25 Best Things to Do in The Midwest, U.S.A.

You  can find numerous appealing attractions in the Midwest, popularly known as “America’s Heartland.” These states offer endless activities to capture your attention, from energizing cities to beaches with pure crystal freshwater.

You must also exercise caution when developing a to-do list in this area because we only live once.

Because of this, we’re here to help you plan a memorable trip by listing the top Midwest attractions.

Mount Rushmore

This famous landmark, finished in 1941, has 60-foot-tall head carvings for presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt.

Why You Should Go

In the Midwest, there is no memorial like “America’s Shrine of Democracy.”

This sculpture represents the American dream, the principles of democracy, and freedom through its carved granite faces.

And with more than 3 million annual tourists, it’s undoubtedly one of the well-known, must-see attractions in the Midwest of the United States.

What To Do

This magnificent and enormous memorial in South Dakota is a work of art.

After that, you can sign up for a ranger-led tour to learn more about the history of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills.

Don’t forget to stroll along the beautiful 0.6-mile Presidential Trail and stop by the Sculptor’s Studio.

Gateway Arch

This stainless steel structure in St. Louis is the tallest arch in the world, standing at 630 feet.

Why You Should Go

This magnificent building, often known as “The Gateway to the West,” is a well-known representation of St. Louis worldwide.

Additionally, it is the tallest accessible structure in Missouri and the highest artificial monument in the Western Hemisphere.

What To Do

Ride the tram to the monument’s summit for a stunning view of St. Louis.

Visit its museum to learn more about the explorers, rebels, and pioneers who contributed to shaping America.

Willis Tower

When the 1,450-foot tall Willis Tower was finally finished in 1973, it surpassed all other buildings in the world in height.

Currently the 23rd highest structure in the world, it attracts many tourists thanks to its breathtaking views.

Why You Should Go

Are you looking for a ton of entertaining activities in the Midwest? Put the Skydeck at the top of your list of things to do.

This structure will undoubtedly give you a fantastic urban adventure thanks to its breathtaking bird’s-eye views.

What To Do

For unbeatable views of the neighborhood, go to the observation deck on the 103rd floor of the skyscraper.

From this structure, you may enjoy breathtaking views over Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana on a clear day.

You can also visit the Ledge and look down at downtown Chicago through its crystal-clear glass.

Badlands National Park

The largest grassland area in the United States is this national park in South Dakota, which spans 242,756 acres.

Why You Should Go

Badlands National Park is a must-see attraction in the Midwest of the United States.

With its spectacular rough topography, geologic formations, and grass prairie, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another universe in this park.

Additionally, it provides a massive selection of fun and affordable outdoor activities.

What To Do

Drive to the Badlands Loop Road and pause at the scenic overlooks along the way.

Go to the Pinnacles Overlook to take in what might be Midwest’s most breathtaking sunset.

Numerous animals, including bison, prairie dogs, and bighorn sheep, can be found in the area.

Mall of America

This 96.40-acre shopping mall opened its doors in 1992 and is home to more than 500 shops and entertainment venues.

Why You Should Go

Are you unsure what to do in the Midwest when it’s chilly or rainy?

Who wouldn’t want to go inside and check out the biggest mall in the US?

The mall not only has a ton of retail establishments, but it also has a ton of family-friendly attractions.

What To Do

After you’ve finished your retail therapy, check out the enjoyable attractions at the mall.

If you have children, don’t forget to go to the exciting Nickelodeon Universe, the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park, and SEA Life.


This overlooked small village in Ontonagon Township is an excellent place to discover one of nature’s greatest secrets.

Why You Should Go

Don’t want to make a long trip but still want to view the fantastic Aurora Borealis?

You need not go to Alaska, Canada, Norway, or Iceland to witness this unique natural occurrence.

Simply go to Ontonagon between September and March to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness this extraordinary natural light display.

What To Do

Of course, Ontonagon also offers several recreation and tourist sites.

Our favorites include Bond Falls, Lake of the Clouds, Summit Peak, and Presque Isle River.

Indy 500

This yearly festival in Speedway, Indiana, generally takes place around Memorial Day weekend, and it should be on your bucket list.

Why You Should Go

Not for nothing is the Indy 500 referred to as “the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

It is considered a component of the renowned Triple Crown of Motorsport, which consists of 3 of the most crucial racing competitions around the globe.

What To Do

The Indianapolis 500 is jam-packed with exciting, vibrant events, from pre-races and live performances to the main event.

The race’s location, the Indiana Motor Speedway, is still worthwhile to see even if you are unable to attend the actual event.

The speedway’s museum is open all year long and houses numerous displays highlighting the competition’s history.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

This fantastic park, which you can find in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, is well-known for its enormous dunes and beaches.

