Hidden Gems of the Midwest

Hidden Gems of the Midwest

            When planning a trip to the United States, most people opt to go to top tourist attractions on the east or west coast. While California and New York offer undeniable tourist appeal, people who just stick to the coasts miss seeing a huge part of America? In particular, they are missing out on the hidden gems that the midwestern states offer. The Midwest states are comprised the following twelve states that lie in the upper middle part of the United States: North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Ohio. Keep reading to find out more about the gems that most tourists miss out on.

            One of the top places to see in the Midwest is the Great Lakes. These lakes are located between Canada and the United States. There are five lakes, known as Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. The lakes offer dunes, rocks, road trip opportunities, lighthouse, outdoor recreation, beautiful beaches, and plenty of wildlife. The Great Lakes supply a huge amount of the world's freshwater.

            If Missouri was not on your original travel itinerary, consider adding it to see the spectacular Gateway Arch located in St. Louis. This architectural feat holds the title of the tallest arch in the world. You can take a tram to the top of the arch, which will put you about 630 feet up into the air. While you are there, you can visit the museum that is a tribe to early explores and pioneers who paved the way for innovation and expansive not so long ago. You can ever learn more about the arch on a riverboat cruise. Additional information and event details about the Gateway Arch can be found at this website.

            Missouri has another hidden gem that outdoor enthusiasts will love. The Ozark mountains are located towards the bottom of Missouri. This mountain range offers ample opportunities for trekking, climbing, and hiking. There are caverns and caves as well as waterfalls, and glistening springs along with the mountain range. The town of Branson offers live shows when you are ready to come in from the outdoors.

            Another hidden gem to see on your usa visa is Michigan's famous Mackinac Island. This lovely island offers a plethora of bed and breakfast options with breathtaking views of the water. You will feel like you've stepped back into time when you see the quaint brick streets and horse-drawn carriages. You can bike or walk around the island stay at the Grand Hotel, or head out for some water sports. Every year, there is a walk across the five-mile "Mighty Mac" bridge.

            If you enjoy a good brew, consider adding Milwaukee as a destination. This Wisconsin city has many famed breweries, including Lakefront Brewery. For motorcyclists, there is also a Harley-Davison Museum in the city. For families travelling with kids, be sure to check out the Milwaukee Public Museum's dinosaur exhibit as well as the Milwaukee County Zoo.

            Another often overlooked Midwest gem is in Chicago, located in Illinois. Perhaps the most notable attraction in Chicago is the 360 Chicago Observation deck which allows views of the Magnificent Mile and Lake Michigan from more than 1,000 feet in the air. The Magnificent Mile offers luxury and designer shopping, such as Burberry and Giorgio Armani, all in the same area. Additionally, it provides dining options from all over the world, including Chicago style pizza. Other Chicago must-see locations include Wrigley Field, Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

            While it does not often make the list for tourists, South Dakota is home to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. This sculpture pays homage to former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, their faces are carved into the Black Hills. While you are there, you can listen to a brief talk from a ranger about the lives of the people who created the carving. Booklets are available for kids three and older through the Junior Ranger program so that they can learn more about the memorial. There are hiking trails that take you close to the carvings as well as and evening lighting ceremony. Self-guided and ranger-led tours are also available. While in South Dakota, you can also explore Badlands National Park which is located only about an hour and a half from Mount Rushmore. Additional information about activities at Mount Rushmore and nearby locations can be found here.

            History buffs will love visiting Cincinnati as it is home to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Here you can learn more about slavery and the activists who fought to permanently end the practice of holding slaves. Also, in Ohio, you can find Cedar Point, an amusement park with a very tall 42-story roller coaster.

            Racecar loves will love visiting Kansas Speedway during a trip to Kansas. An additional attraction in Kansas is the Cosmosphere, which showcases space-related artefacts from Russian and U.S. space missions. You can also squeeze in some outdoor time at Flint Hills, checking out tall prairie grass and unique wildlife. 

            There are many wonderful places to see while on your us visa aside from the coasts. Hidden gems of the Midwest include arches, wildlife, national parks, memorials, museums, and much more! Make sure you do not miss out of these Midwest gems during your USA trip, but adding them to your travel agenda as soon as possible.