Midwest Living

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Crowds of summer tourists and the rumble of Sturgis-bound motorcycles fade as crisp autumn days arrive in southwestern South Dakota. Rapid City, the region’s hub of 70,800 residents, welcomes visitors for a culturally rich getaway with presidential monuments, Native American history and museums that trace the formation of the region's rocky landscape. This weekend marks a brief... More
The bounty of autumn’s harvest permeates every corner of Harbor Country along the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan. Here are 10 ways to savor the fall season in this region, located less than two hours from Chicago: 1) Color on wheels Roll through the colorful countryside with 5,000 fellow cyclists on September 27. The annual Apple Cider Century ride ... More
The third-largest city in Missouri, Springfield is known as the Birthplace of Route 66. But there are plenty more things to do in the scenic Ozarks Mountains. Here's a sampling: Hotel Vandivort This new boutique hotel brings upscale accommodations to the heart of downtown. Artsy details in the renovated 1906 Masonic Temple include the lobby's 90-plus-piece... More
Experience the simple pleasures of fall with with outdoorsy activities in Stillwater, Minnesota (20 miles northeast of downtown Saint Paul).  Go for a gondola ride. Who needs Venice, Italy? Get cozy in the cushioned seats of a Venetian gondola powered by a gondolier wearing a striped shirt and straw hat. For optimal romance, book a dinner package through the... More
Forget those cheaply framed reprints of watercolor landscapes in your hotel room. In recent travels, we’ve noticed more emphasis on original artwork in lobbies and rooms. We've even seen galleries built into hotels. Here are five of our favorite new Midwest lodgings that contain fine artwork in addition to quality service. The Collection at The Conrad... More
Riding a high-wire unicycle, splashing in a massive fountain and feeding giraffes highlight a family weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Here are 10 must-dos for your next road trip to the capital city. 1) Center of Science and Industry With interactive exhibits covering themes like space, energy and the oceans, there’s a world of activity for the family here. Ride inside a Mars rover... More
“They didn’t like me when I first arrived,” the call begins. “They judged me, as people do.” Joan Miró’s 39-foot-tall statue known as Miró's Chicago can finally tell her story thanks to Statue Stories Chicago, a public art installation that gives voice to 30 Windy City sculptures. Photo courtesy of Statue Stories Chicago... More
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
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