Jess Hoffert Author Headshot
Jess Hoffert Author Headshot

Jess Hoffert

Jess Hoffert is the custom projects editor at Meredith Travel Marketing, where he gets to dream up and produce inspiring print and digital content for clients including Kansas Tourism, Visit North Carolina, Explore Minnesota, Travel Wisconsin and Visit Montana. He holds a B.A. in journalism from Drake University in Des Moines, and was previously a staff editor at Midwest Living. When he's not on the road, you can find him building LEGO sets and watching the latest binge-worthy show with his partner, Andrew, and cats, Leo and Max.
Five Spanish missions-including the legendary Alamo-anchor San Antonio's past, while modern cultural and culinary experiences swirl around them. Escape winter's chill in a north-of-the-border city with a south-of-the-border soul.
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With Victorian carolers, a picturesque Main Street and festive events (holiday tea!), this wonderland outside of the Twin Cities is ideal for a quick getaway.
For many a Minneapolitan, it takes just a short bike ride or stroll to reach a lakeshore—or five. Trace the Chain of Lakes, then wade into nearby neighborhoods to explore more.
Spend the day interacting with paintings, pioneers and a U.S. president at these enlightening—and occasionally unconventional—stops.
If you're looking to bust stereotypes about Midwest landscapes, here's your ticket to giant cliffs, rocky shores, dense woods and enchanting caves.
Rock out at the famous Hall of Fame, then roll toward the stellar shops and restaurants that hug the Lake Erie shore.
As cowboys pushed the great cattle herds across Kansas' endless plains, they longed to glimpse Wichita on the horizon. Today, the city—with museums along the riverfront and fresh dining options—makes a welcome oasis along Interstate-35.
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The larger of the Twin Cities likes to perform on a grand scale.
When you visit the largest city on Michigan's Sunset Coast, you get a twofer—a bustling town with great food and drink, plus the whole glorious region around it, rich with vineyards, orchards, lighthouses and sand dunes.
As cowboys pushed the great cattle herds across Kansas' endless plains, they longed to glimpse Wichita on the horizon. Today, the city—with museums along the riverfront and fresh dining options—makes a welcome oasis along Interstate-35.
The larger of the Twin Cities likes to perform on a grand scale.
When you visit the largest city on Michigan's Sunset Coast, you get a twofer—a bustling town with great food and drink, plus the whole glorious region around it, rich with vineyards, orchards, lighthouses and sand dunes.
The Gateway to the West is a getaway in its own right, especially for families ready to explore. The unrivaled Arch is an icon, and you definitely won't go hungry.
The Windy City's pizzazz—like its pizza—is no secret. You can't possibly see and taste everything on one trip (or even fit every must-do into a bucket list … ahem, Navy Pier, the Riverwalk, the Mag Mile and The Bean). And that's exactly why we love it.
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Roaring jet boats and hydroplanes, burbling waterfalls and clinking glasses provide summer's soundtrack in Madison, Indiana.
Like its endless-sky sunsets, the Sunflower State expands horizons with urban exploration and cultural experiences.
In 2019, Mikah Meyer became the first person to experience all 400-plus U.S. National Park Service sites in a single 200,000-mile swoop. The trek evolved from a bucket list journey to a mission of promoting his LGBTQ+ Outside Safe Space initiative to nearly 70,000 Instagram followers and beyond. 
Most people come here for Cedar Point, the self-proclaimed "Roller Coaster Capital of the World," but there's plenty to explore between thrills.
Nebraska's largest city will never abandon its taste for a thick, juicy steak. But that doesn't mean freshly flown-in oysters and vegan mac and cheese can't fit in, too. Check out the sizzling array of restaurants that are changing the flavor of Omaha.
Our project editor finds a great fall day trip close to the Twin Cities, with hiking, unique architecture and stellar restaurants.
A rural Kansas arboretum takes an unexpected star turn—and a drop-in visitor finds himself planting trees with a musical legend.
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Seeking a world of discovery? Embark on a Midwest museum getaway! Spend the day interacting with paintings, planets and U.S. presidents at small-town gems or big-city draws.
After Thanksgiving, Chicago's most festive hot spots take you above the lights—or at least strolling through them.
The state's highest point—4,039 feet above sea level—meets our writer's expectations: A metal sunflower sculpture. A mailbox with a guest book. And infinite pasture.
One more reason to get outside this fall: The rascals of Nordic folklore lurk in a Chicago burb.
Booze. Ghosts. Or a mash-up of both. These four stops in the notoriously haunted northwest Illinois river town deliver what you need for a, uh … spirited getaway.
Genius. Murder. Affairs. No architect packed more drama into a lifetime than Frank Lloyd Wright, who left a thousand stories in a collection of Midwest homes open for tours.
There are thousands of Midwest attractions worth seeing, but when you only get one lifetime to see it all, you've gotta be a little choosy. This list of 100 things to do features our top tips for unforgettable getaways.