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Travel Spotlights: Midwest Region

Friendly locals welcome you to the USA’s heartland, where beautiful lakes and sparkling rivers weave through vibrant cities and charming towns. Discover the appeal of classic Americana in the Midwest.

Waterfall at Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois
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A true world-class city, Chicago is a global creative center for architecture, culture, entertainment, shopping and dining with international appeal. Visit classic Chicago spots like Skydeck Chicago, Navy Pier, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, Millennium Park and of course try some deep-dish pizza.


The state’s capital city welcomes travelers driving the legendary Route 66 with creature comforts and classic americana institutions. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Old State Capitol and Route 66 Motorheads Museum are sure to excite history-buffs.


This small town is sure to surprise with a historic downtown district surrounded by nature near the Mississippi River. Take a trolley through the charming river town to cute vineyards, beautiful river overlooks and Victorian mansions including the former residence of President Ulysses S. Grant.


Quirky and fun towns are found throughout the entire state. Drive roads less traveled to these unknown small treasures with big character. Stop into charming Casey to snap a picture with the world’s largest wind chime, rocking chair, golf tee, mailbox and many more!

Route 66

Starting in Chicago, “The Main Street of America” heads west and doesn’t stop until the Pacific Ocean. With over 480 kilometers in Illinois, stop at nostalgic eateries, quirky statues and historic stops. Discover small town gems in Joliet, Wilmington, Pontiac, Springfield, Livingston, Collinsville and more.

Great River Road

Follow the Mississippi River as it courses along the entire western border of Illinois. Pass through cute river towns, recreational areas, a UNESCO World Heritage site and cultural attractions. Alpine coasters, laid-back hiking trails and constant river views await.

Illinois Frank Lloyd Wright Trail

The famous American architect has a strong connection with Illinois, including starting his career in Oak Park, which houses the largest collection of Wright-designed buildings (including two UNESCO World Heritage sites). Visit 13 sites on the Illinois Frank Lloyd Wright Trail around the state.


Illinois celebrates you being you and you loving who you love. Enjoy popular restaurants, clubs, eateries and shops in LGBTQ+ neighborhoods like Northalsted, lovingly referred to as Boystown, and Andersonville on the northside of the city. Popular celebrations, including Pride and Northalsted Market Days.

Shawnee National Forest

Outdoor adventure is calling in southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest. Hike along unique rock formations to stunning lookouts in Garden of the Gods Wilderness or get your kayak or canoe in the waters for exploration of its waterways.

Starved Rock State Park

Just a short drive from Chicago, Starved Rock State Park offers trails through forests and sandstone canyons. Hike to waterfalls and fields blooming in every wildflower color in spring. Affordable hotels, modern cabins and historic lodges provide perfect accommodation options.

Outlook atop Sugarloaf Mountain in Marquette, Michigan
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Great Lakes, Great Times

Michigan is shaped by four of the five Great Lakes, blessing the nation’s longest freshwater coastline with sandy beaches, colorful cliffs and perfect blue waters. Many lakeside beach towns delight with bistros and breweries in quaint laid-back downtowns. Sunrises and sunsets are magical on both peninsulas.

Water Exploration

Beyond the Great Lakes, there are many aquatic adventures awaiting inland on thousands of lakes, rivers and streams. Paddle between lakes connected by creeks, go fly fishing in untouched wilderness, get a boat into beautiful bays or hike to dozens of waterfalls throughout the state.

Island Getaways

From pampering comforts to secluded sandy spots, Michigan’s islands provide diverse experiences for travelers. Explore historic forts, scenic overlooks and charming boutiques on the car-free Mackinac Island or set up a tent on hundreds of uninhabited islets or on the stunning Isle Royale National Park.

Stunning Lakeshores

Michigan’s shoreline is dotted with hundreds of local, state and federally recognized outdoor recreational areas. Paddle Lake Superior waters along the otherworldly sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore or take in the spectacular views from aboard a ferry.

