From the dry, dusty Wild West deserts of Nebraska to the cold, flat and friendly nature of Minnesota. The Midwest can often receive the cold shoulder from tourists as the west and east coast have such vibrant cities that have been made famous by films coming out of Hollywood. Everyone knows of the fast-paced pursuit of the almighty dollar type nature of New York and on the flip side, most people can recognise the palm trees in Los Angeles and the Beverly Hills rich list. Many people shrug when they get asked about Midwest. It’s the forgotten and unpolished emerald in the crown that most people seem to overlook without even noticing it. However, there are ultimately countless reasons why the Midwestern States would make a holiday that you will cherish forever, and I really recommend travelling the Midwest.
Branson is a town that stands proudly for its traditions of real country music which promote their view on traditional working class families. Small twangy shops that make products made from local materials are great memorabilia to take home in your suitcase. A nearby city called Silver Dollar City theme park has been beloved for many generations and has something that’s going to satisfy all age groups.
Modernising ever so slowly, the town now has a new golf course with nearby family run hotels. The Lake of Ozarks plays tag with the sunshine at sunset, and the water transforms into an orange glow. Nearby are two state parks that offer tourists hiking, biking, and horse riding activities.
Once known as the mecca of steel in America, this state hosts the world famous Detroit. The birthplace of world renowned famous rapper Eminem, the city used to be affectionately called ‘Motor City’. Cars were the DNA of this community, but it’s also a reliable source of music and culture. The Institute of Arts, showcasing upcoming young artists that put abstract and contemporary installations on for the public.
The Isle Royale National Park is barely a three-hour journey by ferry from Copper Harbor. It’s well worth a visit as the enormous 165-mile long assemblage of trails, lakeside paths from 46 lakes and plenty of carved shorelines.
Springfield will make you thank yourself for obtaining an Electronic System For Travel Authorization, as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will immerse you back into the 16th century. One of the more revered and loved American presidents in history, Lincoln’s cabin room is a fascinating look into his life, final surroundings and the decor style of the period. Mrs Lincoln’s Attic allows you to dress-up in the same clothes of that historical time and relive the exciting political time when the country was going through major changes as the American Civil War came to an end.
Chicago, need anything more to be said? Well, it’s the home of the no-nonsense deep dish pizza. The cold of the Windy City will in itself wish you had a mouthwatering ‘upside down’ sauce and sausage pizza the minute you begin walking the streets. Art, music, and fashion are still proudly stuck in the 1950s as the winter clothes have taken inspiration from the Victorian Era but with their own twist.
You’ll never get bored because there’s a staggering choice of water activities as the Brainerd region is home to over 450 lakes. Minnesota may share similar weather patterns as it’s giant northern neighbour i.e. Canada, but there’s so much fun to be had. The 26-foot tall statue at Paul Bunyan Land greets all comers with a twinkle in its eyes and a warm grin. The logging culture is very well respected and has been given gratifying platitudes since the park opened in 1950.
The lakes are put to good use while the winter is being kept at bay. Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness offers anyone with a thrill-seeker genome the opportunity to get their fix with canoeing, kayaking and hiking activities in the vast 1500 mile shoreline. The rapid streams and challenging flows will give your arms a workout and see how far you’ll dare to go.
Unique and raw
There are plenty other states in the Midwest, each with their own charm and narrative. The history of this part of the country is deeply connected with how it was formed. The Cowboy and Red Indian wars were very bloody and politically complex, and the country was first being explored. The societies are working class, usually with at least one family member who has or does work in the physically demanding industries like, coal mining, steel, oil drilling, and manufacturing. Often thought of as ‘forgotten American’ much of the states haven’t been tainted with the advantages and disadvantages of the major multi-national corporations. The cities are large but not too big; thus the pace of life is relaxed not filled with as much pressure as New York. When travelling the Midwest the rewards ar amazing, the mountains, rivers, lakes and national parks let you plant your feet firmly on the ground as you’re never far from nature in its rawest form and there’s always something else to see.