The Midwest of the United States is known for a few things: incredibly friendly people, four discernable seasons, wide open spaces, and the Great Lakes. If you’re thinking about studying or working abroad in the USA, but aren't sure where you should be targeting, take a look at ten of our suggestions in ten states of the American Midwest:
Largest city: Detroit
Population: 9.9 million
As the only state with two peninsulas, Michigan is almost completely surrounded by water. The lower peninsula is famous for being home to several automobile manufacturers, while the upper, though not nearly as populated, is a favorite amongst tourists. While in Michigan, it’s only right to enjoy one or several of the great lakes, large enough that they even have waves that are sometimes just big enough for surfing.
Largest city: Chicago
Population: 12.8 million
Illinois is home to all kinds of different industries, and is often referred to as a microcosm in the US. One thing the state, and especially Chicago, is known for is food innovation. Deep dish pizza, anyone? While in Illinois, try out some of the creative eats in Chicago.
Largest city: Indianapolis
Population: 6.6 million
Indiana has a culture based on the history of English immigrants as well as Native Americans. Additionally, there’s one food in particular they’re known for: giant breaded tenderloins. Go for an ice cream shake and a breaded tenderloin for a real taste of Indiana.
Capital: Des Moines
Largest city: Des Moines
Population: 3 million
Bordered by three rivers in America’s heartland, Iowa is 60% agricultural land. While in Iowa, catch a glimpse of the dwindling tallgrass prairie of American folklore while it’s still around.
Largest city: Wichita
Population: 2.9 million
A large number of Native American tribes call Kansas home. Home to many sports and music legends as well as a long history of agriculture and home to many immigrants since its inception, the state is full of historical sites. This list even has one for each county in the state. While in Kansas, get elbow-deep in American history.
Capital: Saint Paul
Largest city: Minneapolis
Population: 5.4 million
Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, and for good reason - thousands of beautiful, clear water lakes dot the state’s landscape. Pay a visit to the Boundary Waters National Park and see beautiful rock formations and pristine waters.
Capital: Jefferson City
Largest city: Kansas City
Population: 6 million
If you’ve seen images of St. Louis previously, chances are they’ve featured the famous Gateway Arch. If you’ve got a bit of an adventurous spirit and a lust for adrenaline, journey to the top of the arch for a fabulous view of the city.
Largest city: Omaha
Population: 1.9 million
Much of Nebraska is covered in corn, its most plentiful crop and the reason behind the nickname, “Cornhuskers” for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Each year, the Popcorn Days festival in North Loup celebrates this crop with unlimited popcorn and a few good ol’ country games.
Largest city: Milwaukee
Population: 5.7 million
Wisconsin is famous for its cheese, so it’s only fitting to eat all kinds of cheese while in this state. Stop by the farmer’s market at the capitol building in Madison over the weekend for a chance for all kinds of cheese offerings. If cheese isn’t your thing, stop by for Summerfest in Milwaukee - the world’s largest music festival.
Largest city: Greater Cleveland
Population: 11.2 million
Ohio is known as the Buckeye State, and is full of great plains and plateaus. To get a good sense of the natural beauty of Ohio and the Midwest in general, stop by Hocking Hills State Park, great for hiking, caving, and waterfall-viewing.
There you have a sampling of 10 things to do in ten of the states that make up the American Midwest. Don’t forget to check out North and South Dakota as well, also considered part of the Midwest, if touring through the area.