10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

The Midwest is often treated as an ugly stepsister by travelers. For example, when U.S. News and World Report surveyed readers as to the places they considered the best to visit in the U.S., only one — Chicago — made its top 20 list. But, in truth, the Midwest is more like Cinderella than an ugly stepsister. Unassuming and gracious, the Midwest boasts some of the finest spots in America to visit, as evidenced by the following list.

Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Photo by Corvair Owner via Flickr

For wildlife lovers, this is a very special island, as it is one of the few places left in the continental U.S. where you might still see wolves and moose. Isle Royale is located in the middle of Lake Superior and can only be reached by either a boat or by seaplane.

Wisconsin Dells

Dells first became famous for the scenic sandstone formations that line the banks of the Wisconsin River. Plan a vacation at the Dells and take in the sights by scheduling a boat tour, planning a camping trip, or going down a zip-line. This beautiful area is just waiting to be explored by those that love the outdoors.

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Photo by Amadeust via Wikimedia Commons

Indianapolis, Indiana

Motorsports lovers just have to take a pilgrimage to this city to visit the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Brickyard 500.

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Photo by momentcaptured1 via Flickr


The third largest city in the U.S., Chicago is an electric and exciting destination where you’ll find world-class museums and some of the Midwest’s best restaurants. The Windy City is also sports crazy, so make sure to take in a Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Black Sox or Cubs game, if possible.

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Phtoo by Wright Way Photography via Flickr

Branson, Missouri

If you enjoy seeing live shows, then head over to Branson. This town boasts over 50 theaters where you can see all types of fun productions, including variety, magic, country music and comedy shows.

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Photo by Counselman Collection via Flickr

Moore Ranch, Dodge City, Kansas

If you have ever dreamed of saddling up and herding longhorn cattle, then you need to head over to Moore Ranch, a real working spread. According to the Dodge Globe, this ranch’s cattle drives book up fast.

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Photo by josephleenovak via Flickr

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Visiting this island, which is located in Lake Huron, is like going back in time. Almost all motor vehicles are prohibited on Mackinac Island and the entire island was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Photo by Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau via Flickr

Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast

Named as one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 destinations for 2014, Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast is a lovely area with approximately 300 miles of beautiful beaches and many charming small towns. Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast is also home to a number of wineries.

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Photo by Freekee via Flickr

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas

Only 4 percent of the tallgrass prairie that once covered a large portion of North America remains. By visiting the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, you will be able to get a glimpse of the wildlife and plants that once lived in much of the Midwest.

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services-Midwest Region via Flickr

Badlands National Park

The landscape found in Badlands National Park is some of the most surreal and beautiful in the U.S. Here, you will also find some of the creatures that once roamed the Midwest, including wild bison, bighorn sheep and prairie dogs.

10 Excellent Midwest Destinations

Photo by britta heise via Flickr

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