Above all, it is the Americans themselves who often do not do justice to their Midwest. They do not consider it to be very exciting in order not to have to use the word boring.
Dramatic landscapes, charismatic cities – if you only use the Grand Canyon and New York for comparison, it may not be easy in the “Midwest”. Fascinating landscapes with a high recreational value, interesting cities with real Americans and many tourist gems await everyone else, which not every USA traveler has (yet) seen.
First a little statistics and history
The Midwest region includes twelve states, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin are listed alphabetically. Occasionally you will find lists in which one or the other state is missing or another state is added; this then takes place under specific historical or geographical aspects that are irrelevant here. In order to be able to properly classify the term “West”, a brief look back at history is necessary. The USA was settled by the Europeans starting from the east coast. In the 19th century it slowly became too narrow there and the settlers spread to the west. To delimit both the east coast and the geographical west coast, which at that time was still largely in the hands of the indigenous people and was traded as “Frontier” or “Wild West”, the new states were summarized under the term “Midwest” or the Midwest. By the way, the German name may actually have been used often. To this day, by far the greatest number of German-Americans in the entire United States live in the Midwest. The most important cities in the region are Cleveland, Detroit and of course Chicago. To this day it is the third largest city in the USA.
When the white lilac blooms again…
Chicago is also an important keyword when it comes to tourist highlights in the Midwest. The metropolis is the ideal starting point for a trip to the Great Lakes, a lake district, including Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and Lake Ontario (Lake Ontario) belong. These important freshwater lakes are not only of outstanding importance for the water supply in the USA, they are also a recreational paradise. There is probably no water sport that cannot be practiced here. From the Great Lakes you can also wonderfully get to know southern parts of Canada or cruise out onto the Mississippi via the Illinois Waterway. In total, the Great Lakes have a good 6000 kilometers of coastline. Beaches, dunes,
A very special gem is the small island of Mackinac Island. At least that applies to everyone who loves lilacs. The island in Lake Huron is car-free and hosts a romantic flower festival every year in early summer, where dozens and dozen of different types of lilac are presented. Admittedly special – but beautiful!
By car or mobile home through an authentic America
It’s not just summer that is the “right” time for the Midwest. The region is so large and diverse that it can actually be called a year-round destination. Along the border with Canada, travelers will find peace and quiet and the right ambience for an active holiday. Hiking there (checklist for a hiking holiday in the USA) or fishing, to name just two examples, is particularly attractive in autumn. Because just like their famous colleagues on the east coast, the forests of the Midwest regularly turn into a splendid “ Indian Summer ”.
You can travel to the Midwest by automobile all year round. A mobile home is just as suitable for this as a normal car; it only depends on personal preferences. You will experience wide streets, dust and pioneering romance, including on famous roads such as Highway Number one or Route 66. It goes past kilometers of fields and huge farms, because the Midwest is also the granary or bread basket of the USA. You will come through industrialized cities that have mastered the structural change of the last decades sometimes more, sometimes less well.
It doesn’t work without Mount Rushmore
Last but not least, a trip through the Midwest promises to meet “real”, authentic Americans who live their everyday lives apart from mass tourism à la Disneyland. Time and again these people are said to have great hospitality and warmth. Incidentally, there is still space here for the natives of the continent; there are various Indian reservations in the Midwest.
A tourist highlight that no traveler can avoid is Mount Rushmore. Four presidents have been set in stone in South Dakota. The faces of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt are each 18 meters high and look at their visitors from a distance of almost 1,800 meters. The monument was inaugurated in 1925 and has around two million visitors annually.