For the budget conscious American traveler, the 10 best Midwest travel destinations are a worthy option. Though you might think travel in the Midwest lacks the exotic scenery and experiences of the coasts and international travel, there are plenty of fantastic sights to see and amazing discoveries to make in America’s heartland. From beautiful natural parks to huge cosmopolitan cities, the Midwest is home to a surprising variety of places, people, and experiences. To get your own Midwest travel itinerary started, have a look at these recommended spots to consider.
- Chicago, Illinois. Naturally, Chicago is the first city that comes to mind when thinking about travel in the Midwest. Home to several world famous locations including the Magnificent Mile shopping district, the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, and historic Wrigley Field, you’ll have trouble fitting everything you want to do in Chicago into a short trip.
- The Wisconsin Dells. Located just outside of Madison, Wisconsin, the beautiful Dells of the Wisconsin River are a popular travel destination in the Midwest. Formed millions of years ago by a glacier, the formations along the riverbanks are a naturalist’s delight.
- Cleveland, Ohio. Art and music fans especially will appreciate the city of Cleveland as a travel destination in the Midwest. It’s the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a fashion week event that rivals New York City’s.
- The Great Lakes. Fishermen and outdoors men have long known that the Great Lakes are among the best places in America for outdoor activity. They border several Midwest states including Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and are extremely popular among hunters and fishermen looking for a real challenge.
- St. Louis, Missouri. This metropolitan Midwest travel destination is home to the Gateway Arch, one of the top-ranking zoos in the country, and a bustling music and nightlife scene. If you’re a beer lover, the headquarters of Anhueser-Busch is located there, and offers brewery tours.
- The Indiana Dunes. Located along the edge of Indiana that borders Lake Michigan, this is the perfect spot for a beach-like Midwest vacation, minus the coast. In August, the shores of Lake Michigan are full of beach goers swimming and taking in the views. But don’t go too early or too late, as you will be greeted by ice instead sand and sun.
- Lake of the Ozarks. Located in the ancient limestone hills of Missouri’s Ozark Mountain region, the Lake of the Ozarks is known for two things: fishing and partying. “The Lake”, as it is called by locals, is a highly popular and heavily trafficked travel destination.
- Mall of America. Constructed near Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Mall of America is a sort of Mecca for shoppers. It is one of the Midwest’s biggest malls, and is a must-see if you are traveling through the area.
- Isle Royale National Park. Though it is across Lake Superior from the rest of the state, the Isle Royale National Park is part of Michigan. As a Midwest travel destination, this chain of islands is for those with a real sense of adventure. It has a beautifully rugged landscape a very variable climate. Be advised, the park closes in the winter due to harsh weather.
- Indianapolis, Indiana. Though it’s final Midwest travel destination on the list, it’s certainly not the least interesting. Indianapolis hosts the world famous Indy 500 race every year, has an impressive number of museums and historical sites, and is surprisingly large as the 12th largest city in the country.
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