It is nearly impossible to believe that summer is nearing its end and that Labor Day weekend is about to commence. Our spring and summer seasons were a blur of school cancellations, business closings, vacations delayed, or just deleted from the calendar.

As we approach the traditional last vacation weekend of the summer, Triple-A is predicting the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect travelers' plans. They also think that people who do travel will be taking road trips closer to home.

With that in mind, I turned to one of my new favorite travel publications for some of the best road trip ideas in the tri-state area. The Discoverer has been a place I've been turning to, ever since I became aware of it, to do a bit of vicarious traveling. They transport you to destinations near and far, exotic and familiar.

I'm sure most of us can reel off a list of great road trips in South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota, but this time, I'll defer to The Discoverer for their opinion.

  • Best Road Trip in South Dakota: The 400-mile stretch of I-90 across the southern tier of our state "featuring diverse and underrated landscapes". From Sioux Falls' revitalized downtown to its namesake in Falls Park, to the 244,000 acres of "craggy terrain and prairies" of Badlands National Park, on to the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, and Deadwood. Beginning in the east or west, this trip is the best!
  • Best Road Trip in Iowa: Great River Road along the eastern border of the state from north to south. You can enjoy "panoramic views of the Mississippi", stop into numerous protected parks and marshes, and stay in one of many wonderful bed and breakfasts along the way. They recommend the Effigy Mounds in Harper's Ferry, the National River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, the George M. Verity Riverboat Museum in Keokuk, and the Pine Grist Mill in Wildcat Den State Park near Muscatine.
  • Best Road Trip in Minnesota: Minneapolis to the Canadian border. The Discoverer's recommendation is to begin your trip in Minneapolis, taking in all the cultural landmarks there and then head towards Duluth. Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, plays a big role in this road trip, with Split Rock Lighthouse being just one highlight and numerous "state forests and parks, mountains, and lodges, this quiet drive upholds something new around every turn."

Happy Labor Day and happy travels!

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