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The “best driving route from seattle to minneapolis” is a great option for road trip travelers. The best part about this route is that it’s not too long, and it has plenty of stops along the way.

Road Trip from Minneapolis to Seattle

Seattle is a popular holiday destination with a diverse range of activities and a dynamic nightlife. With all of the stunning sights and amazing activities along the route, the road journey from Minneapolis to this renowned city guarantees excitement at every turn.

The 1,823-mile road trip from Minneapolis to Seattle will take you 28 hours of non-stop driving. Highlights include Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Spokane, Mount Rushmore, Black Hills National Forest, and Hanford Reach, Theodore Roosevelt & Glacier National Parks.

This is not a journey to be taken lightly since there is so much to see and do along the route. Continue reading to learn about the many routes you may take and some of the must-see sights along the way, so you can start planning your next vacation.

What is the distance between Seattle and Minneapolis, and how long will the journey take?

Road trip itineraries between Minneapolis and Seattle are compared.

Route Distance Time to Drive
The Interstate Highway System 1,823 miles 28 hours
The Beautiful Route 1,836 miles 32 hours

The journey from Minneapolis to Seattle is 1,823 miles long and takes 28 hours to complete without any diversions. This journey could easily be accomplished in four days if just the required breaks and traffic were factored in, but what fun would that be?

A better choice is to spend at least a week taking in all of the wonderful sights along the journey.

You can stay on the interstate for most of the trip or take a more scenic route which will take you to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Flathead National Forest. The Beautiful Route is 1,836 miles long and will take you 32 hours to drive without any stops.

Whichever path you choose, you’ll pass through some magnificent sights, ranging from flatlands and towns to rivers and woods. Along the route, you’ll see limestone canyon walls, rock tunnels, and even native species such as elk and bison.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota with the Little Missouri River cutting through, rock formations to one side and flat plains in the other leading into the distance at sunset with a stunning sky. If you decide to take The Beautiful Route, you’ll pass right by the majestic Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

ZakZeinert/Shutterstock.com

The best route from Minneapolis to Seattle for a car trip

The The best route from Minneapolis to Seattle for a car trip differs widely depending on what you are after. The Interstate Highway System is a bit quicker, and you will be driving along the highways most of the time, while The Beautiful Route takes longer but leads you through majestic forests and sights.

The Interstate Highway System

Drive beyond Minneopa State Park on US-169 towards Mankato. Follow MN-60 until you reach Worthington, where you’ll join onto I-90.

Take a rest at Falls Park in Sioux Falls as you pass into South Dakota to stretch your legs before continuing on down the road until you bridge the Missouri River and reach Oacoma.

Continue on I-90 until you reach Rapid City, then exit onto US-16 at Exit 61. Continue straight onto US-16A, which will take you to Mount Rushmore.

After your visit, take SD-244 and turn left onto US-16 W/US-385. Continue on through the Black Hills National Forest and into Montana, passing through Thunder Basin National Grasslands before rejoining I-90.

Seattle, Washington, USA with the pier and skyline at dusk and sailing boats in the foreground. Seattle is a fantastic place to visit. It’s a beautiful spot to conclude the road journey, surrounded by mountains, trees, and water.

Shutterstock.com/Sean Pavone

Take in some history at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman before heading down via Lolo National Forest for some breathtaking vistas.

To go to your destination in Seattle, enter Washington and travel via Spokane.

The Beautiful Route

Take Highway 55 across Minnesota, pausing for a break at Clearwater / Pleasant Regional Park before continuing on MN-28 via Morris into South Dakota.

Take a break and go bird watching at Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Stay on SD-10 and turn left onto US-83, keeping Lake Traverse on your right. Turning right along US-12 will take you past Mobridge and over the Missouri River.

US-12 will take you to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, where you may see some rough badlands. In Bowman, turn right onto US-85 and go into Montana. Turn left onto US-2 as you go north.

You’ll pass Sleeping Buffalo Rock, a historical site, and the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum on your way there. Before proceeding into Idaho, stop at Flathead National Forest to take in some scenery.

Continue right onto US-95 to bridge Lake Pend Oreille and arrive at Silverwood Theme Park, the largest theme and water park in the Northwest.

As you pass into Washington, you merge onto I-90 towards Spokane and exit at Exit 277 to rejoin US-2.

