Chicago To Denver Road Trip: The Ultimate Guide

Note: This guide was last updated 8 months and 15 days ago. If you've spotted anything that seems a bit out-of-date or if you have some killer tips to share, we're all ears! Feel free to leave a comment below.

Traveling from Chicago to Denver is one of the best journeys you can experience in the USA. The 1,002 miles of the road trip from Chicago to Denver takes around 14 hours and 29 mins of driving without stops.

This article includes 18 top tips that turn your Denver trip into an unforgettable journey. So if you’re looking for the best hotels, restaurants, and places to visit on the road trip from Chicago to Denver, take your coffee and keep reading!

6 Best Hotels On The Way From Chicago To Denver

On the way from Chicago to Denver, you may want to stay at some points on the way. Here are the top six hotels on the Chicago – Denver route!

1. Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection

Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection

Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection is one of the best hotels where you can stay on the road trip from Chicago to Denver. Driving from Chicago to Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection might take around 2 hours and 45 mins. The hotel is located within walking distance of the Mississippi Riverfront. The rooms are sizeable and comfortable, and the hotel is a beautifully restored building with all the modern amenities. Check the Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection, one of the best hotels in Davenport, Iowa, on TripAdvisor and Booking.com for recent reviews, prices, and availability.

2. Surety Hotel

Surety Hotel

Another top hotel where you can choose the stay on the road trip to Denver from Chicago is Surety Hotel. Located in Des Moines, Iowa, the hotel is 333 miles away from Chicago, and it would take 5 hours and 2 mins to drive. The hotel is excellent for quickly walking to bars and restaurants in downtown Des Moines. The lobby, lounge, and bathroom details are all stylish. If you want to learn more about the Surety Hotel, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Booking.com.

3. Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area

Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area

Didn’t our first two hotel suggestions interest you? So we would like to introduce you to the Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area. Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area is located in Omaha, Nebraska, and it’s 467 miles away from Chicago. You can arrive there with 6 hours 59 mins of non-stop driving. Located in the financial district of central Omaha, Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown Old Market Area features a kitchenette and flat-screen TV with HBO in every room. Guests can also relax in the separate seating area with a sofa bed. Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area for more information.

4. Fullerton Inn, Nebraska

Fullerton Inn, Nebraska

If you are taking the road trip from Chicago to Denver, Fullerton, Nebraska is must have a place you should visit. Plus, Fullerton Inn, Nebraska, is one of the best hotels in town. It is Fullerton Inn, Nebraska, 577 miles from Chicago, and it would take 8 hours and 53 mins to drive. Guests can relax in the separate seating area with a sofa bed and enjoy a continental breakfast. The rooms are generously furnished, well-decorated, and very comfortable. If you need more info about the price and availability of Fullerton Inn, Nebraska, check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages.

5. Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites

Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites

Our next hotel is Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites, North Platte, Nebraska. It will take 10 hours, and 47 mins of car ride o reach this hotel from Chicago. This hotel has all the amenities you need, such as a pool and hot tub 24/7, laundry service with 24 coins per load, complimentary breakfast with everything you could want, and large and clean rooms. The staff here is amiable and helpful too- nothing is too much trouble for them! Check the Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites on TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites for reviews, prices, and availability.

6. South Platte Cabins & Kennels

South Platte Cabins & Kennels

Another hotel you can accommodate on the road trip from Chicago to Denver is South Platte Cabins & Kennels. It’s possible to arrive at this hotel in Ogallala, Nebraska, within 11 hours and 29 mins of drive from Chicago. Each room at the 2-star hotel has a view of the river, and guests can enjoy access to a sun terrace. In addition, the hotel provides lake views, a grill, and 24-hour front desk service. Before making the reservation, we suggest you read the latest reviews on TripAdvisor and Booking.com.

In this part, we explained six different hotels you can stay at on the road trip from Chicago to Denver. You can pick one of them that suits your taste. Don’t forget to share your experience by writing a comment to this post. It will help people who will take the same Chicago to Denver route.

