Best New Midwest Attractions: 2009
Drives worth the gas price
Kansas -- The Sunflower State's new byway, Prairie Trail, weaves through Smoky Hills vistas in the state's center. Start at Canton and drive 56 miles north for Maxwell Wildlife Refuge's bison and elk tram tours, Mushroom Rock State Park's geologic rarities (left) and Lindsborg's Swedish craftsmen.
Ohio -- Iowa's Madison County has competition. Last summer, the popular driving tour of the bridges of Ashtabula County, Ohio, added a 17th span -- the Smolen-Gulf Bridge, deemed the nation's longest covered bridge at 613 feet. The throwback to the 1800s provides spectacular valley views from pedestrian walkways.