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Old Apr 30, 10, 9:49 am   #1
 
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Driving through Iowa & Nebraska

I'm headed west this summer with the family to visit the Tetons and Yellowstone among other destinations. Looks like there isn't much on the drive across I-80 in Iowa and Nebraska. Anybody have any quick, interesting stops? Either tourist attractions or cool places to eat would be appreciated.
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Old Apr 30, 10, 10:03 am   #2
 
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http://www.whiteysicecream.com/

Multiple locations in the Quad Cities.
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Old May 2, 10, 10:36 am   #3
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FYI: I-80 Eastbound closed over Mississippi again till 7-1
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Old May 2, 10, 10:52 am   #4
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Once you get into Wyoming on I-80, Laramie is the first interesting stop (unless you want to see Cheyenne, which is not great IMO)- some nice museums at the University of Wyoming, some interesting restaurants downtown, the old territorial prison, Snow Range mountains about 30 mins away.

The next interesting stop after Laramie will be after you get off I-80 at Rock Springs and take Hwy 191. Pinedale is nice and I suppose the gateway to Jackson Hole/Yellowstone.
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Old May 2, 10, 1:27 pm   #5
 
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Thanks for the tip. We're headed west on I-80 and then on the way back we're going through SD and Minnesota...
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Old May 2, 10, 2:22 pm   #6
 
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Amana, Iowa is fascinating for a stop. Interesting view into America's utopian history and great German American food. Also, right off I 80.

http://www.amanacolonies.com/
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Old May 3, 10, 7:59 am   #7
 
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Amana, Iowa is fascinating for a stop. Interesting view into America's utopian history and great German American food. Also, right off I 80.

http://www.amanacolonies.com/
Cool -- I love German food. Looks like the perfect place to stop off for lunch our first day.
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Old May 4, 10, 6:09 am   #8
 
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Near Iowa City, is the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. On the West side of Iowa is the the Danish Emigrant Museum in Elk Horn. In NE is the Strategic Air Command Museum (about halfway between Omaha and Lincoln).

I much prefer heading into Yellowstone from the East taking I80 and then cutting up to I90 across Iowa and North East Wyoming and then heading over to Yellowstone from around Sheridan Wy (US 14). Much more scenic IMO. That would provide a stop in Badlands of SD, Mount Rushmore in Rapid City SD, and Devils Tower in NE Wy.

I80 across WY is a desolote drive. You could cut up and over and stop at Independance Rock on the Oregon Trail.
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Old May 5, 10, 6:28 am   #9
 
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Near Iowa City, is the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. On the West side of Iowa is the the Danish Emigrant Museum in Elk Horn. In NE is the Strategic Air Command Museum (about halfway between Omaha and Lincoln).

I much prefer heading into Yellowstone from the East taking I80 and then cutting up to I90 across Iowa and North East Wyoming and then heading over to Yellowstone from around Sheridan Wy (US 14). Much more scenic IMO. That would provide a stop in Badlands of SD, Mount Rushmore in Rapid City SD, and Devils Tower in NE Wy.

I80 across WY is a desolote drive. You could cut up and over and stop at Independance Rock on the Oregon Trail.
Thanks!

I've got the Strategic Air Command Museum on the itinerary.

I'm hitting the places you mentioned after Yellowstone on the way back. We're headed to the Tetons first. So you're saying instead of going Cheyenne->Rawlins->Lander->Tetons I should go Cheyenne->Casper->Tetons?

Is Independance Rock worth the detour? Looks like it's waaay out of the way.
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Old May 5, 10, 7:02 am   #10
 
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Thanks!

I've got the Strategic Air Command Museum on the itinerary.

I'm hitting the places you mentioned after Yellowstone on the way back. We're headed to the Tetons first. So you're saying instead of going Cheyenne->Rawlins->Lander->Tetons I should go Cheyenne->Casper->Tetons?

Is Independance Rock worth the detour? Looks like it's waaay out of the way.
Independence Rock is interesting but not a must see, especially if no one in the family is very interested in history the Oregon trail.

