7 Cities within the Midwest You Have to Go to This Yr

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Relating to the US, there are a handful of “darlings” within the tourism world. States like New York and California and Florida get numerous love, as do areas just like the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest. However have you learnt which area will get constantly ignored by most vacationers? The Midwest.

The American Midwest is not identified for mountains or seashores or theme parks; it is identified for farms and (former) trade, and for people who find themselves actually, very nice.

Possibly that does not sound as thrilling as different components of the nation, however guess what? The Midwest is superior, and it is best to undoubtedly go to.

Lake Michigan in the fall

View of Chicago from Willis Tower Skydeck
Downtown Indianapolis

Which states make up the American Midwest, you ask? Nicely, it generally relies upon. However, going by the commonest division of the US into four main areas (the Northeast, the Midwest, the West, and the South), 12 states make up the Midwest.

The Midwestern states are:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin

I have never fairly visited each nook of the Midwest (I have been to all of the states, however have spent extra time in some than others), however I’ve seen sufficient of the area in recent times to know that the cities of the Midwest aren’t what they have been 10 years in the past.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Many Midwestern cities are having a little bit of a Renaissance proper now, with nice meals, craft brews, and family-friendly sights popping up nearly in every single place. Add to this the distinctive historical past and delightful landscapes of the Midwest (as a result of, no, opposite to in style perception it is not all corn fields right here!), and you’ve got loads of locations worthy of a go to.

7 cities within the Midwest it is best to go to

It is all the time powerful to place collectively an inventory like this, however listed below are 7 Midwestern cities I believe it is best to go to if you have not already:

1. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland mural in Ohio City

Okay, so I am a bit biased on this one since I solely dwell about 30 minutes south of Cleveland and have lived in northeast Ohio my total life. However hear me out: Cleveland is method cooler than you most likely suppose it’s.

Positioned proper on Lake Erie, Cleveland’s historical past dates again to the late 1700s. It skilled a inhabitants increase within the 1800s with the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal, and it remained affluent all through the century. The truth is, by 1920, Cleveland was the fifth-largest metropolis in america. The town started a speedy decline within the 1980s, although, because the manufacturing industries that the town relied on crumbled.

Cleveland is now typically the butt of popular culture jokes (sure, our river caught on hearth as soon as; sure, our soccer workforce sucks), however Cleveland shouldn’t be the identical metropolis it was 10 or 20 years in the past; it is not even the identical metropolis it was 5 years in the past! Now the town has nice eating places, a number of craft breweries, a clear beachfront, and a powerful lineup of museums. Younger individuals are transferring again downtown, respiratory new life into neighborhoods and bringing in recent concepts.

Cleveland, Ohio

Three issues you will need to do in Cleveland:

  1. Go to the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame – It was in Cleveland within the 1950s that disc jockey Alan Freed coined the time period “rock and roll” to explain a brand new kind of music that he helped promote on the radio. The Rock Corridor is a wonderful museum devoted to rock music and its have an effect on on tradition worldwide. (Purchase your tickets right here.)
  2. Go to the West Aspect Market – Positioned in Cleveland’s Ohio Metropolis neighborhood (at the moment hipster central within the metropolis), the West Aspect Market is a meals market that is been working for greater than 100 years. The market can also be near nice Ohio Metropolis eating places and the Nice Lakes Brewing Firm.
  3. Get cultured – The Cleveland Museum of Artwork is thought for its numerous everlasting assortment of greater than 45,000 artistic endeavors from all around the globe; the Cleveland Orchestra is without doubt one of the “Huge 5” orchestras within the US and is thought to be one of many best within the nation; and Playhouse Sq. is residence to the second-largest performing arts heart in america behind New York Metropolis’s Lincoln Heart.
West Side Market in Cleveland

Contained in the West Aspect Market

The place to remain in Cleveland: I am a fan of the brand new Hilton Cleveland Downtown, in addition to the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade.

2. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

I discussed that Cleveland is having a little bit of a meals renaissance proper now – nevertheless it’s nothing when in comparison with the meals scene blossoming in Indianapolis.

