A $40 million donation of 25 sculptures instantly transformed a downtown Des Moines greenspace. Free (515/277-4405).
Click through the next slides to see 14 more of our 2010 picks for the Midwest's best new attractions -- plus 15 top new restaurants and 15 standout lodgings.
Hundreds of thousands of birds (and thousands of birders) migrate through Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge every year. The impressive new visitors center explores the wetlands' ecology and history. Free (877/243-9268).
Step aside, boys. Pink is back. Celebrating 50 Fabulous Years with America's Favorite Doll, an exhibit devoted to the history and culture of Barbie, runs through 2010 at the Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City. Admission charged (816/333-9328).
When the Minnesota Twins open the baseball season at their new stadium in April 2010, they'll say goodbye forever to the Metrodome. Altogether now: Hallelujah! Admission charged (612/375-1366).
Target Field 
For centuries, people have touted the healing properties of Himalayan salt. Try it for yourself in a luxurious (and sort of trippy) salt cave in a Naperville strip mall, near Chicago. Cave treatments from $20 (630/428-0700).
The Indiana Historical Society's Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center reopens March 20, 2010. Massive new exhibits on the Indiana Experience will share state history through technology and costumed interpreters. Admission charged (800/447-1830).
The designer's newest destination golf course at French Lick Resort will host the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship. Memo to the pros: Good luck making par when 40-mile vistas of rolling Indiana countryside beg for attention. Golf packages available (888/936-9360).
Joe DiMaggio. Joe Montana. Casey Tibbs? He's not a household name, but Tibbs, who died in 1990, is a rodeo legend. So is trick rider Mattie Goff-Newcombe, captured in bronze on one center display. This fun new rodeo museum in Fort Pierre features memorabilia and gripping video footage. Admission charged (605/494-1094).
Look up: Sky. Look out: Skyscrapers. Look down: Yikes. Four glass boxes project from the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), giving brave visitors the illusion of walking on air. Admission charged (312/875-9447).
The Ledge at Skydeck 
Millions of years ago, ash from an Idaho volcano buried animals as far away as modern-day Royal. Today, visitors can tour an ongoing paleontological dig at the new Hubbard Rhino Barn. Admission charged (402/893-2000).
For fans who needed one more reason to plan a pilgrimage to Canton: The new Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery at the Pro Football Hall of Fame puts visitors eye to eye with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Admission charged (330/456-8207).
Immaculate white decor puts Chef Tony Mantuano's sandwiches, salads and pastas front and center at the Art Institute of Chicago's new restaurant (312/443-8650).
Click through the next slides to see 14 more of our picks for the Midwest's best new restaurants. Click on the link below if you want to jump ahead to our top picks for lodgings.
Terzo Piano 
When Iowa's oldest restaurant burned down in 2007, Balltown rallied to reopen it. And when fire hit again four months later, the community stood up a second time. Breitbach's is back (again), and the raspberry pie is as sweet as ever (563/552-2220).
Chicago celeb-chef Rick Bayless brings his Mexican genius to the masses with an affordable counter-service restaurant. None of the intriguing sandwiches (suckling pig!) disappoint, and the hot chocolate is divine (312/334-3688).
It takes imagination to turn an auto showroom into a restaurant and wine bar, and it takes daring to do it in rural Iowa. Santa Maria pulls off both (712/775-2013).
Good news for Detroiters who happily waited in long lines last year for takeout from this new, seasonally open, downtown creperie: A year-round, sit-down version has opened near the art museum. Tres bon! (877/727-4727)
The reincarnation of Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan includes Frontier Restaurant, where the grilled colossal shrimp deliciously classifies as a vacation-worthy splurge (800/338-5353).
Frontier Restaurant 
Cafe DiVine: Sunset reflects on Lake Taneycomo. Fountains splash. You nibble cheese and share a surprisingly good Cabernet. Yes, it's Branson, Missouri, but trust us: You'll feel cool here (417/335-9700). (EDITOR'S NOTE: This business has since closed.)
