These are the best places to visit in the Midwest! We list lots of great cities along with things to see and do.

Best Places To Visit In The Midwest

We think the American Midwest is often overlooked as a travel destination. In reality, however, there is a lot to see and do in the area. Below we have a few of our favorite Midwestern states and popular attractions in each one.

Illinois

Skydeck at Willis Tower and 360 Chicago at the John Hancock Building are two great observation decks in Chicago. Both provide spectacular views of the city. Chicago is home to a diverse range of architectural styles. Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that the skyscraper concept was “invented” here?

Book a boat excursion with the Chicago Architecture Foundation if you’re visiting during the summer. You can do architecture walking tours if you visit when the river tours aren’t running. Besides its skyscrapers, Chicago is also known for its deep dish pizza, and spontaneous comedy. Don’t miss an improv show in the city; some of the best comedians in the world got their start here, at clubs like Second City.

Chicago is one of the best places to visit in the Midwest
Chicago skyline

Indiana

Indianapolis is the third-most populated city in the Midwest, as well as the state capital and home to numerous sports teams, colleges, and entertainment sites. You’ll love Indianapolis if you’ve ever enjoyed the beauty of changing leaves or a White Christmas. All four seasons are enjoyed in the city. Summer temperatures in the low 90s make for ideal days spent at White River State Park in downtown. Take a road trip with some friends to observe the fall leaves at Brown County State Park, which is close by. Perfect North Slopes has ski lifts and a terrain park in the winter.

The so-called Circle City marries Big City activity with small-town, Midwestern charm, and is ideally positioned and teeming with decent employment, entertainment, and friendly people. It’s also a city with fantastic, cash-flowing real estate and a high expansion ceiling. Forecasters laud the city’s years of consistent growth and robust rental demand. Indianapolis houses for sale are flying off the shelves, with nearly two-thirds of those advertised for sale falling under contract within two weeks of putting on the market.

There are also a lot of fun things to do in Fort Wayne. There is something for everyone. Adults will enjoy visiting Country Heritage Winery and Three Rivers Distilling Co. Kids will love the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and visiting DeBrand Fine Chocolates.

Kangaroos at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Kangaroos at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Michigan

The Mission Peninsula is a must-see in Traverse City, with its abundance of vineyards and stunning lake views. A favorite vineyard to visit is Chateau Chantal, and the Mission Point Lighthouse is definitely worth a visit. But it was once the Traverse City State Hospital, a psychiatric institution that operated from 1885 to 1989. The Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, with its magnificent sand dunes, is approximately 25 miles from Traverse City and makes for an excellent half-day vacation.

Of course, Detroit is also one of the best places to visit in the Midwest. There are a lot of great museums, parks, local attractions, and restaurants. Detroit street art is also a reason to visit. Murals can be seen all over the city, but Eastern Market has one of the biggest collections. It’s also the largest outdoor farmers market in the US.

Detroit street art in Eastern Market
Detroit street art in Eastern Market

Ohio

Disc jockey Alan Freed developed the term “rock and roll” to characterize a new form of music that he helped promote on the radio in Cleveland in the 1950s. The Rock Hall is a fantastic museum dedicated to rock music and its cultural impact around the world. Visit the West Side Market is located in Cleveland’s Ohio City area (now hipster central), is a food market that has been in operation for over 100 years. The market is also close to some fantastic eateries in Ohio City, as well as the Great Lakes Brewing Company.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a magnificent museum situated on the river in downtown Cincinnati that tells the tale of slavery in America. During the Civil War, Cincinnati was a major center for abolitionism and the Underground Railroad, and there are also displays here about more recent types of slavery. About a decade ago, Cincinnati’s mayor charged ArtWorks with creating a mural in each of the city’s 52 neighborhoods, and they are well on their way to accomplishing that goal and more. You can sign up for a mural walking tour or simply download a map of all the murals to explore on your own.

Known as “Everyone’s Favorite Place,” the hippie town of Yellow Springs is small but packs a wallop. It’s a colorful, diverse, and genuine place where everyone is welcome. Downtown Yellow Springs has fun and eclectic shops and restaurants, and just outside of town is Brandeberry Winery.

Brandeberry Winery in Yellow Springs
Brandeberry Winery in Yellow Springs

Wisconsin

In Milwaukee, there’s no shortage of beer, and there’s no shortage of exciting brewery tours. The one at Lakefront Brewery is the most popular, and it’s recognized for being quite humorous. The art museum in Milwaukee is a work of art in and of itself. This skyscraper, designed by Santiago Calatrava for his first American contract, is one you’ll want to visit both inside and out. Milwaukee is home to a number of interesting museums, but the Harley-Davidson Museum stands out since it is the only one of its kind in the world.

Fun exhibits at the Harley-Davidson Museum
Fun exhibits at the Harley-Davidson Museum

Final Thoughts On Visiting The Midwest

There you have them, the best places to visit in the Midwest. Let us know what you think of the places we’ve listed and if there’s a particular place we missed, let us know what it is in the comments below.

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These are the best places to visit in the Midwest! We list lots of great cities along with things to see and do.