Often most synonymous with the Indianapolis 500, Indy is, in reality, a lot extra than simply quick automobiles. The town is bouncing again from financial exhausting instances similar to Cleveland, and is equally rejuvenating numerous components of the town to make them way more visitor-friendly. I spent practically every week in Indy final summer season, and was pleasantly stunned by all the pieces there was to do (and eat!) there.

Brunch at Milktooth in Indianapolis

Brunch at Milktooth

Three issues you will need to do in Indianapolis:

  1. Eat all of the meals – Sure, Indy’s meals scene is absolutely scorching proper now and the town and its cooks preserve profitable awards and accolades. A few of my favourite eats embrace brunch at Milktooth, a farm-to-table lunch at Mesh, dinner at Bluebeard, and cocktails at Resort Tango.
  2. Take a stroll at White River State Park – This public parks sprawls throughout 250 acres in downtown Indianapolis. It options canals, sculptures, a summer season live performance venue, and a number of the greatest views of the town.
  3. Go to Warfare Memorial Plaza – Enjoyable reality for you: Indianapolis is second solely to Washington, D.C. for the variety of struggle memorials it has. Warfare Memorial Plaza covers seven metropolis blocks and consists of some critically putting memorials.
Indianapolis war memorial

Troopers and Sailors Monument

The place to remain in Indy: You may’t beat the JW Marriott proper subsequent to White River State Park and inside strolling distance of numerous downtown sights.

Learn extra: 5 Causes You Did not Know You Have to Go to Indianapolis

three. Traverse Metropolis, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

There are many glorious locations to go to in Michigan, however my favourite up to now has been Traverse Metropolis in northern decrease Michigan. This small city on Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay might be the smallest “metropolis” on this record, however I nonetheless suppose it deserves a spot right here.

There’s one thing very quaint and comfy about Traverse Metropolis itself, and close by you could find all the pieces from vineyards to gigantic sand dunes. Traverse Metropolis hosts the Nationwide Cherry Pageant every July, however can also be an amazing vacation spot through the autumn for those who’re in search of some vibrant fall colours.

Chateau Chantal on the Old Mission Peninsula

Outdated Mission Peninsula

Three issues you will need to do in Traverse Metropolis:

  1. Drive the Outdated Mission Peninsula – Chock stuffed with wineries and nice lake views, the Mission Peninsula is a should when in Traverse Metropolis. Chateau Chantal was my favourite vineyard to go to, and it is also value driving out to the Mission Level Lighthouse.
  2. Store in a former psychological asylum – The putting Village at Grand Traverse Commons is now a hub for meals, procuring, and dwelling. But it surely was the Traverse Metropolis State Hospital, which served as a psychological establishment from 1885 till 1989. If you happen to’re into historical past, undoubtedly join a strolling tour of the place.
  3. Make a journey to the Sleeping Bear Dunes – Positioned solely 25 miles from Traverse Metropolis, the Sleeping Bear Nationwide Lakeshore and its spectacular sand dunes make an amazing half-day journey.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes Nationwide Lakeshore

The place to remain in Traverse Metropolis: If you wish to keep proper downtown, my choose is the Bayshore Resort, which has its personal seaside on Lake Michigan.

Learn extra: Issues to Do in Traverse Metropolis within the Fall

four. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee Art Museum

Chances are high, if something about Milwaukee, about its breweries. This Wisconsin metropolis was initially settled by a French-Canadian, however by the mid-1800s giant numbers of German immigrants we calling the town residence – which most likely accounts considerably for Milwaukee’s beer tradition.

Like many different cities on this record, Milwaukee suffered a slight financial and inhabitants decline within the latter half of the 20th century (although not practically as pronounced as these in “rust belt” cities like Cleveland). And, additionally like these different cities, Milwaukee has invested in revitalization efforts in recent times to protect its historic neighborhoods and draw folks again downtown.