Extra Virgin: Kansas City chef Michael Smith has opened a tapas restaurant with a menu that begs for sharing -- braised pork cheeks, orange and olive salad, cheese-stuffed focaccia (816/842-2205).
Pictured: Cafe DiVine.
Branson Ridge Winery 
Extra Virgin 
This newly restored 1900 soda shop befits architecturally blessed Columbus. The homemade ice cream is good, but the setting--polished wood, pipe organ--is truly special (812/378-1900).
Only in Traverse City (aka Adorable Restaurant Central) could a burger joint feel so special. "Slab Grab Bags" (sandwich, fries and drink) start at $5.30, but the atmosphere, in a cute yellow house, is anything but drive-through.
This downtown Saint Paul spot is the former home of the 1917 Saint Paul Athletic Club. Newly updated, it's a modern, affordable--yet charmingly traditional--alternative to the venerable Saint Paul Hotel.
From $129 (651/280-4120).
Click through the next slides to see 14 more of our picks for the Midwest's best new lodgings.
Hotel 340 
No worries if you arrive late for your Traverse City lake vacation: The delicious restaurant stays open 'til 11 at this new, conveniently located hotel west of downtown. From $99 (231/778-9000).
Want to gamble? Cross the skywalk and hit the tables. But if that's not your thing, you'll love that this plush and affordable Detroit hotel puts you blocks from downtown attractions. From $189 (877/424-5554).
Greektown Casino-Hotel 
Moonrise Hotel: Yes, that's a big, cratered moon spinning atop St. Louis' newest boutique hotel, located in the Delmar Loop. And you'll find more lunar art in the spacious rooms and lobby -- a perfect balance of kitsch and comfort. From $139 (314/721-1111).
Raphael: A $20 million renovation has turned this Spanish Renaissance Revival-style property into a warm and inviting space to snuggle, right near Country Club Plaza. From $159 (800/821-5343).
Castle Rock Resort and Waterpark: Branson welcomes its third (and largest) indoor water park at this newly expanded hotel just off the Strip. From $99 (888/273-3919).
Pictured: Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis.
Moonrise Hotel 
A chain hotel, yes, but this extended-stay Westin property (due to open in 2010) will stand out in Omaha for its sleek decor and LEED-certified design. Rates TBD (877/353-6368).
Element Midtown Crossing 
Your GPS will say Arnolds Park (better known as Lake Okoboji), but you'll feel like you've slipped away to Key West at this indoor water park resort. From $149 (877/752-9607).
Bridges Bay Resort 
Hotel Felix: This LEED-certified hotel is as stylish as it is green. One cool feature: Heat and motion sensors detect when a guest is in the room and automatically adjust the lights and thermostat to minimize energy waste. From $99 (877/848-4040).
JW Marriott Chicago: Want to see what $396 million buys? Then plan to check out the renovated Continental and Commercial National Bank building when it opens its first 12 floors as a hotel in June. From $249 (312/660-8200).
River Hotel: Rather than uber-chic, this attractive hotel on the Chicago River opts for three other Cs: comfortable, classy and convenient. And the price is pretty reasonable when you're talking about downtown Chicago.
From $99 (888/977-4837).
The Wit: A lime-green streak curves up the front of this hip, bustling hotel in the heart of Chicago's theater district. (Appropriately, amenities include a screening room for special group events.) From $249 (312/467-0200).
Pictured: Hotel Felix.
Hotel Felix 
JW Marriott Chicago 
River Hotel 
The Wit 
Bikers will love the amenities at Milwaukee's motorcycle-friendly hotel -- bag lunches for saddlebags, a bike wash -- but even if you've never ridden a Hog, this sexy boutique hotel is a great reason to visit the home of Harley-Davidson. From $149 (888/543-4766).
Iron Horse Hotel 
This much-awaited renovation transforms the lodging scene in Medora with attractive, affordable rooms available year-round -- and a great restaurant to match. Try to snag Room 501, with seven windows overlooking the badlands. From $89 (800/633-6721).
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® January/February 2010.)
Rough Riders Hotel