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12 Best Stops for a Road Trip on I-90

America’s longest interstate, I-90 stretches over 3,000 miles from Seattle to Boston. It passes through spectacular scenery, traveling over the Continental Divide in Montana, through Old West towns and on to exciting cities. It makes for one of the most epic road trips there is – this 12-stop itinerary is one of the best ways to do it right.

Seattle, Washington Seattle skyline with Space Needle.
Credit: Seattle skyline with Space Needle. by © Sorin Colac - Dreamstime.com

Seattle, Washington

Seattle offers a wide range of attractions and is surrounded by striking natural beauty, with soaring mountains and glistening water in nearly every direction. Visit America’s oldest public market, Pike Place, enjoying the entertaining fishmongers, host of street performers along with the wide range of items for sale like fresh produce, flowers, local goods and more. You’ll find some outstanding museums like the Seattle Art Museum and Museum of Pop Culture along with a thriving music scene. From the top of the Space Needle, enjoy a bird’s-eye view of it all from over 600 feet above.

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Credit: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho by © Wollertz | Dreamstime.com

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Located in the Idaho panhandle on Lake Coeur d’ Alene, the town of Coeur d’ Alene is about five hours east of Seattle and offers a wide range of things to do from outdoor adventures to thrilling attractions. Cruise across the lake’s sapphire waters, kayak or join a whitewater rafting trip. There are 18 golf courses in the area and an amusement park too, with Silverwood Theme Park hosting over five dozen rides, including heart-pounding roller coasters. If you want to cool off during the hot summer months, the Boulder Beach section has water slides, wave pools, splash fountains and geysers.

Rock Creek/Missoula Montana Fly fishing in the fall on Rock Creek, Montana
Credit: Fly fishing in the fall on Rock Creek, Montana by © Larry Martin - Dreamstime.com

Rock Creek/Missoula Montana

Soon after crossing the state line into Montana, less than three hours east of Coeur d’ Alene, you’ll reach the town of Missoula which is well worth a stop too. Nestled in the Northern Rockies it sits at the confluence of three rivers, providing world-class fly fishing and more. About 20 miles east, Rock Creek which meets the Clark Fork River, offers some of the state’s best trout fishing, along with plenty of places to enjoy a picnic among jaw-dropping scenery.

Livingston, Montana Livingston, Montana
Credit: Livingston, Montana by © Miroslav Liska | Dreamstime.com

Livingston, Montana

Set along the banks of the Yellowstone River three-and-a-half hours east of Missoula, Livingston is also a great place for trout fishing and scenery, and it happens to be the former home of famous frontierswoman Calamity Jane. There are some outstanding regional history and art museums, art galleries and western saloons. If you’re driving through in the summer, you may be able to attend one of its many annual festivals and events like June’s Summerfest Food Truck and Music Festival or the 4th of July Rodeo.

Buffalo, Wyoming Buffalo, Wyoming
Credit: Buffalo, Wyoming by © Steven Cukrov | Dreamstime.com

Buffalo, Wyoming

In another four hours, traveling through the Montana plains, you’ll reach the historic town of Buffalo nestled in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains. It’s not only a great place to enjoy a delicious buffalo burger, but the downtown district is lined with historic buildings like the nearly 140-year-old Occidental Hotel. Spend the night here and you’ll be sleeping where some very famous characters from the past have stayed over the years, including Butch Cassidy and President Teddy Roosevelt.

Deadwood, South Dakota Deadwood, South Dakota
Credit: Deadwood, South Dakota by © Refocus | Dreamstime.com

Deadwood, South Dakota

Journeying into the Black Hills of South Dakota, Deadwood is a great place to relive the days of the Wild West, less than 180 miles from Buffalo. This famous gold rush town made popular in part thanks to HBO’s “Deadwood” series, was the place where Wild Bill Hickok was shot in the back by Jack McCall during a poker game in the summer of 1876. Legalized gambling returned in 1989 and there are multiple historic attractions that can be enjoyed too, including the elegant Adams House which now serves as the Adams Museum. During the warmer months of the year, watch an old fashioned shootout and pan for gold at the Broken Boot Gold Mine.

Rochester, Minnesota Rochester, Minnesota
Credit: Rochester, Minnesota by IMG_191/shutterstock.com

Rochester, Minnesota

After nearly nine hours of driving through mostly prairie, you’ll be ready to stop in Rochester. Get out and explore the exciting city by wandering through the Rochester Art Center with its vast collection of works or head just north of downtown to Silver Lake City Park, a great place for a stroll or to rent electric paddle boats, kayaks and canoes in the summer. A wide variety of shopping and dining can be enjoyed in the Downtown Peace Plaza too.

Chicago, Illinois The famous
Credit: The famous "bean" at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago by bigstock.com

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago really needs no introduction – and at about 350 miles east of Rochester, it’s a no brainer to stop here. Embark on a cruise down the Chicago River, shop and dine along the Magnificent Mile, explore the Art Institute of Chicago or catch a game at historic Wrigley Field, the home of major league baseball’s Chicago Cubs. The Navy Pier is one of the top tourist spots, with lots of attractions, including a 150-foot- high Ferris wheel.

Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland, Ohio
Credit: Cleveland, Ohio by © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

Cleveland, Ohio

Another five-and-a-half hours down the road, Cleveland is a must-visit for rock fans, home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The city’s famous DJ Alan Freed, was credited with inventing the term, “Rock ‘n Roll,” and today, you’ll find many places to enjoy it and other genres like jazz, offered at the legendary Nighttown Jazz Club, which features everything from local greats to big-name artists like John Legend and Wynton Marsalis.

Niagara Falls, New York Niagara Falls from USA side with fall colors
Credit: Niagara Falls from USA side with fall colors by bigstock.com

Niagara Falls, New York

Straddling the Canadian-U.S. International Border in New York and Ontario a little over 200 miles from Cleveland, Niagara Falls is a travel bucket list destination that shouldn’t be missed. The combined falls spill six million cubic feet of water from a maximum vertical drop of 165 feet every minute. If you have the time, view from the Canadian side where you can also join the Maid of the Mist boat tour for a closeup look.

Sturbridge, Massachusetts Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA
Credit: Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA by © Sandra Foyt | Dreamstime.com

Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Enjoy the tranquil, scenic surroundings of Sturbridge before reaching your final destination – six hours from Niagara Falls and just an hour from Boston. The highlight here is Old Sturbridge Village, offering a trip back in time to the 1830s as an impressive outdoor living history museum, the largest of its kind in the Northeast. It includes more than 40 original buildings and costumed staff to bring it to life.

Boston, Massachusetts Downtown Boston
Credit: Downtown Boston by bigstock.com

Boston, Massachusetts

At the easternmost point of I-90, Boston marks the end of this incredible road trip. You might want to stretch your legs on the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, with its red stripe marking the way through 16 important sites pertaining to the Revolutionary War. There are countless other options, from attending a game at historic Fenway Park to visiting the Museum of Science and touring the USS Constitution.

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