Midwest Living

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I stood on the side of a dirt road somewhere east of Van Wert, Ohio, and surveyed the massive yard sale spread out before me, one of several huge bargain-hunting events on my hit list. Before me was a grassy field dotted with white tents, hovering over rows of tables laden with … well, from this distance, I couldn’t say exactly what. But I hoped for a piece to add to... More
"Another beer tour?" My family looks puzzled. We've chuckled along with a high-spirited guide at Lakefront Brewery, traipsed through the huge Miller-Coors factory and are scheduled to visit Sprecher Brewery. On our first visit to Milwaukee, we're doing our best to get the full brewing experience. "But this one's right here," I say, pointing out our hotel room... More
1) Indianapolis Cultural Trail Getting around Indy has never been easier, or so much fun. This cool bike-pedestrian path connects five downtown cultural districts. Public art installations like Julian Opie’s Dancing Ann provide eye candy along the way, and you’ll even catch a potpourrilike whiff of flowers as you make your way through Chatham Passage. Walk, run or... More
Putting Russell Crowe on your side provides a healthy advantage at the multiplex, but star power alone doesn’t explain the success of this spring’s big-budget film Noah. The movie’s audience also points to the permanent appeal of the Bible stories many of us learned by listening to Sunday school lessons or playing with plastic animals marching into plastic boats. That... More
1) Cleveland Metroparks Pick a park, any park. Nicknamed the Emerald Necklace by locals, the extensive Metroparks system loops through 18 natural preserves and 21,000 acres of northeast Ohio green space. Metroparks also recently took over management of six lakefront properties linking Huntington to Euclid Creek in a scenic 14-mile stretch. You can hike, bike, do archery, golf, boat... More
Your first mission, should you choose to accept it: Find the Safe House restaurant. Stroll along an alley in downtown Milwaukee, and keep an eye out for a door marked International Exports Ltd. Find the door? Step in—but stop there. Do you know the password? If so, whisper it to the Control Agent in the entry. If not, be prepared to prove that you are a trustworthy spy. You might... More
After this snow-smothered winter, I can’t wait any longer to feel renewed and warm. So I head to Aroma Workshop in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood to create a fragrance that brings spring to me, right now. As I'm seated at the fragrance testing bar in his tiny store, perfumer Tedd Neenan encourages me to take little whiffs that he calls “bunny sniffs” from... More
Despite all our bucket-list ambitions, the fact is that most of us won’t ever make it out on an African safari. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never witness one of the planet’s last great wildlife spectacles. In fact, there’s one waiting right now in central Nebraska. Yes, Nebraska, where the mighty herds that come to mind probably consist of beef cattle lazily... More
It always happens this way. You're zooming along the interstate in a cornfield-induced haze, a visual playlist of silos, gas stations and Subway signs flashing by on repeat, when suddenly, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait, wait! What is that?" I bolted upright from the backseat and (probably dangerously) thumped my window loudly to catch my brother's attention. Within spitting distance... More
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