25 Places You Have to Stop on Your Drive Through the Midwest
If you're from the Midwest, you know just how special the region is — friendly people, good food, fast-paced festivals, picturesque landscape, kick-ass jargon ("pop" is a hundred thousand times cooler than "soda"). . . And if, unfortunately, you were born and raised in another part of the country? It's time for you to get a solid taste of the best states in the US. Ahead are 25 stops you have to make while driving in the Midwest — this road trip will be one for the books.
Muskegon, MI, located on the west side of the state overlooking Lake Michigan, boasts a grand lakeside fur trader and lumber industry history.
Port Austin, MI
Situated on the tip of the thumb, there's an abundance of activities to keep you entertained in Port Austin, MI: fishing, beaches, trails, and water recreation, to name a few.
Take a food tour, an airport tour, trolley tour, and a heritage and hiking tour in Cleveland, OH. Check out the cultural gardens, new museums, and creative restaurants, too.
Murray City, OH
This tiny coal company town with a rich cultural backstory is nestled in southern Ohio and dates back to the 1870s. Upon visiting, check out the train depot and the coal mining museum.
Check out the Ford Center, ice arena, Angel Mounds, bicycle trails, wetlands, or one of the many museums in Evansville of southwestern Indiana.
Battle Ground, IN
If there's one thing you should do in Battle Ground, IN, it's visit the wolf park, which aims to improve the public's understanding of wolves and the value they provide to the land. The park offers both group and private tours.
The land of deep-dish pizza and blues music and rich cheesecake and towers that sway — ahh, Chicago. What's not to love?
Old souls, tour and camp in Lincoln's New Salem Historic Site in Petersburg, IL — it's a remodel of the village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood. There's also an amphitheater for performances!
St. Louis, MO
Animal lovers, check out the World Bird Sanctuary, the Butterfly House, and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery to get a glimpse of the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales' paddock and stables in St. Louis.
Van Buren, MO
The first national park area to protect a river system, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Van Buren, MO, is open for swimming, fishing, boating, or canoeing. Within the park are hundreds of freshwater springs, trails, and caves.
Established in 1869, the Welsh-founded ghost town of Arvonia, KS, was once home to a cheese factory, a general store, a school, a hotel, a blacksmith shop, and other businesses. Explore what's left of the historic settlement.
The Great Plains Transportation Museum, the Kansas Aviation Museum, and the Mosley Steet Melodrama are must sees in Wichita, KS.
Located in the Nebraska panhandle, Scottsbluff was founded just shy of 1900 across the North Platte River. The scenary? Unbeatable.
"Small town, big adventure" is the logo of Valentine, NE. And indeed, the small town offers much on the adventure front — horseback riding, hiking, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and more.
Obviously, snapping pics of Mount Rushmore in Keystone, SD, is not up for debate. It's iconic!
See the Lewis and Clark Interpretive and Keelboat Center, the Akta Lakota Museum, and the South Dakota Hall of Fame in Chamberlain.
New England, ND
Check out the creepy abandoned house near an old cemetery in the ghost settlement of Desart, now located in New England, ND.
In northwestern North Dakota, you'll find Williston, which offers lots of shopping and dining downtown. Canoe or kayak on the Yellowstone or Missouri Rivers.
Cass Lake, MN
Check out Star Island — named by the Ojibwes for its shape — on Cass Lake in Minnesota. It's the largest of four, and it has a lake within the island itself, making it one of a kind in the northern hemisphere.
Minneapolis is a Midwest staple, with a wide variety of food and drink (including lots of farmers markets), several cultural museums, and tons of recreation.
Located smack in the center of the state, Madrid, IA, has a cozy, small-town feel. Check out the High Trestle Trail, the historical museum, and Snus Hill Winery.
Des Moines, IA
Literary arts, film and cinema, live concerts, operas, and classical music — the cultural scene in Des Moines is thriving, and shouldn't be missed.
Take a historic Milwaukee walking tour, skate around the Pettit National Ice Center, see a Broadway show, or pay a visit to the Charles Allis Art Museum. You won't get bored in Milwaukee!
When visiting Oshkosh, WI, be sure to stop at the EEAA Airventure Oshkosh, which offers rides in classic planes like the B-17 Aluminum Overcast from World War II.
Copper Harbor, MI
The Upper Peninsula will blow you away. Copper Harbor, MI, is the state's northernmost town and it boasts gorgeous waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and breathtaking views of Lake Superior.