Now, it’s time to discover the best restaurants from Chicago to Denver. We have six restaurant recommendations worth your attention.

6 Best Restaurants On The Way To Denver From Chicago

If dining is a pleasure, some restaurants will please you on your Chicago to Denver road trip. In this section, we list the six different restaurants to dine at on the road trip from Chicago to Denver. Stay hungry and enjoy!

1. Cafe d’Marie

Cafe d'Marie

We would like to start our restaurant recommendation list on the road trip from Chicago to Denver with Cafe d’Marie. Cafe d’Marie is located in Davenport, Iowa, 176 miles from Chicago. It would take 2 hours 46 mins of driving. So, if you’re looking for a delicious and unusual meal, visit Cafe d’Marie. The food is top-notch, and the setting is unique – it’s located in a small Victorian house along railroad tracks. For more information about Cafe d’Marie, you can visit the TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of Cafe d’Marie.

2. Fong’s Pizza

Fong's Pizza

Another top restaurant you can choose to eat at on the road trip to Denver from Chicago is Fong’s Pizza. Located in Des Moines, Iowa, Fong’s Pizza is 333 miles from Chicago and would take 5 hours and 1 min of driving. The restaurant’s traditional pizza and Chinese food adaptations include shrimp and lobster pizzas. The staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is authentic, making it a great place to eat. If you want to learn more about Fong’s Pizza, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

3. M’s Pub

M's Pub

Another restaurant that can be preferred by those who are fond of food is M’s Pub. It will take 6 hours 57 mins of car drive to take 466 miles from Chicago to M’s Pub, Omaha, Nebraska.M’s Pub is a popular spot for diners looking for a relaxing atmosphere and friendly service. The décor is classic and timeless, making it perfect for any occasion, while the regular menu offers something for everyone. This makes dining at M’s Pub genuinely pleasurable, no matter what your taste preferences may be. You can check M’s Pub on TripAdvisor or Google Maps for more information.

4. The Green Gateau

The Green Gateau

The Green Gateau deserves to be on our list. It is one of the most recommended restaurants in Lincoln, Nebraska. The restaurant is pet-friendly and has an outdoor patio. The food and service have been consistently good. The Green Gateau is 522 miles from Chicago and would take 7 hours and 43 mins of non-stop car driving. If you want to learn more about The Green Gateau, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

5. Luigi’s, Nebraska

Luigi's, Nebraska

If you enjoy dining, Luigi’s, Nebraska, would be an excellent choice in North Platte, Nebraska. It’s 689 miles from Chicago and would take 10 hours and 32 mins of car driving. The atmosphere at this restaurant is very comfortable. The food is delicious, and the menu has a wide variety of options. It’s an excellent choice for lunch or dinner when driving through Nebraska. If you want to learn more about Luigi’s, Nebraska, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

6. Open Range Grill

Open Range Grill

Another restaurant we recommend visiting on the road trip from Chicago to Denver is Open Range Grill, Ogallala, Nebraska. It will take 45 mins of driving to reach Open Range Grill from Chicago. The restaurant looks new and clean, with everything appearing to be neatly arranged on the menu. The staff is extremely helpful and accommodating, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. For more information about Open Range Grill, you can check TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of the restaurant.

This section lists our six restaurant recommendations for you to eat on your road trip from Chicago to Denver. We hope these suggestions will help you turn your 1,002 miles journey into a feast of taste. Of course, you can choose a suitable restaurant from the list according to your preference. Remember, like you, people planning a Denver road trip need your opinion. Therefore, we kindly ask you to share your experience with us in the comment field at the end of the blog post.

In the next section, we list the destinations worth seeing along the route from Chicago to Denver. Keep reading.

6 Places To Visit On The Way From Chicago To Denver

A unique experience awaits you in Denver. However, some unique destinations, like Davenport, Iowa, are on your road trip. We want to explain the top six destinations we recommend on the Denver route.

