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View Poll Results: Does the Midwest get short changed on people's perceptions of it?
Yes 23 69.70%
No 10 30.30%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-14-2019, 07:28 PM
 
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No it doesn't. There are pretty pockets, but lots of ugly areas, but same is true in most of the eastern and central U.S.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:38 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Midwest states could do a better job of marketing, especially the beauty of the rivers and river valleys. There is also a lot of history in river towns that could be exploited. The Ozarks are pretty but the St. Francois Mountains are my favorite in Missouri but not well known. The Flint Hills in Kansas are a change from what most people think of the state and are quite pretty. Arkansas shares the Ozarks and has the Boston Mountains. There are a number of COE undeveloped lake impoundments that attract boaters. Kentucky has the Kentucky and Cumberland lakes and that part of the state is pretty. Some small towns are really pleasant and relaxng. There is nothing here like the Rockies or Cascades but there are the Great Lakes, impressive rivers, hiking and bike trails, small mountain and hilly areas, and interesting and historic small towns and cities. Interstate highways do not take the scenic route in most cases so people have to get onto the back roads to see the natural beauty.
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Old 09-14-2019, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Naples Island
1,043 posts, read 676,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefox View Post
I guess I’m biased as a born and raised Midwesterner, but I think Michigan is one of the most beautiful states in the country, and is probably overlooked as a general rule. The western coast of Michigan is one of my favorite parts of the country.

I do think the Ozarks are beautiful as well. Lots of beautiful hilly areas down there.
I agree that Michigan is of the most beautiful states in the entire country. Within the state, my favorite scenic spots are Arch Rock (Mackinac Island), Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) and Arcadia Overlook (Manistee County). Also, the color of the water on Torch Lake, especially on a sunny day, is positively ethereal. And don’t forget all of the charming lakeshore towns like Charlevoix and Saugatuck!
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:27 PM
 
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The driftless area is what you all speak of when it comes to that Iowa/Ill/Wis/Minn area.

Parts where the ice age drift didn't flatten out.

Motorcycle ride from galena up to La Crosse Wisconsin along the Mississippi is seriously up there on my favorites.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:36 PM
 
Location: California
1,718 posts, read 494,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
I'm with you. I'd put Michigan right up there with Wisconsin...although Michigan gets a big edge based on its shoreline on Lake Michigan being nice than Wisconsin's (personally when it comes to Lake Michigan in WI, I find Milwaukee and its northern suburbs to be the most beautiful section on Lk Michigan; heck, even Door County clings to Green Bay, not the lake). That said, both states have spectacular scenery. Madison is one of the most beautiful capital cities in the nation.

Illinois is limited as you say, but northwest around Galena is beautiful. Southern IL and Southern IN are hilly and scenic.....although Indiana gets the edge easily over Illinois on that one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enean View Post
Yes, Galena is beautiful. That entire area in the corner of MN, WI, IL, and IA, is stunning. IL has Chicago, and that's definitely a win As far as Milwaukee....completely underrated. People who have never been there, don't have a clue.
Yes agree on each. Very beautiful areas. Most people don’t know. I think you have to live and experience some other places and then you think yeah that’s a great place.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:42 PM
 
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America is vast, every region has beautiful areas. But it’s the dramatic that coax people to travel all day to vacation in another region’s natural environment. The Midwest has less of that than most anywhere else in the country.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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I grew up in Michigan and always thought is wa beautiful. I also fell in love with Wisconsin in particular but appreciate all of the Midwest. I went to college on the East Coast and then moved around the country, including both coats (currently live in Massachusetts). I always felt like I had an advantafge of sort being from the Modwest because it felt like when we wanted to go on a vacation or move, etc., we considered the WHOLE country and not just the coasts because we understood there were awesome placdes throughout the US, not just the coasts. This certainly goes for natural beaty, but I think it goes for the region generally.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:37 PM
 
3,476 posts, read 1,680,716 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heel82 View Post
America is vast, every region has beautiful areas. But it’s the dramatic that coax people to travel all day to vacation in another region’s natural environment. The Midwest has less of that than most anywhere else in the country.
I disagree and agree with the other posters. The upper Midwest gets shortchanged on beauty. You do know ..... the Great Plains is another region too. If you're thinking just flat corn and wheat fields .....

