People on bikes

The Midwest as a vacation spot? Isn’t it always cold, dark and gray there? Doesn’t it even snow in July there sometimes?

Why would anyone EVER want to look for a Midwestern adventure? Besides the fact that you can get super affordable apartments in cities like Minneapolis, Chicago or Milwaukee, what else is there?

Well, let’s find out:

Fourth of July in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

Ok, while Whitefish Bay, WI—WFB to its patrons and protectors—is a suburb of Milwaukee, WI, there is nothing Milwaukee about it. Situated right on a bluff above blue Lake Michigan, this really charming Midwestern town — kids riding scooters around town and playing in the streets day and night —  puts on a memorable Fourth of July celebration complete with a parade that everyone can join.

Bands, sports teams, TV personalities and all of the requisite local politicians never miss the trek from Kent Avenue to Klode Park where an afternoon of cake walks, magicians, great street food, and a variety of bands all lead up to an amazing fireworks display on the bluff. Spend the entire day in the park but make sure you make camping arrangements in one of the great state parks nearby well in advance.

Indiana Dunes

Some people say that this pristine 15 mile stretch of beach reminds them of Florida. With over 50 miles of hiking trails and the chance to discover countless rare bird species, Indiana Dunes National Park is the summer place to be. Check out quaint Porter, Indiana while you are there.

Bayfield, WI

Bayfield’s website says it all:

“Located on the shore of Lake Superior and gateway to the 22 Apostle Islands, Bayfield is a hub for visitors who want to explore the natural beauty of the region, experience arts and culture, and indulge in the bounty of local fruits and berries.”

The weather, even in July, is often in the 70s during the day and you’ll find cool 50s at night. Lake Superior is a cold but beautiful lake, and you’ll see a ton of interesting rock formations. Remember, Wisconsinites love their cheese, beer and bratwurst, so while you are there, make sure you partake of the locally made foods. You can also score some Door County wines in Bayfield.

State of Missouri

Close to tornado alley, Missouri is truly Midwestern. With small towns along the interstate offering hand-made items like quality knives, even a trip just to get there from here can be interesting. The Lake of the Ozarks boasts over 15 shoreline miles, and be sure to check out Bryant Creek, Ozark Mountain and Jay Nixon state parks.

Branson

While you’re in Missouri, you need to go to Branson. Yes, we know you may think it’s the place where old country stars go to retire, but you will see some great music there. Table Rock State Park is very near as is Table Rock Lake (of course!), and you can catch a ride on the Branson Scenic Railway to get a better view of the Branson area scene.

The Midwest is traditional, but that doesn’t make it boring. Check out the spots we have mentioned above, and you’ll never think of snow in July again!

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