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Chicago to Denver drive

(tap on any row to expand for more details)

  Chicago
 Moline
 Des Moines
 Omaha
 Hastings (Nebraska)
 North Platte
 Julesburg
2 travelers   /   driving   /   3 days   /   no pets   /   no RV

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Chicago to Denver road trip planner

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Chicago to Denver. If you're planning a road trip to Denver, you can research locations to stop along the way. Traveling with a dog or cat? View pet-friendly stops between Chicago and Denver. Camping along the way? View RV campgrounds between Chicago and Denver. Find the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

customize this trip
 Day 1

10:00 am  start in Chicago
drive for about 2.5 hours

12:39 pm  Moline
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 1:39 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

4:21 pm  Des Moines
stay overnight and leave the next day around 11:00 am

day 1 driving ≈ 5.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 2

11:00 am  leave from Des Moines
drive for about 2 hours

1:08 pm  Omaha
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 2:08 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

4:41 pm  Hastings (Nebraska)
stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am

day 2 driving ≈ 4.5 hours
find more stops

 Day 3

10:00 am  leave from Hastings (Nebraska)
drive for about 2 hours

12:13 pm  North Platte
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 1:13 pm
drive for about 1.5 hours

2:57 pm  Julesburg
stay for about 1 hour
and leave at 3:57 pm
drive for about 2.5 hours

6:35 pm  arrive in Denver
eat at Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen
stay at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver

day 3 driving ≈ 6.5 hours
find more stops

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Chicago to Denver questions


Where does my trip begin?

Your starting point is Chicago, Illinois.

You can enter an exact street address if you want to get precise directions, but this is optional.


How many cars do we need?

Since there are only 2 travelers, we assume you're driving 1 car. You can adjust the number of people traveling at the top. We assume a maximum of 4 passengers per car, but you can change the number of cars to fit your situation.


Where should I stop along the way?

Moline

Des Moines  (18 answers)
    questions about Des Moines:
        What's the best neighborhood in Des Moines for a first time visitor?
        Any good hiking spots in or near Des Moines?

Omaha  (17 answers)
    Henry Doorly Zoo  (8 mentions)
    Joslyn Art Museum  (3 mentions)
    Lauritzen Gardens  (2 mentions)
    The Durham Museum  (2 mentions)
    Omaha Children's Museum  (2 mentions)
    restaurants around Omaha:
        M's Pub
        Stokes Grill & Bar Wood Fired Foods
        801 Chophouse at The Paxton
        Lo Sole Mio Ristorante
    questions about Omaha:
        Best free things to do in Omaha?
        Dog friendly hotels

Hastings (Nebraska)  (2 answers)
    questions about Hastings (Nebraska):
        Places to go

North Platte  (2 answers)

Julesburg


Where does my trip end?

Your final destination is Denver, Colorado.

You can enter the exact street address of your destination, but this is optional.


Where's the best place to stay in Denver?

Are you going straight to a hotel, or looking for a vacation rental or Airbnb?

The best resource on neighborhoods, areas, and hotels is the Trippy page on where to stay in Denver.

If you're looking for a quick answer, you can check out The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver, which was mentioned 5 times on Trippy.

Here are some more hotels people talk about:

The Crawford Hotel  (3 mentions)
Hotel Teatro  (2 mentions)

Want to research more popular hotels in Denver? Click the blue button below.




Where's the best place to eat in Denver?

Need some recommendations on somewhere to get food?

Trippy members suggest Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, which was mentioned 14 times.

Here are some more restaurants people talk about:

Rioja  (9 mentions)
Acorn  (9 mentions)
Root Down  (7 mentions)
Bistro Vendome  (7 mentions)

Want to research more popular restaurants in Denver? Click the blue button below.




What are some things to do in Denver?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

These are some of the places people talk about on Trippy:

Denver Botanic Gardens  (12 mentions)
Denver Art Museum  (11 mentions)
LoDo  (11 mentions)

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

For example, here are some questions people have asked about Denver. Click on any question to see answers from the community!

profile  Tatum from New Jersey asked:
Short, scenic drives from Denver?  (11 answers)

profile  Drew from Ojai asked:
Best resort for advanced skier?  (10 answers)

profile  Barbara from Cambridge (Massachusetts) asked:
Activites to do with children ages 7-11  (8 answers)

profile  Rebecca from asked:
Top 5 must see attractions in Denver?  (7 answers)

profile  Trevor from Los Angeles asked:
Restaurant for dinner near Coors Field?  (7 answers)

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to Denver.




Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a Denver to Chicago drive, or go to the main page to plan a new road trip.

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Chicago to Denver. Or get a full Chicago to Denver flight plan.

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend. Maybe try typing in a faraway location like London, Hong Kong, or Sydney, and get inspired for your dream trip around the world.

And if you know Chicago well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Chicago!





At a Glance
without making any stops
total driving distance is 1,004 miles
driving time of 14 hours, 31 minutes
Denver is 1 hour behind Chicago
285 Chicago travel answers
1 Moline travel answer
18 Des Moines travel answers
17 Omaha travel answers
2 Hastings (Nebraska) travel answers
2 North Platte travel answers
1 Julesburg travel answer
152 Denver travel answers





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