The Midwest is well recognized for its wide open areas, rolling hills, and welcoming people. It also has some of the most popular vacation spots in the midwest and attractions, with something for everyone, whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or just a quiet escape with lovely small villages, magnificent lakes and rivers, and stunning national parks.
The Midwest is full of undiscovered wonders waiting for you, from the Great Lakes to the Ozark Mountains’ rolling hills. The Midwest has plenty to offer travelers seeking a leisurely and delightful holiday vacation.
Whether you’re a local searching for a weekend gateway or an out-of-town visitor looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a chance to unwind and recharge, the Midwest has a vacation destination for you. In this blog, we’ll examine some of the tourist vacation sites in the Midwest that you won’t want to miss their distinctive attractions and destination, best activities to do, foods to try, and accommodations.
Illinois Vacation Spots in the Midwest
Illinois is a state located in the Midwest region of the United States. Known for its bustling cities, diverse cultures, and beautiful landscapes, there are plenty of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site are only two examples of the state’s rich history. Kayaking on Lake Michigan and in the Shawnee National Forest are additional activities that hikers will enjoy. Here are some of the top attractions, best activities, foods to try, and accommodations in Illinois and the greater Midwest area.
Illinois, Midwest Top Attractions and Places to Visit
- Millennium Park: This park in downtown Chicago is home to the well-known Cloud Gate sculpture (commonly known as “The Bean”), as well as various other public art pieces and performance spaces.
- Navy Pier: This historic Chicago pier on Lake Michigan has shops, restaurants, and attractions such as a Ferris wheel and an IMAX theatre.
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum: Located in Springfield, this museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of the United States 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.
- The Magnificent Mile: Designer retailers, luxury hotels, and iconic Chicago buildings such as the John Hancock Centre and the Wrigley Building can be found in this premium shopping zone in downtown Chicago.
- Starved Rock State Park: This Utica state park has 18 canyons, waterfalls, miles of hiking paths, and picturesque vistas.
Things to do in Illinois, Midwest
- Chicago River Architecture Tour: Take a boat tour down the Chicago River to learn about the city’s famous skyscrapers and architecture.
- Bike the Lakefront Trail: This 18-mile trail along Lake Michigan in Chicago offers stunning views of the city skyline and the lake.
- Wine Tasting in Galena: The charming town of Galena, located in northwest Illinois, is home to several wineries and vineyards offering tastings and tours.
- Skydiving: For adrenaline junkies, the Midwest offers several skydiving centers, including Skydive Chicago in Ottawa.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride: Enjoy the beautiful Illinois countryside from above with a hot air balloon ride, offered by companies like Balloons Over Vermilion in Danville.
What Foods to Eat in Illinois, Midwest
- Chicago-style pizza: a deep-dish pizza with plenty of toppings, a thick dough, and lots of cheese.
- Italian beef sandwich: This sandwich, a Chicago entity, is made with thinly sliced roast beef, hot giardiniera, and au jus for dipping.
- Bratwurst: a common Midwest-wide German sausage that is frequently served at outdoor events and festivals.
- Butter burgers: This burger is a Wisconsin delicacy that contains a butter patty and is often served with fried onions and cheese.
- Sweet corn: Sweet corn, a Midwestern summer favorite, is often boiled, grilled, and eaten with butter and salt.
Top Accommodations in Illinois, Midwest
- The Langham, Chicago: Views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline are breathtaking from this opulent hotel in the heart of Chicago.
- The Blackstone Hotel: This historic hotel in the heart of Chicago’s Loop neighborhood provides exquisite rooms and a rooftop lounge with panoramic views.
- Grand Geneva Resort & Spa: This resort in Wisconsin’s Lake Geneva provides opulent lodgings, a golf course, and a spa.
- The Drake Hotel: Since 1920, this Chicago landmark has provided traditional elegance and a superb location on the Magnificent Mile.
- The Inn at Irish Hollow: This Galena bed and breakfast provides cozy rooms, gourmet breakfasts, and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
Ohio Vacation Spots in the Midwest
Ohio, located in the United States Midwest region, has many top attractions and destinations, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, and Amish Country in Holmes County, as well as delicious foods and comfortable accommodations. Hiking, biking, and cave exploration are all options for visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit, foods, and things to do and accommodations in Ohio:
Ohio, Midwest Top Attractions and Places to Visit
- Cedar Point Amusement Park: Known as the “roller coaster capital of the world,” Cedar Point has over 70 rides, including 18 roller coasters.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a must-visit destination for music fans and is situated in Cleveland.
