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03/26/2009 10:21PM
Coming from Indianapolis.... instead of going from Chicago to Duluth via EauClaire and rt53, how much farther/longer to go up thru Green Bay? My atlas is old and I'm not sure what the route is like. Last year we went thru Bloomington,Il. to avoid Chicago's road construction. A long drive. Just trying to iron out a few pre-trip details. Thanks, oth
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03/26/2009 10:47PM
Assume a minimum 3 hours from Chicago to Green Bay, more likely 4 even if traffic isn't bad. Green Bay to Eau Claire (actually Chippewa Falls just north of Eau Claire is where US 29 and US 53 junction) is probably 3 hours. Neither of these times include stops for gas or bathroom breaks. The nice thing is that US 29 between Green Bay and Chippewa Falls is now a four lane divided highway with speeds posted at 65 mph virtually the entire way. And it's a very scenic drive. My wife's family lives just south of Green Bay, and we use to do this trip 4-5 times a year.

The thing is, this route will probably add at least an hour if not two to your trip. I used to live in Eau Claire and could make downtown Chicago in 5-6 hours depending on traffic. The only thing that might slow you down on I-90/94 in Wisconsin would be construction. Don't know if they have anything planned on I-43 between Chicago and Green Bay, but it seems every summer they have something ripped up between Eau Claire and Chicago.
03/26/2009 11:06PM
What about goin up through mackinac island area in the U.P.?
03/26/2009 11:59PM
I live in Green Bay and can confirm that thlipsis29's times are pretty close.

I-94 from Chicago to Milwaukee, then I-43 to Green Bay isn't a bad drive at all. Three and a half hours would be about right from downtown, but as always, time dependent on traffic in Chicago. Milwaukee traffic usually isn't terrible during non-rush hour travel.

The drive to GB is somewhat scenic, although seeing Lake Michigan isn't much more than a fleeting glance between Port Washington and Sheboygan.

GB to Chippewa Falls is about 3 hours on highway 29 and you barely have to take the cruise control off the entire way. Wausau would be the only place unless you encounter heavy traffic. That's pretty rare, though.

Chippewa Falls to Superior takes about two hours or so.

It's certainly a lot farther to go through Green Bay, but if you're not in a hurry or you're looking to do a little tourism in our fine city, it's a nice drive on very good roads. Be sure to wave when you go through town.
03/27/2009 08:25AM
....and remove your hat in tribute to Vince!
03/27/2009 08:27AM

Look up buzz17 on the site here and e-mail him or if you want I can send you his e-mail address. He recently moved from Ely to Indianapolis but still has his place up in Ely. I know he's tried two or three different routes going back and forth and he might have some good suggestions. Regardless of which way you go, it's a haul.
03/27/2009 12:54PM
Vince? Vince who? :)
03/27/2009 12:57PM
Like a typical Packer fan, they "glorify the past while the future dries up..."
03/27/2009 02:44PM
At least we had a past ;)
03/27/2009 03:03PM
Amen to that cowdoc!!!!
03/27/2009 10:24PM
I don't wanna talk football. (Grew up near Cincinnati) :) Hey, thanks guys. If it's only another hour and a criuse from Green Bay to Duluth it may be cool to go sightseeing a bit. If gas is $4 again, I may take a beeline at a fuel efficient 55. :) Thanks, we always like to take different routes and rubberneck on the road if we can.
03/27/2009 10:56PM
Good Lord Man ! You sure don't have to go thru Chicago to get to Eau Claire. Take I65 to US 24 NORTH OF Lafayette go west to 39 north in Illinois then to EauClaire etc. Green Bay is way the heck out of the way.
03/28/2009 12:33AM
Thanks Stormy, I'll check it out. We like road trips and like to check out some new scenery without going too far out of the way. We don't consider Chicago scenic any more-especially if there's road construction throught the tolls.:) We took I74 to 39 last year thru Bloomington. I was thinking about avoiding EauClaire and "taking the long way home". Thru GreenBay. :)
03/28/2009 10:24AM
I come from South Bend, I always go right through downtown, and take I 90 up through Madison, and 94 up to Eau Claire.
I think going through green bay adds too many unnecessary miles onto the trip.
03/28/2009 10:47AM

You mentioned "avoiding Eau Claire".

Perhaps you haven't been through there in the last year or two, but Hwy 53 bipasses Eau Claire now. You still exit I-94 at the same place, but the four-lane highway bipasses the city to the east and you barely have to slow down on your way north.

Of course, if you want to go through Green Bay on the way home, you'll hit Hwy 29 East at Chippewa Falls and miss Eau Claire altogether.
03/28/2009 07:24PM
I'm in the western suburbs of Chicago so I always travel up I-39 to 90/94 and then into Eau Claire. I second the fact that the new 53 bypass in Eau Claire is much nicer than in years past. I think it is the quickest way to Duluth. My big suggestion is to try and hit chicago off peak. By off peak I mean between 12am and 5am. I usually leave my house in the middle of the night to get north of the dells before most people are awake. It sure makes for a more relaxing trip. Although driving at night can be a pain, but it still works for me.

best of luck!
03/29/2009 01:27PM
Went thru EauCaire last year. My buddy wanted to go from Chicago to Duluth via GreenBay. I thought maybe there was a beeline route from GB to Duluth without going west to EauCaire. Like hitting rt.53 north of Rice Lake or S. of Duluth. I should have been more clear. Thanks, oth
03/30/2009 08:09AM
Sully is right, your going at least 2 hours out of your way to go through Green Bay. 90-94 to 53 around Au-claire is still your fasted way to the Great North Woods. And why on earth would you want to go to Cheezy Green Bay for anyways. They don't even have a football team there anyways!!!!!!!!!!!
03/30/2009 08:22AM
Just hit Chicago off hours and avoid the traffic. Pay attention to am 720 on the way up,listen for any problems, and go around them if needed and you should be fine. If you want scenic, go thru GB, but that is really out of the way.
03/30/2009 02:05PM
OTH the 74 to 39 way is the best no chicago to deal with. We come from s.Illinois and it saves us an hour and a half to Mad town.
03/30/2009 05:33PM
We all might want to look up a different route. There is construction from the south side of Rockford to the Wisconsin state line. Not pretty during the summer weekend hours. Very long back ups.
I believe it goes to next year
03/31/2009 02:53PM
OTH, if you are just looking for a different route, try this.=

That adds about 50 miles and 2 hours to your trip through Wisconsin, but it goes through some pretty cool countryside.
03/31/2009 04:19PM
That 94 route between Chi and Mke is officially under construction. I'd do it if I were going through late at night or early a.m. The 29 route out of GB is terrific. I haven't seen a cop on that stretch in 6 years (knock knock). It's exactly 400 miles and 136' from Port Warshington to the wayside toilet in Superior.
03/31/2009 05:57PM
Thanks Unas, That looks cool. Just picked up a new atlas and will check it out. We took 74W 39N 53N last year and thought we'd look for a scenic/new route this year. Nothing against Chicago, but used to birdhunt in SD every fall and have spent alot of time crawling thru Big C.
04/01/2009 05:25AM
I understand the desire to avoid Chicago. However, for myself, if I am going to add time to my trip I would rather it be for a more enjoyable purpose than just avoiding an annoyance. If it weren't for limited time, I would stay off the interstate completely.
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