Seattle is reached after passing through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington with a road surrounded by tall trees and the forest and mountains in the distance on a sunny day. Over 3.8 million acres of wilderness make up the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Shutterstock.com/Velimir Zeland

Between Minneapolis and Seattle, the best locations to stop

On a road trip between Minneapolis and Seattle, South Dakota and Montana have some of the greatest spots to stop. This is a lengthy road journey, so break it up and enjoy the breathtaking scenery and activities along the route.

Rapid City, the City of Presidents, is worth a visit.

Some of the most stunning landscapes, wooded hills, and towering mountains may be found in the Black Hills National Forest. There are many places to stay in the region, but we suggest the wonderful Summer Creek Inn in Rapid City.

The apartments are well designed and provide a feeling of calm and serenity, as well as stunning views. Breakfast may be had on the sun terrace, which overlooks the garden and waterfall, before heading off to view some of America’s most famous landmarks.

Some renowned landmarks and great vistas are within a short drive from the accommodation. Make a day of it by visiting Mount Rushmore National Memorial and then stopping at Needles Highway Scenic Overlook for some breathtaking photographs.

You may stretch your legs on a trek in Custer State Park before returning to the hotel, where you can unwind with a drink at the bar or a massage at the spa.

Custer State Park, South Dakota with storm clouds rolling in over Sylvan Lake, with the rock formations in the distance and trees. Custer State Park is a unique and attractive place to walk, with a stunning outlook.

Shutterstock.com/Jim Pottkotter

In Whitefish, hit the slopes.

If you follow The Beautiful Route, you will pass through the gorgeous scenery of Glacier National Park, known for its pristine forests, meadows and mountains. Located in this area, Lodge at Whitefish Lake is about 550 miles from Seattle, so it is the perfect place to spend the night.

This lovely lodge is located on the shores of Whitefish Lake, which provides boating, swimming, water skiing, and fishing activities, and the rooms have a fireplace and excellent views of the lake and surrounding forest.

With its closeness to the Glacier National Park’s more than 700 miles of trails, this hotel is the ideal starting point for your activities. If you travel during the winter, you may ski or snowboard on the world-class slopes of the Whitefish Mountain Resort.

After a day in the great outdoors, relax in the award-winning restaurant, spa, and gym, which will make your stay memorable. The greatest aspect is that the rates at this lodge are modest, considerably lower than those at some of the nearby hotels.

Whitefish Lake, Montana with a panorama shot of the lake and snow-capped mountains in the distance, stony shore in the foreground and on a sunny day with a pure blue sky. On the large and scenic Whitefish Lake, you may swim, fish, or take a boat ride.

Shutterstock.com/Nathan Dugan

On a road journey from Minneapolis to Seattle, there are many sights to view.

On a road journey from Minneapolis to Seattle, there is so much to see and do. Instead of seeing it as a route to your destination, consider it a trip to be enjoyed, and take your time experiencing all of the natural beauty and activities along the way.

Between Minneapolis and Seattle, here is a list of our favorite locations to visit.

The Interstate Highway System

  1. Mankato’s Minneopa State Park is a gorgeous park rich with wildflowers and home to the state’s tallest waterfall.
  2. Falls Park, Sioux Falls — Enjoy a dinner at the Falls Overlook Café while admiring the beautiful falls from a five-story viewing deck.
  3. Sioux Falls’ Wild Water West Waterpark reawakens your inner kid with a day at this fun-filled water park that has a variety of water slides, a swim-up bar, a wave pool, and much more.
  4. The Mammoth Site, Hot Springs – A self-guided tour of an active excavation site where you may observe Ice Age fossils.
  5. South Dakota’s Wind Cave National Park – Explore one of the world’s largest and most intricate cave systems.
  6. Keystone – Mount Rushmore National Memorial As you learn about the history surrounding these historical presidents, marvel at the spectacular mountain carvings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
  7. Custer’s Needles Highway Scenic Overlook is a lovely site to capture this special time in your journey.
  8. Thunder Basin National Grassland, Douglas – Hawks, foxes, pronghorn, and black-tailed prairie dogs may be seen in the mixed-grass plains.
  9. Hike through the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota and Wyoming to appreciate the natural splendor of the surrounding mountains and pine trees.
  10. Custer State Park, Custer – This gorgeous 71,000-acre park offers camping, hiking, biking, swimming, and fishing.
  11. Yellowstone River, Montana – Take in the beauty of the Yellowstone River while keeping a look out for roaming animals.
  12. Bozeman’s Museum of the Rockies – See a complete T-Rex fossil and learn about the area’s rich history and paleontological heritage at this diverse museum.
  13. Huson’s Lolo National Forest has nine beautiful paths that go through lush foliage and small valleys.
  14. Manito Park, Spokane – Spend the day strolling around this 90-acre park’s lovely gardens, stopping for a picnic in one of the well-kept gardens, seeing the conservatory, and watching the ducks splash about in the pond.
  15. Mattawa’s Hanford Reach National Park will fascinate you with breathtaking vistas and plentiful animal observations of elk, coyotes, and porcupines on a historical stroll along the river.

Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota at summer with a view of Roughlock Falls on the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, surrounded by greenery. Explore the neighboring mountains and pine trees on a trek through the Black Hills National Forest.

Shutterstock.com/Ami Parikh

The Beautiful Route

  1. Annandale’s Clearwater / Pleasant Regional Park offers a picnic area, swimming pool, fishing pier, and disc golf course.
  2. Observe migrating birds and animals at Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Columbia.
  3. The Klein Museum in Mobridge focuses on European and Sioux cultures and has numerous Native American and pioneer relics from the area.
  4. Theodore Roosevelt National Area, North Dakota – In this park of rough badlands, you may see breathtaking landscapes and views of elk, deer, wild horses, and bison wandering freely.
  5. Saco’s Sleeping Buffalo Rock is a historic site directly on the roadway.
  6. Malta’s Great Plains Dinosaur Museum – Here you may see some of the best-preserved dinosaur fossils in the world.
  7. Swan Lake, Flathead National Forest – The topography of this national forest has been sculpted by glaciers and is covered in a lush dense forest.
  8. Montana’s Glacier National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, lakes, mountains, and over 700 miles of hiking trails.
  9. Whitefish Mountain Resort is located in Whitefish. In the winter, it’s a ski resort, and in the summer, it’s an adventure park with a variety of activities.
  10. Clark Fork’s Kaniksu National Forest is ideal for an ambitious trek or a family outing, with gorgeous trails of varying degrees of difficulty.
  11. Athol’s Silverwood Theme Park – Let your problems fade away at this thrilling theme park, which includes more than 70 attractions, a water park, live entertainment, and a restaurant.
  12. Leavenworth Reindeer Farm is located in Leavenworth. Learn about these amazing animals at this family-run reindeer farm in the Cascade Mountains’ foothills.
  13. Granite Falls’ Big Four Ice Caves – Fascinating ice cave formations accessible through a short and easy trek.
  14. Wallace Falls State Area is a beautiful lakeside camping park that, depending on the season, provides birding, boating, paragliding, and beach sports.
  15. Wenatchee’s Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest has 3.8 million acres of land where you may camp, hike, and gather mushrooms.

Glacier National Park, Montana, USA with trees and land covered in snow in the foreground looking down to a lake and mountains beyond covered in snow. Glacier National Park in Montana offers breathtaking vistas that make the journey worthwhile.

Shutterstock.com/Vaclav Sebek

When is the best time to travel from Minneapolis to Seattle?

The When is the best time to travel from Minneapolis to Seattle? depends on what you want to do along the way. Keeping in mind that this is a long journey, you will want favorable weather conditions to safely travel through it.

Some of the roads and attractions will be closed in winter, especially if you are following The Beautiful Route that travels further towards the North. The temperatures tend to fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which is something to keep in mind for outdoor activities and driving.

If you visit during the winter, though, you may go skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort and wander around the Park Winter Wonderland.

There are multiple national parks with various hiking trails and animals to enjoy if you visit in the summer, but this is also the peak season for most of the attractions along the road, and accommodation costs will be at their highest.

Summer temperatures on both routes are pleasant, with temps hovering around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, making this an ideal time for outdoor activities.

The shifting hues of the natural surroundings are especially beautiful in the spring and autumn. Because you’ll be traveling in northern America, the weather will be cold, with temperatures averaging 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so dress appropriately.

If you visit Seattle in April, you may visit the Skagit Tulip Festival to see several amazing flower fields in bloom.

The “minnesota to washington state” is a road trip from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Seattle, Washington. The distance between the two cities is approximately 1,000 miles.

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