Midwest Living

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Avid Instagrammer and Michigander Deb Neerken dreams of having one of her photos on a Pure Michigan billboard someday. Recently retired from a 31-year career in public service, she's ready to hit the road, traveling around her home near Grand Rapids and photographing the Mitten State in all seasons. The only thing she loves more than taking the photos is ... More
At Gotta Groove Records in Cleveland, six record presses huff, puff and press out up to 70,000 vinyl records a month. With U.S. vinyl record sales at their highest level in more than 20 years, it’s easy to see why owner Vince Slusarz is enthusiastic about his niche business. Vinyl buyers want to “own their music,” Vince says. “We live in an ephemeral world with constant... More
You could easily while away an afternoon picking through sun-warmed cobbled rocks along Minnesota’s North Shore while debating the better blue: the crisp hues of the September sky or the deep sapphire of Lake Superior? No season shorts travelers on stunning scenery in this area, but it’s hard not to favor fall with its golden birch leaves and cool nights. Here are our picks... More
When it comes to barbecue, passions run as hot as smoldering hickory. Stop three strangers on the street and ask them what's the best barbecue, and you’re likely to get three different answers. Brisket, pulled pork or burnt ends. Sauce that’s sweet, smoky or spicy. Meat slow smoked over applewood, topped with coleslaw, paired with fries…... More
Wisconsin's landscape bursts into a fiery palette come fall. And the best way to enjoy it, I've discovered, is by hiking the state's 1,100-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT), which gets you into the heart of blazing forests and prairielands. But hiking all day, no matter how enjoyable, deserves a reward—like relaxing afterward in an indulgent inn. Try one of... More
Chicago may be the Midwest’s largest city, but enjoying it doesn’t have cost big bucks. Here are our top picks for saving time and money, including free museums, guided tours and outdoor activities. 1) Chicago Cultural Center The world’s largest Louis Comfort Tiffany dome, composed of 30,000 stained-glass pieces, crowns the neoclassical 1897 Chicago... More
With miles of bike trails, a spacious arboretum and sparkling downtown lakes, Madison is regularly recognized as a great place for those who enjoy being active. Luckily for me, I live in the area. Luckily for you, that means I can share my favorite ways to actively explore this beautiful capital city. 1) Recreational bike trails Bring your own bike or rent one at one of the... More
The Walker Art Center started the free  Internet Cat Video Festival  three years ago with no clue how many people would come for cat-centric YouTube snippets on an inflatable screen. When 10,000 showed up the first year (and every year since), event officials knew they created something special. So what’s all the fuss about? Here are five highlights from last Thursday... More
"What other town would embrace a bunch of hobos for over 100 years?" asks petite Connecticut Shorty (who retired after logging 5,000 free miles) while looking at the small-town Iowa surroundings. City leaders lured the quirky festival to town in 1900 to get publicity, but hobos and the curious still trek to the north-central town of Britt for the National Hobo... More
Chicago’s family fun options are nonstop—just like your kids. Here are our top picks in and around Chicago for families, including world-class museums, historical sites and Lake Michigan beaches. 1) Museum Campus Plan a day or more to explore three top-notch museums. Shedd Aquarium houses 32,000 fresh and saltwater aquatic animals. Kids can touch sea stars... More