Spring Road Trip Ideas

It looks like spring has sprung early in many parts of the country, which means you have more time to hit the road for an adventure-filled road trip. As spring breathes new life, there’s no better time to hop into a campervan (or any vehicle for that matter) and hit the open road. From a once in a lifetime full lunar eclipse viewing opportunity to charming small towns dotted with blooming wildflowers, we’re here to guide you through the perfect springtime escape ideas just a day’s drive from home. 

1. See the full lunar eclipse while camping in a national forest!

Photo: @NASA

Distance from Minneapolis: 581 – 785 miles
Travel time from the city: 9.5 – 11.5 hours

As astronomy enthusiasts converge on the spectacle of the full lunar eclipse, there’s no better way to experience the cosmic wonder than camping in one of our national forests. On April 8th 2024, you’ll have the rare opportunity to see a full lunar eclipse, which won’t happen again until 2044. There are three great national forests in the path of totality within a short drive from Minnesota; Mark Twain National Forest, Ozark National Forest, and Ouachita National Forest. All three options offer dispersed camping options throughout to get away from the crowds and optimize for your viewing pleasure. Make sure to pack all your supplies as there are generally only primitive camping options in the National Forests!

For more information on the eclipse, check out NASA’s website: https://science.nasa.gov/eclipses/future-eclipses/eclipse-2024/

For more information on dispersed camping in National Forests, check out the US Forest Service website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/

Mark Twain National Forest: 9.5 hours, 581 miles from Minneapolis
Ozark National Forest: 10.5 hours, 781 miles from Minneapolis
Ouachita National Forest: 11.5 hours, 785 miles from Minneapolis

2. Check out the cherry blossoms in Traverse City, Michigan or the tulips in Iowa

Photo: @paige.outdoors

Distance from Minneapolis to Traverse City, Michigan: 630 miles
Travel time from the city: 10 hours 
Distance from Minneapolis to Orange City and Pella Iowa: 230 – 280 miles
Travel time from the city: 3.5 – 4 hours

You may think of Japan or Washington DC when you think of Cherry Blossoms, but we have an option much closer to see the springtime bloom. Traverse City is known for their spring Cherry Blossom viewing spectacle, and you can make quite the road trip through the UP of Michigan, before arriving in Traverse City. For the best view of the cherry blossoms drive up M-37 North that will take you through the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out Traverse City State Park for great camping options. The best time to view the bloom is early to mid May.

Looking for a closer peek at some springtime flowers? Check out Pella or Orange City Iowa’s tulip festivals in May. More info on each town’s visitor page below.


3. Feel the power of waterfalls on the North Shore

Photo: @thewanderlust_rose

Distance from Minneapolis: 160 – 300 miles
Travel time from the city: 2.5 – 5 hours

Chances are you’ve had a chance to check out the powerful waterfalls flowing just a few hours north of the Twin CIties on the North Shore. Springtime is the best time to see them at their most powerful. Even with our lighter than average snowfall this year, we can still expect the falls to be flowing with force for the springtime months. Gooseberry and Caribou are some must sees, but check out this full list for more options: https://northshorevisitor.com/waterfalls/

For more North Shore inspo, check out ultimate guide to hiking, camping and exploring the North Shore here: https://voyagercampervans.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-minnesotas-north-shore/

There are endless places to explore this spring, and these are just a few! Wherever you decide to go, we hope you get the opportunity to take advantage of the early spring.



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