Midwest Living

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1) Detroit Historical Society With so much to see and do, it’s surprising this recently revamped 80-year-old downtown museum doesn’t charge admission. (You will, however, pay $5 to park in the adjacent lot.) Although most displays focus on local history and nostalgia—a Motown tribute, a Lionel Trains exhibit, an Underground Railroad vignette and a re-created 20th-century... More
Before we leave the month of presidents’ birthdays, let’s ponder for one moment longer one of history’s most-pondered people: Illinois’ own Abe Lincoln. We never seem to tire of this roughhewn Midwesterner who already has countless towns named after him, his face carved into a mountain and enough books written about him to form another small mountain. In fact, the Ford... More
1) Branson Landing Shopping, dining and entertainment venues line Lake Taneycomo, but the showstopper is the 120-foot fountain show with fire cannons, special effects lighting and music. The free spectacle starts at noon each day (weather permitting), then runs every hour on the hour. A concert series adds live music to the mix, and the Landing also hosts outdoor Monday Night Movies during... More
I’m sitting cross-legged on my dented blue metal saucer, frozen in place not by fear of the plummeting snow track in front of me or by the chill of the wind, but by the view. Lake Michigan stretches out to the horizon, huge and heaving, dotted with ice. Waves wedge and fuse the ice together at the shore, creating the jagged floating sculpture known as shelf ice. This is winter at its... More
Even in this era of Google Reader and text alerts blasting headlines at us throughout the day, you still sometimes get your news via your parents calling on the phone to read the hometown paper aloud. So it happened a week ago when my dad called from outside Lincoln, Nebraska, and said, “Did you hear what happened to this young farmer you met who was using the horses?” Last... More
This morning I ate red pancakes for breakfast. Very red pancakes. My mixing bowls are red, my measuring cups are red, my utensils are red, and I’m pretty sure my tongue might be red too. This is what happens when you have a kid. You remember that Valentine’s Day exists—and against all odds, you enjoy it. You see, for many years I was a Valentine’s Day scrooge. The... More
1) Fenelon Place Elevator For just $3, you'll get a round-trip ride on wooden cable cars to a panoramic view of three states, the Mississippi River and Dubuque’s historical business district. Billed as the world’s shortest, steepest scenic railway, the elevator rises and descends 189 feet along its 300-foot journey. The railway dates to the 1880s. Open April through... More
With the Olympics in Sochi underway, Americans are in the midst of their two-week obsession with sports they generally forget about for the other 1,446 days of the Olympic cycle. As you’re watching the downhill skiing in particular this time around, you should feel special pride in the Midwest’s role in the sport, at least at the recreational level. Because, although few realize... More
Brushing away the fog of memory, I distinctly remember a phase in my childhood—older elementary school, I’d guess—when my best friend and I agreed that Heath Bars were, without a doubt, the very best candy bar. We viewed it as a sophisticated, understated choice. None of the caramel goo of a Milky Way, the sporty ethos of Snickers, the kiddie colors of M&Ms. No, we... More
Our Instagrammers were inspired last month by the frozen beauty of the Midwest, especially after Arctic temperatures created almost otherworldly scenes along the Great Lakes. Here are our five most-liked Instagram photos of the month: #1: A Midwest winter wonderland scene in Minnesota by @jlfiala (http://instagram.com/p/ioVMo1GzaM/). #2: The Grand Haven, Michigan, pier after the... More