Decorate Your Desktop with Our Midwest Photos
Spiky magenta lupines are the signature flower of Bayfield, Wisconsin, where gardening flourishes in this Superior-warmed Zone 4 pocket.
The bean-shape Cloud Gate sculpture, at Chicago's Millennium Park, reflects the city's skyscrapers— and visitors.
Morning at Horicon Marsh
A path at the end of Palmatory Street in the small town of Horicon, Wisconsin, leads into Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area.
Supreme and serene wilderness
Wilderness reigns supreme and serene at one of the best-kept secrets in our national parks system: Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, a Lake Superior island north of the 48th parallel.
Lake Superior kayaking
Kayakers explore the chilly waters of Lake Superior in Rock Harbor, Michigan, part of remote Isle Royale National Park.
Mist cloaks the hills and glows in the soft light at Brown County State Park near Nashville, Indiana.
A golden sunset frames Michigan's Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse.
An island of calm
Northwest Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline curves around South Bass Island and the town of Put-in-Bay—connected only by boats to the mainland.
Stepping off the beaten path in the South Dakota Badlands earns the adventurous hiker an intimate brush with this land of fierce, alien beauty.
Heart of the lake
Head to the heart of the Ozark's vacation zone with a boat trip on vast (and vastly popular) Lake of the Ozarks.
Pine Lake haven
The still waters of Pine Lake in Minnesota's Tamarack National Wildlife Refuge provide a haven for hikers as well as for migrating birds.
South Dakota moonscape
The moon glows pale yellow against the blue-black sky and the jagged landscape of South Dakota's Badlands.
A sightseeing balloon drifts in late afternoon over the rolling countryside outside Galena, Illinois.
Horseback and hiking trails lead explorers deep into North Dakota's Little Missouri State Park.
Postmodern art in Milwaukee
The Milwaukee Art Museum's postmodern Quadracci Pavilion, completed in 2001, houses a light-splashed grand reception hall.
Amish families drive along Wheat Bridge Road in Adams County, Ohio, where hiking trails, country inns and Amish shops reward casual explorers.
Dripping and seeping water has created impressive geologic formations at Ozark Caverns in Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks State Park.
It's hard to miss the giant vanilla soft-serve cone at Randy's Frozen Custard in Osage Beach, Missouri.
Water spills over the rocks at the Edge of Appalachia in Adams County, Ohio, a nature preserve with 1,200 plant species growing on 1,400 acres.
Rolling dairy land
Dairy cows graze the hills and valleys of Wisconsin, one of the nation's top producers of cheese and milk.
On the prairie
Longhorn cattle roam the prairie at Moore Ranch in Bucklin, Kansas.
The 3,700-acre Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Missouri showcases the natural beauty of the Ozark foothills.
Visitors seek solitude at Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, where a hiker watches the sunset along Rock Harbor.
Halfway between Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio's sprawling Amish Country offers travelers a glimpse of the rural lifestyle.
Both trailers and tents find beachfront camping at Munising, Michigan's Tourist Park. It's part of one of the Midwest's premier drives: the 1,200-plus-mile Circle Tour around Lake Superior.
Ephraim, Wisconsin, epitomizes the coastal charm of the towns that ring the Great Lakes.