Detroit to Denver Road Trip Guide


When people think of Detroit, they often think of the heart of Motown music and the unique cars that are in the area. It was even the first city to provide private phone numbers! One of the coolest things about the largest city in Michigan is that you can see Canada throughout different areas of the city. Detroit is also home of the potato chip and many vehicle companies have their headquarters there. This includes General Motors, Ford Motors, and Chrysler.

If you’re a local, you’ll know that this city experiences all four seasons. The summers are humid and short, while the winters are frigid and long. It’s a beautiful place to call home but just like anywhere else in America, you may want to get away for a mini-vacation!

Consider taking a road trip from Detroit, Michigan to Denver, Colorado. This is a great opportunity to get your friend group together, split the cost of an affordable motorhome to rent, and head out on the road! Check out some of the amazing pit stops along the way below.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 7+ days
Recommend rig: motorhome
audience: friends

Point of Interest

Beecher Island

You’ve almost made it to Denver but you have one last stop at Beecher Island near Wray, Colorado. This is a sandbar that has a rich history and is a beautiful sight to see. It is a tributary located along the lower course of the Arikaree River. It may not sound like much but it’s a great area to stretch your legs and get in a hike after a few days on the road.

Beecher Island was a battleground that was eventually washed out from a damaging flood. There was even a giant statue that was placed there after the battle that was washed away from the floodwaters. It’s a special area if you know the history. It may be a good idea to read up on it during the drive and share it with your friends to make the experience all the more memorable.

Sunken Gardens

As you continue to make your way through Nebraska, it’s best to make a stop in Lincoln, as there isn’t too much throughout the rest of the state. There is camping all around the state where you can park and get some rest for the last leg of your journey. One of the more unique places to see in Lincoln, Nebraska is the Sunken Gardens. This garden was constructed in the early 1930s and has made it into the National Geographic Guide to Public Gardens before.

There are over 30,000, yes you read that right, 30,000 individual plants to see there. This is unlike any garden you’ve ever seen before. If you’re traveling in the spring you’ll be able to watch the tulips bloom, and in the summer you can see many more flowers come to life! Don’t forget to visit and watch the leaves change color come autumn!

Fun-Plex Waterpark

Located in Omaha, Nebraska, Fun-Plex Waterpark is a more modern way to cool off during the warm summer months. More than just a waterpark, it is considered to be the largest amusement park in all of Nebraska. It has the only roller coaster in the state and the entire park started as a simple go-kart track in the late 1970’s. There is a fun wave pool there that will make you feel like you’re in the ocean.

If you’re looking for something a bit more laid back, there is a lazy river where you can kick back in an inner tube and float away the stress of your daily life. There are multiple water slides that are worth climbing the stairs for at Fun-Plex Waterpark as well. While kids can enjoy the kid-friendly play area, adults can take advantage of the swim-up bar for a cocktail right in the water!

Lake Storey

As you continue on to Denver, Colorado, you’ve had quite the trip so far! Before leaving the great state of Illinois, it’s time to hit the lake. Road trips can be stinky, sweaty, and uncomfortable, especially in the warmer months. Stopping at Lake Storey is a great way to cool off and get your body moving between points of interest. It is located in Galesburg, Illinois and has beautiful scenery.

You can cast a reel in the lake and catch your own dinner fresh from the lake! Some of the more commonly caught fish are bass, crappies, and muskies. There is plenty of wildlife in the area that you can observe, as long as you don’t feed them! You can get in a classic game of Marco Polo, go for a casual swim, or even rent a kayak for an afternoon out on the water.

Millenium Park

One of the most iconic places in Chicago is Millenium Park. Home to plenty of shopping, great restaurants, theater venues, and more, it’s worth going a few miles off course to spend a day there. You can take photos of and with your friends in front of the Bean. If it’s summer during your visit, you can cool off by splashing around in the Crown Fountain or catch a race at the Speedway!

You’ll be able to watch live musicians and other artists at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. If you’re looking for a place to do yoga or meditate after a few days on the road, check out the Lurie Garden. You can’t go to Chicago without getting a delicious slice of deep-dish pizza! Stop at Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, Giordano's, or Gino’s East! It’s worth it to drive a few miles out of the way to make plenty of amazing memories in one of the best cities in America.

Studebaker National Museum

After a day filled with amazing animals, it’s time to hit the road and head towards Colorado. Stopping at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana is a great way to stretch your legs after hours in the motorhome. This is a national museum that is home to a variety of unique automobiles, carriages, military vehicles, and more. Some parts of the museum will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

You’ll be able to see cars that didn’t have the modern amenities that we have today. There is a permanent collection of vehicles, as well as a rotating exhibit. If you’re exhausted after a long day of exploring, it’s time to hit the hay before heading towards the windy city. You can park the motorhome at the South Bend KOA for a convenient place to stay overnight.

Binder Park Zoo

You can’t quite beat a day at the zoo, even while you’re on a road trip. Located in Battle Creek, Michigan, the Binder Park Zoo consists of over 430-acres and has been open since the late 1970s. This is one of the biggest zoos in the entire state of Michigan. You won’t only see animals there. The Binder Park Zoo is home to unique plants and flowers as well. There you will find large black bears, majestic African lions, towering giraffes, and more!

There are several animals there that you’ve likely not seen in other zoos before. The Binder Zoo also has a giraffe experience that allows visitors to hand-feed our tall spotted friends! Like many other zoos, there are education programs and even overnight experiences where you get to camp out with all of the animals.

Detroit Institute of Art

Before you leave Detroit, you and your buddies have to make a stop at the Detroit Institute of Art. You’ll be able to spend quite a few hours roaming around this museum. It covers nearly 700,000 square feet and is home to over 100 different galleries. It is one of the largest and most impressive art collections in the United States. You don’t have to be a massive fan of art to have a good time there either!

The Detroit Institute of Art has exhibits that come and go throughout the year and you can check the calendar on the website to see what’s there during your trip. If you started your trip a little bit before Detroit you may want to rest before the long journey. You could stay at Scout Hollow Rouge Park, right in Detroit, for the night.


Now that you’ve reached the beautiful Mile High City that is Denver, you’ll be able to visit the Denver Botanical Gardens, the Denver Art Museum, and more. You may want to watch your favorite band at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre before you make your way back towards Detroit in the RV.

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