Denver To Chicago Road Trip: The Ultimate Guide

Note: This guide was last updated 8 months and 17 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 If you've spotted anything that seems a bit out-of-date or if you have some killer tips to share, we're all ears!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 Denver to Chicago is one of the best journeys you can experience in the USA. The 1,004 miles of the road trip from Denver to Chicago takes around 14 hours and 27 mins of driving without stops.

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

6 Best Hotels On The Way From Denver To Chicago

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

1. South Platte Cabins & Kennels

South Platte Cabins & Kennels

South Platte Cabins & Kennels is one of the best hotels where you can stay on the road trip from Denver to Chicago. Driving from Denver to South Platte Cabins & Kennels might take around 3 hours and 4 mins. South Platte Cabins & Kennels features air-conditioned rooms in Ogallala, which offer river views and a barbecue. The property also provides a 24-hour front desk. Check the South Platte Cabins & Kennels, one of the best hotels in Ogallala, Nebraska, on TripAdvisor and Booking.com for recent reviews, prices, and availability.

2. Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites

Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites

Another top hotel where you can choose the stay on the road trip to Chicago from Denver is Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites. Located in North Platte, Nebraska, the hotel is 262 miles away from Denver, and it would take 3 hours and 45 mins to drive. At the Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites, you’ll find modern amenities and thoughtful design that will set it apart from other hotels in North Platte. The hotel has a spacious work desk and free internet access in all guest rooms, so you won’t miss a beat while you’re away from the office. If you want to learn more about the Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Booking.com.

3. Fullerton Inn, Nebraska

Fullerton Inn, Nebraska

Didn’t our first two hotel suggestions interest you? So we would like to introduce you to the Fullerton Inn, Nebraska. Fullerton Inn, Nebraska, is located in Fullerton, Nebraska, and it’s 446 miles away from Denver. You can arrive there with 6 hours 31 mins of non-stop driving. The Fullerton Inn is a great choice for travelers visiting Fullerton, with many helpful amenities designed to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Fullerton Inn, Nebraska, for more information.

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

Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area

If you are taking the road trip from Denver to Chicago, Omaha, Nebraska, is must have a place you should visit. Plus, Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area is one of the best hotels in town. It is Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area, 541 miles from Denver, and it would take 7 hours 39 mins to drive. Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha/Downtown Old Market Area offers comfortable, modern rooms and suites with all the amenities of the home. The hotel has a variety of room types to choose from, along with conveniences like grocery delivery service, free Wi-Fi, and a complimentary hot breakfast served each morning in the lobby. Whether you’re visiting overnight or staying for a longer time, we can’t wait to help make your stay as comfortable as possible. If you need more info about the price and availability of Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area, check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages.

5. Surety Hotel

Surety Hotel

Our next hotel is Surety Hotel, Des Moines, Iowa. It will take 9 hours 33 mins of car ride o reach this hotel from Denver. At Surety Hotel Des Moines, we make a commitment to providing outstanding service, incredible design, superior hospitality levels, and an Iowa experience that is unique for travelers and locals. The Surety Courtyard provides the perfect setting to enjoy shared bites, listen to live music and connect with friends. Check the Surety Hotel on TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages of Surety Hotel for reviews, prices, and availability.

6. Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection

Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection

Another hotel you can accommodate on the road trip from Denver to Chicago is Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection. It’s possible to arrive at this hotel, located in Davenport, Iowa, within 12 hours to drive from Denver. This Davenport hotel’s on-site bowling alley and luxurious spa make it a great spot for tourists and business travelers alike. The city views included in every modern room make it an excellent choice for guests who want to experience the sights and sounds of downtown Davenport. 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 Denver to Chicago. 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 Denver to Chicago route.

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

6 Best Restaurants On The Way To Chicago From Denver

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

1. Open Range Grill

Open Range Grill

We would like to start our restaurant recommendation list on the road trip from Denver to Chicago with Open Range Grill. Open Range Grill is located in Ogallala, Nebraska, and is 962 miles from Denver. It would take 13 hours and 46 mins of driving. The steak salad was delicious. The casual atmosphere inside the metal shed is great, and the service is wonderful. The prices are very fair, too. For more information about Open Range Grill, you can visit the TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of Open Range Grill.

