fetch has gift cards you can redeem for hotels.com and AirBnB. Be sure to redeem your rewards prior to your road trip to save on your bookings!
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How to Save Money on Gas During Your Road Trip

As we mentioned, redeem your Fetch points prior to your road trip for Visa gift cards, this will help you pay for gas along the trip!
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Plan Your Snacks Accordingly

Don’t let hunger pangs ruin your trip! Plan out your snacks in advance and pack them in a way that’s easy to access while driving. A mix of healthy options and indulgent treats will keep everyone happy.
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Have Your Plans in Place

It’s always a good idea to have a general itinerary in place, even if you’re planning to take things slow. This will help you stay on track and make the most of your time on the road.
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Pack Light

Overpacking can be a nightmare on a road trip, so try to keep your luggage to a minimum. Stick to the essentials and leave any non-essential items at home. Your back (and your car) will thank you!
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Car Garbage Can

Keep your car tidy by investing in a car garbage can. This will help you keep the trash off the floor and out of sight, making for a more pleasant driving experience.
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Set Your Playlist Prior

Music is essential for any road trip, so make sure you have a killer playlist ready to go before you hit the road. This will help you stay pumped up and entertained throughout the journey.
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Make Sure You Have the Necessary Charging Cords

Don’t get caught with a dead phone or other device while on the road. Make sure you have all the necessary charging cords and adapters packed, so you can keep your devices juiced up and ready to go.

How To Use Fetch to Save on Your Road Trip

Using the Fetch app before, during, and after your road trip can help save you tons of money while traveling around your favorite cities:

Before you go:

  • Be sure to redeem your points for gift cards, you can use gift cards to pay for gas, food, or even your hotel
  • Look at some of your favorite restaurants, convenience stores, or retailers to see if there are any offers you can take advantage of while on the road

During your trip:

After:

  • If you saved your receipts while on the road, be sure to scan all of your receipts (and eReceipts, too) to ensure you’re getting all the points you have coming your way

Stock up on road trip snacks and earn rewards

What Are The Best Road Trip Snacks?

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Chips

A classic road trip snack! Grab your favorite flavor and enjoy them while driving. Just be careful not to get grease on the steering wheel.
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Jerky

A protein-packed snack that’s perfect for longer trips. Choose from beef, turkey, or even vegan options for a savory and satisfying snack.
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Nuts

A healthy and tasty snack option that’s easy to store in your car. Almonds, cashews, and peanuts are all great choices.
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Salty Snacks

If you’re craving something salty, try popcorn, pretzels, or crackers. These snacks are low-maintenance and easy to eat while driving.
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Protein Bars

For a quick and filling snack on the go, protein bars are a great option. Look for bars with whole ingredients and plenty of protein to keep you feeling full.
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Pizza and Sandwiches

If you’re looking for a heartier meal option, grab some pizza or sandwiches before you hit the road. Just be sure to store them in a cooler to keep them fresh.

What Are The Best Road Trip Drinks?

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Soda

A sweet treat to help you stay awake and alert on the road. Just be sure to drink in moderation and stay hydrated with plenty of water.
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Coffee

A classic road trip beverage to help you stay awake and focused. Consider investing in a travel mug to keep your coffee hot and spill-free.
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Energy Drinks

For a quick burst of energy, try an energy drink. Just be careful not to overdo it, as too much caffeine can leave you feeling jittery.
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Water

Staying hydrated is key on a road trip, so be sure to bring plenty of water with you. Consider investing in a reusable water bottle to stay eco-friendly and save money on bottled water.

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