Midwest Living

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It's time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather in Chicago, a city so happy to see summer that even the scent of sun-warmed asphalt seems a perfume drawing us out. Whether you'd like to eat, drink, shop, admire the architecture or take in music, here are some of our favorite al fresco options in Chicago. Cruise the river. If there’s one thing every... More
Iowa's capital is known for being home to the State Fair, but Des Moines also gives artists, foodies and explorers plenty to love. 1) John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park You'll find 28 playful, surreal and modern sculptures at the park. The Des Moines Art Center curates the collection, which looks especially fabulous at night when lights illuminate the... More
Kansas City, Missouri calls itself the BBQ capital of the world, but a weekend of restaurant hopping shows it’s time to expand the list: I hereby name KC as the BBQ-Breakfast-Burger-Pizza-Ice Cream-Grilled Chicken Capital of the world. Of course I was in line at Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que before I had even checked into my hotel for the weekend. The quickly moving line here rivals... More
With water recreation, golf, hiking, biking and skiing, the little resort town of Galena, Illinois, offers big outdoor fun during your active Midwest weekend getaway. 1) Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa Four championship courses and 63 scenic holes establish Eagle Ridge as a premiere place to tee off, but if golf’s not your thing, don’t worry. This expansive resort also... More
Every state has roadside attractions—fanciful, often artsy, and definitely unusual items or places that catch your eye as you're driving by. Here in America's Dairyland, we've got plenty. (Surprisingly, no massive chunks of cheese are on the list.) Some are weird, others intriguing and a few are pretty darn interesting. In no particular order, here are some of my favorites.... More
We’re catching the tail end of American Craft Beer Week (May 11-17), but there’s plenty of small-batch celebration on tap for the rest of the month in the Midwest.  Chicago Craft Beer Week (now through May 24) With more than 45 craft breweries in town, and many offering free samples, there’s no way you’d be able to experience the full slate... More
Drive 50 miles southeast of Columbus and you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world—one of lush forests dotted with caves, gorges and waterfalls. Here are 7 activities families will enjoy. 1) Hocking Hills State Park Hike through fern-filled valleys and stop at sweeping overlooks as you explore some of the park’s more than 2,300 acres. For hands-on lessons about... More
With cheap eats, a free art museum, spacious parks and vibrant historical areas, Omaha makes a fun and affordable Midwest weekend getaway. 1) Joslyn Art Museum Nebraska’s premiere art museum wows with gorgeous Art Deco architecture and an exterior of 38 kinds of marble from around the world. Inside, the 11,000-piece permanent collection includes Greek pottery, Impressionist... More
In any of the Midwest’s most populous states, you’re probably within a weekend drive of a luxury hotel and spa. But residents of the upper Midwest—specifically the greater Chicago and Milwaukee areas—have a special backyard gem: Destination Kohler, the region’s highest-ranked getaway. Yes, Kohler, the folks who long ago defined the sinks, tile and showerheads that... More
Confession: I went to the Flint Hills and dropped lit matches all across the prairie. The low, dry grasses caught fire, and boy, did they burn. Thanks to the Flames in the Flint Hills Festival, held each April on the Flying W Ranch outside Strong City, Kansas, more than 250 participants joined me in lighting up the prairie–with the blessing of the local ranchers. Josh, Gwen and Josie... More