Minneapolis to Erie Road Trip Guide


One-half of the "Twin Cities" with St Paul, Minneapolis is a thriving metropolis that is diverse, full of cultural landmarks, and is only a hop, skip, and a jump from some fantastic outdoor recreation. The city is a perfect starting point for an RV getaway for you and your partner no matter how long you plan your trip, and by starting from here you will get the chance to head on a number of different routes.

One of the best options for an RV road trip leaving from Minneapolis is to head southeast. This route will take you through Chicago and right along the bottom of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. By combining a mix of city and nature activities you will be able to make the most of your time out on the open roads, whether that be for an extended weekend or even longer. Get ready to see diverse forests, crystal clear lakes, and beautiful waterfalls along this route, so remember to bring a camera to capture some memories.

Erie is a wonderful city to make the final destination on your RV getaway. Located on the banks of Lake Erie, here you will be able to kick back and relax or check out places such as Presque Isle State Park, Waldameer Park & Water World, and The Erie Art Museum. Wherever you and your partner's interests are, Erie will be an enjoyable city to visit and a perfect end to your RV getaway.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 3-5 days
Recommend rig: motorhome
audience: couple

Point of Interest

Minneapolis Institute of Art

Widely recognized as a staple of the Minnesota art scene, the Minneapolis Institute of Art is a must-visit for couples who are wanting to enjoy some cultural offerings when beginning their RV road trip. The history of the Minneapolis Institute of Art dates way back to 1883 when the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts was founded and it first opened its doors to the public in 1915.

Around 500,000 people visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art each year where there are over 90,000 pieces in the museum that represent around 20,000 years of world history. Another great aspect of the Minneapolis Institute of Art is that there is no admission charge, so you can keep a few dollars in your pocket. Make sure you check out their website prior to your arrival to see what exhibitions will be open during your visit.

In Minnesota and St Paul, there are plenty of highly-rated campgrounds, including the Minneapolis Southwest KOA Holiday where you can stay in shady sites that feature great amenities such as full hookups, WiFi, and pavilions.

Great River Bluffs State Park

On the way out of Minnesota, there are incredible outdoor areas that you can check out, including the Great River Bluffs State Park. Located right on the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, Great River Bluffs State Park is known for the massive bluffs that the sits on.

The park overlooks the Missippi River, and during your visit be sure to check out the interesting goat prairies and scenic overlooks that are perfect photography opportunities. Other popular activities include hiking, cycling, and bird watching, so this park has a multitude of outdoor recreation options before you start driving further southeast towards the major cities. You can also head across the river to the Perrot State Park if you are wanting to experience even more outdoor recreation.

There are 31 RV-friendly sites to choose from at the Great River Bluffs State Park Campground, all of which are primitive, but there are bathhouses with hot showers and flush toilets.

Harrington Beach State Park

Since you are traveling near Lake Michigan, why not pull up your motorhome and spend a night on its banks? Harrington Beach State Park is located around 216 miles to the east of Great River Bluffs State Park and is a cozy place where you can pull up and enjoy the serenity of one of North America's five Great Lakes.

Harrington Beach State Park is a very popular summer destination since you can hit the beach and enjoy some fun in the sun. Along with swimming, fishing and paddling are other popular water-based recreation, while off the lake you can go hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking. If you are traveling during the winter months you can go cross country skiing and snowmobiling for those chasing some adrenaline.

Located less than a quarter-mile from the shores of the lake is the Harrington Beach State Park campground where there are 69 sites including around half that are equipped with 50 amp electrical hookups. This is the perfect place to stay at this stop since you won't have to pack up and find another campground after enjoying a day by the water.


After a few days out in nature, visiting Chicago will be a chance for you and your partner to get back to city life. Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the country that has so many activities and experiences available to enjoy, so no matter what you are interested in it is most likely that you will be able to enjoy it in the Windy City.

If you haven't visited Chicago before there are plenty of famous tourist attractions, including Millennium Park, Skydeck Chicago, and Navy Pier that you can check out. The food scene in Chicago is also incredible, so whatever your price range is, you will be able to find some fantastic food. Some of the best-rated affordable restaurants include Bongiorno's Cucina Italiana & Pizzeria, Carnitas Uruapan Restaurant, and Superdawg Drive-In. There are also plenty of deep dish pizza restaurants such as The Art of Pizza, and Homeslice.

Located only 30 minutes from the city, Camp Sullivan is a wonderful RV camping option that will also be super convenient for the morning when you continue your journey.

Maumee Bay State Park

After you are finished with your Chicago adventures you and your partner will be getting closer to your final destination, but before you reach Erie you need to spend some time on the banks of Lake Erie.

Maumee Bay State Park gives you the chance to enjoy some recreation on the lake along with a place to stay where you can wake up to the sounds and sights of this magnificent body of water. Officially opened as a state park back in 1975, the park is full of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, and fishing. There is also a golf course, archery range, and a nature center so there are plenty of things to see and do that don't involve the lake.

The campground at Maumee Bay State Park is on the larger side with over 250 RV-friendly sites available to choose from. All sites are equipped with electric hookups and they are open all year round, so no matter what time of the year you visit the park you will be able to stay here.


To conclude your road trip that has taken you to some of the most beautiful areas in the United States, you can't beat Erie. Like Maumee Bay State Park, Erie is located on the banks of the huge Lake Erie and it is the largest city in the Northwest Pennslyvania region. If you are feeling tired after your trip there are plenty of relaxing activities to do in the city if you want to chill out, or if you are still chomping at the bit for adventure you can get your fix too.

A unique way to have some fun in the city is to pay a visit to Waldameer & Water World. Featuring over 100 rides, the water park overlooks the lake and it is also close to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Scott Park, and Presque Isle Skating and Event Center. This area of the city also means that you will be very close to the Sara Coyne Campground, which is one of the best-rated RV campgrounds in the city.

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