1. Figge Art Museum

Figge Art Museum

Figge Art Museum will be the first destination we recommend you to stop by on your Chicago to Denver road trip. Located in Davenport, Iowa, Figge Art Museum is 176 miles away from Chicago, and it would take 2 hours and 46 mins to drive. This museum is excellent, and its collection is impressive. In addition, there is a beautiful view of the Mississippi from the upper levels, which you will want to see. If you want to learn more about the Figge Art Museum, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

2. Capitol Building

Capitol Building

Capitol Building, Des Moines, Iowa, is one of the destinations we recommend you to stop by on the Chicago to Denver route. It’s 704 miles from Chicago, and it’ll take about 11 hours and 44 mins to drive. This building is one of the most memorable in history, with beautiful preservation and restoration work. There are many splendid architectural details, from the magnificent dome to the original flooring. If you want to learn more about Capitol Building, you can check it on TripAdvisor or their website.

3. Old Market

Old Market

One of the stops you should not neglect to stop by when you take the road trip from Chicago to Denver is Omaha, Nebraska. And if you visit Omaha, Nebraska, we suggest you visit Old Market. You can arrive at Old Market after 6 hours 57 mins of driving. If you’re looking for various restaurants and shops, the Omaha Old Market is worth checking out. There’s something for everyone here, from a bookstore to a museum of haunted items. The restaurants are excellent, and the people are always friendly. You can visit TripAdvisor and the official site of Old Market for more information.

4. Broken Arrow Wilderness

Broken Arrow Wilderness

Do you also like to travel and experience new things? Then, it would be best to visit Broken Arrow Wilderness, Fullerton, Nebraska, on the road trip from Chicago to Denver. Broken Arrow Wilderness is 576 miles from Chicago, and you can arrive there after the 8 hours 51 mins of drive. This is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. You can pack your lawn chairs and relax, put on sunscreen, and sit back to let the river take you down. This is a great lazy river ride if you don’t mind occasionally getting wet. In addition, you should check TripAdvisor and the official website of Broken Arrow Wilderness before going there.

5. Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center

Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center

Located in North Platte, Nebraska, Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center ranks fifth in our list of tourist destinations on the Denver road trip. You must take 10 hours 56 mins of driving to arrive at Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center. At the top of the tower, a docent was very helpful in identifying what was happening in a particular part of the Bailey Yard. If you want to learn more about Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

6. Lake McConaughy

Chicago To Denver Road Trip: The Ultimate Guide

Lake McConaughy, Ogallala, Nebraska, is another attraction you can visit on the road trip from Chicago to Denver. Lake McConaughy is 801 miles from Chicago, and it would take 11 hours and 44 mins to drive. This campground is excellent, and the state does a great job. It’s a place to stop, a camp for the night, and enjoy the lake. Both sides of the dam are equally unique. For more information about Lake McConaughy, you can check their TripAdvisor page or official website.

FAQ of the Road Trip From Chicago to Denver

Here we are answering the frequently asked questions about the Chicago to Denver drive.

How Long Is The Road Trip From Chicago To Denver?

  • The road trip takes approximately 14 hours and 29 mins to drive with ideal traffic and weather conditions. The distance between Chicago to Denver is 1,002 miles.
  • If you want to make the Chicago to Denver road trip by bike, the time you spend on the road will be three days and 18 hours.
  • If you are crazy enough and plan to walk the Chicago-Denver route, you will have to walk for 13 days and 17 hours.

Where Do You Stop On Driving From Chicago To Denver?

There are many beautiful pit stops along the way to Denver. Here we list six of them. For more information about the best places on the Chicago to Denver journey, you can check the 6 Best Places To Visit On The Way From Chicago To Denver part.

