Midwest U.S.

Welcome to the Ultimate Midwest United States Travel Guide!

This region consists of these states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The Midwest United States is known as “America’s Heartland” because of its critical role in the manufacturing and farming sectors. Fun Fact: more than one-quarter of the U.S. presidents are from the Midwest.

This region is known for the Great Lakes, Mount Rushmore, Chicago, and the filming site for the movie Field of Dreams.

Whatever kind of adventure you want to have here, this guide has everything you need for planning a trip!

Ready to plan your trip? Then here’s your ultimate Midwest United States travel guide!

Top Cities to Visit

Chicago, Illinois

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Kansas City, Kansas

Indianapolis, Indiana

Mackinaw City, Michigan

Madison, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Saint Louis, Missouri

When To Go


Fall is a fantastic season to visit the Midwest because the temperatures have cooled off, but the days are still long and sunny. The foliage will be changing colors, and the national parks are still fully open. Plus, prices and tourist numbers will be decreasing from the peak summer season.

You’ll want layers for the mornings and evenings, and in late-October and November, you’ll need warmer layers for the whole day.

In October, Chicago celebrates its version of Oktoberfest, so make sure you time your trip from some beer tasting!


Prepare yourself because Winter in the Midwest can be bitterly cold. But the region can also be stunning. You’ll have your pick of ski resorts and snow-blanketed cities. The Lake Superior sea caves turn into ice caves, and Chicago’s famous Christkindlmarket will be open in December.

Many National Parks have partial closing during these months due to weather conditions. So if there’s a specific trek or road trip you want to take, make sure the trails or roads will be accessible in Winter.


Spring sees the return of mild weather, sunny days, and the region’s famous wildflowers. Roads and trails will re-open, and as long as you avoid the peak Spring Break weeks from mid-March to early April, the crowds and prices will still be relatively low.

The weather can still be cold in the evenings and mornings in March and early April, so make sure you have layers.


Summer days are hot and sunny, and the nights are warm enough to camp out under the stars at the National parks.

But be aware that, like most places in the U.S., summer is the peak travel season because of school breaks, so crowds and prices will be at their highest.

Chicago ranks as one of my Best Destinations To Visit In August!

Best National & State Parks to Visit

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Custer State Park, South Dakota

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Gateway Arch National Park, Missouri

Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

Indiana Dunes State Park, Indiana

Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota


The Most Scenic Drives

Lake Michigan Shoreline

Needles Highway in South Dakota

Onekama to Empire and the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan

US 2 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

US 61 Winona to Red Wing in Minnesota

Wildlife Loop Road in South Dakota

Wisconsin Great River Road

My Must-Have Guide Books

Must-Do Excursions

See Mount Rushmore

Tour The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio

Paddle or sail on at least one of the Great Lakes

Do a brewery tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Drive across the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan

See where Field of Dreams was filmed in Dubuque County, Iowa

Spend at least a weekend in Chicago

Tour the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio


Shop My Travel Essentials


Local Foods To Try

Cheese Curds


Deep-Dish Pizza


Fish Fry

Reuben Sandwich

Polish Boy

Frozen Custard

Hot Dog

Sugar cream pie

Fat Rice

Beer cheese soup

Have you been to this region? Comment below with anything you’d add to this Midwest United States travel guide!

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This travel guide is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Some of the links in this guide are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.


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