Best American Midwest Winter Getaways

When winter comes to one’s mind, they might immediately think of frigid temperatures, the holidays, and staying cooped up in the house with family and friends. Normally, this seems like a dream come true; however, once the holidays pass, winter can be somewhat of a drag. That long, cold phase that stretches from after the new year to March when spring arrives can often feel like an eternity. Despite this, you don’t have to submit yourself to staying inside your home for long hours. If you’re interested in making your winter a little more exciting, then keep on reading to find out more about best American Midwest winter getaways.

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The midwestern United States isn’t typically what one thinks of when they think of best winter getaways; however, the Midwest can really offer you a great time while you’re waiting for spring to come. Here are the best winter getaways in the Midwest.

Best American Midwest Winter Getaways

Logan, Ohio

Rock House In Hocking Hills State Park. best American Midwest winter getaways, Logan, Ohio usa
Rock House In Hocking Hills State Park. Flickr: Mark Spearman / CC BY 2.0

If you’re down for a brisk walk in a winter wonderland, then look no further than Logan, Ohio. This scenic Midwestern town is home to nine state parks and state forests. Those who come to visit are often blown away by Logan’s gorgeous scenery. Some popular locations include Ash Cave, Cedar Falls Hiking Trail, Hocking Hills State Park, and the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum.

Des Moines, Iowa

World Food Prize Hall of Laureates Building. best American Midwest winter getaways, Des Moines, Iowa
World Food Prize Hall of Laureates Building. Flickr: Carl Wycoff / CC BY 2.0

When one thinks of the best winter getaways, Des Moines, Iowa does not usually come to mind. This Midwestern capital is an up and coming foodie town with lots of personality and plenty of exciting activities to partake in. During the holiday season, the city puts on a light show, where visitors and residents alike are able to go and marvel at the brilliant displays. If you’re not particularly interested in any holiday festivities, then try grabbing a bite to eat at one of the city’s many local restaurants; in recent years, Des Moines has emerged as a town for food lovers, as several restaurants that offer unique and delectable dishes have caught the world’s attention. Other popular tourist spots include the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, and the Des Moines Art Center.

Kalispell, Montana

Blacktail Mountain, best American Midwest winter getaways, Kalispell, Montana usa
Blacktail Mountain. Flickr: Kate Brady / CC BY-SA 2.0

During the winter, Kalispell, Montana is transformed into a large skiing hub due to the Whitefish Mountain Resort, which is placed 25 miles north of the city. 28 miles to the south lies Blacktail Mountain. Each mountain accumulates an impressive 300 inches of snow annually, which gives locals and visitors plenty of things to do during the winter. If you like skiing, there are many trails for you to explore. You can also go dog sledding with Dog Sled Adventures, as well as snowmobiling.

One of the things Montana is well known for is National Glacier Park, which is approximately a 45-minute drive from Kalispell. This is a great place to go for intense hiking and snowshoeing. The park boasts spectacular views of the lakes and mountains in the surrounding area. If you’re a photography aficionado, this place is the perfect spot for you and your camera. Glacier National Park also extends into Canada, so if you’re feeling especially adventurous, don’t forget your passport!

Chicago, Illinois

Lincoln Park Zoo's Zoo Lights festival, best American Midwest winter getaways, chicago illinois usa
Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Lights festival. Flickr: MichelleBikeWalkLincolnPark / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Chicago is the perfect spot for those who prefer the buzzing city energy to the great outdoors. There is literally no excuse why you can’t find anything do here in the Windy City. Though Chicago has gained worldwide attention for its Chicago-style hot dogs and deep dish pizzas, the city has a ton of more delicious options to offer, thanks to its diverse population. Chicago may not be a particularly glamorous city; however, the tons of neighborhoods within the city limits contribute to the city’s unique personality.

During winter, there are some of the best American midwest winter getaways. People are able to go ice skating in Millennium Park for a great price. It’s absolutely free (unless you’re trying to cop a pair of skates, then that’s extra.) Every year, over 2 million lights are used at the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights Festival. It’s a gorgeous holiday light show that is perfect for everybody. Taking a stroll through the Lincoln Park Zoo with a hot cup of hot chocolate; and taking in the lovely displays with your loved ones seems like a wonderful way to spend your vacation time. Visitors can also take in the city sights taking a stroll down Michigan Avenue, see a Broadway production at the Ford Oriental or Cadillac Theater, enjoy some delicious local cuisine, and even go shopping in one of Chicago’s thousands of shops.

St. Louis, Missouri

Missouri History Museum, best American Midwest winter getaways, St Louis USA
Missouri History Museum

Contrary to popular belief, this major city is very forgiving on a tourist’s wallet. There are plenty of interesting activities to do in the city that are either inexpensive or, even better, free. Some examples include the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, and the Missouri History Museum. The city’s location on the Mississippi River makes it a prime spot for eagle watching. So if you’re interested in looking out for this majestic creature, then come on down to St. Louis, Missouri.

About Haley Kieser

My name is Haley and I am originally from Arizona. I have lived also lived in Minnesota and South Dakota. Among my favorites are being outdoors, traveling, Arizona sunsets, Midwest greenery, craft beer, and the Green Bay Packers.

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