Midwest Living

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The decades seem to dissolve at old-fashioned ice cream parlors. We go seeking a taste of nostalgia. And we find it—in waffle cones, banana splits and the sweet mingling of root beer and vanilla ice cream. Enjoy a scoop or three at these five Midwest favorites. Oink's Dutch Treat, New Buffalo, Michigan Southwest Michigan vacationers consider Oink’s a must-stop for its... More
I love to act like a smart tourist on return visits to my hometown of Fargo, North Dakota (235 miles northwest of Minneapolis). Here are 10 places I explored (some for the first time, others for the 23rd) on a recent trip. 1) Fargo Theatre This 1926 theatre still shines thanks to a 1999 restoration that brought the marquee and Wurlitzer organ back... More
From sunflowers to sunsets, our Instagram followers captured the colors of a Midwest summer last month. The five most-liked photos of July: 1) @justinrogers discovered a field of sunflowers at Badger Creek State Recreation Area near Des Moines (https://instagram.com/p/5mRmDtGzah/).  2) @pinay71 took this "Pure Michigan adventure" shot of Turnip Rock in Port... More
Daydreaming on a beach or dangling your legs over the side of a dock might be your top speed at Minnesota's Brainerd Lakes, but if you're looking for something new to do on vacation, you'll find plenty of options in this area 130 miles north of Minneapolis. 1) Cruise the lake. The 120-passenger North Star yacht began cruising Gull Lake’s 15 square miles last summer.... More
Nobody stumbles upon Isle Royale or stops in on a whim during a drive to somewhere else. This national park—one of the nation’s least-visited—requires a ferry ride of 2-6 hours, depending on which town in Minnesota or Michigan serves as your port of departure. And with the notoriously moody Lake Superior separating the remote archipelago from civilization, your passage to the... More
If you love to eat your way through state fairs as much as I do, tweets like this alert us that it's time to start planning our visit:  New foods at the #ISF2015 are here! http://t.co/2DheyqaLqE — Iowa State Fair (@IowaStateFair) June 24, 2015 Four of the Midwest's largest state fairs have already revealed their mouth-watering lineup of new foods... More
When summer days start to sizzle, head underground. The Midwest claims some of the world’s longest cave systems, along with reclaimed mines and other underground adventures. Our picks for cool attractions:  Lake Vermillion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, Soudan, Minnesota Visitors travel by mineshaft cage a half-mile into the earth then take a tram through... More
If you’re in Cedar Rapids, get ready for cultural immersion! From Czech Village to the outlying Amana Colonies—with plenty of food, drink and market stops along the way—the second-largest city in Iowa is an eye-opening, mouth-watering destination. 1. Cedar Ridge Vineyards Pick your potable at Cedar Ridge, aka the first licensed distillery in Iowa since Prohibition. If... More
Lakes set the scene for some of summer's best moments: a refreshing cannonball dive, a picnic along the shoreline, an evening boat ride followed by a beach bonfire. We chose some of our favorite Instagram photos that capture the spirit of summer at the lake.  1) Playtime on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, by @killdevilfalls. 2) Sunset... More
Sitting in a gazebo overlooking a lake, we drink a toast to the setting sun as we watch Grevy’s zebras, Sichuan takins, Sable antelope and even a Bactrian camel visit the water below us. Witnessing this sundown ritual, it feels like we’re on an African safari. But we’re much closer to home—southeastern Ohio, in fact—at The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center... More