My family has been back and forth on I80 so much between IA and CA that we have to break things up.

If you have the time, I would also recommend and 2+ hour (above Sheridan, Wy) round trip detour to see the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. It's a beautiful spot and also quite moving.
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Old May 7, 10, 9:48 pm   #11
 
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In Iowa, I-80 goes right through Des Moines, the Amana Colonies and Iowa City. Depending on how much time you have, there are loads of things to do in all three of those places. A few of my favorites are:

Des Moines:
- Scornovacca's Pizza: awesome homemade pizza, pasta and sandwiches.

Amana Colonies:
- The Ox Yoke restaurant
- Lots of unique gift shops
- An excellent winery. The name is eluding me right now, but they offer dandelion, cranberry, and other flavors in addition to more traditional wines.

Iowa City (my stomping grounds):
- Hamburg Inn No. 2: American diner food done right - also a popular stop for presidential candidates during the Iowa Caucuses, as evidenced by the massive collection of pictures on the walls. Amazing food in huge quantities. Try a pie shake.
- Thai Flavors: Reasonably priced Thai restaurant downtown.
- Soap Opera: A great place to pick up gifts while you're traveling. An entire store dedicated to unique soaps, lotions, and bath accessories.

It's pretty easy to get anywhere in Iowa City from I-80; all three of these suggestions are downtown, off exit 244. Depending on what your actual interests are and whether you're gift shopping, Iowa City is packed with small, independent stores.
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Old May 8, 10, 7:29 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by newgeneration View Post
In Iowa, I-80 goes right through Des Moines, the Amana Colonies and Iowa City. Depending on how much time you have, there are loads of things to do in all three of those places. A few of my favorites are:

Des Moines:
- Scornovacca's Pizza: awesome homemade pizza, pasta and sandwiches.

Amana Colonies:
- The Ox Yoke restaurant
- Lots of unique gift shops
- An excellent winery. The name is eluding me right now, but they offer dandelion, cranberry, and other flavors in addition to more traditional wines.

Iowa City (my stomping grounds):
- Hamburg Inn No. 2: American diner food done right - also a popular stop for presidential candidates during the Iowa Caucuses, as evidenced by the massive collection of pictures on the walls. Amazing food in huge quantities. Try a pie shake.
- Thai Flavors: Reasonably priced Thai restaurant downtown.
- Soap Opera: A great place to pick up gifts while you're traveling. An entire store dedicated to unique soaps, lotions, and bath accessories.

It's pretty easy to get anywhere in Iowa City from I-80; all three of these suggestions are downtown, off exit 244. Depending on what your actual interests are and whether you're gift shopping, Iowa City is packed with small, independent stores.
Thanks for the tips. I'm scheduling a stop for lunch at Amana Colonies. I had selected Ronneburg Restaurant. Do you prefer the Ox Yoke?
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Old May 8, 10, 12:34 pm   #13
 
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I haven't actually eaten at Ronneburg. But, to be honest, I'd trust the quality of food anywhere in the Amanas - they really seem to have it together.
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Old May 8, 10, 4:16 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by TimF1975 View Post
Thanks!

I've got the Strategic Air Command Museum on the itinerary.
Well worth the stop. Way cool.

If you want to head north a bit early in Western NE I would go see Carhenge.

Driving by Lincoln you might notice the state capitol as it really sticks out. A very non-standard 20 story tall capitol and well worth the stop if you are an architecture buff.

I don't recommend the Amana Colonies BTW. The food used to be good but now is much more about quantity than quality in my opinion. But to each their own.
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Old May 10, 10, 7:02 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by newgeneration View Post
I haven't actually eaten at Ronneburg. But, to be honest, I'd trust the quality of food anywhere in the Amanas - they really seem to have it together.
I'll 2nd that. In regards to the 80 bridge over the Mississippi, it will be 2-way by early July but one lane on one side of the bridge-at least that's the plans. Also, I might mention John Deere has world hq in Moline with exellent museum/display there.
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