Head to the Midwest, or America’s Heartland, if you’re in search of friendly people, stunning lakes, and a relaxing vacation.
Garfield Park Conservatory – Chicago, Illinois
In the middle of a bustling city, you can find Garfield Park Conservatory, a lush green oasis filled with exotic flowers and plants.
Exotic Feline Rescue Center – Center Point, Indiana
The EFRC is home to over 150 exotic felines, including lions, tigers, leopards, servals, ocelots.
Thistlethwaite Falls – Richmond, Indiana
Visit these scenic, easy to reach falls in Richmond.
Submitted by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Connections
Catch some sun and get your work out in hiking at the Indiana Dunes on the beautiful Lake Michigan waterfront. The Whihala Beach WhoaZone Inflatable Water Park in Whiting, IN offers water fun where you can participate in the action-packed floating ninja course. The family fun continues on the farm at Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, IN. You can see the miracle of life at the birthing barn and get freshly made ice cream and cheese. Tons of interactive exhibits will enthrall visitors of every age. If indoor fun and shopping are more your speed, check out the historic Crown Point Square Court House and Shops. What used to be the Vegas of the Midwest, where couples would come to get married in a jiffy, is now home to adorable local shops and the infamous John Dillinger Museum. Surrounding the square are more shops and fantastic restaurants dishing out local flavor. Try out Square Roots and their burger with bacon onion jam or the exotic Provecho’s outdoor patio and Latin American fare.
Featured Listing: 3110 Hoffman Court–Dyer, IN
World’s Tallest Concrete Gnome – Ames, Iowa
Pack your bags, leave your gnome, and head to Reiman Gardens to meet Elwood, the world’s tallest concrete gnome, standing 15-feet tall.
If you are a fan of the sport of ballooning, Indianola is the place for you. Head over to the National Balloon Museum and US Ballooning Hall of Fame which documents the history of the sport along with recognizing “persons who have contributed in significant ways to the sport and or development of Ballooning.”
You can also find some beautiful local wineries such as Annelise Winery and Summerset Winery, not far from the Annett Nature Center Park.
Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens – Overland Park, Kansas
If you’re looking to nature that nurtures, look no further. Experience gardens with more than 1,700 species of plants, wild hiking trails, and an open prairie.
Botanica, The Wichita Gardens – Wichita, Kansas
Stroll through 10-acres of beautiful theme gardens such as the butterfly garden, aquatic garden, Shakespeare garden, and more. There is also a new Sensory Garden so visually impaired visitors can touch the plants, feel different textures, and enjoy the various fragrances.
If you’re looking to nature that nurtures, look no further than the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Experience gardens with more than 1,700 species of plants, wild hiking trails, and an open prairie.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park – Kentucky
Spend the day camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, or rafting in the epic Cumberland Falls State Park.
James E. Pepper Distillery – Lexington, Kentucky
Located in downtown Lexington, James E. Pepper Distillery is great place to tour and taste award-winning whiskey.
Devil’s Kettle – Grand Marais, Minnesota
Check out this magical waterfall with water flowing down a 50-foot cliff and then entering a hole and disappearing. People used to wonder where the water portal led, but they finally figured out the mystery.
If you’re road tripping this summer, carve out some time to visit Alexandria, a hidden lakes-country gem in Central Minnesota. With its historic downtown, vibrant arts scene, and the panoply of outdoor activities available, Alec is a perfect getaway for families, couples, and friends alike! Don’t miss walking the grounds at beautiful Carlos Creek Winery or grabbing a beer at Copper Trail Brewing right off Lake Agnes, and take advantage of the free outdoor concerts on the Courthouse lawn every Thursday night, all summer long. Shop the main drag, and pop in at La Ferme for a great, farm-to-table meal. If outdoor adventure is more your speed, hop on your bike and get out of town, taking the Central Lakes Trail from the heart of downtown to Lake Brophy County Park or do the loop around Lake Carlos and Lake Darling. Whether you’re biking, boating, hiking, horseback riding, shopping, eating, golfing, or kayaking, Alexandria has everything you need for a sweet summer getaway in Minnesota’s north country!
Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins – Camdenton, Missouri
Take a trip to Europe without leaving the United States. Tour what was once the dream of a wealthy Kansas City businessman and now stands a castle in ruins.
Carhenge – Alliance, Nebraska
Built from 38 cars rescued from nearby farms and dumps, you can find a monument resembling Stonehenge, built as a memorial.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo – Omaha, Nebraska
With plants, animals, aquariums, and unique habitats from around the world the Henry Doorly Zoo is worth the visit.
World’s Largest Buffalo – Jamestown, North Dakota
Have you ever seen a 26-foot-tall, 60-ton Buffalo before? Built in 1959, you will want to make a stop to visit the recently named “Dakota Thunder.”
Badlands National Park – South Dakota
Take an unforgettable scenic drive or hike through the Badlands, filled with striking canyons, spires, and prairie animals roaming around.
Schoolhouse Beach – Washington Island, Wisconsin
This smooth limestone and pebble beach is one of the few sandless beaches in the world. It’s an excellent spot for sunbathing and swimming in the clear waters.
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Staying home this summer?