The Midwestern United States, popularly referred to as the 'Midwest', is the north-central part of the country, spanning 12 of the 50 American states. Also known as the 'Heartland' or 'Breadbasket of America', Midwest has a lot to offer for vacationers. The sparkling urban landscape on one hand and the rugged mountain landscape on the other make Midwest one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in the country.
Best Vacation Destinations in the Midwest
The city of Branson, Missouri, boasts of around seven million visitors every year. The city is most popular for its numerous state-of-the-art theaters which host a wide variety of shows, right from music and literature to magic and comedy. A theme park spanning an area of 50 acres, the Silver Dollar City is yet another popular tourist destination in this part. This theme park has a host of festivals lined up for the period between April and December. Other attractions in Branson include the Titanic Museum, Table Rock Lake, Big Cedar Lodge, etc.
The state of South Dakota, also referred to as the Coyote State or Mount Rushmore State, is yet another tourist paradise in this region. The state is renowned for its amazing natural beauty, marked by places such as Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. In fact, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial―the granite sculpture of the four US Presidents, namely George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt―represents the first 150 years of the American history. South Dakota also boasts of several national parks and memorials. And if you are not quite a history buff, you can resort to the lap of nature by exploring various caves and hiking trails in this region. More importantly, don't miss the under-construction Crazy Horse Memorial which is supposed to be the largest memorial in the world.
Minneapolis, nicknamed the city of lakes, is the largest city in the Midwestern state of Minnesota. It is home to the Mall of America―the largest shopping mall in the United States in terms of total enclosed floor area. It has a range of recreational activities to its credit, which makes it a highly popular family vacation destination. You can also visit the Underwater Adventures Aquarium to see the amazing creatures of the sea. Other parks in Minneapolis include the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and Waterpark of America, both of which are full of adventure rides and other such recreational activities.
Considered the 'Waterpark Capital of the World', the city of Wisconsin Dells in south-central Wisconsin is one of the most popular summer vacation destinations in the US. It is home to the largest water park in the United States, the Noah's Ark Water Park. Other water parks here include the Kalahari Resort Water Park and Lost Rios Water Park. If you are planning an outing for the entire family, the Pirate's Cove Family Fun Center and Timber Falls Adventure Park are your best bet. You can also engage in recreational activities such as kart racing and miniature golf in Wisconsin Dells.
Chicago is not just the largest city in the Midwest, but also one of the most preferred destinations on the urban front. In Chicago, the most popular tourist destination is the Navy Pier―the 1000-meter long pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The city is also famous for its hordes of water parks and boasts of being home to the first indoor water park ever built, the CoCo Key Water Resort. Other things to watch out for in Chicago are the Lincoln Park Zoo, Pier Park, Amazing Chicago's Funhouse Maze, Architecture cruises, and the view of the city from the 1,000 ft high Sears Tower.
While these destinations are amazing in themselves, it don't just end there. There are a number of other places to visit in the Midwest, including the Traverse City, Mackinac Island Fort, Robinson State Park, Madison County, The Lake Erie Islands, etc., all of which promise to make your vacation a memorable affair.