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ok , so I am planning to travel from NJ to NASSAM 2022 in South Dakota.
A straight drive will be at least 3 days.

my question - what else might be along the way that would be worthy of a sight-seeing stop ?

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Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH
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The Speedway Museum in Indianapolis.
Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation · Greenfield Village · Ford Rouge Factory Tour in or near Detroit.
 

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I might add The Gilmore Car Museum and the Auburn/Cord Museum.

But I most highly recommend The Henry Ford that John mentions. I would say it's a strong contender for best museum of Americana outside the Smithsonian. Personally I'd skip the Rouge Tour, it's a bit gimmicky and mostly just a walk-through F-150 commercial.

Fort Necessity also makes a quick stop to see some little-known but vital George Washington history, and then there's tourist traps like the I80 truck stop in Iowa and Wall Drug in South Dakota.

Most importantly, as a Michigander, I recommend you spend as little time as possible in Ohio. Might even be worth driving around it all together.
 

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I agree about the Henry Ford museum. Forget it's named after Henry Ford if you aren't a Ford fan. It's certainly a must see when in the area.
 
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It'd take longer, but detouring up through Minneapolis would be cool. Especially if back to the 50's was going on. Then there's the Mall of America, Como Zoo, Global Market in the Midtown building. The Milling district with ots various tours and museums, Walker Art Center and Sculpture Walk.
 

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I’ll second the Henry Ford, definitely Gilmore and the Pontiac Oakland Museum in Pontiac, IL. All a bit out of the way but all worthy of a stop. If you do head down to Pontiac there’s also a Standard Oil station along 66 on the way.
 

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This depends on how much time/money you have. I would take an extra week and go to Yellowstone while out that way. It's absolutely magnificant. (If you chose to go there, let me know and I can tell you which of the 5 hotels in the park to stay at!!) You can also stop Chicago. Or you could swing up through Detroit and stop at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum and the Rouge Factory Tour. (Look up 'The Henry Ford') If it's a weekend you could even come up to the outskirts of Detroit and catch some Woodward Cruising. Columbus has the Jack Hanna Zoo. If you're into amusement parks, there's Cedar Point (roller coaster capital) in Sandusky OH, or Six Flags Great America outside of Chicago. But most of all, I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend seeing Mt. Rushmore at night. It is ABSOLUTELY amazing.
 

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Definitely not "on the way", exactly. But if you decide to swing down to Indy, going down I-65 to Bowling Green, KY for the Corvette museum is something to be considered. 65 is easy driving, and you can sign up to do some fast laps at their trial track in a brand new Vette, if you're so inclined. And, if you're going to be over in the neighborhood of Indy anyway, look up Fair Oaks Farm. Great place for travelers to stop and it's about an hour south of I-80 on I-65 just before you come into Chicago. The food in the restaurant is great midwestern cuisine.
 

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The Studebaker Museum and Oliver Home in South bend are both worth seeing. And don't forget the R.V. Hall of fame in Shipshewana Indiana.
The last time I drove out that way (for the POCI convention in Spearfish) There were billboards starting on the Minnesota border for a museum near Mitchel SD. IIRC it had Pioneer in its name. It was interesting but not really worth the stop. Also, the Corn Palace in downtown Mitchel is good for a drive-by.
 
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Haven't been to the Henry Ford in years but it has always been impressive collection of "Americana" as Phil pointed out. In terms of just automotive collections, the Gilmore Car Museum has been proclaimed as superior by some fans of the Henry Ford. BUT, it is pretty much all automotive related (and it's six miles from my house so I'll cook you a steak if you want to drop by!)

Outside of that there's always the world's largest ball of twine.

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I was going to mention the ball of twine but it is a little out of the way when coming from the east coast.
I took this shot on the way to Black Hawk NASSAM in 2018.
Certainly a must see for anybody.
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The Studebaker Museum and Oliver Home in South bend are both worth seeing. And don't forget the R.V. Hall of fame in Shipshewana Indiana.
The last time I drove out that way (for the POCI convention in Spearfish) There were billboards starting on the Minnesota border for a museum near Mitchel SD. IIRC it had Pioneer in its name. It was interesting but not really worth the stop. Also, the Corn Palace in downtown Mitchel is good for a drive-by.
There is a Pioneer Village but that's in Minden, Nebraska. It is a good stop, but for the way home.
 

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Hmm.. Your 25 hour trip has me possibly reconsidering going this coming year. I’m looking at 19 hours from where I'm at in TX. I'm not sure when the next one will be closer. I was thinking it was just too far.
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