It’s time to pack the car, grab some snacks, and venture out for an extended Labor Day weekend. What? You don’t have a road trip planned for the family? Let’s solve that problem. If you live in the Midwest, here are some primetime vacation spots and destinations to mark on your map before summer ends.
Illinois: Starved Rock State Park
Dense canopies. Gorgeous waterfalls. Layered-sandstone cliffs. There’s a reason why Starved Rock State Park is known as the #1 attraction in all of Illinois. With over 13 miles of hiking trails surrounding 18 deep canyons, this park is a perfect place to bring the family this Labor Day. Rent a cabin for the weekend, stay at the Lodge, or rough-it in your SUV for free.
Indiana: Brown County
Brown County offers a small-town atmosphere just miles away from Indiana’s hub of excitement (Indianapolis). Cell signals are rare here, but your eyes won’t complain about replacing that smartphone with picture-perfect scenery. Take the back roads to discover hidden gems like The Farmhouse Café, Gatesville Country Store, and Brown County State Park’s Fire Tower. Then relax in your secluded cabin before traveling back home on Labor Day morning.
Iowa: Amana Colonies
Taking a road trip to the 7 Villages of the Amana Colonies is like driving a DeLorean back in time—150 years back, that is. Located off I-80, the Amana Colonies is unlike any other tourist spot in the Midwest. Among the numerous niche shops, historical museums, and preserved 19th-century landmarks, the area also hosts modern attractions like an RV park, golf club, and winery.
Forget space camp—the Cosmosphere is where today’s cool kids want to go. Located just a few hours’ drive from our Olathe Nissan dealership, the Cosmosphere museum is packed with educational attractions, events, and exhibits. Take a trip through the galaxy at the Justice Planetarium, inspect a once-functional Apollo 13 command module, and follow along as Dr. Goddard explains the science of everything (or just about).
Michigan: The Henry Ford
What kind of car dealership would we be if we didn’t mention The Henry Ford museum in MI? This 250-acre Dearborn museum is essentially the historical monument that honors the American-born automobile. Here you can walk through the Rosa Parks Bus, tour a Ford Rogue factory, and even come face to face with the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (hot dogs sold separately). If you’re a lover of cars, this Michigan museum should be on your bucket list.
Minnesota: Brainerd Lakes
Nearly 500 accessible lakes put Brainerd well ahead of other must-see Minnesota destinations. Take an adventure this Labor Day at any of Brainerd Lakes’ premier vacationing hotspots, including numerous mountain bike and ATV trails, the Brainerd amusement park, and Paul Bunyan Land. For 2018, the area also hosts special Labor Day events like a GSTA Muscle Car Shootout and the annual Crosslake Outdoor Music festival.
Missouri: Lake of the Ozarks
Recognized as the best recreational lake in the nation, Lake of the Ozarks is to Missouri what Washington D.C. is to the country. When travelers plan out their road trip through Missouri, this is the can’t-miss destination. Shop, fish, dive, swim, boat—you name the activity, Lake of the Ozarks has it.
Nebraska: Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
Sure, the Kansas City Zoo is great, but there’s something special at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE. Featuring an 84,000-square-foot indoor desert dome—the biggest on Earth—this Nebraska zoo is full of critters large and small. You and the family can explore the indoor rainforest and bat cave, walk alongside and under sharks, and hop around inside one of Omaha’s largest playgrounds. Talk about a worthwhile vacation.
North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park via I-94
Take the Enchanted Highway (I-94) toward North Dakota’s Teddy Roosevelt National Park, stopping to see all the landmarks along the way, such as the “World’s Largest Tin Family.” Bike, hike, and camp under the stars all Labor Day weekend. If you wait a week, you can also fall in love with the night sky at the Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival (Sept 7-9, 2018).
Ohio: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Now that LeBron James has left for Hollywood pastures, the biggest attraction in Cleveland is once again the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Visit this museum on Labor Day to celebrate the newest 2018 inductees, including The Cars, Dire Straits, Bon Jovi, and Nina Simone. (Don’t forget a souvenir, either.)
South Dakota: Mount Rushmore
No road trip through South Dakota would be complete without stopping at Mouth Rushmore. If you think snapping photos of dead men’s heads is weird, more than three million people take selfies with Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln each year. We promise you’re not weird.
Wisconsin: Wisconsin Dells
Over-commercialized? Sure. But the Wisconsin Dells is the Midwestern family destination because of what it offers, not how it’s marketed. As the Water Park Capital of the World, the Dells has over 200 water slides, various roller coasters, restaurants, golf courses, museums, and plenty of live entertainment. If you need a place to vacation on Labor Day, this is it.
Happy Labor Day!
From all of us at McCarthy Olathe Nissan, we wish you a very happy and safe Labor Day weekend. If you need any assistance finding a reliable new car or installing an authentic Nissan accessory before your road trip, we’ll be here waiting. Contact our Olathe car dealership at 913-324-7364 or stop by our location at 683 N Rawhide Drive to speak with our sales and auto service staff.