8 Fun Midwest Stops off Interstate 90
Interstate 90—the longest interstate in the United States, covering 3,021 miles from Washington to Massachusetts—cuts through the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota before passing through Minnesota and on to major Midwest destinations like Madison, Wisconsin; Chicago; and Cleveland. Break up your drive with little-known or quirky stops like these.
Wall Drug, Wall—Exit 110
A 10-foot-tall jackalope (saddled for riding) and 80-foot-long dinosaur with light bulb eyes compete for camera time at this sprawling Black Hills palace of kitsch, 55 miles east of Rapid City. Nearly 2 million visitors per year drink the famous free ice water, prospect in the DIY gold mine and browse Western gear.
Falls Park, Sioux Falls—Exit 400
Each second, 7,400 gallons of Big Sioux River water plunge 100 feet over pink quartzite ledges in the heart of the city at Falls Park. Climb a five-story tower for the best view. Also check out sculptures and historical buildings, like the 1908 Sioux Falls Light and Power structure and 1881 Queen Bee Mill. If you've got time, there's outdoor adventure and public art, too.
Blue Mounds State Park, Luverne—Exit 12
Settlers called the park's landmark Sioux quartzite cliff the Blue Mound, and the name stuck. Prairie pleasures abound at Blue Mounds, such as watching bison graze on wild grasses, seeing prickly pear cacti bloom in June and July, and hiking windswept trails rife with wildlife.
Spam Museum, Austin—Exit 178A
Learn all about the history of this spiced ground ham and pork product and the Hormel family who created it at the free Spam Museum. A curated assortment of Spam commercials from around the world will have you giggling. And if you've been dying to know how many Spam cans tall you are, you'll finally get your answer.
Ishnala Supper Club, Wisconsin Dells—Exit 89 or 92
Supper clubs didn't start in Wisconsin, but they flourished here. Ishnala is set on a bluff overlooking Mirror Lake, in a space with rustic cabin ambience. Reservations aren't accepted, so if you have to wait for a table, sip a brandy Old-Fashioned and ponder: Prime rib? Steak? Seafood? It's all good here.
Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford—Exit 12 or 15
Experience a sense of calm, renewal and discovery at this 12-acre haven designed to invigorate the soul. In addition to gardens, streams, waterfalls, winding pathways and koi-filled ponds, the Rockford site offers tea ceremonies and instruction in yoga, meditation, origami and calligraphy.
RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum, Elkhart—Exit 96
Trace the evolution of a leisure travel revolution in the RV Capital of the World. (Around 80 percent of recreational vehicles are made near Elkhart.) The models parked in the museum's faux campground span more than a century. The oldest? A 1913 Earl Travel Trailer attached to a Model T Ford.
Little Italy, Cleveland—Exit 177
Restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and museums beckon in this walkable neighborhood just east of downtown. Italians who began settling here in the late 1800s created a delicious legacy. Taste it at family-owned Presti's Bakery and Cafe, home of cannoli, tiramisu and huge cream puffs since 1903.