12 Beautiful Midwest States (with Map & Photos)

Midwestern United States

Much of the Midwest States, bordered by the Great Lakes and Canada to the north, the Appalachians to the east, and the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains to the west, is characterized by endless plains and farmland, with hills, prairies and forests, at times intermittent monotony. Despite this Midwest image, there is actually quite a lot of geographic diversity here: the beautiful sand dunes in Indiana, the illumination in Missouri, and Minnesota and Michigan, home to thousands of iridescent lakes.

Far from majestic natural attractions and incredible wildlife, the Midwestern states boast some major cities, including Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit. This region is also known as the "Country of America's Hearts" thanks to all the manufacturing and agriculture that takes place here. In addition to this, it also showcases a proud Native American heritage, with many significant historical, cultural, and spiritual attractions dotted around the many states of the Midwest.

Illinois


Midwest States
Illinois

Bordered by Lake Michigan in the northeastern state, Illinois is mostly made up of endless farmland, where only river valleys, hills, and forests break the monotony in the south. It is here that you will find the beautiful Shawnee National Forest and the fascinating Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

Illinois' main attraction is the cosmopolitan city of Chicago, which is the third largest in the country and the most important and influential city in the Midwestern States. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is blessed with a majestic skyline. Hidden among fantastic architecture, you will discover world-class museums, iconic landmarks and vibrant surroundings - with many sandy beaches.

While Chicago undoubtedly dominates most tourist itineraries, it is worth taking the risk further. The charming city of Galena on the banks of the Mississippi River is full of historical sites, and the state capital, Springfield, is home to many monuments and museums associated with Abraham Lincoln, his most famous son.

Indiana


Midwestern United States
Indiana

Even though Indiana is known as the "Crossroads of America" ​​because of all the interstates that pass through it, Indiana is much more than just a fly-by state. It boasts a lot of scenic countryside and farmland, and several large cities and vibrant college campuses are scattered here and there.

One of its most popular attractions is the delightful Indiana Dunes National Park, located on the shores of Lake Michigan. It boasts a lot of great outdoor activities, especially hiking, horse riding and bird watching, while the beautiful lake is great for both swimming and sailing.

In addition to Indianapolis, the state's largest and most important city, Indiana is also home to the fun and friendly college towns of Bloomington, Evansville and Terre Howte. George Rogers Clark National Historic Park and its marvelous murals and monuments are also popular.

Iowa


Midwest States
Iowa

Mainly composed of countryside and farmland stretching as far as the eye can see, Iowa is bordered to the west and east by the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, with most of its major cities based on the banks of one river or another.

Des Moines, the state capital and largest city, lies on the river of the same name. The Capitol Building is one of Iowa's most popular landmarks, with its thriving art and culture. Plus, the college towns of Cedar Falls and Iowa City are fun and festive places to visit with youth and energy.

Away from built-up areas, the state also boasts Iowa's Great Lakes. Here you can go swimming, boating or kayaking along the scenic waterways. The Amana Colonies are seven historic villages that preserve fine German heritage, and the Lewis and Clarke National Historical Trail offers interesting history and culture.

Kansas


Midwestern United States
Kansas

Known as the "state of sunflowers" because of its endless fields of brightly colored flowers, Kansas actually lies right in the geographic center of the United States. Although Kansas is often overlooked by visitors to this region, it has a lot to offer in addition to scenic farmland and countryside.

While Wichita is the largest city in the state, Dodge City and Lawrence are much more fun to visit. The former is a historic old cattle town, while the latter is home to some of the best art, bar and music scenes in the Midwest States aside from Chicago.

Plus, Kansas is a great place to visit if you're interested in learning more about the American West. Many cities that you will come across have historic old buildings and monuments dedicated to this part of the country's history, with interesting information and exhibitions about the Lewis and Clark expedition found in the Frontier Army Museum.

Michigan


Midwestern States
Michigan

Michigan, located in the heart of the Great Lakes region on the border with Canada, is a stunningly beautiful place to explore, with over 12,000 inland lakes, endless forests, beaches and rivers, and more coastline than any other state except Alaska...

Made up of two large peninsulas, each bordered by water on three sides, Michigan is blessed with beautiful scenery. Michigan has many interesting outdoor activities: swimming, sailing, lake fishing - all of which are popular with locals and tourists alike. Places such as Isle Royale National Park and Sleeping Bead Dunes National Lakeshore are fantastic for hiking and camping and skiing and snowboarding in winter.

Besides a wealth of wonderful natural attractions, Michigan is also home to some interesting cities, with Detroit by far the largest. Ann Arbor is also worth a visit for its vibrant cultural and artistic scene, as is Saugatuk Douglas, a trendy seaside resort town.

Minnesota


Midwestern States
Minessota

Although it is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", it is actually sold for shorter Minnesota, as it surprisingly has twice the peppercorn around the state, with beautiful forests and lovely wilderness tossed in good standing.