Milwaukee Public Market

Milwaukee Public Market within the Historic Third Ward neighborhood

Three issues you will need to do in Milwaukee:

  1. Tour no less than one brewery – There is not any scarcity of beer in Milwaukee, and there is additionally no scarcity of enjoyable brewery excursions. The preferred is the one at Lakefront Brewery, which is thought for being extraordinarily humorous. Discover a record of different nice brewery excursions right here.
  2. Marvel on the Milwaukee Artwork Museum – Milwaukee’s artwork museum is a murals in itself. Designed by Santiago Calatrava in his first American fee, this constructing is one you will undoubtedly wish to see each inside and outside.
  3. Go to the Harley-Davidson Museum – Milwaukee has a set of cool museums, however the Harley-Davidson Museum is very distinctive as a result of it is the one one among its sort in your complete world. (And sure, you may completely take pleasure in this cool museum even for those who do not journey a motorbike!)
Milwaukee Art Museum

Contained in the Milwaukee Artwork Museum

If you happen to’re in Milwaukee in the summertime, you may also wish to take a look at Summerfest, the town’s annual lakefront music competition. It is one of many largest music festivals on this planet!

The place to remain in Milwaukee: I can personally advocate the Hilton Milwaukee Metropolis Heart, which isn’t solely in an amazing central location, but additionally has a concierge canine named Millie who’s just about the cutest lodge worker I’ve ever met!

5. Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

I do know I’ve already included one Ohio metropolis on this publish, however I’ll embrace one other. As a result of I can. And likewise as a result of Cincinnati deserves a spot right here!

Cincinnati’s historical past is fascinating. The town was settled in 1788 not lengthy after America gained its independence, and rapidly grew to become a “increase city,” rising quickly in each inhabitants and wealth. The truth is, by the mid-1800s, Cincinnati was one of many largest and most affluent cities in America. Like Milwaukee, Cincinnati ultimately drew a lot of German settlers, which continues to be mirrored in the present day in neighborhoods like Over-the-Rhine.

The increase years of Cincinnati pale after the Civil Warfare, and the financial downturn that affected many different rust belt cities 100+ years later hit Cincinnati exhausting, too. However Cincinnati is on a comeback route, too (are you seeing a development right here??).

Roebling Suspension Bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio

Three issues you will need to do in Cincinnati:

  1. Go to the Nationwide Underground Railroad Freedom Heart – The story of slavery in America is instructed at this incredible museum proper on the river in downtown Cincinnati. Cincinnati performed an enormous position in each abolitionism and the Underground Railroad through the Civil Warfare, and you will additionally discover reveals right here on more moderen types of slavery.
  2. Go mural-spotting – A corporation known as ArtWorks was tasked by Cincinnati’s mayor a few decade in the past to create a mural in every of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods – and they’re properly on their technique to doing that and extra. You may ebook a mural strolling tour, or simply obtain a map of all of the murals to see them by yourself.
  3. Spend time on the American Signal Museum – This is without doubt one of the extra distinctive museums I’ve ever visited; it takes guests by means of 5 many years of sign-making in rooms completely plastered with large, daring, and often lighted indicators.
American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio

The American Signal Museum is so cool!

The place to remain in Cincinnati: My picks are both the historic Hampton Inn & Suites Cincinnati-Downtown for a walkable downtown location, or the Aloft Newport on the Levee (which is technically throughout the state border in Kentucky) if you wish to avoid wasting cash.

Learn extra: Easy methods to Spend 48 Hours in Cincinnati, Ohio

6. Speedy Metropolis / the Black Hills, South Dakota

Custer State Park, South Dakota

I can not write this record and never present South Dakota (in my view, one of the crucial ignored states within the US by vacationers) some love. Though it is often thought to be a Nice Plains state, South Dakota firmly falls into the record of Midwestern states, too.

And for those who’re solely going to go to one a part of this state, make it Speedy Metropolis in western South Dakota. Speedy Metropolis itself has all the time been a vacationer hotspot due to its proximity to sights like Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, and even Badlands Nationwide Park. Speedy Metropolis is pretty small, nevertheless it has a rising craft beer scene and a few enjoyable sculpture initiatives round city (just like the bronze statues of all of the American presidents scattered round downtown).

