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Because you can't spend all day every day journeying around IgoUgo, editors round up the highlights: members' notable trips, newest reviews, favorite destinations, contests, and more. Have a question or idea? Let us know!

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The Great American Road Trip Week 5: The Midwest

The Great American Road Trip Week 5: The Midwest Photo

Photo by LorenGul

Posted on July 16, 2012 in Trip Ideas

Farmland to freeways, architecture and agriculture. The Midwest represents the blue-collar types that fuel America's industry. With beautiful lakes and rolling plains, we bound into the Midwest to embrace the locals and their 'funny accents'. The laid-back banks of Big Muddy provided some shade from the heatwave, and we took in all the sights to see from Chicago to St. Louis. In a place many call home (myself included) its hard to pack up and hit the road again, but a new adventure always awaits past the next corn field!


With death-defying heights at Cedar Point, and calming waves at Lake Erie, The Buckeye State offered  the perfect combination of excitement and downtime. After we took in some of the world's highest roller coasters, the serenity at Glen Helen Nature Preserve was the right choice to doze off after an afternoon picnic.

Glen Helen Nature Preserve Cedar Point

   Photo by Virago Vagabond                                                                                    Photo by Howdymike

What better to do at The Great Lakes State than to cruise the Great Lakes? From the border to the UP (that stands for the Upper Peninsula) boating, kayaking, and canoeing were on our minds. And what is better to sooth muscles that are sore from rowing with some libations at one of Michigan's many wineries?

The UP Willows Winery

   Photo by Vanilla Sugar                                                                                            Photo by goblue01

Fun fact: A hoosier is simply an inhabitant of Indiana. So although The Hoosier State might be a bit redundant, we were anything but baffled at the natural beauty of the cave systems that dot this part of the country. And we weren't sick of driving just yet- we buckled up, threw it in top gear, and did some laps at the Indy 500.

Indy 500 Winners Dripstone Cave

   Photo by RoBoNC                                                                                                  Photo by neshie

The Prarie State, the Land of Lincoln; call Illinois what you like, we called it a good time. Chicago offers as many sights and sounds as any other city in the world- the Bean in Millennium Park is a member favorite. And one of the great American presidents- Abe Lincoln- lived in Springfield; you can still tour his home today.

The Chicago Bean Lincoln's Home

   Photo by Owen Lipsett                                                                                           Photo by RoBoNC

A gem of the Midwest, Wisconsin might conjure images of cheese (it is America's Dairyland, after all) and beer (see below), and while these things are great and dandy, the state offers up plenty of natural beauty. With the nautical nature of Milwaukee, the outdoorsy northwoods, and the quaint serenity of Door County, The Badger State is a favorite among many tourists.

Wisconsin Cows Beer Delivery Truck

   Photo by jhartmann13                                                                                               Photo by MilwVon

Since we were on a watery kick, it only makes sense that our next stop was Minnesota (plus, the highway led us there). Often called the land of 10,000 lakes, The North Star State sent us into a frenzy with its fishing and floating (if you don't know what this is, get a floatie and just sit out in the middle of a lake). Add some great art in Minneapolis and you'll never want to leave.

Land of 10000 Lakes Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

   Photo by melissabowman                                                                                       Photo by travellingdave

The farmland just keeps on rolling into The Hawkeye State. With fields and fields aplenty, corn and soybeans stretch as far as the eye can see. The Amana Colonies showed us a whole new life in America, and while we are on the subject, there is nothing more American than baseball (we hear if you build it, they will come).

Amana Granary Rural Iowa

   Photo by btwood2                                                                                                  Photo by RoBoNC

The last stop this week was the Gateway to the West. The Show Me State showed us the history of the western half of the United States. Manifest Destiny rang in our ears as we rode up the infamous Gateway Arch (do not attempt if you are claustrophobic or acrophobic) and we had to take a ride on the steamboats that cruise along the Mississippi River.

Big Muddy Riverboat Gateway Arch

   Photo by smallplasticman                                                                                         Photo by VA_Traveler

Previously on Road Trip: The South
Nest week on Road Trip: The Great Plains

Posted by jhartmann13 (JJ Hartmann)


Comment by MilwVon on July 17, 2012

LOVE the Midwest!

I especially like JH's photo of the cows, proving that they cannot look away from a camera . . . a theory I have had now for several months.


Comment by jhartmann13 on July 17, 2012

They surely know how to give face!

Comment by pankaj kumar on July 19, 2012

nice one

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