2. Luigi’s, Nebraska

Luigi's, Nebraska

Another top restaurant you can choose to eat at on the road trip to Chicago from Denver is Luigi’s, Nebraska. Located in North Platte, Nebraska, Luigi’s, Nebraska, is 322 miles from Denver and would take 4 hours 44 mins of driving. Each day, all the menu items are made fresh in the kitchen by hand. This includes dishes that contain no frozen prepackaged ingredients. If you want to learn more about Luigi’s, Nebraska, you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

3. The Green Gateau

The Green Gateau

Another restaurant that can be preferred by those who are fond of food is The Green Gateau. It will take 6 hours 51 mins of car drive to take 485 miles from Denver to The Green Gateau, Fullerton, Nebraska. Eric Lemke is the owner and Executive Chef of The Green Gateau Restaurant and The Green Gateau Reception Center. He has 14 years of culinary experience, including working in many different kitchens. Eric began his career at The Green Gateau on Mother’s Day 2000. For more information, you can check The Green Gateau on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

4. M’s Pub

M's Pub

M’s Pub deserves to be on our list. It is one of the most recommended restaurants in Omaha, Nebraska. You can dine at the restaurant in formalwear or shorts and sandals, and you will feel right at home. The menu has a great variety of dishes to choose from, making it easy to find something that fits your taste. M’s Pub is 540 miles away from Denver, and it would take 7 hours and 40 mins of non-stop car driving. If you want to learn more about M’s Pub you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

5. Fong’s Pizza

Fong's Pizza

If you enjoy dining, Fong’s Pizza would be an excellent choice in Des Moines, Iowa. It’s 671 miles from Denver and would take 9 hours and 32 mins of car driving. Fong’s Pizza is known for its various pizza flavors and inspirations from all over the world. They also offer a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and gluten-free options. If you want to learn more about Fong’s Pizza you can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

6. Cafe d’Marie

Cafe d'Marie

Another restaurant we recommend you to visit on the road trip from Denver to Chicago is Cafe d’Marie, Davenport, Iowa. It will take 12 hours of driving to reach Cafe d’Marie from Denver. In 2009, Dr. DeAnna Marie Walter and Rick Kimmel opened their home as Café D’Marie, a unique getaway for family and friends. The restaurant is lauded by families from all over the world for its eclectic mix of American dishes with the added European flair. Your palate will surely appreciate the variety offered at Café D’Marie! For more information about Cafe d’Marie, 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 Denver to Chicago. We hope these suggestions will help you turn your 1,004 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 Chicago 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 Denver to Chicago. Keep reading.

6 Places To Visit On The Way From Denver To Chicago

A unique experience awaits you in Chicago. However, there are also some unique destinations like Ogallala, Nebraska on your road trip. We would like to explain the top six destinations we recommend on the Chicago route.

1. Lake McConaughy

Denver To Chicago Road Trip: The Ultimate Guide

Lake McConaughy will be the first destination we recommend you to stop by on your Denver to Chicago road trip. Located in Ogallala, Nebraska, Lake McConaughy is 228 miles away from Denver, and it would take 3 hours 24 mins to drive.  Lake McConaughy is Nebraska’s largest lake and the largest reservoir in a three state region. It was built on the edge of the Nebraska Sandhills, and offers natural white sand beaches, excellent fishing, boating, camping and all types of outdoor recreation. If you want to learn more about the Lake McConaughy, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

2. Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center

Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center

Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, North Platte, Nebraska is one of the destinations we recommend you to stop by on the Denver to Chicago route. It’s 262 miles from Denver, and it’ll take about 3 hours 49 mins of driving.This rail yard has a vast collection of trains, from the smallest model to the largest. You can watch them as they move along the tracks, and hear about their history from knowledgeable staff.If you want to learn more about Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, you can check it on TripAdvisor or their website.

3. Broken Arrow Wilderness

Broken Arrow Wilderness

One of the stops you should not neglect to stop by when you take the road trip from Denver to Chicago is Fullerton, Nebraska. And if you’ll visit Fullerton, Nebraska, we suggest you visit Broken Arrow Wilderness. You can arrive Broken Arrow Wilderness after 6 hours 33 mins of driving.If you’re looking for a relaxing day outdoors, the Cedar River offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Pack your lawn chairs and cooler, apply sunscreen, and sit back to let the current take you away. If you’d rather not get wet from time to time, be sure to push off the floating saplings occasionally so that you can move along at a more leisurely pace.You can visit TripAdvisor and the official site of Broken Arrow Wilderness for more information.

4. Old Market

Old Market

Do you also like to travel and experience new things? Then, it would be best to visit Old Market, Omaha, Nebraska on the road trip from Denver to Chicago. Old Market is 540 miles from Denver, and you can arrive there after the 7 hours 40 mins of drive.Omaha is well-known for preserving its historic architecture and cobblestone streets. This section of town, which is known as Historic Downtown Omaha, offers visitors a chance to stroll along the narrow streets and explore the many preserved buildings.In addition, you should check TripAdvisor and the official website of Old Market before going there.

