Since it is only 4.5 hours from Milwaukee to Indianapolis, it is the perfect weekend road trip. There are so many fun things to do along the way, like taking in a game at Champaign’s Memorial Stadium or watching a play at the Virginia Theater. There are fantastic state parks to visit along the way. One park that you will not want to miss is White River State Park with all the attractions, including the Indianapolis Zoo, once you arrive.
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
Head to Indiana Sand Dunes National Park near Porter, Indiana, to play on Lake Michigan's sandy shores. One activity that you will not want to miss is walking across the dunes. Check the Singing Sands Park Guide for any special events occurring during your visit. In particular, look for events happening at the historic Chellberg Farm. Usually, a maple sugar festival happens in March, an apple festival in August, and a fall festival in October. Go for a stroll along the 15-mile-long sandy beach. See if you can time your walk to correspond with low tide so that you can beach comb. West Beach is a beautiful place to go swimming from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Several trails leading from this beach offer fantastic views of the lake. While there are no lifeguards on duty, Porter Beach is another beautiful place to go swimming.
Starved Rock State Park
Follow the 13 miles of meandering trails under towering trees and across scenic overlooks offering stunning views of the Illinois River by stopping at Starved Rock State Park near Utica. Rangers often lead wildflower hikes in the spring and hikes to see the glorious fall colors in the autumn. This park is a fantastic place to start a canoeing or kayaking adventure on the river. Many different types of watercraft are available to rent. The river is also an excellent place to fish for catfish, bullhead, white bass, sauger, walleye, carp, and crappie. Areas of this park are open for deer and wild turkey hunting seasonally.
Shabbona Lake State Park
If you love to fish for muskies, do not bypass Shabbona Lake State Park near Shabbona, Illinois. It is easy to launch a rented paddleboat, rowboat, or pontoon on this man-made lake or bring your own vessel. Over 740 acres of this park are managed for seasonal deer, waterfowl, and dove hunting. There are many excellent places to have a picnic, including a 40-person group pavilion.
Channahon State Park
The official trailhead for the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail lies in Channahon State Park near Channahon, Illinois. This 61-mile trail is especially perfect for hikes in the spring when you can often see wildflowers and waterfowl like great blue herons. Other times of the year, you will enjoy seeing the sites located along the canal, like Lock 6 and the lock tender's house. This park is also a fantastic place to go fishing for bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and bullhead in the canal or the DuPage River. This is a great stop to include in a Milwaukee to Indianapolis road trip if you want a place to settle under large shade trees and read a book.
Matthiessen State Park
Depending on the season, hike, cross-country ski, or go horseback riding on the trails at Matthiessen State Park near Utica. This park is primarily known for its interesting rock formations. There are over nine miles of mountain biking trails. Practice your archery skills at the target range. Go on ranger-guided night hikes at this location during your Milwaukee to Indianapolis RV road trip to see nocturnal animals.
Kankakee River State Park
Kankakee River State Park is a linear park that runs for 11 miles on both sides of the Kankakee River near Kankakee, Illinois. The river is listed on the Federal Clean Streams Register. Anglers looking to catch fish from a boat often bring in smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, and northern pike from this river, and shore fishing can be particularly great from Rock Creek. The shallow water with boulders underneath it give the fish plenty of places to hide. Rent a horse at this park’s stables to explore over 13 miles of trails. Guided trail rides are an excellent option for those not comfortable going out independently, and young children love the pony rides offered. Seasonally, this can be a great place to go duck, pheasant, turkey, dove, rabbit, squirrel, fox, coyote, and raccoon hunting. You can also go archery hunting for deer.
Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower
Located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, these glass-enclosed cubicles allow you to stand on a glass floor with nothing to block your view. There are exhibits on the same floor teaching about this building’s unique architecture as it was the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere for many years. Adding this stop to your road trip from Milwaukee to Indianapolis also allows you to visit other Willis Tower attractions, like their fantastic art installations, and go on a guided tour of the building.
Garfield Park Conservatory Gardens
See over 1,000 plant species from around the globe under glass at Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory. The glass dome and surrounding facility cover more than 2 acres. When you visit this venue that opened in 1908, be sure to see the Fern Room; you will love the blending of the water and elements with the various tropical plants.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum is a free museum that helps families understand basic economic principles through game playing. View rare coins from America’s earliest history and learn the history of American money through interactive displays. Learn more about the federal reserve system by going on the daily special guided tour.
American Writers Museum
Explore the past, present, and future of writing in America at Chicago’s American Writers Museum. The exhibits rely on all five senses to teach about novels, song lyrics, poetry, plays, speeches, comics, and journalism written within the country. Author talks and children’s story times are frequent occurrences.
Field Museum of Natural History
There are over 24 million objects in the permanent collection at the Field Museum of Natural History. See many taxidermized animals, like the man-eating lions of Tsavo, and numerous skeletons. Gain a better understanding of how life has evolved on earth over the last 4 billion years. View over 33 mummies and explore homes from around the world. Gaze at one of the most extensive T. rex specimens on earth.
Kenosha, Wisconsin, is a fun city to explore with outdoor activities like fishing, boating, and hiking. There are also fun history museums to explore. Consider campgrounds in Kenosha, like Happy Acres Kampground, where special activities happen every weekend from May to October, or the county-operated Cliffside Park Campground. Find Kenosha RV dump stations at Chain O'Lakes State Park, Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort, and Illinois Beach State Park.
You can find lots to do in Chicago, including visiting Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park, and Grant Park. Chicago campgrounds can be found at Camp Ground Road Woods, where you will love the hiking trails, and Camp Sullivan, where you will love the climbing wall. Chicago RV dump stations are available at Burnidge & Paul Wolff Forest Preserve, Vacationland, and Novak’s 83RV Inc.
Home to Purdue University, Lafayette offers many different things to do and see. History lovers will want to visit Prophetstown State Park, the Tippecanoe Battlefield Memorial, and Fort Ouiatenon. Lafayette campground options include AOK Campground, where you can cool off in the swimming pool, and Big Fish’n Campground, which has three stocked fishing ponds. Lafayette Travel Trailer Sales and Heartland Storage Lafayette are just a couple of the great choices when you are looking for Lafayette RV dump stations.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Milwaukee to Indianapolis, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Milwaukee or Indianapolis.