Summertime is frequently 'vacation time'. After a year of travel restrictions, many are looking forward to taking trips this year. Because of some restrictions still in place and due to limited resources and high gas and motel prices, most people are deciding to stick close to home for their vacations and/or staycations (visiting local attractions without much travel).
For those living in the Midwest, there are a wide variety of simple, easy-to-reach, and fairly inexpensive places to see and things to do. A few which have been visited by contributors to ReviewThisReviews are listed here, along with reviews and recommendations.
The American Midwest
The Midwest (or American Midwest or The Midwestern United States) consists of 12 states in the north central United States. The states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Several of our Review This contributors live within this area and have visited, written about and reviewed local attractions. If you cannot travel to some of them in person right now, taking a virtual tour via these travelogues would be a fun way to decide on your next trip.
Mary Beth Granger (mbgphoto) loves to visit and photograph local areas in her Midwestern state of Missouri. She lives in Eastern Missouri, so the St. Louis area offers her many easy-to-reach places to visit. She frequently takes day trips with camera in hand to document her visits. Among some of her recommended places to visit are:
St. Louis Arch
|Image Credit: mbgphoto|
Known as the "Gateway to the West", the St. Louis Arch was built as a monument to the 'Westward Expansion of the United States".
Mary Beth Granger gives us a wonderful overview of this historic monument in her article Explore St Louis-The Gateway Arch.
*Note: The St. Louis Arch is located in Gateway Arch National Park on the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Cost to ride to the top of the arch is $3.00 for visitors 16 and up and free for children 15 and under.
St. Louis Union Station and the St. Louis Wheel
|Photo Credit: mgbphoto|
While you are still in downtown St. Louis, you might enjoy checking out the St. Louis Union Station and enjoying a ride on the new St. Louis Wheel. The Wheel opened on September 30th, 2019 to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Union Station. The Wheel is a 200 foot high observation wheel with 42 fully enclosed and climate controlled gondolas that each seat 6 adults. The 15-minute ride includes 3-4 rotations high above the St. Louis skyline.
Read all about it in Mary Beth Granger's Review of New Wheel at St. Louis Union Station.
*NOTE: Union Station is located at 201 S 18th St. St. Louis, MO. Cost of tickets to ride the Wheel is $15 for adults and $10 for children.
In addition to the New Wheel, the St. Louis Union Station (a former train station for the area) also boasts a total of 7 other attractions, including the St. Louis Aquarium. It also has a hotel and a variety of restaurants. Check out the St. Louis Union Station attractions here.
Forest Park in St. Louis
|Forest Park St. Louis - Photo by mbgphoto|
Forest Park located just west of the city of St. Louis is a large public park with numerous attractions. Among the things to see and do is the St. Louis Zoo, The Art Museum and the Science Center. Many other attractions are also available in this amazing park. Mary Beth Granger describes the many delights of Forest Park in her article Visit Missouri-Explore St Louis- Forest Park and the Jewel Box
*NOTE: Forest Park is Located at 5595 Grand Dr, St. Louis, MO 63112. Open daily until 10 pm, many of the attractions are free. The St. Louis Zoo does have some special attractions with ticket prices, but the zoo itself is free. There is a nominal parking fee per vehicle.
The above St. Louis, MO attractions are just a few of places to visit in Missouri. For a review of several other fun places to see, such as Defiance (home of Daniel Boone) and the Missouri Covered Bridges, click on the MISSOURI search in ReviewThisReviews.
|Cedar Bridge in Madison County - mgbphoto|
Madison County, Iowa is famous for its covered bridges. Mary Beth Granger visited there a few years ago and wrote all about the famous 'Bridges of Madison County' and the John Wayne Museum located in Winterset, Iowa, the county seat of Madison County. Read her Review of a Visit to Madison County Iowa.
*NOTE: The John Wayne Museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM and the admission price is $15. It is located at 205 S John Wayne Drive, Winterset, IA.
Field of Dreams - Dyersville, Iowa
The movie Field of Dreams was filmed at the old Lansing Family Farm in Dyersville, Iowa. Afterwards, the field was kept by the property owners and turned into a tourist attraction. People have been coming to visit here for over 32 years and its popularity continues.
Read Wednesday Elf's review of this iconic Midwest movie location (Field of Dreams Travel Review) written after a day trip with family.
For any baseball fan, or anyone who has ever had a dream, the Field of Dreams baseball field is a delightful place to visit.
This summer (August 2021) the Field of Dreams Movie Site will host a regular season Major League Baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. The Legend of 'Shoeless Joe' continues.
“Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa”
*NOTE: The Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa is free to visit. It is located in Dyersville, Iowa, 30 minutes west of Dubuque and two and a half hours from Des Moines.
Minnesota and Michigan Lighthouse B&Bs
|Big Bay Lighthouse by mbgphoto|
For an unusual overnight stay, you can be a Lighthouse Keeper. Here are two of the lighthouses in the Midwest which are available for overnight stays.
- Big Bay Lighthouse in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
- Two Harbors Minnesota
Read You Too Can Be a Lighthouse Keeper for interesting details about Lighthouse B&Bs.
*NOTE: TWO HARBORS LIGHTHOUSE - MINNESOTA: Self guided tours include the lighthouse tower, the Assistant Keeper's house, a Pilot House and the Fog Signal building. The Keeper's Quarters is open year round as the Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast.
Located on Lake Superior, this quirky bed-and-breakfast sits in the oldest operational lighthouse in Minnesota, a 19th-century redbrick building that once housed the lighthouse keeper's quarters. It is less than a mile from downtown Two Harbors and 28.2 miles from Duluth. Check the Two Harbors Website for price details.
BIG BAY LIGHTHOUSE. Located at 4674 Co Rd KCB, Big Bay, MI in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Lake Superior, approximately 24 miles northwest of Marquette, the Big Bay Point Light stands on a tall bluff over a rocky point near Big Bay, Michigan. Today it is the only operational lighthouse with a bed and breakfast. It is reputed to be haunted. Send them an email @ email@example.com for information.
For the summer sports fan, there are quite a few Midwestern locations of Major League Baseball Fields to visit for a game, including the Chicago Cubs, who play at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. and the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Plus, the Minnesota Twins located in the Twin cities and the Milwaukee Brewers in Wisconsin.
|Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa - (Wikipedia)|
Or you could attend a Minor League baseball game at Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa and watch the Quad City River Bandits, currently a minor league baseball team for the Kansas City Royals.
*NOTE: Woodmen Park is located on the Mississippi River in downtown Davenport, Iowa at 209 S Gaines St, Davenport, IA. Click here for game dates and ticket prices.
These are just a few of the many vacation spots and attractions available to visit on a Midwest Vacation.
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