Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oddball Road Trip -- Minneapolis to the Grand Canyon


I am going to visit the Grand Canyon with some friends in April or maybe May for the first time, and I’m very excited!

I am thinking about driving back to Minneapolis on my own, taking three days for the drive.

Which route would you suggest? I am not much interested in museums, but love stopping at odd sites (like the world’s largest ball of twine in Darwin, MN or the Babe statue in Bemidji, MN) and love finding the best local eats and beautiful scenery.

Thank you!



Hello Kathryn --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA, and I hope I can help with your trip plans.

Three days is not a _huge_ amount of time to get you home from Arizona -- that's about 1700 miles, without any significant detours (such as heading up to Bemidji -- which is worth a trip on of its own, for sure! So is nearby Brainerd MN, where the Paul Bunyan statue pictured above still lives.)

A couple of places that are on your route, and well worth seeing, did come to mind. First and foremost is my favorite Midwest "odd site": magnificent Carhenge, a recreation of Stonehenge, made entirely out of old, American cars. It is truly cool, and located in a pretty part of the world -- the Sand Hills of western Nebraska, outside the town of Alliance. (Here's a URL: )

Carhenge is very near a couple of other great roadside attractions: Mount Rushmore, which you've probably heard of, and the giant statue of Crazy Horse, being carved into a nearby mountain.

To get to Carhenge and Mount Rushmore from the Grand Canyon, I'd recommend driving via Salt Lake City, then heading east onto scenic old US-40 into the town of Vernal Utah, which is home to some very photogenic pink concrete dinosaurs (another classic icon of roadside Americana)

Finally, between Mount Rushmore and Minneapolis, right off I-90, stands the wonderful Corn Palace of Mitchell SD -- whose facade is totally decorated in colored ears of corn. URL:

Hope this helps you have a great trip!

Drive safe, and Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA


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