Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

11 best places to visit in the u.s. midwest


While the American Midwest might not be known for its sprawling coastlines or tropical weather, this region is rich with beauty and excitement in its own right.

If you live in the Midwest, you might be struggling to choose your next getaway destination. Fortunately, there are plenty of top places to visit in this region of the country—perhaps even in your own backyard!

Whether you’re planning a trip to explore more of the American Midwest or whether you’re a local who is looking for the perfect weekend getaway, here are 11 of the best places you need to visit!

Branson, Missouri

Over the years, the small town of Branson has managed to evolve into a very popular vacation spot. Home to the 1880s-themed Silver Dollar City amusement park and the world-famous Dolly Parton’s Stampede dinner show, Branson provides well over 100 attractions that the whole family can enjoy.

Beyond thrill rides and live entertainment, Branson also offers its fair share of outdoor activities. As this small tourist town is nestled in the Ozark Mountains and partially located on Table Rock Lake, a rewarding hike and scenic views are never too far away!

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is largely known for its exciting art scene. Visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art to view more than 90,000 impressive works crafted across 5,000 years of world history. Then, stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and snap photos with some of the world-famous pieces that are on display.

While you’re in town, be sure to carve out plenty of downtime to explore Minnehaha Park and its gorgeous waterfalls. If possible, plan your getaway during the spring or fall months, as the summers are quite warm, and the winters are frigid!

Lincoln, Nebraska

When visiting Nebraska’s capital, the first order of business is to visit the city’s iconic State Capitol building, which is adorned with gorgeous mosaic ceilings, walls, and floors. Before leaving, climb to the observation deck to get an unmatched view of Lincoln!

If you’re fortunate enough to visit during the spring or summer months, make sure you visit the famous Sunken Gardens—a gorgeous floral display that lies in the heart of the city.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Although Cedar Rapids is Iowa’s second-largest city, it’s not your typical metropolitan area. Beyond the shopping, dining, and entertainment options that you’d expect from any large city, Cedar Rapids is known for its quaint attractions and natural beauty.

Explore the many rooms and gardens of the famous Brucemore estate, take a quiet stroll through the Indian Creek Nature Center, or get your fishing on at Prairie Park Fishery!

Chicago, Illinois

With more than 2.6 million people, Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States and the largest city in the Midwest. Even those who aren’t fond of the traditional big-city experience should visit Windy City at least once in their lives.

For an authentic Chicago experience, snap a photo next to the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture, take a stroll through Millennium Park, and grab a slice of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. If your schedule allows, catch a Cubs, White Sox, Bears, or Bulls game!

Cleveland, Ohio

Not sure what you want out of your next getaway? Visit Cleveland, Ohio—this city offers a little of everything! One of Cleveland’s can’t miss attractions, of course, is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Here, you’ll learn more about the many musical icons and achievements that helped shape the American music industry.

As the city is also located on Lake Erie, there are plenty of opportunities to hike, fish, and boat. Wind down after a busy day with a leisurely walk through the Cleveland Botanical Garden or the Cleveland Metroparks.

Keystone, South Dakota

If you’re looking for a quiet getaway experience without towering skyscrapers and congested traffic, then Keystone, South Dakota is the place for you.

Home to Mount Rushmore and the Presidential Trail, this tiny town lies at the foot of the breathtaking Black Hills Mountain range. After checking Mount Rushmore off your bucket list, spend some quiet time at Horse Thief Lake or enjoy a picnic lunch and scenic view at Breezy Point.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

The city of Ann Arbor is aptly referred to as “Tree Town” because of its many gardens and arboretums. Visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens or Gallup Park to witness the city’s lush vegetation and wildlife firsthand.

Of course, Ann Arbor is also home to the University of Michigan and its passionate collegiate sports fanbase. For a lively atmosphere that will have you rooting for the maize and blue in no time, catch a Wolverines game at Michigan Stadium!

Wichita, Kansas

The city of Wichita boasts all types of museums and historical landmarks. Be transported to life in the 19th century as you stroll through Old Cowtown Museum or learn more about the history of American aviation at the Kansas Aviation Museum.

For your dose of wildlife, view more than 400 species of animals at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Finally, treat yourself to a scenic walk through The Wichita Gardens as you take in the gorgeous floral arrangements and vibrant plant life.

Indianapolis, Indiana

If you’re looking to catch a few sports games during your getaway, very few Midwest cities fit the bill like Indianapolis—home to the Indianapolis Colts, multiple NCAA teams, and of course, NASCAR’s Indy 500 race.

While you’ll have to carefully coordinate your trip in order to catch the world-famous racing event, you can experience a glimpse of the Indy 500 and racing culture by visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The city of Milwaukee is largely known for its famous breweries. Enjoy a great drink and a top-notch view at the Lakefront Brewery or take an 80-minute guided tour at Miller Brewery.

For the motorcycle fanatic, Milwaukee is also home to the Harley-Davidson Museum. Here, you’ll be able to view some of the earliest motorcycle models that have been preserved over the years. Finally, catch a Brewers game at American Family Field if the home team is in town!

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

Share this article with a friend:

Free eNewsletter SignUp

Sally's Place on Facebook    Sally Bernstein on Instagram    Sally Bernstein at Linked In

Global Resources

Handmade Chocolates, Lillie Belle Farms

Food411 Food Directory