Eisenhower is the father of the interstate highway system
March 21, 2008 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Roadtrip! Kansas City MO to Madison WI, to celebrate my birthday over a long weekend in April. Please help us plan with insider advice on local color, tasty food & drink, picturesque roads, historic spots and natural wonders -- anything we'd be silly to miss.

I'd really really like to hit The House on The Rock, but that's just an hour outside of Madison, and it would be rad to find some quirky fun stops for the route in between for both coming and going. Is there anything between KCMO & Madison? I'm new around here.

We're a young, silly, romantic couple. Scenic overlooks for "parking" highly desired.

We're all set on stuff to do *in* Madison while we're there.

p.s: thanks timnyc, from whom I cribbed the language of the question from an earlier ask. Hope your trip was awesome!
posted by palegirl to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Grab a sandwich from New Pioneer Co-Op in Iowa City
posted by tiburon at 6:59 AM on March 21, 2008

The USA's Teotihuacan?

Cahokia Mounds?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:12 AM on March 21, 2008

do you know which route you'll be taking? Through St. Louis via 70, to 55, to 39, or through Iowa via 35 to 80 to 39? Or something else?
posted by gauchodaspampas at 8:00 AM on March 21, 2008

Yes, route is important. On 35, Redman's in Osceola, IA is a pretty classic diner and you kids could cosy up in the newly-restored art deco movie house there. You'd have to wait about 15 minutes to get in an out of town, though - that area has more coal trains and level crossings than I've ever seen before.

You're starting off at Arthur Bryant's, right?

If you want a bit more scenic, 36 through Macon and Hannibal is nice, and the latter has one of the classic parking overlooks (Hannibal itself is best avoided, unless Mark Twain-associated tat is your thing). If you want really slow and scenic, Hwy 24 across Missouri is startling.

(I was going to recommend a bunch of places on various routes, but they seem to have closed: Clem's in Kearney, MO; The McDonald Tea Room in Gallatin, MO [burned down, 2001]; Gasper's in Kingdom City, MO on 70.)
posted by scruss at 8:19 AM on March 21, 2008

It's a bit out of your way (and currently still snowing in Wisconsin...), but Wyalusing St Park has some very nice overlooks of the rivers and railway. I also recommend Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City, and the pedway in general.
posted by Jorus at 8:33 AM on March 21, 2008

Ah, just noticed you're coming in April. We might even have spring by then.
posted by Jorus at 8:34 AM on March 21, 2008

Roadside America!
posted by hulahulagirl at 9:07 AM on March 21, 2008

Random Southeast Iowa thoughts:

This is rather low-brow, but the world's largest truckstop east of Iowa City on Route 80. Just to say you did. You can't miss it.

If you decide to stay overnight somewhere, I recommend Des Moines or Iowa City--both fun towns.

Exit 259 on Route 80 is West Liberty, Iowa. If you want delicious Mexican food, try El Torito about 5 minutes from the highway.
posted by j1950 at 9:17 AM on March 21, 2008

Also, if you're interested, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library is in West Branch, Iowa. Apropos for the times. (There's also the Presidential Inn, a tiny ramshackle motel off I-80).
posted by j1950 at 9:18 AM on March 21, 2008

Also off I-80 is the birth place of John Wayne.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:52 AM on March 21, 2008

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