Best Vacation Spots in the Midwest

Choosing a place to vacation in the Midwest can take longer than the vacation itself. Options abound, but here are three diverse and alluring standouts:


  1. Bayfield, Wisconsin


If you’ve lost touch with nature, head for Bayfield. Located on the shore of Lake Superior, Bayfield boasts one of the prettiest natural settings in the U.S.


Prospects for a summer vacation include plenty of water activities like swimming and sailing. Adventurers grab their paddles for a kayak trip to the famous sea caves. Landlubbers grab their buckets and hike to the berry fields.


The only real downside to vacationing in Bayfield is deciding when to go. The fall colors are awe-inspiring, and the town goes all out with harvest celebrations. Caramel apples, cider and just-baked pies are for sale on every corner.


Don’t miss these attractions:


  • Lighthouse cruises
  • Concerts on the shore
  • The Apple Festival in early October
  • The crystalline ice caves in winter


  1. Mackinac Island, Michigan


Located in Lake Huron, this tiny resort island has much to offer. Its gorgeous ocean views and commitment to preserving history – along with its world-famous fudge – draw tourists from around the world.


One of the first things you’ll notice when you arrive is the absence of motor vehicles; they were banned in the 1940s. Until the bars and live music venues crank up at night, Mackinac evokes a simpler, more leisurely way of life.


The Victorian-style Grand Hotel is truly the grandest of the grand. It has 390 guest rooms, a 660-foot porch and around 130,000 visitors each tourist season. A number of movies were filmed on the site.


For outdoor fun, choose from golf, tennis, horseback riding, swimming and sailing. Fans of historical architecture enjoy carriage rides around the island. Mackinac is very good to the homes and shops that have been around since the Revolutionary War.


There are terrific restaurants on the island, but leave room for fudge. More than a dozen shops make it fresh, and visitors cart off 10,000 pounds of it every day.


Put these stops on your itinerary:


  • Mackinac Island Butterfly House
  • Old Mackinac Lighthouse
  • St. Ignace
  • Fort Mackinac


  1. Chicago, Illinois


Art lovers, architecture students, supporters of theater, concertgoers, sports fans, deep-dish pizza eaters, history buffs and people who just like loitering in an atmosphere of greatness flock to Chi Town each year.


This majestic city soars from the southern tip of Lake Michigan. The Chicago River runs through its main business district, and distinctive buildings of all styles line its banks. It’s a rare thing to find a beach right in the heart of town. Walking or cycling along the shore to Navy Pier is a great way to soak up the unique spirit of the Windy City.


Speaking of wind, visiting in wintertime is not advisable.


Chicago caters to every taste. People who normally loathe big cities are nuts about the place. There’s a lot to do, so plan on a lengthy stay:


  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Wrigley Field
  • Sears Tower
  • “Cloud Gate,” affectionately known as “The Bean,” at Grant Park


Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri; Itasca State Park, Minnesota; and Iowa Great Lakes are just a few more spots to choose from in the marvelous Midwest.


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