1. 1. Des Moines
There’s A LOT more to Iowa than corn and farm land. Des Moines in particular has some seriously cool stuff. They have the annual Des Moines Art Festival which features live performances, great food and the Interrobang Film Festival. But the BEST part about Des Moines? The Iowa State Fair. THEY HAVE A SKI LIFT…and thousands of other things to do. 10 days just might not be enough time to see it all. Add it to your list. It won’t disappoint.
2. 2. St. Louis
There’s hundreds of reasons why you should visit St. Louis but I’m going to tell you about one… THE CLYDESDALE HORSES. Remember them? They probably made you cry during their infamous Budweiser commercials during last year’s Super Bowl. They make a home at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis where you can also take a tram to see antelope, deer, bison and get some stellar beer. Oh did I mention it’s free? Yep. Admission and beer are free. See you there.
3. 3. Indianapolis
There’s one important thing you need to cover before anything else and that’s Cafe Patachou. Food unlike any other. Absolutely supreme omelettes and sandwiches. Not to mention salads and their HOT CHOCOLATE for the love of God. But it’s also important to mention the fantastic areas that Indy has to offer. There’s the Mass Ave Arts District, the Cultural Fountain Square, and of course downtown where Super Bowl XLVI was held. It’s the crossroads of America, baby!
4. 4. Louisville
Two words: FOURTH STREET. If you manage to see nothing else that Louisville has to offer, Fourth Street is worth your time. An entire area near all the fabulous restaurants, bars, stores, and museums. One unique museum you need to see? The Louisville Slugger Museum. Because who doesn’t want to witness baseball bats being made?
5. 5. Cleveland
The birthplace of rock n’ roll is certainly worth a visit. Cleveland is, of course, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With souvenirs and walls filled with history…you’ll find yourself entranced by the information presented. Afterwards, check out the infamous Michael Symon restaurants. This James Beard Award winning chef sure delivers on taste and experience. Not convinced? The “A Christmas Story” house is in Cleveland. Book your flight.
6. 6. Omaha
First and foremost, they have a conference that’s referred to as the “South by Southwest before it was big.” It’s called Big Omaha and it features innovation and entrepreneurship for all. Also, I can’t NOT mention that the College World Series is held in Omaha every year. If that isn’t enough for you, check out Henry Doorly Zoo. Home of the world’s largest indoor desert, one of the largest indoor rainforests, and one of the largest nocturnal exhibits. And that doesn’t even begin to cover it all.
7. 7. Madison
Home of the great University of Wisconsin, Madison is absolutely beautiful. One of the most beautiful campuses in the midwest, UW is something to peek at. From there, head to the grab some food and make your way to the Concerts on the Square. Put on by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, it’s been called a “great evening for all ages.” Still wanting to explore? Check out the Madison nightlife. It’s impressive to say the least.
8. 8. Mackinac Island
On the upper peninsula of Michigan, Mackinac Island is a MUST on your bucket list. Mackinac has so much …namely the Grand Hotel. The Grand Hotel of Mackinac is the world’s largest summer hotel. No cars, with the exception of emergency vehicles, are allowed on the island. Take the ferry to the island in the morning, rent some bikes, and explore. The whole island is only 8.3 miles. Stop along the way and enjoy some fudge, a favorite of the island.
9. 9. Springfield
Um, hello Abraham Lincoln’s home. Get your history fix in Springfield by seeing this famous home while also enjoying the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Everything you ever wanted to know about Lincoln right at the tip of your fingers. Reflect on the knowledge and your trip in the Lincoln Memorial Garden afterwards. A great place for all ages.
10. 10. Cincinnati
When I think of Cincinnati, two words immediately come to mind: Jungle Jim’s. This diverse grocery store has more than 150,000 types of items for sale. Not to mention the cooking classes, automated animals that talk to customers as they pass, and the 1,400 different hot sauce options. Need more food? Cincinnati is known for it’s chili- it’s home of Skyline Chili! Cinci is also home to the FIRST EVER professional baseball team; the Reds. And the stadium? It’s right on the river. If nothing else, try to make it to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. That’s one celebration you don’t want to miss.