Start a cross country road trip in Indianapolis, Indiana, and head west to Boulder, Colorado, for camping, sightseeing, and attractions that will create many fond, family memories. Indianapolis is Indiana's state capital and is famous for its Indy 500 auto race and track. If you can't catch the big race on Memorial Day weekend, you can still visit the track at any time to tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
While in the city, visit the White River State Park which covers 250 acres, and is centrally located on the river that winds through the city. The park contains the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, a botanical garden, and hosts concert and events throughout the year. While in Indianapolis your family can also take in the largest children's museum in the world, complete with a plethora of interactive exhibits that provide kids with the chance to explore art, science, history, and culture, and includes a Dinosphere, planetarium, five-level playground, and a rideable antique carousel.
To start your road trip, what could be easier than getting on Interstate 70 from Indianapolis, and heading west for just over 1000 miles to Denver, then pick up Route 36 to beautiful Boulder, Colorado. While staying in Indianapolis, visitors will find RV camping at the Indianapolis KOA, which accommodates rigs up to 120 feet in length and has RV hookups, a pool, dog park, WiFi, and even bike rentals.
Staying in Indianapolis over the Memorial Day Weekend? Don't miss the Indianapolis 500 motorsports event, visited every year by 300,000 people! This race is the oldest automobile race in the world, the first-ever Indy 500 having taken place in 1911, and covers a distance of 500 miles. The event takes place at the Indianapolis Speedway and RV camping is available onsite during the event.
This event is more than just the race, several ceremonies and celebrations take place prior to the start of the race. Get your tickets ahead of time from the event website as they go almost as fast as the cars. As you can imagine with the number of attendees, traffic and parking at the event can be challenging, so leave yourself plenty of time, and check which parking lot you are headed to prior to the event.
You can arrange to camp onsite; some sites in parking lots accommodate rigs up to 50 feet in length, and there are varying services and amenities. If you choose to camp off-site there are a number of RV parks and campgrounds near the speedway.
As you head west on Interstate 70, you will find a great park for outdoor adventures and camping at Lincoln Trail State Park. The park is so named because, in 1831, Abraham Lincoln’s family passed through the area on their journey from Indiana to Illinois. The park is full of wonderful wildlife and scenery and receives snowfall in the off-season, turning it into a winter wonderland. Enjoy sightseeing, hiking, fishing, and boating during your park stay. Boat docks on the lake facilitate water activities and canoes, paddleboats, and kayaks are available for rent from the park concession stand. There is a motor limit of 10 hp on the lake, and the lake is well stocked with fish for sport fishing activities.
There are two RV campgrounds, both of which feature electric hookups and provide many amenities for campers. There's even a restaurant in the park that delivers to the campsites! Plainview Campground has 105 sites and is open all year. Many sites have electric hookups and there are pull-through sites that accommodate large RV units. The Lakeside Campground has 72 campsites, most of which are pull-through sites and have electric hookups. This campground is closer to the lake, with its boat docks and fish cleaning stations. The park is easy to access, just south of Interstate 70 and west of the town of Terre Haute.
As you continue down Interstate 70, through Effington, Illinois, auto buffs will want to stop at the My Garage Museum, which displays a large collection of rare cars including an extensive collection of Corvettes and Volkswagens, as well as various automotive memorabilia.
There are thousands of artifacts displayed in the museum's various exhibits. Check out the 1910 gas station that has been relocated and restored on-site. There are also rare and unique prototype, concept, and racing vehicles. Vehicles are on display on a rotating basis throughout the year. Check out their website at My Garage Museum to see what vehicles are currently on display. To get to the My Garage Museum, which is located on campus at Mid-American Motorworks in Effingham, Illinois, from Interstate 70, take exit 162 on Route 45 and proceed north for 1.6 miles.
RV campers will find a campground in the Effington region a little further down Interstate 70 at Eldon-Hazlet State Park.
As you continue west through St. Louis, visitors of all ages will love the St Louis Wheel, a huge observation Ferris wheel with 42 enclosed gondolas. The observation wheel is 200 feet high and provides views of up to 20 miles on a clear day. The ride takes about 15 minutes to complete four rotations and operates 365 days a year. There is even a VIP gondola that can be booked for $50 per seat, and accommodates four riders in a special private gondola with leather seats and a glass floor! A photograph to commemorate your wheel trip is included in the price of this VIP experience.
At the site of the St Louis Wheel, there is also an 18 hole mini golf course and a classic carousel. Visit The St Louis Wheel website for details on ticket prices and hours which vary by season. Parking on-site is available, but may not accommodate RV units and tow vehicles. You can camp south of the city at Washington State Park where campers can view petroglyphs and will find a campground with electric hookups that accommodates RVs up to 102 feet in length.