Cultural Cities

Visitors enjoy the variety of culinary, cultural and music scenes found throughout the state. In Detroit, big-named acts fill stadiums, international talents pack performance halls and the nightlife is never ending in a city already teeming with world-class museums, local shops and an exciting dining scene.

Artsy Havens

Art isn’t contained only indoors in Michigan, it covers the state with public murals, sculptures, gardens and other colorful masterpieces. The world’s biggest contemporary art contest takes over Grand Rapids’ walkable downtown every year, while the nearby Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a can’t-miss art experience.

Outdoorsy Towns

Experience the best of Michigan in charming towns surrounded by open air adventures. Traverse City’s lively downtown is just the basecamp for outdoor activities in spots that include Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, untouched islands and the endless waterways of the Traverse Wine coast.

Enriching Metros

The always-curious love the historical institutions and art centers that continue to inspire visitors year after year. In Ann Arbor, visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, several University of Michigan affiliated museums and local galleries with everchanging displays.

Craft Beer & Wine

The state’s craft brew masters and award-winning winemakers are putting Michigan on the global map. Multiple cities and towns have made top beer and wine destination lists by multiple publications and by public vote. Come find your next favorite ale or varietal.

Only in Michigan Attractions

Experience sites and attractions only found here. Tour the Motown Museum in Detroit, a historic Dutch community in Holland, mystery spots of the Upper Peninsula, Edison’s laboratory in Dearborn or the 129 lighthouses found along its sparkling shores.

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Sunset at Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan
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Detroit, Michigan

An urban metropolis with natural getaways, Detroit boasts public parks, bike trails beaches and forests. Escape to Belle Isle, the city’s island retreat has its own golf course, yacht club, museum and aquarium. The sunset over the Motor City from its northern tip is magical. Learn more

Photo: Charles Falsetti

Comerica Park, home to the Detroit Tigers, in downtown Detroit
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Detroit, Michigan

Detroit’s always-growing downtown has entertainment options for everyone. The city’s professional sports teams play in stadiums adjacent to restaurants, bars and live music venues. Events take place often along the Detroit International RiverWalk, in Hart Plaza and at Aretha Franklin Amphitheater. Learn more

Photo: Charles Falsetti

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Big Red Lighthouse at Holland State Park in Michigan
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Holland, Michigan

An active town surrounded by stunning natural landscapes packed with outdoor fun. Holland State Park’s sandy beaches invite you to days well spent on Lake Michigan, while muti-use trails allows for biking, walking and strolling between top area spots. Learn more

Photo: Gene Paskiewicz

Windmill and tulip fields on Windmill Island Gardens in Holland, Michigan
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Holland, Michigan

Charm and the town’s Dutch heritage is found throughout the downtown and surrounding attractions. Nelis’ Dutch Village has kid-friendly rides while tours to Windmill Island Gardens is a must, especially when the tulips bloom in bright colors in spring. Learn more

Photo: Scott Meivogel

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Lookout at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Traverse City, Michigan
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Traverse City, Michigan

The Traverse City area is home to wonderful Michigan wilderness. Climb Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s sandy giants for unobstructed Lake Michigan views or rent a boat for time on Grand Traverse Bay to check out the eight historic lighthouses on its shore. Learn more

Photo: Traverse City Tourism

Friends enjoying a wine tasting in Traverse City, Michigan
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Traverse City, Michigan

Sharing the same latitude as the top wine growing regions in Europe has allowed the Traverse Wine Coast to grow to over 40 wineries producing award winning varieties. Local restaurants pair farm-to-table meals with regional wines to delight and surprise. Learn more

Photo: Traverse City Tourism

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Frankenmuth River Place Shops in Frankenmuth, Michigan
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Frankenmuth, Michigan

Welcome to Michigan’s Little Bavaria. Frankenmuth’s rich German heritage is on display with Bavarian architecture, culinary delights, and unique experiences. Events like the annual Oktoberfest and Bavarian Festival bring more enjoyment and fun to this already very active town. Learn more