Located on the Canadian border and home to the northernmost point of the mainland, Minnesota is renowned for its friendliness and hospitality, and cities and towns such as Minneapolis, St. Paul and Rochester are home to a diverse multicultural population.

While Minnesota's cities are a pleasure to visit, Minnesota's majestic wildlife is what most people come to this city for. Some of the most impressive natural attractions include the canoe area with border waters, Itasca State Park and Voyageurs National Park; each has great opportunities for kayaking, hiking, camping and swimming.

Missouri


Midwest States
Missouri

Due to its proximity to the Great Plains and the southern states, Missouri has several different sides, although economically and culturally it is closest to other states in the Midwest.

Since tourists rarely visit it, Missouri is off the beaten path, with a lot of hidden treasures to discover. For example, hiking, horse riding, and canoeing are all great outdoor activities to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Ozarks, and the Mark Twain National Forest is fantastic worth exploring.

While its varied landscapes, rivers and scenic countryside are delightful to travel around, Missouri also has some great cities for you to visit. Kansas City has a lot of great barbecue and blues music, while St. Louis boasts many interesting historical and cultural attractions; its iconic Gateway Arch is just one of the must-see attractions.

Nebraska


Midwestern United States
Nebraska

With wide open plains and endless skies stretching out to the eye, Nebraska has something oddly beautiful and alluring about endless farms and ranches, although many people miss it when traveling through the Midwestern States.

However, that would be a mistake, as the sparsely populated state is also home to incredible natural attractions such as the Sandy Hills - the largest group of dunes in America - and the magnificent Pine Ridge, which is forested and teeming with many jagged butts.

In addition to this, you can always take a kayak along the Niobrara River to the many art galleries and museums in Omaha, the state's largest city, or hike along the Oregon Scenic Trail.

North Dakota


Midwestern United States
North Dakota

Located in the country's north-central region, North Dakota borders Canada, and its sparsely populated countryside is dotted with rolling hills, sparkling lakes, ominous wastelands and endless plains.

This is a nature lover's dream, and there are many great outdoor activities to enjoy, with horse riding, hiking and cycling among the most popular. In winter, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling is also possible, and some of the most beautiful scenery can be seen in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Popular gateways to North Dakota's beautiful wildlife are Bismarck, the state capital, and Devil's Lake, which is within easy reach of many beautiful waterways. In addition, the state boasts a proud Native American heritage, with important historical, spiritual and sacred sites scattered around its many magnificent landscapes.

Ohio


Midwestern States
Ohio

Due to its prime location in the middle of the most populous areas of the United States, a delightful mix of cities and towns, picturesque farmlands and powerful industry, Ohio has aptly and charmingly earned the nickname "The Heart of It All."

The staff really has it all; Explore the bustling cities of Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati one minute, the charming Lake Erie Islands towns, villages and wineries the next, and camp in one of its fantastic state parks at the end of the day.

Ohio is shrouded in glorious natural surroundings that include sparkling Lake Erie in the north and the rolling foothills of both the Allegheny and Appalachian Mountains in the southeast. With the beautiful Quyahoga Valley National Park and the wonderful Wayne National Forest, Ohio really has something for everyone.

South Dakota


Midwestern United States
South Dakota

While South Dakota is primarily known for hosting the impressive Mount Rushmore National Memorial, there are actually many more interesting natural and cultural attractions in the state to visit.

Some of its top attractions are the Wasteland National Park and the Black Hills National Forest in the west of the state. Here you can see rugged, wild landscapes full of forests, rocky formations and mountains, with border towns and Native American reservations dotted around. Jewel Cave National Monument, the third longest cave in the world, and Wind Cave National Park make up the other most popular natural attractions.

Far from the stunning scenery and the wide range of outdoor activities these landscapes provide, South Dakota is full of history and sports, a proud cultural heritage in the form of famous characters such as Lewis and Clark, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Its cities are also noteworthy: Sioux Falls, Custer and Rapid City are all home to monuments, memorials and museums documenting the state's rich past.

Wisconsin


Midwestern States
Wisconsin

Bordered by Lake Michigan to the east and Lake Superior to the north, Wisconsin respectively means "meeting the waters." Wisconsin's two long, scenic coastlines are carved with beautiful beaches, forests and cities with plenty of great water sports to do.

In fact, you can find thousands of inland lakes and waterways throughout the state. Two of the most popular destinations for vacationers are Wisconsin Dells, which has plenty of family fun and water parks for you, and Door County, which boasts many fantastic beaches, fascinating historical sites and culturally vibrant cities.

While Wisconsin's main attraction is undoubtedly the great outdoor walk and scenic lakes, it is also home to some fantastic cities such as Milwaukee and Madison. The former is known for its many festivals and microbreweries, while the latter is known for its vibrant university town nestled in a breathtaking location between two lakes.