Readers' Favorite Midwest Small-Town Getaways
- Wilson's in Ephraim.
Ephraim “Shop at Beach People and go to The Old Post Office for a fish boil and Wilson's for ice cream. And of course relax looking at the beautiful views of Green Bay.” – Debbie Wishnow Janicek
Baraboo “Home of the Ringling Brothers Circus and Devil's Lake State Park. Also surrounded by the beautiful Baraboo Bluffs. Aldo Leopold shack is just a few miles outside of town. We also have the International Clown Museum and International Crane Foundation.” – Kathy May
Boulder Junction “Great dining options, fun shopping, best fishing in Wisconsin. Johnny Depp stayed at the Big Bear Hideaway while filming Public Enemies. Must-do activity: Visit the Aqualand Ale House for great camaraderie, delicious food, and a cold beer or a glass of wine” – Ted Pittman
Ephraim-Door County Visitor Bureau
Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce
Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce
- View from Montelle Winery in Augusta.
Augusta “Wineries, vineyards, Katy Trail, apple picking and beautiful scenery. A must-do for any age.” – Colleen Foster
Weston “Love the Avalon restaurant. Love the shopping. Especially love My Sister's Closet resale clothing store. We love to go there because we love history, the views of the river and it's a great walk from Weston Bend State Park into town. Camping at the State Park is great, too.” – Kathy Sapp Blackburn
Kimmswick “Quaint town with a great restaurant–The Blue Owl. Amazing bakery! And neat little shops everywhere. A fun day. Close enough to St. Louis for a day trip, too.” – Irene Salkowski
Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce
Weston Chamber of Commerce
Kimmswick Visitor Center
- Root River Bike Trail, Lanesboro.
Lanesboro “It's a wonderful secret little town with so much to offer. The 70-mile paved bike trail is the best.” – Kirsten Mensing
Red Wing “Take in the glorious view of the Mississippi River Valley...by hiking on Barn Bluff, riding the Amtrak train and driving to scenic heights that overlook the wide expanse of rivers and bluffs. My husband and I enjoy outdoor dining at the Brickhouse Pub and Grille, shopping downtown and scouring through the multitude of antiques shops. I have also enjoyed an overnight stay with my mom and sisters at the Moondance Inn. I've been visiting Red Wing for nearly 30 years and never tire of its beauty and bounty.” – Tracie Solum Henkel
Hackensack “Idyllic small town. Not touristy, but lots of cute shops, restaurants, friendly residents, and a wonderful resort where I stay. 10 miles from Leech Lake, so perfect location. 127 lakes within a 10-mile radius of Hackensack. Lots of fishing, sight-seeing, relaxing, laying out, hanging out by the campfire, fun!” – Carrie Harmon Olerich
- Nebraska's Big Rodeo in Burwell. Courtesy of Burwell Area/Garfield County CVB.
Burwell “Home of Nebraska's Big Rodeo. Since 1921, Nebraska's Big Rodeo has been thrilling rodeo fans with nonstop rodeo entertainment. Every summer (the last full weekend in July), Burwell's population explodes with rodeo fans ready to get in on the excitement! Burwell is also home to the Calamus Reservoir. Lots of fun to be had on this beautiful lake with white sandy beaches and great opportunities for watersports and fishing! Burwell has a wide variety of great restaurants and many different opportunities for lodging." – Stacie Newlin
Chadron "Chadron, Nebraska, has their Fur Trade Days. About 25 miles down Highway 6 is Crawford and Fort Robinson. The fort has enough activities to keep you occupied for at least a week, but it's also a great place to just relax. North of Crawford is Toadstool Park, the Cookshack, and the Hudson-Meng Bison Kill Research and Visitor Center. There's also a gorgeous 3-mile hiking path from Toadstool to Hudson-Meng." – Heather Nabower
- Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Company, Hays.
Hays “Their downtown is just wonderful—boutiques, coffee shops, an amazing bakery and an award-winning brewery with a fabulous diner. The campus of Fort Hays State University is beautiful also.” – Cindy Day
Council Grove “Santa Fe Trail, lots of history, eat at the Hays House restaurant and stay at The Cottage House. Walk the river walk and then drive the Flint Hills Scenic Byway. Gorgeous rolling hills and you can still see the ruts in the ground from the Santa Fe Trail.” – Jen Scott
- Harbor Springs.