Photo: Nick Irwin

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Friends at Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Grand Rapids, Michigan

The state’s second largest city has become well-known as a top beer destination. The walkable downtown is dotted with award-winning breweries next to public art, must-try restaurants, live music venues and greenspaces. Walk along the Grand River, which cuts through the city. Learn more

Photo: Experience Grand Rapids

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Hikers taking in the scenery atop Sugarloaf Mountain in Marquette, Michigan
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Marquette, Michigan

The Upper Peninsula’s largest city is a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts. Lake Superior supplies fun in all four seasons with sandy beaches and cooling waters. Inland, venture along trails through colorful forests with waterfalls, stunning lookouts and wildlife. The culinary scene downtown delights visitors. Learn more

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Biker watching a freight from Rotary Park in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
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Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

This quaint town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is meant to entertain and surprise. Watch massive freighters go through the Soo Locks, the marvel connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Bike along the St. Mary’s River and see if you can keep up with a passing freighter. Learn more


Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior in Two Harbors, Minnesota

North Shore All-American Scenic Drive

Journey 248 kilometers through spectacular natural scenery, quaint lakeside towns and eight state parks along Lake Superior from Duluth, near Wisconsin, to Grand Portage State Park on the Canadian border. Drive by outlooks, lighthouses, cliffs and beaches, with possible northern lights sightings at night.

Great River Road National Scenic Byway near Winona, Minnesota

Great River Road National Scenic Byway

Beginning at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park, follow the mighty waterway 910 kilometers through charming river towns like Red Wing, Wabasha and Winona, recreational areas and tribal lands. Stop at inviting restaurants, art galleries and scenic trails for hiking or biking.

Trail along red cliffs in Pipestone National Monument in Minnesota
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Pipestone National Monument

Minnesota’s explorable wilderness includes 75 state parks and recreation areas, plus nationally protected lands with diverse outdoor opportunities. Enjoy hikes around tallgrass prairies, red cliffs and a waterfall in Pipestone National Monument, then enjoy cultural demonstrations from several tribes which consider the land sacred.

A boat under the northern lights in Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota

Voyageurs National Park

Nestled up at the U.S.-Canadian border, explore the vast waterways of Voyageurs National Park by boat, kayak, canoe or paddleboard. Anglers love the premier fishing spots while hikers enjoy the scenic trails through the lush forests, turn snowshoe treks in winter.

Bikers on lakeside trail with Minneapolis skyline in background in Minnesota
Meet Minneapolis

Twin Cities

The largest metro in the state, the Twin Cities area is jam-packed with activities, cultural institutions and entertainment for perfect vacations. Between Minneapolis and St. Paul, catch year-round games of five professional sports teams, urban adventures on the Mississippi River and world-class culinary scenes.

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Hiker taking a break in a hammock at Nine Mile Creek in Bloomington, Minnesota
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Bloomington, Minnesota

Nature and recreation areas make up over one-third of Bloomington, providing access to outdoor activities in every season. Hike, canoe, kayak, snowshoe, ice skate or cross country ski through natural escapes like Hyland Lake Park Reserve and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Learn more

Photo: Doug Wallick

Inside Paisley Park, Prince’s private estate, near Bloomington, Minnesota
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Bloomington, Minnesota

A perfect basecamp for a Twin Cities vacation. Pick from over 45 hotels to recharge in, near Mall of America, MSP International Airport and Paisley Park, Prince’s former home and recording studio turned museum. Bloomington connects to Minneapolis and St. Paul by light rail. Learn more

Photo: Leslie Anderson

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Family at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota
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Mall of America® in Bloomington, Minnesota

The world-famous complex is calling all fashionistas. Mall of America has over 500 stores lining three floors with a fourth floor housing the movie theater, restaurants and event spaces. Pay no sales tax on clothing or shoes, adding even more savings to your shopping experience. Learn more

Photo: Mall of America

Visitors on an indoor rollercoaster at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota
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Mall of America® in Bloomington, Minnesota