But the Great Lakes states. Are a sub-region .... yet major part of the Midwest. I also definitely, would highlight Michigan and Wisconsin as others have here.
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Old Yesterday, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaleighSentinel View Post
My 2 cents. I don’t think the Midwest overall gets perceptually shortchanged on natural beauty, as the topographies that most would consider “beautiful” are often tucked away from the major cities, and often are only discovered by the folks living there.

The cities themselves are usually vibrant, and the best ones leverage their natural waterways (lakes, rivers), but the flat “see forever” can dominate. I’ve lived in Chicago (on the lake) and in Indianapolis (near a river, but still eerily kinda in the corn...), and have traveled extensively by car, train, and plane throughout the area.

It’s only when I’ve gotten outside the major metros when (from my perspective) the real, natural topographic beauty kicks in ( e.g. Brown County, Indiana, or heading west, northwest from Madison, Wisconsin or the Dells over to LaCrosse, or to the north of Michigan, from Mackinaw to the UP). I could see the dunes on Lake Michigan’s southern shore from my apartment in Chicago, but only drove out there once (through lovely Gary...). Almost “hidden gems” that require an insiders perspective to find!

I’ll say that Cincinnati definitely doesn’t feel “Midwest” to me. Ohio River seems to be its own thing. I love those hills.

I think Texas suffers from a similar “natural beauty” perception, as not everyone makes it out to the Hill Country, or the western mountains, or the beautiful beaches of South Padre.
I realize that your "but the flat “see forever” can dominate" refers to the open spaces, the corn fields that cover much of the midwest. And you are right on that score (although there is also an appeal that comes with the open, half dome of the sky visible.

The funny thing about Chicago is that it was built on what may be the most advantageous flat-as-a-board platform. Chicago works because it is flat. Chicago is incredibly urban due in part to its flatness. You can find no better site to build a building or to create incredible interconnectiveness than on a flat platform.

The magic of Chicago is that it was able to have this perfectly flat landscape and be located on one of the precious few places on the planet where you face out to endless water on a non-coastal site. You cannot build a city directly on the ocean....I'm talking about its core....because it cannot exist in such an vulnerable locale...no "coastal" US city's downtown is directly on the Atlantic, Pacific, or gulf. Boston may come closest, but bay and islands shelter it from the ocean. New York, Miami, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco: all no's

The Great Lakes are almost unique in their setting. So in Chicago, the towers of the city are our change in elevation, dramatically so. You get the open water of the lake, the parks and beaches and behind them the incredible skyline. I realize I went on and on (and on) on that, but I'm just saying that Chicago's location is delightfully perfect for an urban setting.
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Old Yesterday, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,315 posts, read 6,750,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaTwo View Post
Yes agree on each. Very beautiful areas. Most people don’t know. I think you have to live and experience some other places and then you think yeah that’s a great place.
"Most people don't know" is very interesting to me. I have been up to Mackinac Island and the adjoining LP and UP areas. Can you even imagine how crowded and unreachable Mackinac would be if you dropped in LI Sound or the adjacent Atlantic? And Macckinac could easily feel at home on the rocky coast of New England.

What surprises me about Mackinac, this place that has all the makings of a major, major tourist destination, was the unbelievably high percentage of license plates I've seen there are from Michigan. The reason why is obvious, I think: surrounded by water, the LP gives one a long ride across state to get to Mackinac. So the beauty of the area is not very accessible...except from the state of Michigan.

I think the Midwest may differ from other regions insofar as it has the least of what I would call "clustering" of major attractions....the allure of a vacation that allows you too draw in a number of sites not all that far apart.

Anywhere in the northeast corridor has the advantage of this clustering. There is nothing strange about having a trip that includes going to both Boston and Washington, the furthest apart you can be in the region.

Florida clusters so many places (where to begin...WDW, Miami, the Gulf Coast, etc). Obviously out west in (Greater) California, you tie together LA, SD, SF, Yosemite, Tahoe, Vegas (that's the "greater"), etc.

And other such regions are located in the mid-south, Texas, the Rockies, etc.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't think of any area in the Midwest that would allow you to group attractions that way (but I could be wrong)
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