  1. Figge Art Museum: 176 miles / 2 hours 46 mins to drive from Chicago | 838 miles / 12 hours 8 mins of driving to Denver.
  2. Capitol Building: 704 miles / 11 hours 44 mins to drive from Chicago | 1,665 miles / one day 2 hours of driving to Denver.
  3. Old Market: 466 miles / 6 hours 57 mins to drive from Chicago | 539 miles / 7 hours 44 mins of driving to Denver.
  4. Broken Arrow Wilderness: 576 miles / 8 hours 51 mins to drive from Chicago | 446 miles / 6 hours 35 mins of driving to Denver.
  5. Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center: 747 miles / 10 hours 56 mins to drive from Chicago | 261 miles / 3 hours 50 mins of driving to Denver.
  6. Lake McConaughy: 801 miles / 11 hours 44 mins to drive from Chicago | 226 miles / 3 hours 25 mins of driving to Denver.

Where Should You Stay On The Road Trip From Chicago To Denver?

There are many excellent hotels during your Chicago to Denver road trip. We have selected six hotels for you. These hotels are listed below. Remember, you can find detailed information about these hotels in the 6 Best Hotels On The Way To Denver From Chicago section.

  • Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection: 176 miles / 2 hours 45 mins to drive from Chicago | 838 miles / 12 hours 7 mins of driving to Denver.
  • Surety Hotel: 333 miles / 5 hours 2 mins to drive from Chicago | 670 miles / 9 hours 37 mins of driving to Denver.
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area: 467 miles / 6 hours 59 mins to drive from Chicago | 540 miles / 7 hours 42 mins of driving to Denver.
  • Fullerton Inn, Nebraska: 577 miles / 8 hours 53 mins to drive from Chicago | 445 miles / 6 hours 33 mins of driving to Denver.
  • Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites: 742 miles / 10 hours 47 mins to drive from Chicago | 262 miles / 3 hours 48 mins of driving to Denver.
  • South Platte Cabins & Kennels: 792 miles / 11 hours 29 mins to drive from Chicago | 211 miles / 3 hours 6 mins of driving to Denver.

Where To Eat Between Chicago to Denver?

If you are thinking of taking a break and having a nice meal on your Chicago to Denver journey, you can consider the six restaurants we have chosen. In addition, you can read detailed information about the restaurants in the section titled 6 Best Restaurants On The Way From Chicago To Denver.

  1. Cafe d’Marie: 176 miles / 2 hours 46 mins to drive from Chicago | 839 miles / 12 hours 6 mins of driving to Denver.
  2. Fong’s Pizza: 333 miles / 5 hours 1 min to drive from Chicago | 670 miles / 9 hours 37 mins of driving to Denver.
  3. M’s Pub: 466 miles / 6 hours 57 mins to drive from Chicago | 539 miles / 7 hours 44 mins of driving to Denver.
  4. The Green Gateau: 522 miles / 7 hours 43 mins to drive from Chicago | 485 miles / 6 hours 56 mins of driving to Denver.
  5. Luigi’s, Nebraska: 689 miles / 10 hours 32 mins to drive from Chicago | 320 miles / 4 hours 45 mins of driving to Denver.
  6. Open Range Grill: 43.9 miles / 45 mins to drive from Chicago | 960 miles / 13 hours 52 mins of driving to Denver.

Conclusion

So, there you have it- a complete guide to planning a road trip from Chicago to Denver. We have listed six hotels, six restaurants, and six places to visit on the way. We have also given you detailed information about each place so that you can make an informed choice about where to stay, eat, and what to see. We hope this guide has helped make your road trip from Chicago to Denver as enjoyable as possible.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you ever taken a road trip from Chicago to Denver? So, it would be perfect if you shared your experience with other travelers who want the same experience. You can share your thoughts about the road trip from Chicago to Denver and your recommendations about this route by using the comment field below.

Video: Denver Road Trip Vacation Travel Guide

We suggest you to watch Denver vacation guide to get the most out of your Denver road trip.




Ece

Hi, I'm Ece. Join me in navigating memorable road trips around the USA, Europe, and Australia. I provide valuable tips and destination guides, sometimes enhanced by AI. Let's hit the road and make memories!

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