Image by Morgan Burke via Flickr.com
Call me a pompous east-coaster, but the midwest is a place that’s always been a complete mystery to me. If it wasn’t for nights spent binge-watching episodes of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” I think I probably wouldn’t know anything about it at all.
In a bid to get to know my own country a bit better this year, I’ve decided to do some research. I’ve decided to learn more about the other 49. Maybe in the next few years when Luke and I finally commit to buying our camper van and start cruising around the States, I’ll know what it is we’re seeing and what’s so special about it.
Here are five cities that, before today, I knew almost nothing about.
The Cleveland Cavaliers — I think that’s the only thing I know about Cleveland, and I don’t even watch basketball. Turns out there’s a lot more to this funky Midwestern city. There’s great art spaces like 78th Street Studios and the Cleveland Museum of Art, which is free! There are some great boutique hotels in Cleveland to spend the night and plenty of craft breweries to explore. It’s a city that I think I’d really enjoy.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
I’m actually embarrassed about how little I know about this entire state. Falls Park in the center of the city looks like it could be in a totally different country to the one I know as home. It’s lush, and the waterfalls are draped across the park in between the remains of a 19th century mill. There are wineries and breweries, art galleries, and cobbled streets that rival my beloved Boston. With the beautiful historic hotels in Sioux Falls, I think I could find a few reasons to stick around this intriguing city.
Columbus, Ohio’s capital, is a city that I have thought about visiting ever since hearing all about their bustling food and craft beer scene. Food trucks of every variety abound in Columbus and the locals definitely appreciate a good brewery bar. I don’t need to hear much else to sell me on a place, but Columbus also has a ton of professional dance theaters and a plethora of art galleries. I think I might spend a few nights at a hotel in Columbus and accidentally never leave.
Way back in college, I did an internship near Detroit. I was young and didn’t care much for culture and good food, so I didn’t explore Detroit the way I should have. It’s time to go back and enjoy the music scene, and visit the Institute of Art and the Detroit Historical Museum. There’s even a new distillery in town, which Luke would absolutely love! With so many neighborhoods surrounding the city, it’s going to be tough to decide which hotel in Detroit to choose.
Saint Louis, Missouri
I’ve got to see the Gateway Arch. I need to pose for a silly photo where it looks like I’m doing the limbo under it or pushing it from underneath. There are incredible art and history museums that I’d love to visit and learn more about the city and its beginnings. I’ve never seen the Mississippi River up close, either. Staying in a hotel in Saint Louis seems like the perfect way to enjoy the city and its sites for a few days.
All this research has my wanderlust growing to an uncontrollable level. It might be time to check flight prices.