We have all spent the last several months hunkered down inside our homes and staying socially distanced from others. With the promise of a vaccine just around the corner, the idea of getting out of the house is starting to feel like a reality. If you are itching to get out of the house as soon as it is safe to do so, it is never too early to start planning a road trip. If you do not want to wander too far from home on your first big excursion out, a trip to one of these wondrous places in the Midwest may be just what the doctor ordered.
There is good reason why people from al over the country flock to the Wisconsin Dells every year. It is one of the premier vacation destinations for families. Often referred to as the “Waterslide Capital of the World”, the Dells is chock full of both indoor and outdoor waterslides. So, you can enjoy the area at any time of year. Plus, this area has so much more to offer than waterslides. You can also enjoy a ride on the famed Ducks, which will take you on a boat ride down Lake Delton and covers the entire history of the area. The area is also not far from Mirror Lake State Park. You can also take a quick trip to the city of Baraboo, which is the birthplace of Ringling Brother’s Circus. If you do not have kids with you, consider spending an evening at a local winery in either Fawn Creek or Prairie Hawk.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota
If you are a lover of National Parks, then the one named for Teddy Roosevelt should not be missed. This National Park covers a vast 110 square miles and has just about everything an outdoors person is looking for. During your stay, you will have the opportunity to see gorges, canyons, forests and wildlife. It is the quintessential location for anyone who loves to camp, hike or take a scenic drive. There are plenty of activities for kids and adults alike. Plus, having the opportunity to look into the night sky and see a blanket of stars is alone well worth the trip to North Dakota.
An area that is not often found on lists of must-see places is Omaha. But, that’s a mistake. This city has much to offer visitors. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium both allow kids to have up-close experiences with the animals, which provides an experience your children will remember fondly for years. The city is also home to Omaha Children’s Museum, which offers several interactive exhibits the will pique the curiosity of all who visit. While in Omaha, take the opportunity to visit the Old Market neighborhood. This area is packed with charming shops, art galleries and restaurants. Other notable attractions include the Lauritzen Gardens and the famed Father Flannigan’s Boy’s Town, which is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Indianapolis is one of the unsung gems of the Midwest. It often falls in the shadow of Chicago, but this city can truly hold its own. Indianapolis is likely best known as the host for the Indy 500 car race, which happens annually on Memorial Day. But, the city has so much more to offer, as it has recently gone through a renaissance of sorts and has made strides to become more visitor-friendly. Indy has really upped its food game and is now home to many top-notch restaurants, including Milktooth, Mesh and Bluebeard. Whiteriver State Park boasts canals, sculptures and a summer concert venue. It also offers some of the best views of the city. Do not forget to visit War Memorial Plaza. It spans seven city blocks, and the memorials are simply spectacular.
Rapid City/The Black Hills, South Dakota
This area of South Dakota is a tourist hot spot because of all it has to offer. It’s near Mount Rushmore, Deadwood and Badlands National Park. But, that’s not all this area has to offer. Be sure to make a stop at Custer State Park. This is the largest state park in the state. While you are there you will get to see the Needles Highway, where you will be sure to see plenty of roaming bison. Scenic Sylvan Lake is also not far away. No trip to this area is complete without a stop at Wall Drug. It is still a great place to stop for refreshments and souvenir-hunting. If you are looking for a unique spot to visit, do not miss the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs. There you will see the world’s largest concentration of mammoth bones.
The Midwest is full of gems that are worth seeking out. These locations are but a few of the spectacular sites that the Midwest has to offer. So, when you are ready for your first excursion after the long period of isolation that COVID has brought, plan a trip to one of these fantastic Midwest locations.