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The 10 Most Underrated Destinations in the Midwest

Since departing Los Angeles a decade ago, I've lived in five Midwestern cities and visited nearly every inch of the terrain for business and pleasure. America's Heartland is wonderful to travel around, especially these locales.

by
Ari J. Kaufman

Bio

July 22, 2014 - 7:00 am
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cincy

10. Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati may be in the Buckeye State, but its southwestern corner placement often keeps the worst of brutal winters away and instead offers hills, history and much else. The Queen City is home to numerous universities and museums, baseball’s oldest team, great architecture, a vast riverfront overlooking the Kentucky Commonwealth and, of course, Skyline Chili. 

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I've lived in the Midwest most of my life. The places you mention have beltways around them. That isolates them from the Midwest. You missed all the really great places, except the North Shore. I won't tell you about those really great places, because Midwest folks don't want Coasties to move in and ruin them.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obamites: Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul. All these worlds are yours except the rest of the Midwest. Attempt no landing there.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Madison?

Berkeley on the Yahara?

You can keep it.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (78)
All Comments   (78)
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The danger of doing these localized lists of likes and dislikes is that you cannot win from an audience-building perspective.

Most people who are not local to a choice will say "eh, okay, we'll try it sometime", and their opinion of you will not change.

Some will think "ours is better! He dissed us!", and hate you for the rest of their lives with the white-hot intensity reserved for those who think Peoria could ever outshine Des Moines. These are the people most likely to tweet about your intelligence and acuity.

A very few will agree with all of your choices. They will feel smug, and will read you more regularly.

The odds that most of your readers will agree with all of your choices (or at least have no conflicting ones) are quite low, but that's what you need for a favorable outcome; a single conflicting choice means you must be a hater, and a clueless one at that!

For instance, let's discuss . . . Cleveland?! Jeez, man, people can travel by AIR now . . .
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
Had an afternoon to loaf in KC recently. I loved the restored rail terminal - very handsome and spacious although rail passengers are handled by what is essentially a typical Amshack built into the basement. Lots of other exhibits too.

The downer part was the nearby regional IRS building. It was an architectural embodiment of overbearing and oppressive government. Really scary!
16 weeks ago
16 weeks ago Link To Comment
Someone above was dissing the drive up Minnesota's Superior Lake Shore and mentioned, disparagingly, Grand Marais. What Grand Marais offers, besides the lake shore, is access to the Boundary Waters. A canoeing trip into these pristine lakes that go on for hundreds of miles along the U.S./Canadian border is to die for. The more overnights, the better. It's good to plan a trip when the Outward Bound expedition types (and mosquitoes) are gone, meaning late August on into September. Unbeatable.

A GM local once confided that the best time they'd had in Grand Marais in quite a while was when a flood wiped out the bridges and there was no traffic whatsoever. He invited me to move there, by the way. Can't beat that for local hospitality. The conversation was held at the Blue Water Cafe—highly recommended.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
As for Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indy, and KC ... good grief. What, and not Detroit? Hope you have a conceal and carry permit.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Big build-up ends strangely with Grand Marais -- an endless nothingness of pine trees and views of the Big Lake. Nice, I guess. Give me Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Glen-Empire-Traverse region any day over Mosquitesota. Sleeping Bear boasts the most beautiful stretch of fresh water beaches in the country -- massive piles of white sand dunes, mild temps, warm(er) water and something like civilization, compared to ... Duluth.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd agree Sleeping Bear Dunes is incredible. Mackinac Island should cover all of Northern/Northwest Michigan and the UP. Simply majestic areas.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hate to tell you, but Skyline Chili is NOT chili!
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's a topping for pasta and hot dogs. It does the trick.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
The creamery in Sobieski is nice.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
4 out of 5 Great Lakes prefers Michigan!
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I noticed a complete absence of Nebraska locations. Since Nebraska is the very heart of the Midwest, I consider this list illegitimate on that score alone.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I lived in Lincoln for two years. It's a great city, as is Omaha. Only 10 spots available though. Also, Nebraska is Great Plains, not Midwest.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yikes, if it is so great why do they flood into FL each year.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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