Gary Thompson Author Page Head Shot
Gary Thompson Author Page Head Shot

Gary Thompson

Gary Thompson is senior staff writer at Midwest Living and Meredith Travel Marketing, where he gets paid to play with words while writing about all sorts of interesting people, places and things in the Midwest and beyond. Not bad for a shy kid who was born in Kansas and grew up in Davenport, Iowa, reading his Dad's newspapers and his Mom's "women's" magazines. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in journalism from Drake University and been writing professionally for more than 30 years. When he's not wordsmithing, he's running or walking, watching sports or Jeopardy, and doing the New York Times crossword puzzle (or Spelling Bee).
For your next Michigan getaway, book like-no-other lodging as part of the adventure. Check out our ideas for boutique Detroit hotels, wineries with inns, lighthouse lodgings, yurts and more.
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As it cuts through the southern part of Central Illinois, I-70 parallels the Historic National Road (now US-40) that opened the state to settlement in the 1800s. Get a taste of history, theater and outdoor rec as you travel through this area.
Namesake cascades tumble through South Dakota's largest city, a great overnight stop in the state's southeast corner for road-tripping families headed west to Mount Rushmore.
At the confluence of the Illinois and Fox rivers (about 90 minutes southwest of Chicago), Ottawa opens doors to compelling history and natural beauty.
With smart accessorizing, a potting bench becomes a celebration station for summer soirees.
On land passed down through generations, a Wisconsin family experiences—and shares—the glory of gardening.
Casey Lawrence's lush window boxes were a revelation to her online followers. Use her tips to grow your own.
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The Midwest is home to nine Major League Baseball stadiums—one for every inning in a regulation game. Here's a scouting report on each one's perks and personality.
Towering rock formations, breathtaking prairie vistas and pristine lakes combine to make Kansas a natural choice for crowd-free (and crowd-pleasing!) family road trip adventures. 
Casey Lawrence's lush window boxes were a revelation to her online followers. Use her tips to grow your own.
The Midwest is home to nine Major League Baseball stadiums—one for every inning in a regulation game. Here's a scouting report on each one's perks and personality.
Towering rock formations, breathtaking prairie vistas and pristine lakes combine to make Kansas a natural choice for crowd-free (and crowd-pleasing!) family road trip adventures. 
Roll credits? Not so fast. Because (spoiler alert) this episode is not the series finale.
Designer Anissa Zajac of House Seven Design+Build shares sneak previews of her new Indianapolis home, including the vision she has for key spaces.
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With an appreciation for their home's mid-mod roots and an eye to their family's future, a Michigan couple puts stock in a remodeling portfolio full of bold choices.
You don't need to be a DIY aficionado to refresh old furniture with paint. Get inspiration and tips from Meg Piercy, a Chicago entrepreneur who turned one dresser into big business and TV fame.
Meg Piercy, owner of furniture restyling company MegMade in Chicago, offers this step-by-step tutorial on rescuing an old piece.
It serves up a jigger of moody and a garnish of glam.
With its traditional lines, sophisticated color scheme, and spaces tailored for family life and entertaining, a suburban Chicago home stays well-dressed year-round, including at Christmas.
These weekend destinations in the Upper Peninsula, Alpena and Kalamazoo may keep low profiles, but they earn high marks for art, history and outdoor fun.
Making pie is a piece of cake with a nook that keeps essentials easy to see and grab.
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Summer on Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka is full of watershed moments, thanks to dozens of lovingly reinvented boathouses and other historic structures like this one on Grandview Point.
Garden while the snow still flies by starting seeds indoors. You’ll save money (seeds are much cheaper than plants), have more choices and play surrogate Mother Nature to new life.
Nope, those aren’t flowers on a poinsettia. They’re leaves (or more accurately, bracts). Top your table with crafted faux versions, the real deal—or both!
The sights and sounds of water tumbling over stones soothe the soul at this inspiring woodland garden at a Michigan home.
Turn over a new leaf (and some old ones) this spring by starting a compost pile. It's a gift that keeps on giving to your garden—and the Earth. Here's how and why you should compost.
Pedigree, Schmedigree. Flaws? Hey, that's character. A Michigan's farmhouse reflects its owners' do-it-yourself Moxie and knack for saving cast-off pieces.
The head of a Chicago-area landscape firm drapes his garden in history and traditional style. Think you could say yes to the dressy? Take a tour and pocket ideas for a yard of any size.