Why You Should Go

This national park, which spans over 30 miles of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, is home to numerous natural marvels.

It includes high bluffs, secret caverns, and freshwater beaches.

What To Do

Take a hike along the 3.5-mile Dune Climb trek to reach the picturesque lakefront.

As an alternative, you might bicycle along the lovely Bear Heritage Trail.

Iowa State Fair

More than a million people attend this celebrated state fair in Des Moines, Iowa, which has been held annually since 1854.

Why You Should Go

The Iowa State Fair is a sensory extravaganza.

With its trade shows and performances, this state fair transforms Des Moines into a friendly wonderland for 11 days in a row in August.

The fair has vehicle shows, live exhibits, flea markets, and antique fairs.

What To Do

Ride a thrilling roller coaster, consume a corn dog, and obtain a purple ribbon.

Catch the talent contest and excellent live performances if you love music.

Rams, boars, and bulls are the adorable and sizable fair animals you can see and pet.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

This museum, which opened in 1995, traces the development of rock music and the significant people who influenced it.

Why You Should Go

You can find numerous unusual artifacts created by the most influential artists in the genre over the years in the museum.

The museum’s displays, which include David Bowie, The Beatles, and Elvis Presley costumes, props, and instruments, are evenly distributed across its six floors.

What To Do

View the short films and inductee videos at the museum.

Spend time admiring the extensive collection of memorabilia as well as the historical significance of each display.

Starved Rock State Park

This 2,630-acre park in Illinois, known for its stunning canyons, is sure to satiate your need for adventure.

Why You Should Go

Visitors are drawn to the 18 striking canyons in Starved Rock State Park by the glacial meltwater that formed them over thousands of years.

The park also has 13 miles of biking, hiking trails, and cool water.

What To Do

Take a dip in the incredible natural springs found in the area.

You can also go biking, hiking, and hunting for something more energetic.

And in this state park, you may camp or go fishing if that’s more your style.

Enchanted Highway

This 32-mile region of North Dakota is home to some strangely unique sculptures built from scrap metal.

Why You Should Go

Look no further than Enchanted Highway if you’re looking for free activities in the Midwest.

The 100-foot towering Geese In Flight, built by Gary Greff, is the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world.

What To Do

Be awed by the beautiful sculptures “Grasshoppers” and “Geese in Flight.”

The “Deer Crossing” sights at sunset on this unusual highway in the Midwest are also beautiful.

The Victorian House Museum

This old Victorian home, originally built in 1902, is recognized by the US National Register of Historic Places.

Why You Should Go

The Victorian House Museum in Millersburg is crammed with exhibits on the biggest Amish community in Ohio.

This lavish 28-room house boasts elaborate period furnishings, glassware, and decor.

What To Do

Visit the museum in winter because it is decked out with more than 40 trees and Christmas decorations.

For a truly authentic Victorian experience, there are also theatrical lighting and sound effects.

Walker Art Center

This Minneapolis treasure trove is unquestionably one of the most popular modern art museums in the nation, receiving 700,000 visitors annually.

Why You Should Go

Connoisseurs of modern and contemporary art will find heaven at Walker.

Its stunning architecture also contains more than 13,000 modern sculptures, prints, and paintings.

What To Do

Stroll through the sculpture garden and let the lovely trees and artwork draw you in.

Afterward, go inside to view many works of art of the highest caliber.

The museum invited you to participate in any of its exciting presentations, conversations, seminars, and lectures.

Isle Royale National Park

This Michigan national park was designated a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve in 1980.

Why You Should Go

This isolated sanctuary, rising from Lake Superior’s waters, is ideal for anyone looking to escape their mundane daily routine.

This beautiful park is home to fascinating creatures like moose and wolves that recently immigrated.

What To Do

By walking some of its 165 miles of hiking routes, you may have a backcountry journey unlike any other.

You can also explore its 46 lakes and scalloped shores.

Henry Doorly Zoo

This zoo, established in 1894, is well-known for its animal conservation and research work.

Why You Should Go

It is simple to understand why Henry Doorly is frequently referred to as the best zoo in the world, given its cutting-edge methods for animal conservation.

The zoo also houses some fantastic exhibits, such as the Desert Dome.

What To Do

The Kingdoms of the Night are home to North America’s largest indoor swamp and cat complex.

Visit the Desert Dome and the Lied Jungle, one of the largest indoor rainforests in the world, to make your trip even more unforgettable.

Ford Drive-In

The Ford Drive-In, which has nine screens and ample parking for more than 2,000 cars, is America’s most significant drive-in cinema.

Why You Should Go

Visit a Ford Drive-In, one of the most exciting and pleasant things to do tonight in the Midwest.

This vintage drive-in theater is available year-round so that you may see a movie in the convenience of your car.

