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Marvelling at the Midwest: 7 of the best cities

When people come to travelling around the United States of America, there are certain cities which tend to top the bill. New York, LA, San Francisco, Washington DC. But the Midwest of America is an often overlooked area, which is a great shame as there are so many fantastic sports that you can visit. The 12 states that make up the region are packed with scenic attractions, friendly people, and thriving cities. It is the latter that we are going to focus on in this article, so let’s dive right in and give you some travel inspiration.

Cleveland, Ohio

Located on the banks of Lake Erie, Cleveland has history which dates back right to the beginning of the 18th century. And the decades after its foundation, it continues to grow in popularity up until the point that it was the 5th largest city in the whole country in 1920. While you may have heard some jokes made about the place, it has really done a lot to improve its reputation in the past few years. Amongst the highlights are plenty of fine restaurants, fascinating museums, craft breweries and a clean beachfront. While you are here, you shouldn’t miss out on a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the West Side food market (which has been operating for over a century) and the huge Museum of Art. If you are looking for a scenic retreat not too far away, take a look at this directory. When you get home, you will be ready to recommend Cleveland as a super alternative destination.

Indianapolis, Indiana  

The capital city of Indiana is one of the best destinations in the whole of the Midwest if you are looking for great food. The chefs of Indianapolis keep winning award after award, and there is certainly no shortage of celebrated restaurants. Many parts of the city are going through a big regeneration to make them more appealing to visitors. When you are finished eating, you can walk it all off around the 250 acre White River State Park, where you can enjoy some of the finest views in the whole city.

Traverse City, Michigan

While it is a lot more quiet and cosy that the cities that we have discussed so far, Traverse City is the place to go if you are looking to get away from it all. Nearby, you can find plenty of natural sights including acres of vineyards and enormous sand dunes. One of the best times of the year to visit is during the autumn months when the city becomes enriched by the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of the leaves. While you are here, you don’t want to miss out on a trip to the Old Mission Peninsula which is packed with wineries and beautiful lakeside views. If you are looking for something a little more unusual, you can enjoy some food and shopping in the Grand Traverse Commons which the city’s psychiatric hospital for over a century.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

If you know anything about Milwaukee already, it is likely to be in connection to its breweries. This may be down to the fact that it was inhabited by many German immigrants during the 19th century, who brought their passion for beer to the city. And while you are here, you won’t want to miss out on touring around at least one brewery. The tour at Lakefront Brewery is certainly one of the most popular options. Like the other cities on the list, Milwaukee has invested heavily to preserve its historic neighbourhoods and keep people in town. A unique attraction that you can enjoy while you are here is the Harley-Davidson Museum which, amazingly, is the only one in the entire world.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Returning to Ohio once again, Cincinnati was first founded at the end of the 18th century, not long after America gained its independence. It enjoyed its boom years in the following decades but began to decline after the Civil War. But over the past few years, it has begun to enjoy something of a comeback. If you have an interest in the history of slavery in the United States, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will give you plenty of information and exhibits about this sad and fascinating topic. Also, you should take a stroll around town and spot the 52 murals that mark each of the neighbourhoods around the city.

Rapid City, South Dakota

It may be argued whether South Dakota classifies as a Great Plains or a Midwest state, but for the purposes of this article, we are going to include it in the latter category. Rapid City has always acted as something of a tourist base thanks to its close proximity to highly popular attractions like Mount Rushmore, Deadwood, and even Badlands National Park. The Black Hills are only a stone’s throw away from the city, where you can enjoy the huge Custer State Park. Even though seeing the great former Presidents carved into the side of a mountain may be a cliche attraction now, there is still something special about seeing Rushmore in person.

Chicago, Illinois

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Saving the most famous for last, we couldn’t write an article about great Midwestern cities without mentioning Chicago. The third-largest city in the whole of the country still feels like you can travel around it easily. The metropolis has always acted as something of an in-between point of eastern and western United States. Make sure that you take a trip up one of the city’s incredible observation decks, Skydeck at Willis Tower and 360 Chicago at the John Hancock Building. You could also take a walking tour around town to spot some of the most famous architectural sights. And don’t forget to have a slice or two of the famous deep dish pizza!

And there you have it; seven of the greatest Midwestern cities which are all worth paying a visit when you get the chance.


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Founder of Turn It To Trvl. After being made redundant from my digital marketing job, in the UK, I decided I no longer wanted to work the traditional 9-5. I found a volunteer opportunity in Malawi in 2015 and am now freelancing from the warm heart of Africa. Curently building a portfolio of clients and trying to inspire more people to live a life of travel.
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