When you and your family get to Kansas City, it’s time for some wild thrill rides at the Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun Theme Park. Covering over 235 acres, the theme park has tons of rides and slides designed to delight! Kids and adults alike can enjoy a variety of midway attractions with spinning rides like Cyclone Sam and Bamboozler, or make a big splash on Fury of the Nile. The “Detonator” rockets you to the sky, while the SteelHawk takes riders on a flight 301 feet above the skyline of the city, and provides views for many miles.
Favorite rides like the Patriot and MAMBA are great for thrill-seekers, but there are also tamer family and kids rides for younger and more cautious midway goers. The Oceans of Fun area is a premier water park that won’t disappoint and is ideal for a hot midwest summer day. It features 23 slides and 17 attractions, with a surf city wave pool that has over 1000000 gallons and a 720-foot lazy river, the Caribbean Cooler. When you're tired of rides, sit back and take in the live entertainment at the park. Dance parties with the “Peanuts gang” are popular with little ones, and there are several theatres with singers, dancing, and performances, as well as dining on-site. Special events take place regularly throughout the year.
While staying near Kansas City, RVers will find the Kansas City KOA as they approach the city from the east, right on Interstate 70. The KOA has plenty of amenities and makes a great place to set up camp during your stay.
When you get to the junction on Interstate 70 with Highway 99, take a quick detour north to the land of OZ in Wamego, Kansas. The Oz Museum feature exhibits inspired by the Wizard of Oz movie, book, and broadway show. The museum is dedicated to all things Oz.
Learn details about the movie and actors, of the famous 1939 musical starring Judy Garland, earlier silent movies starring Oliver Hardy, or more recent renditions like “The Wiz” starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. There are 100 years of Oz history to explore! Journey down the Yellow Brick Road and view the numerous displays which include hand jeweled ruby slippers with over 3500 Swarovski crystals created by a renowned artist, a reproduction of the Haunted Forest, set decor from the Muppets version of The Wizard of Oz, a 24 color illustrated first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book, hand-painted character masks, flying monkey miniatures from the 1939 movie, Broadway musical props from "Wicked”, and more. Memorabilia like movie posters and rare autographs, and documents can also be perused.
When you're done, check out the gift shop that allows fans of the story to purchase collectibles to commemorate their visit.
You're almost at your destination when you pass through Denver, Colorado. A great stop in this city for families is the Children's Museum of Denver. This 46,000 square foot museum, housed on a nine-acre campus, has dozens of child-friendly exhibits and attracts almost half a million visitors annually. The museum focuses on educational programming and interactive exhibits for children from newborns to age eight. Exhibits focus heavily on science, technology, health and wellness, and literacy and arts. Young visitors will get to share in experiences that celebrate their innate wonder and joy and foster their love of discovery.
Explore the Adventure Forest a 500-foot long aerial adventure course and immersive art installation, or trek up a mountain path at the Altitude exhibit, and experience an amazing view. Big Backyard allows participants to “shrink” to the size of a woodland creature and explore a backyard from this unique perspective. The Box Canyon exhibit allows visitors to climb over boulders and pass through a waterfall. Budding firefighters can sound the siren and get geared up at Fire Station No 1.
Animal lovers will be thrilled with “Ready Vet Go”, a chance to see what it is like to be an animal doctor. Kids can learn about sources of energy during their visit and see how to generate power from the wind, sun, and even using their own body. There is an art studio, and an assembly plant, as well as a teaching kitchen and more! The museum is located in Gates Park which makes a great place for a picnic, and the museum has a gift shop with educational items as well as a cafe.
When you've arrived in Boulder, Colorado, head just west of the city to the Golden Gate Canyon State Park for fabulous Colorado outdoor adventures, and RV camping opportunities. The park receives over 800 000 visitors annually and covers 12000 acres. With serene forests, glorious mountains, and colorful open meadows, there are tons of activities and unlimited fresh air. At the Panoramic Point Scenic Overlook you can enjoy views of up to 100 miles across the Continental Divide. There are 40 miles of trails for hiking and cycling. Fishing is available at the Kriley Pond which has a pier, and there are other ponds and waterways to cast your line and try your luck. During the winter, the park becomes a snow-covered winter wonderland and is popular for ice fishing, cross country and downhill skiing, and other snow sports.
Camp at the Reverend's Ridge Campground which has 97 campsites, including 59 with electrical hookups. You can also rent cabins and yurts here. There are no water or sewer hookups, but there is an RV dump station and communal water supply, shower houses, and flush toilets. Reservations are recommended at this popular campground, as it fills up fast.
Boulder, Colorado, is quite the destination, famous for its location right on the east slopes in the Piney Foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Here, outdoor activities and beautiful scenery are the order of the day! Enjoy camping, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, and cycling during your Boulder stay, with the magnificent mountains as a backdrop.
When you are all tuckered out from your outdoor activity, take in Boulder’s dining establishments, shopping, and art galleries. Many community events are held throughout the year with music venues, bars, and pubs often providing live entertainment. Browse local museums or do some taste testing at local breweries. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this scenic city.