What To Do

Catch the double-feature movies at Ford Drive-In for a nostalgic cinema experience and to relive your childhood memories.

Additionally, there is a playground for families with energetic kids.

Cedar Point

This 364-acre Sandusky amusement park has been dazzling guests with its mind-blowing thrills since 1879.

Why You Should Go

This amusement park offers various possibilities for family enjoyment and fun.

As the home of the world’s roller coasters, Cedar Point also offers heart-pounding, adrenaline-inducing thrills for thrill-seekers.

It seems one of the Midwest’s most fantastic, family-friendly tourist destinations.

What To Do

Experience the Steel Vengeance, the world’s longest, fastest, and highest hybrid roller coaster.

Check out the Top Thrill Dragster and Woodstock Express if you want a less intense ride.

Aire Ancient Baths Chicago

This multi-sensory experience in River West, housed inside a renovated 1902 factory, is perfect for a date night in Chicago.

Why You Should Go

Are you looking for a romantic activity for two in the Midwest?

I’d suggest seeing the Aire Ancient Bath in Chicago.

This bathhouse will provide you and your companion with a romantic and soothing experience in Chi-town with its variety of therapeutic and aesthetic services.

What To Do

Enjoy their Red Wine Bath experience, immersing couples in red grapes high in polyphenols and antioxidants.

The package also includes a relaxing 1-hour massage utilizing grapeseed oils.

Corn Palace

This Moorish Revival building, finished in 1921, is covered with corn-based murals and motifs.

Why You Should Go

Since it opened in 1892, Mitchell-based artisans have used grains to adorn the building’s front.

This multi-use facility, known as the only corn palace in the world, receives about 500,000 visitors yearly.

What To Do

Visit the palace between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when it is at its busiest.

You can visit the palace during these months to view it in all its splendor, with a freshly decked exterior made of grass, grain, and maize.

Lake of the Ozarks

The most well-known lake resort in Missouri has more than 1,000 miles of shoreline.

The Lake of Ozark’s shoreline is longer than the Californian coastline.

Why You Should Go

In this lake destination, there is no shortage of enjoyable family-friendly activities.

It even offers some of the best family-friendly activities in the Midwest, such as horseback riding. It also has sandy beaches and boat rentals.

What To Do

Visit the Lake of the Ozarks State Park to enjoy a range of activities like beach access, boat rentals, and tours by lantern light.

On the Old Kinderhook Resort’s 18-hole course, you can also play a round of gold.

Wisconsin Dells

The picturesque community in south central Wisconsin entices tourists with its energetic waterparks and family-friendly attractions.

Why You Should Go

You’ll adore “the Dells” if you’re hoping for a memorable family holiday filled with nonstop watery excitement.

As the home of the largest water park in the world, the city is home to many fascinating splashy attractions.

What To Do

Visit Noah’s Ark Water Park and Mount Olympus Water Park to satisfy your craving for water fun.

Campers and hikers can enjoy the great outdoors in Mirror Lake State Park.

Custer State Park

This 71,000-acre Black Hills wildlife refuge is South Dakota’s most extensive state park.

Why You Should Go

Animals like bison, elk, and prairie dogs are seen near the Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park.

But this state park is home to more than just fascinating and endearing animals.

This state park provides a tranquil getaway into nature with its windswept grasslands and verdant woodlands.

What To Do

The 14-mile-long Needles Highway offers breathtaking scenery and photogenic little tunnels.

Animal lovers can also travel the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road.

The Black Elk Peak trail will be a delight to hike on for adventurous individuals.

Kansas City

The largest city in Missouri, on the western edge of the state, is well-known for its BBQ, jazz heritage, and fountains.

Why You Should Go

Kansas City will keep you busy and entertained for days with so many major city activities and attractions.

Surprisingly, compared to other adjacent cities, the city is relatively inexpensive.

It also has numerous beautiful and elaborate fountains, which is an added plus.

What To Do

Discover some of the city’s most beautiful fountains and waterworks as you stroll around Ward Park.

Additionally, restaurants like Arthur Bryants and Fiorella’s Jack State Barbecue may satiate your appetite with succulent BBQ treats.

Mackinac Island

This 4.35 square mile vacation community and island in Lake Huron is a recognized National Historic Landmark.

Why You Should Go

Without Mackinac Island, no list of the top things to do in the Midwest is complete.

Due to its breathtaking natural features and stunning sunsets, the island has been a popular vacation destination in Michigan for decades.

Additionally, the island is home to several historical wonders.

What To Do

Take a leisurely carriage ride on this island, where cars are not permitted.

And if you’re planning to leave the city this weekend, go to the 70-mile network of trails that wind through woods and limestone outcroppings in the Mackinac Island State Park.

Choose your Reaction!