I go to Indianapolis a lot and instead of going through Chicago I take I-39 from Rockford down to Bloomington-Normal and I-74 over to Indianapolis. It is 40 miles farther than going through Chicago or around Chicago but is faster unless you drive through Chicago in the middle of the night. I’ve tried Iowa a few times for variety but for some reason it seems to add a lot of time even though the miles say different.
Thanks Davydd – I will indeed check you reports. We are planning on taking the Iowa route as we have done I94 to Chicago and beyond many times, and it is desperately boring, plus I hate toll booths!
Right now, the plan is to take I74. Thanks for suggesting Gross Burger.
My family (2 adults 2 kids) will be driving both ways, and would love some recommendations for places to eat, and sites to see, along the way.
We may drive it in one day, or stop overnight along the way, depending on what there is to see!
I drive from Minneapolis to Indianapolis quite frequently and have gone many ways. Going through Iowa always adds at least an extra hour. I’m guessing through Iowa it would be close to 14 hours to Louisville and maybe more with kids in tow. I’ve covered Iowa, Illinois and Indiana extensively in my trip reports (always with photos) here on Roadfood.com. Search threads I’ve started on Trip Reports.
Wanderingjew recently did a http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Heartlanding-Through-the-Breadbasket-m611406.aspx trip report that covered quite a bit of Iowa. It’s fairly lengthy but might give you some good ideas.
Will you be taking I-74 from the Quad Cities to I-65 in Indianapolis? I like to stop at Gross’ Burgers in Danville, IL when I pass that way.
In north-eastern Iowa, we were really impressed with the feelings one got at the ‘Field of Dreams’ movie location site. Maybe I am just a sap for the links to the past I felt in the movie, but sitting in the bleachers like Kevin Costner and James Earl JONES did in that film brought the same sort of feelings out. The place is located about 20 miles or so from Debuque. Not sure what a visit would be like in the winter…but it is free !!
We use the I-65 to 74 to 39 route for our trips up to Central Wisconsin from Louisville every year. It is about the quickest and most direct way to go (almost !!).
Plenty of FF along those roads…and a check of the Indy places on this site in the reviews section will give you a number of alternatives.
Also on I-74 just inside the Indiana St Line (exit 4) is the Beef House. Excellent Steaks, not cheap but not a budget-buster either. Good place to stop if you want to take the time for a ‘sit-down’ lunch or dinner.
Minneapolis MN to Louisville KY via Iowa City
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