Mall of America offers much more than just stores and boutiques, it’s an entertainment complex. Aside from the shops, 50 restaurants, plus exciting attractions like an aquarium, flight simulator, mini golf, and Nickelodeon Universe®, an indoor theme park with roller coasters. Learn more

Photo: Mall of America

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Beautiful day the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Minneapolis, Minnesota

Cosmopolitan entertainment and outdoor adventure mix perfectly in the state’s largest city. Catch a professional sporting game, try Michelin-nominated restaurants and visit top notch cultural institutions like the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Take a break in the many parks and riverfront greenspaces that provide tranquil escapes. Learn more

Photo: Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Spoonbridge and Cherry (1988)

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Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota
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St. Paul, Minnesota

The state’s capital city has natural spaces bursting with family-friendly activities. Get a kayak or canoe into the mighty Mississippi River from multiple riverside recreational areas. Como Regional Park houses a free zoo and conservatory, over a dozen theme park rides and beautiful Lake Como. Learn more


Dancers at Oneida Pow Wow in Wisconsin
Travel Wisconsin

Indigenous Heritage

Wisconsin is home to 11 federally recognized Tribal nations with thriving cultures. Travelers are invited to discover the beauty and history of Native Wisconsin at our museums and cultural centers. Come experience the Honor the Earth Homecoming events, Red Cliff Cultural Days, Oneida Nation Pow Wow, Apple Festival and more.

Kayaker in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin

Scenic Beauty

From sea caves to waterfalls and crystal-filled caverns to towering cliffs, Wisconsin is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders. Ready to be explored, these scenic spots are the ultimate backdrop to lasting memories, including some of the best hiking, biking and kayaking.

Visitors to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin
Travel Wisconsin

World Famous Architecture

The birthplace of Frank Lloyd Wright, who is widely regarded as America’s greatest architect, Wisconsin’s Frank Lloyd Wright Trail allows visitors to discover nine awe-inspiring structures including Taliesin and the Monona Terrace, all set against the state’s striking and diverse landscapes.

Whistling Straits Golf Course in Kohler, Wisconsin
Kohler Co.

A Top U.S. Golf Destination

There’s a reason why big golf events like the Ryder Cup and the U.S. Open keep coming to Wisconsin: for the golf experience of a lifetime. From Erin Hills to Whistling Straights to San Valley’s Mammoth Dunes course, each of Wisconsin’s courses has a distinct personality.

Artisan cheese vendor in Wisconsin
Travel Wisconsin

World-Class Championship Cheese

Just as wine lovers head to Napa Valley, cheese enthusiasts head to Wisconsin. Its long list of master cheesemakers are passionate about their goods and share them proudly. These cheesy delights pair well with farmers’ markets, restaurants featuring regional ingredients and farm-fresh breakfasts at local B&Bs.

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Kayakers on the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The state’s largest city provides wonderful urban water adventures by lake and river. Lake Michigan helped create a waterfront bursting with things to do with multi-use paths, public parks, beaches and world-class institutions. Kayak multiple rivers that run through downtown. Learn more

Photo: Nate Vomhof/Visit Milwaukee

Summerfest in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Don’t miss Milwaukee’s craft beer and culinary scenes, attend a professional baseball, basketball, ice hockey or soccer game, and experience one of the city’s many festivals. All of these, and much more, led to the city making National Geographic’s “Best of World” list for 2023. Learn more

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Outdoor concert along the Fox River in Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Green Bay, Wisconsin

Known for its legendary fanfare and love of the Green Bay Packers, what’s away from Lambeau Field will delight and surprise. The Fox River runs through the charming downtown, where waterfront restaurants, parks and music spaces light up along the Fox River Bike Trail. Learn more

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Outside the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee’s riverfront continues to grow with can’t-miss places to visit. At the Harley-Davidson Museum, experience one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations on a 20-acre, park-like campus. Exclusive merchandise and one-of-a-kind gear are available at two all-new stores, the Harley-Davidson® Shop and H-D Factory Shop. Learn more