I travel a lot. I go where my boyfriend goes for work and that takes me to many cool places. This summer we are headed to Detroit for six weeks and you’re probably thinking, hmm Detroit not really on the cool spectrum, but you’re wrong! Detroit is finally revitalizing itself and I’m excited to explore Michigan and the beauty it offers.
Being that Detroit and its surrounding suburbs are vast, I wanted to have my car with me. Perhaps I also wanted an excuse to drive across the midwest and get some delicious BBQ in Kansas. Pish Posh. Whatever the reason, my co-pilot (my mother) and I set off to drive through 8 states, stopping in various spots to marvel at the great midwest. Below lies the 8 day journey and all that it beheld!
We started in Moab, Utah. I could go on about all there is to see in this great place or you can check out my other post about summer activities in Moab here. I grew up in this perfect little town, so I picked my mother up and off we went. We stopped for a casual lunch and walk through downtown Vail. Vail is a refreshing mountain ski town that is blooming with color in the summertime. The first day we planned to travel 8 hours to the border of Colorado and Kansas to stay in a tiny town called Burlington.
Burlington is known its carousal that was transported to Denver from Philadelphia in 1905 and later made its home in Burlington in 1928 after the Denver Amusement park decided it needed a more modern version. You can read more on the history of the Kit County Carousel here. Because of our 8 hour drive, we didn’t make it in time to ride it, (hours are 11AM-6PM everyday in the summer). We did however eat a cute little burger place called, Essential Foods. For a small town, the burgers were terrific and the atmosphere was quaint and vintage.
The 6-Hour drive through the plains of Kansas can be boring and relentless if you let it be. I spent most of the time staring off into the rolling hills, dreaming of excerpts from Little House on the Prairie and other significant stories about life on the farm. We made a pit stop in Salina, Kansas for some midday lunch BBQ. The Hickory Hut was amazing! We both got sampler plates so that could share and try everything! The perfect stop-off off Highway 70.
After lunch we continued on and into Kansas City, Missouri. The drive was shorter today, because I wanted to have dinner with an old friend that I had lived in Ireland with. We hadn’t seen each other in five years! We chatted, we laughed and we reminisced and I’ll definitely be back to Kansas City in the future.
Chicago! We drove another 8 Hours through Iowa and Des Moines to get to Chicago. There were two routes we could have taken and both would have been equal distance. The other one being through St. Louis, Missouri. We detoured to the Northern route due to an incredible storm that later produced three tornados hours outside of Chicago in Southern Illinois. We watched the storm creep towards us as we entered Chicago and barely made it through before a downpour ensued! We stayed for 2 days and enjoyed a flurry of activities. You can check out my post on Two days in Chicago to get a full list of all of the great things we did! Most importantly we stopped for three large bags of Garrett’s Popcorn. It’s not a trip to Chicago without some cheddar-caramel mixed popcorn!
Instead of heading straight through to Detroit, we decided to head North to see some of my mom’s friends in Traverse City, MI.
This portion of the drive took 4.5 hours through massive rich Michigan forest. We spend the next few days wandering downtown Traverse City to try everything cherry related at Cherry Republic and spend a lovely afternoon tasting sparkling wines at a local winery soon to be featured on A&E show, Wine Warriors. Mawby’s wine was refreshing and delightful! The accompanying spreads made the midday wine buzz feel just right. Enjoy gorgeous views while sipping sparkling wine like the classy ladies we are.
We finally arrive in Detroit. The drive from Traverse City to Detroit is just about 4 hours. I took my mom to the Detroit Riverwalk and the GM building before grabbing dinner at Maggiano’s Italian. I realize there are many great food options in the Detroit area, but since I am here for six weeks that post will be in the future!
All in all, our trip was a success! Make sure to check back in 6 weeks for our drive back to LA! We plan to head through South Dakota to see Mt. Rushmore and the badlands. I’m looking forward to it!