We've highlighted a few notable additions at college campuses across the Midwest.

Summer's last hurrah is a followed by a palpable back-to-school excitement, with students moving into dorms and injecting campus towns with youthful energy. College towns may be a little quieter from May until August, but businesses have been gearing up to welcome students to campus with new dining options, cultural experiences and great shopping. Here's what to get excited about this fall.

“Snowmass” by Peter Voulkos, left, and “Mural” by Jackson Pollock, right, in the Stanley Art Museum.
"Snowmass" by Peter Voulkos, left, and "Mural" by Jackson Pollock, right.
| Credit: Elizabeth Wallace

University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art

Fourteen years after a massive flood ravaged eastern Iowa and forced the closure of the art museum, the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art just reopened in a new $50 million home. A sleek, rectilinear building houses a diverse collection of nearly 18,000 objects, including Jackson Pollock's Mural, back in the 319 after a world tour. Request guided tours on themes like African art, social justice or the science of conservation, or take a self-guided tour.

Ohio State University, Columbus

Concert at KEMBA.
Credit: Rainer Ziehm

Columbus Live Music Trail

What do Rascal Flatts, O.A.R. and Twenty-One Pilots have in common? These bands all got their start in Columbus. The city's live music trail helps you tune in to Columbus' burgeoning music scene. The passport-style app aggregates great places to catch a live show, plus other cool spots for music-lovers like independent record stores. Many destinations are close to campus, while others encourage you to venture further into the city to make new music memories.

Mandrake Rooftop

If you're familiar with Columbus, you've likely heard rumblings about this rooftop bar on the 10th floor of the Moxy hotel in the Short North neighborhood. The all-weather space is finally here, filled with funky displays of live greenery as well as high-top tables and banquettes with expansive city views. On offer: tapas, cocktails and an extensive wine list.

Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Bonne Fete storefront in Bloomington, Indiana
Credit: Courtesy of Bonne Fete

Bonne Fete 

Peruse the shelves of Bonne Fete to discover locally made candles, a sheet mask bar, art and gifts galore. Even if you don't need to pick up a present for a birthday dinner or apartment-warming party, you'll want to scope out its offerings for an instant pick-me-up. An adjacent gallery featuring the work of local artists, Backspace Gallery by Bonne Fete, opened in July.

Chubbie's Diner

This new retro-style diner right on Kirkwood slings made-to-order burritos, hearty bowls, salads and nachos. And did we mention they are open until 3:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday? (We have a feeling this may be the next hot spot for late-night eats.)

University of Wisconsin, Madison

B Side Records

Anyone who has gone to University of Wisconsin over the past 40 years knows that B Side Records is a campus staple. This September, the iconic record shop will move to a roomier location further down State Street. Expect more music-related items, including plenty of records, with the same rustic vibe generations have loved.


Impossible burgers, vegan ice cream, local soda and vegan cupcakes from East Side Ovens (just outside Milwaukee) make mouths water at this all-vegan spot. And just before students headed home for summer break, Sookie's unveiled a Supercharge Foods juice bar.

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Detroit Wing Company

This popular Michigan wing shop known for dozens of sauces and stick-to-your-ribs sides just opened its first East Lansing location. Homemade cornbread and homemade Oreo cheesecake will keep you satiated through Spartans games.

Rotating Artwork

In East Lansing, find inspiration as you wander the city's alleyways, parking garages and other spots adorned with art. These public works, created by Michigan State students, AP art students at East Lansing High School and other local artists, are part of an effort to beautify downtown and showcase the city. Check out a rotating art display at Division Street Garage along Albert Avenue; mental health-related murals in the alley on the south wall of Division Street Garage; and a public space with seating at the 500 Block Pedestrian Alley.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Pastries in Case Cannelle Ann Arbor
Credit: Courtesy of Cannelle


Locals may already be familiar with this pastry and coffee shop that opened where the Commoner used to be—after all, Cannelle's decadent pastries were once mainstays on the Commoner's menu. Next time you visit Canelle's new location, look for a refreshed lineup with plenty of Chef Matt Knio's fine French baked goods to satisfy sugar cravings.

Bitty and Beau's

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are employed at Bitty and Beau's, a new coffee shop on Ann Arbor's Main Street. It's the first Midwest location for the franchise, which originated in North Carolina.