Driving to the American Heartland: A Midwestern Road Trip

By on Nov 28, 2013
Driving to the American Heartland: A Midwestern Road Trip

The best way to get to know the true west is to go directly to its heart. A Midwestern road trip is just the thing for that.

A Midwestern road trip into the American heartland is one of the best road trips you can take in the United States. This route will take you through a total of nine states, several major cities, and a lot of breathtaking sceneries and national attractions. That’s why this is a famous route for those who wish to take the great all-American vacation and is especially recommended for families.

What makes this road trip even more interesting is that you will truly be immersed in the famous culture of the American Midwest. And since sports factors heavily into the Midwestern culture, try to catch a game before your trip ends.


The classic Midwestern road trip starts in Chicago, which currently houses several world-class buildings. Dubbed as the original home of the skyscraper, Chicago still boasts of the tallest tower in the US – the Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower. But more popular, especially among sports lovers, is the historical Wrigley Field.


To take you around the Midwest, drive to Missouri from Chicago. An important stop during your American heartland road trip is St. Louis, which houses the popular Gateway Arch and the equally famous Bush Stadium, where you can also catch a Cardinal game.

Kansas City

From St. Louis, drive across Missouri until you cross the border into Kansas, where you should definitely stop for some of the city’s famous BBQs.


Driving upwards, you will find yourself in Nebraska. Most of the attractions in this state can be found in Omaha; these include the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, the Chimney Rock National Historic Site, and Lake McConaughy. And don’t forget to take a photo with the Nebraska State Capitol in the background.

South Dakota

You will also pass by South Dakota, where you should, of course, try to take a detour to see the Mount Rushmore. Other famous attractions in the state include Rapid City, which is a good place to spend the night, Falls Park, Adams Museum, Storybook Land, where you can meet Dorothy, Toto, and the good ol’ animals in Old McDonald’s Farm, and of course the Dacotah Prairie Museum.

North Dakota

After conquering South Dakota, move on to its northern counterpart. Make sure to stop by the Fort Mandan Overlook State Historic Site, Sully Creek State Park, Dory’s Antique Car Museum, or the Gardendweller’s Farm, a family favorite where you can actually get lost in an amazing giant corn maze.


From Michigan you can drive to Minnesota on an unspoiled lakeshore country road. Minnesota is also best known for its breathtaking number of lakes, so expect to pass through a lot of them along the way. In Minnesota’s northern part, near the International Falls town, you will also find the Voyageurs National Park, which was established to commemorate the voyageurs or the French-Canadian fur traders who became the first European visitors in the area. There you can stop for a while for some kayaking and canoeing adventures.


Drive through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where the lush greenery will definitely soothe your tired nerves and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore will leave you amazed with all its rock formations, natural archways, sand dunes, and waterfalls. And of course, there’s the Lake Michigan, whose southern shore will give you a glimpse of the interesting Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.


Driving southwards, you will finally enter Wisconsin for the final leg of your journey. For some sightseeing, check out the Lake Geneva, where they have expansive golf courses, and the Wisconsin Dells along the river.

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