When many people think about vacationing in the United States, they often think of places like the Gulf Coast, the West Coast, and even the Rocky Mountains to hit the slopes. With all of these crowded vacationing areas, there are quite a few hidden gems that can be found in other areas less visited, such as the charming Midwest. This often-overlooked region has so many characteristics to make it a wonderful place to travel to and even a few that might surprise you! A Midwest vacation can be filled with all of your favorite activities as long as you know where to look. Here are just a few reasons you should consider the Midwest for your next vacation destination:
Families often visit the Midwest to enjoy the many theme parks that make this region so unique and fun! Many major cities or vacationing areas feature at least one theme park and some even have indoor water parks which are ideal for winter travel. Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri is the quintessential theme park that everyone remembers and wants to visit, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio has plenty of rides and overlooks breathtaking Lake Eerie, Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus Indiana have the perfect mix of dry and wet attractions, Wisconsin has the Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park which can be used all-year-round, and Valleyfair in Shakopee, Minnesota is the perfect blend of timeless and brand-new rides that the whole family will love.
The Midwest is filled with opportunities to get out on immaculate bodies of water and enjoy the great outdoors. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio offer access to four of the five Great Lakes, which are renowned for their various water activities like boating, sailing, fishing, water sports, and more. Looking for some smaller lakes to inhabit? No worries, with Minnesota known as the “land of 10,000 lakes,” you’re bound to find a lake that matches all of your particular needs without having to travel far! For those who would rather enjoy views of rivers, many Midwestern states have the Mississippi River and/or the Ohio River running through them, so there are plenty of bridges and places to hang out where you can also enjoy the water further away from the lakes, as well!
If you don’t want to spend all of your time hanging out on the Great Lakes, there are plenty of other landmarks found throughout the Midwest that are well worth the visit! Ohio’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a must-see, The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a fan-favorite, and you won’t want to miss the Ozark Mountains in southern Missouri. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to hang out in nature or roam around a big city, there are more than enough landmarks to experience to add to your already memorable trip!
Indulge in all the comforting food items found and praised throughout the Midwest—there’s something truly for every person out there! Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza and Chicago-styled hot dogs, Kansas City and St. Louis are both loved for their distinctive barbecue styles with more than 100 restaurants between both cities, and Illinois is a favorite destination for a variety of German-inspired dishes thanks to its early German settlers. For those who love fresh fish, they can visit cities surrounding the great lakes like those in Indiana, Minneapolis has some of the best Jewish bakeries in the United States, and Michigan visitors will definitely want to try Coney Island hot dogs while spending time in Detroit.
There’s just something about the Midwest that makes its people happier and friendlier, and you’ll experience it from the moment you arrive. The region is filled with quaint towns, small cities, large cities, and everything in-between. What do they all have in common? The people who create loving, tight-knit communities. Though the Midwest doesn’t always get the love it deserves when it comes to being a great vacationing region, those who do choose to visit find themselves returning again and again simply because of the residents who make the cities and towns so charming and inviting. When you make the Midwest your home away from home, you know you’re also gaining a loving family of locals who are ready to welcome you with open arms!