Great Road Trips: Central States

From the awe-inspiring Mt. Rushmore to the cultural thrills of the Louisiana Bayou, the central states of the U.S. have something for every sightseer.

from The Most Scenic Drives in America
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North Dakota
The Lewis and Clark riverboat plies the Missouri between Bismarck and Mandan.

Take this drive: North Dakota Sampler

South Dakota
Mt. Rushmore National Memorial immortalizes four U.S. presidents.

Take this drive: Badlands Black Hills

Minnesota: North Shore Drive
Gooseberry Falls, in the state park of the same name, has five magnificent cascades of tumbling water tinged root-beer brown by leached minerals from the soil and foliage.

Take this drive: North Shore Drive

Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa
Lake Pepin, a narrow 12-mile-long section of the Mississippi River, is bounded by forests and craggy bluffs.

Take this drive: Great River Road

Michigan
Anchored on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, the town of Ludington is just a four-hour ferry ride from Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Take this drive: Lake Michigan Tour

Nebraska
The High Plains Homestead near Crawford offers rustic accommodations combined with authentic cattle-drive grub.

Take this drive: Nebraska Heartland

Illinois
In the Shawnee National Forest the works of humankind are left behind, and nature steals the scene with an array of lonely lakes and streams, shady gorges and rocky bluffs, and a host of flowering shrubs and leafy hardwoods.

Take this drive: Shawnee Hills Scenic Byway

Kansas
It may once have been 'Queen of the Cowtowns,' but Dodge City is fun to visit today.

Take this drive: Kansas East and West

Texas
Within Big Bend the desert exists side by side with two dramatically different environments -- those of the Chisos Mountains and the Rio Grande.

Take this drive: Big Bend and Beyond

Louisiana
Jefferson Island's Rip Van Winkle Gardens mimics the tranquil Zen gardens of Japan. The area is noted for its botanical treasures.

Take this drive: Bayou Byways

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