Midwest Living

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Some of Chicago’s finest bars live underground. Others sit high in the sky or hide in dark alleys. Here are seven of our favorite out-of-the-way places to imbibe, whether we’re looking for a post-work drink or a swanky date night. RM Champagne Salon Glittering lights in a secluded alley lead the way to RM Champagne Salon in the West Loop. Unwind on a... More
The best time to visit Wisconsin's Door County? Don't be surprised to hear many visitors say, "Winter." Besides the obvious advantages—great deals on lodging and no summer crowds—the biggest rewards can be breathtaking new ways to experience the beauty of this peninsula that stretches 70 miles into Lake Michigan. Winter is perfect for a romantic... More
In November, our Instagram fans loved both the first snow of the season and the last touches of fall color. The five most-liked pictures of the month:  1) Winter wonderland in Lambertville, Michigan, photographed by @indiekayla (https://www.instagram.com/p/-oa1QHGzU1/). 2) Fallen leaves cover Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern... More
Mike Wickham remembers that as a boy, he would sit in Cedar Rapids’ Paramount Theatre and watch bats fly around the ceiling. Today Mike is a house manager; he and General Manager Jason Anderson have just started giving tours of the 88-year-old theater. The bats are gone, and after a $35 million renovation, the building is in the best shape it's... More
Every year, my dad spends the weekend after Thanksgiving putting up holiday lights outside my childhood home. It’s always a scene straight out of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. He clambers onto the roof, sending puffs of breath into the wintry air as he hammers away, only to notice later that a strand of lights has burned out. But in the end, the house looks... More
A good eye. A sense of adventure. And tons of patience. That’s what it takes for 28-year-old Benjamin Olson of Burnsville, Minnesota, to capture his incredible wildlife photos. Ben grew up in the ‘burbs, but his parents often took him fishing, hunting and camping when he was younger. He credits them—along with his grandfather who gave him his first camera—for his passion... More
Rocks in shades of rose, gray, slate and cement stack like optical illusions on the scenic beaches of Minnesota’s North Shore. Think this image is Photoshopped? Think again. These creations (and photos) are the handiwork of Twin Cities resident Peter Juhl, an avid rock stacker. Peter describes rock stacking as the opposite of a magic trick. While magicians... More
At Detroit-based Leadhead Glass, urban renewal comes in the form of a home for your ficus. Entrepreneurs and owners Chad Ackley and Derek Smiertka handcraft terrariums out of materials salvaged from abandoned Motor City homes. Midwest Living chatted with Ackley to discuss the new company and how it's helping reclaim Detroit. Derek Smiertka (left) and Chad... More
There's no question about what our Instagram fans loved in October—fall color! Photos from Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa made our five most-liked pictures of the month. 1) @saurand captured this autumn scene in Granger, Indiana (https://instagram.com/p/9ULYW-mzRZ/). "This time of year certainly brings out an amazing show of color," she writes.... More
If you hope to sell more of anything these days, just rebrand it as handmade by some old-school—preferably eccentric, preferably mustachioed—craftsperson. Our household budgets still demand mass-produced products, but our hearts pine for something brimming with today’s buzzword: authenticity. Which, surprisingly, brings me to college football, one of the Midwest’s... More