Chicago to Des Moines Road Trip Guide


Bold architecture, interesting music and food, and plenty of sports are some of the many things to enjoy in the city of Chicago. The city sees a lot of winds, perhaps due to its nearness to the riverside. The weather is ever accommodating and with over 185 days of sunshine per year, there is plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors here.

Exploring the city of Chicago has its privileges. Big on cuisine and food specialties, it is one of the places where you can truly have an amazing gastronomic experience. Add to that the blooming precedence of the sports scene, and artistry and craftsmanship across the whole city, and you’ll have a breathtaking time here.

If you want to take your adventure outside Chicago, then embarking on an RV road trip to Des Moines in Iowa in another part of the country will help you discover new places and ideas. It will trigger your fun-venture as well as be the perfect blend of education and relaxation. And add to that, your destination, Des Moines, is the perfect vacation spot. This cool city is a forerunner in several recreation activities, amazing, and filled with vibrant culture, food, and sports.

Share this road trip guide


Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 2-3 days
Recommend rig: any
audience: family

Point of Interest

Rock Creek State Park

As you wind up your RV road trip, your last stop has to be Rock Creek State Park in Kellogg, Iowa. This facility is one of Iowa’s major state parks and offers plenty of fun opportunities for the outdoor lover, from picnicking, to lake recreation, and trail activities.

While with your family, you can share meals at any of the picnic shelters that are available here. What’s more, you’ll get good views of the Rock Creek Lake as you feast. Besides, you can reserve any of the picnic shelters online before you arrive, to make things easier. Water-based recreation enthusiasts will find good opportunities to fish, boat, and swim on the lake. Beach activities are also popular here.

Wish to spend the night? You have nothing to worry about as the campground here offers modern amenities such as electrical hookups for RVs, as well as restrooms and showers. Reservations are accepted, and some other campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

John Deere Pavilion

If you like big machines, then John Deere Pavilion is the place for you. You’ll have a fascinating time as you get around technology and farm machinery. Enjoy the display of several different pieces of equipment used for agriculture purposes in Moline.

The wide variety of equipment and exhibits available here ensure an interactive and hands-on session while you’re on a tour of the facility. Have a go at one of the machines and see how they are operated. There are many activities and games that children can play here and it is a great way to get the family together for a couple of hours. The gift store has a lot of items and offers you the chance to stock up on supplies and memorabilia.

Take a tour of the town and enjoy the river view while visiting a restaurant or walking in the park. Besides, you can mix with the locals and get a feel of the town.

Afton Forest Preserve

Your journey through DeKalb will bring you through some really scenic landscapes. These views are photo-worthy so bring your cameras along. When you arrive at Afton Forest Preserve, you’ll find that it is rich in biodiversity as it features several species of birds and animals and plants in different ecosystems.

This park, both ADA-accessible and pet-friendly, is open all year round. There are almost 300 different species of birds that have made this place home, so bird watching is one of the favorite pastimes here. Other activities available in the Forest include hiking, fishing, and skiing. There are playgrounds and picnic areas available for a family get-together. Have a picnic and enjoy the sunset while overlooking the lake.

The park offers shelter for accommodation and camping. The largest of RVs are welcome here and will find no trouble finding hookups.

Star Worlds Arcade

Get in the game spirit when you stop at the Star Worlds Arcade in DeKalb, Illinois, and play some games with the family. The arcade provides all-round family entertainment by creating a blend of classic and contemporary games suitable for people of all ages, thereby giving you a reason to stop by.

Get limited edition items from the souvenir store and hit one of the Mario Kart machines where you can race against family and friends. And it doesn’t end there; you could also join a dance party and improve your body rhythm and movement. Roam freely around the arcade and spend hours playing different games. No two experiences are ever the same, so prepare yourself.

Should you be needing a place to hook up your RV, there are a variety of campgrounds and camping sites all around the town. Feel free to explore the town and get to know more about it.


The journey is ending but the fun is not. This old town city with a modern outlook is famous for its local arts scene and culture. This capital city of Iowa has several parks lined around the state to make your stay as pleasurable as possible.

Make it a point of duty to visit the Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens and learn about conservation. Take a stroll down one of the many attractions here and enjoy a few hours out with the birds singing and the butterflies flying around. Be sure that you make the most of the trip down here and have an amazing time.

Share this Road trip guide