Discover the ultimate American Roadtrip

Best of <strong>the Midwest</strong>

Best of the Midwest

Missouri - Kansas

The Midwest represents a mix of everything which makes the United States such an appealing destination for a road trip. Along with the third-largest city in the country, Chicago, the Midwest has plenty of incredible places for those looking to experience some urban conveniences. Aside from that, there’s the beautiful rolling fields of Iowa, stunning forests and parks, and a number of quirky roadside attractions. We’ve created our own memorable mix of locations with this tribute to the Midwest.

Best of the Midwest

Stop 1: Table Rock State Park 1/12

Table Rock State Park

Before you head out on the road, why not spend some time at one of Missouri’s best natural features? Table Rock State Park possesses great trails for both hikers and bikers, while Table Rock Lake offers activities on and under the water. Hire a boat from the marina for a scenic trip across the waters, or enjoy a spot of fishing by the lakeside. You can even hire SCUBA equipment and take a dive underneath to explore the hidden depths.

5272 Missouri 165, Branson, MO 65616

https://mostateparks.com/park/table-rock-state-park

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 2: Discovery Center 2/12

Discovery Center

The Discovery Center touts itself as an exciting learning experience for all ages, featuring interactive hands-on exhibits and themed attractions. Learn about the workings of the human body by strolling through a gigantic eye, or ride a high-wire bicycle to learn about balance and counterbalance. The WorldWise Gallery teaches you all about the customs and culture of other countries, while parents and kids can team up to show off their skills at building robots.

438 East Saint Louis Street, Springfield, MO 65806

https://www.discoverycenter.org/

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 3: Mark Twain National Forest 3/12

Mark Twain National Forest

This National Forest makes up part of the Ozark Highlands - a rocky range known for its spectacular springs and caves. There are several specially-designated Wilderness Areas where nature runs wild and free from man-made modernisations. Hercules Glades is a particular highlight, with over 12,000 acres of unspoilt beauty and breathtaking views of the Ozarks. There are approximately 350 miles of streams within the Forest, which are great for kayaking or inner tubing. (Image credit: Bhanu Tadlnada)

401 Fairgrounds Road, Rolla, MO 65401

http://www.fs.usda.gov/mtnf

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 4: The St Louis Walk of Fame 4/12

The St Louis Walk of Fame

The St Louis Walk of Fame pays tribute to its home-grown talent, with Hollywood-style brass plaques paved on the sidewalk in honour of names from diverse fields like Chuck Berry, John Goodman and William S. Burroughs. The Walk of Fame is situated on the Delmar Loop, which offers six blocks of great shopping, entertainment and a variety of restaurants. The Loop gets its name from the old trolley service which looped the area, and which is hoped to return soon.

6504 Delmar Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63130

http://www.stlouiswalkoffame.org/

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 5: Lincoln Home National Historic Site 5/12

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

By the time Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860, he had been settled with his family for more than 15 years in this Greek Revival-style house. A guided tour of the house will shed light on domestic living in those days, along with Lincoln’s life and work. Some of the buildings within a four-block area around the Lincoln home have been preserved and restored to their original state, making it possible to see the beautiful architecture of the time.

426 South 7th Street, Springfield, IL 62701, United States

https://www.nps.gov/liho/index.htm

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 6: Bloomington – Constitution Trail 6/12

Bloomington – Constitution Trail

In honour of the 200th anniversary of the US Constitution, this bike trail was opened in 1987 and extends through Bloomington towards the town of Normal. A stretch of what used to be the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad line has been expanded upon over time and is now among the area’s very best scenery. Along the way, its regular stops and signs serve to educate riders about the founding forefathers and the Constitution itself.

Normal, IL 61761, USA

http://www.constitutiontrail.org/

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 7: Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co 7/12

Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co

Formerly known as “Not a Secret Agent Supply Shop”, this badly-kept secret is actually a place to let the kids’ imaginations run riot. While the shop does stock everything your budding 007 needs, it also runs the occasional writing workshop to help kids unleash their creative skills onto a blank page. Shop for some fun toys and gadgets safe in the knowledge that you’re also helping local youngsters to sharpen their talents.

1276 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

http://www.secretagentsupply.com/

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 8: Riverside IA – James T. Kirk’s future birthplace 8/12

Riverside IA – James T. Kirk’s future birthplace

This quirky tribute to one of sci-fi’s iconic characters has an equally quirky background. Although James T Kirk was (or will be?) born in Iowa, no exact place was ever mentioned until an eagle-eyed councillor pitched his town to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Behind a Riverside barber shop you’ll find a charming plaque dedicated to Kirk, while the town’s annual Trek Fest and motto ‘Where The Trek Begins’ now reflects its permanent place in geek culture. (Image credit: Marshall Astor)

51 West First Street, Riverside, IA 52327

http://www.cityofriversideiowa.com/

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 9: Des Moines Art Center 9/12

Des Moines Art Center

Don’t miss out on an awe-inspiring collection of works from artists across the world at the Des Moines Art Center. Here you’ll find a selection of paintings by Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol and Georgia O'Keeffe heading up the permanent collection, plus a revolving programme of exhibitions. And with the chance to make your own masterpiece at one of the regular art classes, plus the magnificent grounds and reflecting pool, Des Moines provides one of the country’s best art experiences. (Image credit: Des Moines Guy)

4700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312

http://www.desmoinesartcenter.org/

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 10: Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium 10/12

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Visit North America’s largest indoor rainforest in Omaha for an unforgettable tropical experience. This 80-feet tall building contains a specially-created jungle habitat, which allows you to explore the real rainforest in search of its native animals and plants. Listen to the call of the wild and walk across a series to rope bridges to see the surroundings brought to life. The rainforest is divided into American, Asian and African sections, each packed with species native to those regions.

3701 South 10th Street, Omaha, NE 68107

http://www.omahazoo.com/

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 11: Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve 11/12

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Tallgrass prairie once made up 170 million acres of American soil, but has dramatically declined to such an extent that dedicated preserves are needed as a reminder of the once highly impressive ecosystem. This tallgrass preserve in Kansas spans 44km and has since been given over to a herd of bison who used to roam more freely across country. Choose from five hiking trails to get the best views of this delicate yet beautiful landscape.

2480 Kansas 177, Strong City, KS 66869

https://www.nps.gov/tapr/index.htm

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Best of the Midwest

Stop 12: Kansas City Legends Outlet 12/12

Kansas City Legends Outlet

Legends comprises more than 110 shops, restaurants and leisure facilities. The sense of community is reflected in the series of statues and dedications to discoverers, creators and other notable names from the area including Amelia Earhart and former US President Dwight Eisenhower. As you end your journey around the Midwest and fit in some shopping, this place is a great way to reflect on the area’s cultural meaning as a whole.

1843 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, KS 66111

http://www.legendsshopping.com/

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