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Driving from Chicago to Denver: Where to stop midway?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We're taking a road trip from Chicago to Wolf Creek, CO in mid-January. We'll be stopping in Denver on the way out to visit friends for a couple of days. I have 2 young children (2 and 4.5 yrs old) and can not do the whole drive in one shot. Does anyone have any recommendations on reasonably priced hotels somewhere around half way between Chicago and Denver? We're looking for something that will allow the kids to blow off some steam (ie pool or large area for kids to run around) after about 6-7 hours in the car. Thanks!
post #2 of 7
I would check out travelocity or expedia for Omaha. That is really the only metro area that would have a good selection for you, and is about 1/2 way.
post #3 of 7
Our family drives from West Michigan to Denver at least twice a winter. If you have a partner driving with you we have found it quite easy to drive straight thru with the kids. We leave late afternoon and drive 3 or 4 hours before stopping for dinner, usually just west of Chicago. The excitement of the trip keeps them going for that period. After dinner put them in jammies, turn on a movie, and drive right thru the night. My kids fall asleep watching the movie and wake up for breakfast in Denver. The key is to do the vast majority of the driving while they are sleeping. Traffic is almost non existant, truck stops are kind of fun at 3 in the morning, and XM radio is a lifesaver. Only bad weather can kill this plan!! Good luck and have fun.
post #4 of 7
Did you ever try roomsaver.com? In my experience decent chain motels are pretty much the same everywhere. I've used Roomsaver before. It has discounts with a variety of properties in Omaha and Des Moines depending on how far you want to drive on first day:

http://roomsaver.com/coupon_search.php?state_id=13
post #5 of 7
I used to live in Maryland and would drive cross country on I-80 a few times every year. I always stopped right outside Chicago and then again in North Platte, NB. There is a Hampton Inn or Fairfield there somewhere right off the exit. For the kids there is the largest train yard in the country and a western park right next to the hotel.

It will take you about 11 hours to North platte and then about 5.5 hours to Denver the next day.
post #6 of 7
I live in the western burbs and can make Denver in 13 hours. If you are looking for something with a lot of hotels, a little over 1/2 way, try Kearny NE.
post #7 of 7
Lincoln, NE is another possibility. It's roughly half way and has lots of reasonable motels (it's a college town as well as the capitol). Everything is pretty close to I-80 - and much easier to navigate than Omaha.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Driving from Chicago to Denver: Where to stop midway?