However the actual draw right here is Speedy Metropolis’s proximity to the Black Hills.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Three issues you will need to do within the Black Hills:

  1. Go to Custer State Park – This 71,000-acre park is the biggest state park in South Dakota. Highlights embrace the Needles Freeway, the park’s well-known herd of free-roaming bison, and scenic spots like Sylvan Lake.
  2. See the presidents at Mount Rushmore – It is a cliche attraction, maybe, nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly cool to see Mount Rushmore in individual. If you happen to go simply earlier than nightfall, you may watch them activate the large spotlights in somewhat ceremony.
  3. Try another distinctive spot – Possibly you will wish to go to the Mammoth Website in Sizzling Springs (which accommodates the world’s largest focus of mammoth bones in a website they’re nonetheless excavating), or perhaps Deadwood with its Wild West-re-enactments is extra your pace. If you happen to head in the direction of the Badlands, the well-known Wall Drug with its kitschiness and 5-cent espresso can also be a must-see.
Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota

Mammoth bones at Mammoth Website!

The place to remain in Speedy Metropolis /Black Hills: If you wish to keep in a non-chain lodge within the coronary heart of Speedy Metropolis, take a look at the historic Resort Alex Johnson.

Learn extra: 6 Causes You Ought to Positively Go to South Dakota

7. Chicago, Illinois

The Cloud Gate in Millennium Park

Okay, so I can not discuss concerning the Midwest and never point out Chicago. Chicago is the biggest metropolis within the Midwest, and the third-largest in america. However, although it is a large metropolis, Chicago continues to be manageable to discover as a vacationer. (And I am not alone in considering so – Chicago is constantly one of many most-visited cities within the US yearly.)

Chicago’s historical past dates again to the mid-1800s, and the town has all the time been an essential transportation hub between the japanese and western United States. It suffered the Nice Fireplace of 1871, however continued to prosper proper on by means of the 1900s. Right now, the town is residence to greater than 2.7 million folks.

Let me simply say that I LOVE Chicago. If I have been ever going to maneuver to a giant metropolis within the US, I am 99% it will be this one. I have been to Chicago quite a few instances with totally different folks (buddies, household, important others) and all the time discover one thing to do.

Chicago skyline at night

Three issues you will need to do in Chicago:

  1. Go up a tower – Chicago has two glorious commentary decks: Skydeck at Willis Tower and 360 Chicago on the John Hancock Constructing. Each provide up glorious views out over the town. (Examine which one I like higher right here.)
  2. Take an structure tour – Chicago is a metropolis jam-packed with fascinating structure (enjoyable reality: do you know that the skyscraper idea was “born” right here?). If you happen to go to through the summer season months, ebook your self on a ship tour with the Chicago Structure Basis. If you happen to go to when these river excursions aren’t working, it’s also possible to do structure strolling excursions – I did one with Chicago Detours (this one) and actually loved it.
  3. See an improv present – Dwelling to skyscrapers, deep dish pizza, and improvised comedy – that is Chicago! Do not miss taking in a improv present within the metropolis; a number of the greats in comedy began their careers right here at locations like Second Metropolis. My favourite present by far is by the Improvised Shakespeare Firm.
Architecture boat tour in Chicago

Chicago’s structure is so numerous!

Chicago additionally has a set of nice museums. If you happen to hit a wet (or chilly or tremendous windy) day, my favorites are the Area Museum of Pure Historical past and the Museum of Science and Trade.

The place to remain in Chicago: I actually love the Raffaello Resort, which is situated a block from the John Hancock Constructing and Michigan Avenue. The lodge additionally has among the best bars within the metropolis (DrumBar) on its high ground.

Learn extra: A ‘ Weekend Getaway to Chicago

Now, I do know this record is incomplete – there are such a lot of different nice cities and areas within the Midwest that I may have included, however I needed to minimize the record off someplace!

I would love to listen to you recommendations of different nice Midwestern cities within the feedback. Or, inform me which of the listed cities you’d most like to go to!


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7 cities to visit in the American Midwest


7 cities to visit in the American Midwest | Midwestern cities | #MyMidwest | Cleveland | Cincinnati | Indianapolis | Milwaukee | Chicago | Traverse City | Rapid City