There’s something so friendly and welcoming about the American Midwest.
The wide open prairies, the peaceful river valleys and the thriving cities – this region invites you to explore. Whether you’re looking for a chance to hike the great outdoors, enjoy the nightlife, visit historic sites, celebrate Spring Break or enjoy interesting museums – the Midwest has a lot to discover.
If you’re looking for inspiration for the best Midwest vacations, keep reading. We have some great ideas for Midwest family vacations that will make you fall head over heels in love with this region.
Where is the Midwest?
The area known as the Midwest encompasses the center of the United States. It stretches from the state of Ohio in the east, all the way to Nebraska, Kansas and the Dakotas in the west.
Diving deeper into the region, you have the Great Lakes States and the Great Plains States. The Great Lakes States are the ones that border the Great Lakes, including Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. The Great Plains States include Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota and Iowa.
These states make up the heart of the USA – yet a great deal of tourism in America is focused along the East and West Coast and the South. It’s definitely worth taking the time to explore these midwestern states, so you can experience life in America’s heartland.
Midwest Getaways You’ll Love
If you’re a sports fan, Indianapolis is one of the best Midwest cities to travel to. It’s known for car racing basketball, football and much more. You can visit the world-famous Indianapolis 500 racetrack, then see the 1930s gymnasium at the NCAA Hall of Champions. If you are traveling with little ones, they can take part in the interactive exhibits at the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
But Indianapolis isn’t just all about sports. It also boasts a thriving art scene, excellent restaurants and beautiful local hiking trails in Eagle Creek Park and Schoen Creek Trail. It’s no wonder so many Midwest vacations include this great city.
St. Louis, Missouri
Standing high above this city, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, is a towering steel arch. It symbolizes the position of St. Louis as the “Gateway to the West.” A vibrant and youthful midwestern metropolis, there are a lot of reasons to explore St. Louis.
This thriving city keeps popping up on “Best Of” lists – thanks to the fantastic parks, excellent zoos and botanical gardens and high quality museums. Be sure to check out the Delmar Loop, which is a six block stretch of Delmar Boulevard – known as one of the best urban streets in America. It’s backed with great attractions like Blueberry Hill (Where Chuck Berry used to play), the old Tivoli Theatre and plenty of superb restaurants, lounges and pubs.
When you travel the Midwest, you can’t miss Chicago. After all, it’s the most populous city in the Midwest and the third most populous in the entire country.
It has everything you could want from an exciting city getaway, from world-class museums to stunning architecture to a legendary theatre and stand-up comedy scene. Not to mention, there are 7,000 restaurants to choose from serving everything from hearty deep dish pizza to high end cuisine.
Chicago is most enjoyable in the summer months between June and September, when the locals flock to the parks, Lakefront beaches and public squares to enjoy picnics, live music and festivals. In fact, during the summer it feels like there’s a festival happening every weekend! Check out the events calendar and plan your visit you can join in on the fun.
Traverse City, Michigan
Located close to the Canadian border, this city overlooks Lake Michigan and is one of the best Midwest travel destinations for outdoor lovers. On a long summer day here you can head out onto the lake on a fishing trip, or go trekking through the trails of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. If you are here in the winter, you can enjoy the abundant snowfall. It’s perfect for snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding. At any time of the year you can visit the many wineries and craft breweries to sample locally made tipple.
If you’re looking to experience a bit of luxury with your nature, there are several beautiful Midwest resorts in this area – such as the Tamarack Lodge, the Chateau Chantal Winery and Inn and the Sugar Beach Resort Hotel.
Where will you go on your Midwest road trips?
These are just a few of the best weekend getaways the Midwest has to offer. This may be one of the most underappreciated regions in the USA, so why not get out there and see what the Midwest is all about?
If you’re keen to travel Midwest destinations, you’ll have a lot to see and do in this region!