- Hocking Hills State Park: This park in southeastern Ohio features stunning scenery, including waterfalls and rock formations.
- Amish Country: Visit the Amish Country, which embraces a number of tiny communities in northeast Ohio, to experience a more traditional way of life.
- National Museum of the United States Air Force: This Dayton museum exhibits an extensive collection of airplanes and aviation artifacts.
Things to do in Ohio, Midwest
- Take a beautiful hike in one of Ohio’s parks or woods, such as Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, Caesar Creek State Park, or Hocking Hills State Park, all located in Logan, Ohio.
- Visit one of the most popular museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Art or the Cincinnati Art Museum.
- Attend a sporting event, such as a basketball game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds.
- Take a riverboat wander and discover more about the Ohio River.
- Visit one of Ohio’s many shopping markets, outlet malls, or boutique stores.
What Foods to Eat in Ohio, Midwest
- Cincinnati-style chili: This regional favorite is served over spaghetti and topped with cheese.
- Buckeyes: A popular Ohio snack is these chocolate-covered peanut butter balls.
- Lake Erie perch: This fish, fresh from Lake Erie, is frequently served fried and is a must-try for seafood aficionados.
- Cleveland Polish Boy: A popular sandwich prepared with kielbasa, french fries, coleslaw, and barbecue sauce.
- Ohio corn: Sweet corn is a summer favorite in Ohio, and it can be purchased at a variety of farmers’ markets and roadside kiosks.
Top Accommodations in Ohio, Midwest
- The Westin Cincinnati: A luxurious hotel in downtown Cincinnati.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland: A five-star hotel in the heart of Cleveland.
- Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls: A charming bed and breakfast in the Hocking Hills region.
- The Glidden House: A historic boutique hotel in Cleveland.
- The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake: A lakeside resort in northeastern Ohio with stunning views of Lake Erie.
Michigan Vacation Spots in the Midwest
Michigan is known for its beautiful natural scenery, with attractions like Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are stunning natural landmarks. The state is also home to energetic cities with museums, eateries, and cultural events like Detroit and Ann Arbor. Michigan is also a well-liked location for outdoor pursuits like boating, fishing, and skiing.
Michigan, Midwest Top Attractions and Places to Visit
- Mackinac Island: Take a ferry to this charming island and explore the historic Fort Mackinac, visit the famous Grand Hotel, and enjoy the island’s natural beauty.
- Sleeping Bear Dunes: Hike through the forests, take wander on the beaches, or climb the dunes for breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.
- Traverse City: Known as the Cherry Capital of the World, Traverse City is a great place to sample local wines and beers, shop in the boutiques, and explore the nearby forests and lakes.
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: Take a boat tour or hike the trails to see the stunning cliffs and rock formations along Lake Superior.
- Ann Arbor: Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is a vibrant college town with great restaurants, shops, and museums.
Things to do in Michigan, Midwest
- Hiking: There are innumerable trails and parks all around Michigan and the Midwest, from the Sleeping Bear Dunes to the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
- Water sports: Offered the abundance of nearby lakes and rivers, water sports like kayaking, fishing, and swimming are very popular.
- Winter sports: Michigan and the Midwest offer plenty of opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.
- Amusement parks: There are lots of roller coasters and other rides to enjoy from Cedar Point in Ohio to Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon.
- Museums: The area is home to many great museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
What Foods to Eat in Michigan, Midwest
- Chicago-style pizza: With its deep dish crust and plenty of toppings, Chicago-style pizza is a must-try.
- Wisconsin cheese: From cheddar to gouda to blue cheese, Wisconsin is known for its delicious cheese.
- Michigan cherries: Traverse City is the cherry capital of the world, and you can find cherry pies, jams, and other treats throughout the state.
- Ohio Buckeyes: These peanut butter and chocolate treats are a favorite in Ohio.
- Minnesota hotdish: This casserole dish made with ground beef, vegetables, and tater tots is a classic Midwest comfort food.
Top Accommodations in Michigan, Midwest
- The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island: This elegant hotel provides breathtaking vistas and a rich history.
- The Inn at Bay Harbor: This hotel, which is near Lake Michigan, provides a tranquil getaway with lots of outdoor activities.
- The Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids: This hotel combines historic charm with modern amenities.
- The Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee: This boutique hotel offers unique rooms and a great location near the Harley-Davidson Museum.
- The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin: This extravagant resort featuring a spa, golf course, and other facilities was previously an immigrant labor housing complex.