5. Capitol Building

Capitol Building

Located in Des Moines, Iowa, Capitol Building ranks fifth in our list of tourist destinations on the Chicago road trip. You must take 1 day 1 hour of driving to arrive at Capitol Building.If you have the time and interest, I would recommend taking the approximately 90-minute free tour to learn more about the history and design of this hand-built edifice. The guide was very informative, telling us all about the history and architecture of the interior of this magnificent building.If you want to learn more about Capitol Building, you can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website.

6. Figge Art Museum

Figge Art Museum

Another attraction you can visit on the road trip from Denver to Chicago is Figge Art Museum, Davenport, Iowa. Figge Art Museum is 841 miles from Denver, and it would take 12 hours 3 mins to drive.The Figge Art Museum is a world-class art exhibition and education facility, with a landmark glass building on the banks of the Mississippi. The museum houses one of the Midwest’s finest art collections and presents world-class traveling exhibitions.For more information about Figge Art Museum you can check their TripAdvisor page or official website.

FAQ of the Road Trip From Denver to Chicago

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

How Long Is The Road Trip From Denver To Chicago?

  • With ideal traffic and weather conditions, the road trip takes approximately 14 hours 27 mins to drive. The distance between Denver to Chicago is 1,004 miles.
  • If you want to make the Denver to Chicago road trip by bike, the time you spend on the road will be 3 days 16 hours.
  • If you are crazy enough and plan to walk the Denver-Chicago route, then you will have to walk for 13 days 15 hours.

Where Do You Stop On Driving From Denver To Chicago?

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

  1. Lake McConaughy: 228 miles / 3 hours 24 mins to drive from Denver | 802 miles / 11 hours 43 mins of driving to Chicago.
  2. Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center: 262 miles / 3 hours 49 mins to drive from Denver | 748 miles / 10 hours 56 mins of driving to Chicago.
  3. Broken Arrow Wilderness: 447 miles / 6 hours 33 mins to drive from Denver | 579 miles / 8 hours 54 mins of driving to Chicago.
  4. Old Market: 540 miles / 7 hours 40 mins to drive from Denver | 468 miles / 6 hours 59 mins of driving to Chicago.
  5. Capitol Building: 1,665 miles / 1 day 1 hour to drive from Denver | 702 miles / 11 hours 32 mins of driving to Chicago.
  6. Figge Art Museum: 841 miles / 12 hours 3 mins to drive from Denver | 176 miles / 2 hours 47 mins of driving to Chicago.

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

There are many excellent hotels during your Denver to Chicago 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 Chicago From Denver section.

  • South Platte Cabins & Kennels: 212 miles / 3 hours 4 mins to drive from Denver | 793 miles / 11 hours 29 mins of driving to Chicago.
  • Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites: 262 miles / 3 hours 45 mins to drive from Denver | 743 miles / 10 hours 46 mins of driving to Chicago.
  • Fullerton Inn, Nebraska: 446 miles / 6 hours 31 mins to drive from Denver | 592 miles / 8 hours 55 mins of driving to Chicago.
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area: 541 miles / 7 hours 39 mins to drive from Denver | 471 miles / 6 hours 58 mins of driving to Chicago.
  • Surety Hotel: 671 miles / 9 hours 33 mins to drive from Denver | 334 miles / 5 hours 2 mins of driving to Chicago.
  • Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection: 841 miles / 12 hours 3 mins to drive from Denver | 176 miles / 2 hours 46 mins of driving to Chicago.

Where To Eat Between Denver to Chicago?

If you are thinking of taking a break and having a nice meal on your Denver to Chicago 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 Denver To Chicago.

  1. Open Range Grill: 962 miles / 13 hours 46 mins to drive from Denver | 45.4 miles / 50 mins of driving to Chicago.
  2. Luigi’s, Nebraska: 322 miles / 4 hours 44 mins to drive from Denver | 690 miles / 10 hours 30 mins of driving to Chicago.
  3. The Green Gateau: 485 miles / 6 hours 51 mins to drive from Denver | 522 miles / 7 hours 42 mins of driving to Chicago.
  4. M’s Pub: 540 miles / 7 hours 40 mins to drive from Denver | 468 miles / 6 hours 59 mins of driving to Chicago.
  5. Fong’s Pizza: 671 miles / 9 hours 32 mins to drive from Denver | 334 miles / 5 hours 2 mins of driving to Chicago.
  6. Cafe d’Marie: 841 miles / 12 hours 2 mins to drive from Denver | 175 miles / 2 hours 48 mins of driving to Chicago.

Conclusion

So, there you have it- a complete guide to planning a road trip from Denver to Chicago. 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 that this guide has been helpful in making your road trip from Denver to Chicago as enjoyable as possible.

Share Your Thoughts

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

Video: Chicago Road Trip: Top 10 Things to Do in Chicago

In this video, you can find 10 things to do in Chicago. If you’re planning to visit Chicago, you should check the video.




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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