Harbor Springs “Great bike trails, beaches, wonderful waterfront dining. My kids love the sailing school in the summer. Paradise!” – Julie Ellstrom
Petoskey “Walk along the Little Traverse Bay, visit McLean and Eakin Booksellers, dine in some excellent restaurants, shop in great stores, pick up some treats at American Spoon, swim at Petoskey State Park. Most importantly—can't miss sunsets over Lake Michigan.” – Edie Bowman Posey
Milford “Kayak the Huron River from Proud Lake to downtown Milford and disembark at Central Park for a picnic in the park, or walk into the village for lunch at Smoke Street BBQ or Palate. A perfect summer OR winter trip. The park has summer concerts, too!. – Karen Sue Lee
- Photo Courtesy of Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.
Grand Rapids “It is located right along the Maumee River. You can walk along the canals, which takes you to area parks. There is a canal boat ride and a mill to tour. It has quaint little shops selling antiques, art, gifts, etc. Also, plenty of little restaurants and cafes to dine.” – Jamie Swinford Heath
Cardington "Our heritage festival June 28!” – Jackie Kopke
- Indiana Dunes.
Chesterton "Must visit the European Market in the beautiful downtown area and Indiana Dunes State Park." – Diane McDougal Massey
Nashville “Lots of great shopping, lodging and the biggest state park in Indiana. The old general store has the best blackberry cobbler around.” – Nicole Payton Bush
Shipshewana “The flea market, Davis mercantile, the soda shop, the blacksmith shop,Yoder's department store—all the great local shops. It’s like being sent back in time in a great farmland setting with Amish artistry, humble small-town charm and great home-cooked meals. Homemade pies, toys, whirligigs, farmers market goodies.” – Gina Neal
Indiana Dunes Tourism
Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Shipshewana/LaGrange County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Pella “We always like walking around town and experiencing the Dutch influence. We have been on a tour of the windmill, which was really fun and we were able to purchase flour milled on-site. Must-do things in Pella are: coffee at Smokey Row and picking up apple fritter bread, homemade noodles and anything else that looks good at Jaarsma Bakery. There is also a small quilt shop on the square that I just love. We have often enjoyed staying in the Royal Amsterdam Hotel.” – Helen Johnston
- Medora Musical.
Medora “It's a beautiful little historic town nestled in the North Dakota badlands. Must-see tourist attractions include taking in the Medora Musical in the outdoor amphitheater, which depicts the region's 'wild west' days; visiting the Theodore Roosevelt National Park (South Unit) where bison, elk, and wild horses roam; and a tour of Chateau de Mores, which was the home of the French nobleman who founded Medora. The boutiques and shops there are great as well.” – Staci Bradley McGrath
Wishek “German-Russian heritage celebrated each fall with Sauerkraut Day.” – Katie Lukens Pinke
Mandan "Rodeo Days—huge parade, three-day rodeo, art in the park and more. Also, the biggest Independence Day celebration in the state." – Sarah Mudder
Medora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau
Deadwood “There are so many things to do, winter or summer. Strolling Main Street is always fun for the family. The summer is full of concerts and staged shootouts from the 1800s. And also the many casinos.” – Tessila Bernett
Keystone “After visiting Mount Rushmore, you have to try Big Time Pizza and then stop for taffy downtown (where you can watch it be pulled)." – Caroline Christopherson
Deadwood Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
Keystone Chamber of Commerce
- Black Hawk Statue in Oregon.
Oregon “Great state parks, beautiful scenery, Black Hawk Statue, Autumn on Parade Festival in October and Oregon Trail Days in July. Great fun!” – Jennifer Basler-Bakener
Galena "Tons of quaint shops, restaurants, festivals, bed-and-breakfasts, hiking, biking. Love it. Must-do is sampling at the Galena Canning Company and wine sampling at the sausage shop. And the Halloween parade is the best I have ever seen." – Linda VanKampen
Gibson City “Visit the twin screen Harvest Moon Drive In. It's been around for more than 60 years. They play current movies, have the occasional retro night and some of the best movie food anywhere. Quite the family experience.” – Andy Page Lee
- Charlevoix, Michigan.
More small towns
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