Some RV trips make a great excursion for your family, and this Wichita to Chicago road trip is one of them. You will start by heading northeast on I-35 until you reach Kansas City. Then, head east on I-70 to make a stop at the only national park on this trip. Once you are done exploring the park and the city around it, continue the journey by going north on I-55. This route will take you all the way to Chicago, and the Windy City has plenty to see when you arrive, including the WNDR Museum, the Chicago History Museum, and the Shedd Aquarium.
Gateway Arch National Park
On your road trip from Wichita to Chicago, make sure that you take the time to stop by Gateway Arch National Park. The park is located in St. Louis, and the main feature of the park, which is the iconic arch, stands at 630 feet and represents the gateway to the west. Since the park is in St Louis, there are not many trails to hike, but there are plenty of places that you can walk. In fact, the legs of the arch are 630 feet apart, and there is a tram that takes you to the top of the arch. You can also take a cruise down the Mississippi River on one of the riverboats that can give you a great sunset view of the city.
Eisenhower State Park
Eisenhower State Park is located in Kansas, and it is made up of 1,785 acres of woodland and prairies. There is also a large lake within the park, which opens up opportunities for fishing. There is also a swimming beach at the edge of the lake and a fishing pond for kids that is stocked so that they have an easier time catching a fish. The park also has trails to hike, a volleyball court, a disc golf course, and an archery trail that you can enjoy.
Hillsdale State Park
Hillsdale State Park is another stop to make in Kansas. The park Is located along Hillsdale Lake, so it's a stop that many anglers will want to make. Fishing and boating can be done anywhere on the lake, but there is also a swimming beach called Windsurfer Beach that is great for paddleboarding, swimming, and other water activities. Hunting, biking, and horseback riding are also often enjoyed in the park. In addition, there is an amphitheater in the park that can help teach you about the region.
Castlewood State Park
Castlewood State Park is located along the Meramec River, so it is a great place for visitors to enjoy viewing wildlife. While you are here, you can fish in the river, ride downstream in a kayak, hike some trails, or even take a dip in the water. Biking and horseback riding are also popular trail activities that you can enjoy in the park. Make sure that you take the time to visit the World Bird Sanctuary houses if you like wildlife. The houses are homes for several birds of prey, so kids will be excited to see these animals up close.
Sangchris Lake State Park
On this Wichita to Chicago RV road trip, one of the Illinois state parks that you will be visiting is Sangchris Lake State Park. Since the park includes 120 miles of shoreline, it is a great place to enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, and other water activities. There are also plenty of trails around the lake that you can explore, including hiking trails, biking trails, and bridle trails. Hunting in the park is permitted. There is also an archery range within the park.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site covers 4,000 acres and is home to some of the most complex archaeological sites in the country. There are mounds that served as buildings, burial mounds, and more. There is even an observatory that has wooden posts that align with the sun and the movements that it makes throughout the year. While visiting this location, make sure that you climb the 147 steps to the top of Monk Mound. This is the tallest human-made mound in the county, and from the top, you can see the St. Louis skyline.
In the 1920s, James Teter created a rock pile designed to be a guidepost for anyone looking for the Cottonwood River. As the town grew, the rock decreased in size until it was reconstructed in 1954. Teter Rock is 16 feet tall and can be seen for miles. There is not much to see around Teter Rock, but it will give you an idea of just how vast the prairie in this area of the country can be.
Pelican Indoor Harbor/Outdoor Aquatic Park
Pelican Indoor Harbor/Outdoor Aquatic Park is family fun that you can enjoy throughout the year. It features two zero-depth entry pools, diving wells, a spray area, a lazy river, and waterslides. There is also a sand playground so that kids feel like they are at the beach. Lap pools are available inside, and there is a hot tub where adults can relax. This is a great place to relax and unwind while the kids have a blast, and since it has an indoor area, this is an attraction that your family can enjoy in the rain or when it is cold.
Emporia is a city that has a rich history. There are about a dozen historic structures in the city that you can visit, including the William Allen White House, where five presidents stayed. While you are in the city, stop by the David Traylor Zoo, and take a Prairie Earth tour for a unique experience. If you need to find a place to hunker down for the night, there are several Kansas campgrounds nearby that you can consider. If you need to empty your wastewater, find a dump station nearby that lets RVers use it for free or for a small fee.
Kansas City, Missouri
On your road trip itinerary from Wichita to Chicago, make sure you stop in Kansas City. This urban area is known for its top-of-the-line barbecue and jazz music, so make sure to enjoy both while you are visiting. The National World War I Museum, the Nelson Atkins Museum, and the American Jazz Museum are stops that you will want to make in the city. You can also make a splash at Schlitterbahn and enjoy some thrills at the World of Fun.
To visit both parks, the museums, and the zoo, you are going to need to find a campground in the area. In fact, RV Parks like Basswood Country RV Resort and Missouri State Fair RV Park have dump stations that are free for guests to use. Other RVers will also be able to use the stations with a small fee determined by the campground.
If you are a history buff, then stopping in Springfield, IL, is a must. This is the city where Abraham Lincoln lived before he became president. Lincoln's home is actually a national historical site that you can explore, and there is also an Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum that you can visit. Lincoln's tomb, the location where he, his wife, and his children were laid to rest, can also be visited in this city. You will want to tour the Dana-Thomas house, which was constructed by Frank Lloyd Wright, to see the architecture and the glass artwork that can be found there.
Since there is so much to see in the city of Springfield, look for a campground or RV park to stay at for a few nights. If you like nature, then Riverside Campgrounds offers boating and fishing, and these locations are not far from the attractions in Springfield. Places like Crazy Horse Campground and Robin Hood Woods Campground have dump stations that you can use if you need.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Wichita to Chicago, 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 Wichita or Chicago.