Midwest Living

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At 6:15 a.m., I’m one of only four people along the Door Trail in Badlands National Park. I venture off the boardwalk to find a spot to sit and wait for dawn. It feels hushed and almost sacred as the sky lightens and sun slips above the horizon, throwing a coppery glaze on the park’s spires, buttes and pinnacles. If I had to pick a top way to enjoy the park, it’s sunrise... More
Cleveland loves a good party. Take Rock Week, for example (April 11-18). Not only does the city’s hallowed Rock Hall celebrate the big 2-0 this year, it also gets to induct Ringo Starr, Joan Jett, Green Day and other music legends into the Hall of Fame. And that's just one way to rock the city this spring. 1) Rock Week On April 11, the Rock Hall opens its doors for... More
Madison—the capital of Wisconsin and the home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers—is often billed as an active, athletic town. But it's also a great place to bring your family. Whether you've got preschoolers, tweens or teens in tow, there's plenty to see and do. Here are some of my family's favorites. 1) Madison Children’s Museum Sitting near the... More
More than 75,000 people are expected to flood Indianapolis for the men's Final Four competition April 4 and 6. Whether you'll be one of those 75,000 or someone who stops in another time, you’ll find plenty of things to keep you occupied in our nation’s ninth-largest city. Here are five great ways to enjoy this pretty town in the Heartland. Get moving. Rent some wheels from... More
As the sun drops toward the horizon, the Platte River is awash in gold. Flock after flock of Sandhill cranes circle and swoop and scan the river, looking for the perfect place to land for the night. I'm waiting silently in a wooden viewing blind with 30 other people at Rowe Sanctuary, hoping that the graceful but skittish birds—easily spooked by humans... More
For many people, Green Bay = the Packers. Yes, the fabled citizen-owned football team is a huge part of the community’s identity. But the city of 100,000 that hugs the bottom of―you guessed it―Green Bay offers fun, interesting spots to visit that have nothing to do with football. 1) Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary This wooded 700-acre animal sanctuary was opened in 1936 as a... More
Mammoths, bison ... and minted lamb burgers? You can find them all in North Dakota's capital city, where a $51 million expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center just opened, adding another colorful stop to the city's selection of restaurants, activities and outdoor fun. Make it an adventure-packed weekend with these five top draws. 1) North... More
An exhibit in Nebraska weaves together the personal side of the Civil War—a story told in thread and cloth, yarn and ribbon.  I never expected to find my family’s history on the walls when I went to see the exhibit Homefront and Battlefield: Quilts and Context in the Civil War. But there on the wall was a quilt painstakingly pieced together from the blue, gray, red and... More
In Michigan, spring might arrive in snow or sunny warmth. Regardless of the temperature, you'll find spring spirit at these six celebrations. 1) On March 15, Detroit’s tiny Corktown neighborhood hosts both the Corktown Races and a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Runners and spectators come dressed as shamrocks, leprechauns and even pints of Guinness. More than 8,000... More
Within a month or so, the rivers that drain into the upper Midwest's Great Lakes will begin to shake winter's frozen grip. Fantastical ice formations that cluster and drip like melted wax will burst free as rivers swell with snowmelt and spring showers. The waterways will rush through thick forest, thunder across rocky outcrops and may even plunge through gorges in a rush toward... More