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View Poll Results: Does the Midwest get short changed on people's perceptions of it?
Yes 29 70.73%
No 12 29.27%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-15-2019, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,315 posts, read 6,754,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heel82 View Post
America is vast, every region has beautiful areas. But itís the dramatic that coax people to travel all day to vacation in another regionís natural environment. The Midwest has less of that than most anywhere else in the country.
I consider that fair. We have nothing "jaw dropping" in our landscape. The closest jaw dropping place to the midwest would be Niagara Falls. So nothing in our region at all. If I looked at California and was asked if each of the following constitutes "jaw dropping": Yosemite, Tahoe, Big Sur, the redwoods, the Monterey Peninsula...I'd say yes on every score.

I think it comes down to this: you can get fantastic scenery in the midwest but we do not have any of the ultimate type of locations you can find in other regions.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:37 AM
 
954 posts, read 358,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavePa View Post
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.

I wasn't simply looking at the Great Plains, I was merely remarking that the Midwest's natural beauty is not as big a draw to outsiders as other regions. People will fly to see Niagara, they'll drive all day to visit the South's beaches, they'll plan lifetimes around going out West. The Midwest doesn't have that appeal. Which is not the same as saying it isn't beautiful. Simply in a nation as beautiful as ours, the Midwest can be both beautiful and an afterthought. Those aren't mutually exclusive.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Chiraq, Crook County
1,573 posts, read 947,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heel82 View Post
I wasn't simply looking at the Great Plains, I was merely remarking that the Midwest's natural beauty is not as big a draw to outsiders as other regions. People will fly to see Niagara, they'll drive all day to visit the South's beaches, they'll plan lifetimes around going out West. The Midwest doesn't have that appeal. Which is not the same as saying it isn't beautiful. Simply in a nation as beautiful as ours, the Midwest can be both beautiful and an afterthought. Those aren't mutually exclusive.
I don't think anything is particularly all that special about "southern beaches" except for a few areas (Miami beach, Myrtle Beach). But yeah, if the question is is the Midwest underrated in terms of natural beauty, I would definitely say it is. But as someone else mentioned, I think there are a few reasons why it is overlooked; 1) Coastal biases and 2) The naturally beautiful parts tend to be secluded and away from the big cities which most tourists go to see.

As you said the Midwest isn't as naturally interesting as the Rockies... but the stereotype that it's all endless flat cornfield is just not true. The UP of Michigan might be the most underrated naturally beautiful part of the country, and the Ozarks are up there too.

I would say the Midwest and south are roughly equal in terms of natural beauty, yet the south seems to be overrated and the Midwest underrated. Yes, eastern TN and the Carolinas are very nice, but the rest of the south is not all that special.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:18 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Does the Middle West get short changed based on the perceptions people have of it? Particularly when it comes to natural beauty?

All regions of the US get stereotyped. But when it comes to topography and the nature of the land, none do as much as the midwest, IMPO.

It seems to me that the Midwest gets written off as flat and covered by corn fields when the reality is far different.

Look at the Appalachian Mountains. Eastern Ohio is within the Appalachian foot hills, but that is not the image people have of it. Those foot hills is also in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and will come across as feeling mountainous...but cross the line into Ohio and that changes.

The Great Lakes share so much in common with the oceans insofar as they reach to the horizons. Their beauty is undeniable. And the blue of the water and the spectacular beaches are not seen in comparison to coastal beaches. And parts of the lakefronts...in places like Door County, Wisconsin, and Mackinac Island, Michigan have a rocky, coastal look that might make them New England. And a nautical culture to go with it.

Hills abound in the midwest. Cincinnati has to be one of the hilliest of all US cities. Places like Galena, IL, have streets with a similar grade to San Francisco. The 30 mile drive from Bloomington to Nashville, IN, takes forever as it twists and turns through the hills.

Lakes and forests blanket the upper midwest. Obviously there is so much else beautiful about the midwest and I hardly could include even a fraction of it here.

Although natural cities were my focus, even the man-made, it seems to me, does not get the credit it deserves in the midwest. Our cities get short changed, often with the absurd "well, except for Chicago, of course" while we have exceedingly urban and urbane cities across the region. In so many ways, our cities are like those in New England and the Mid-Atlantic....they grew during the same time eastern cities did in the era of industrialization, immigration, and urbanization following the Civil War.

What are your thoughts about the Midwest and whether or not it is short changed in people's perceptions?
It is short changed in this regard but I'm okay with it. Fewer of the rich, pretentious *******s want to move there, unlike what you see in the pretty locations. Instead it's more down to earth people moving there.

North Dakota is one that actually has some pretty areas. The Turtle Mountains (mountain is used very loosely here) are a pretty forested area near the Canadian border, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a hidden gem, and Lake Sakakawea has some neat scenery and is the order largest manmade lake in the country. There are also lots of historical sites association with Lewis and Clark.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Going against the grain of comments, the Midwest isn't a highlight region for natural beauty to me. It's very average with many places that would be good for weekend vacations if you live in the area, but not much reason for people to travel long distances like some other areas of the country have. It has areas of regional interest and that's it. Most Americans live in areas that have similar if not more beauty much closer.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
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I love me the Midwest and can't wait to move there someday.

Southern IL
Metro East, IL
Indiana
Cincinnati/Northern KY
Kentucky
St. Louis
Detroit/Toledo
Western Nebraska
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
1,276 posts, read 670,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Easy View Post
Going against the grain of comments, the Midwest isn't a highlight region for natural beauty to me. It's very average with many places that would be good for weekend vacations if you live in the area, but not much reason for people to travel long distances like some other areas of the country have. It has areas of regional interest and that's it. Most Americans live in areas that have similar if not more beauty much closer.
Spoken like a true Coast resident.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:57 PM
 
954 posts, read 358,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCrest182 View Post
I don't think anything is particularly all that special about "southern beaches" except for a few areas (Miami beach, Myrtle Beach). But yeah, if the question is is the Midwest underrated in terms of natural beauty, I would definitely say it is. But as someone else mentioned, I think there are a few reasons why it is overlooked; 1) Coastal biases and 2) The naturally beautiful parts tend to be secluded and away from the big cities which most tourists go to see.

As you said the Midwest isn't as naturally interesting as the Rockies... but the stereotype that it's all endless flat cornfield is just not true. The UP of Michigan might be the most underrated naturally beautiful part of the country, and the Ozarks are up there too.

I would say the Midwest and south are roughly equal in terms of natural beauty, yet the south seems to be overrated and the Midwest underrated. Yes, eastern TN and the Carolinas are very nice, but the rest of the south is not all that special.
Myrtle Beach might be the worst major beach in a 1000-mile stretch. I am exaggerating, but not by too much. There is nothing special about Myrtle’s beaches, and that seems like an odd thing to credit the South for.

Regardless, the Blue Ridge and the Everglades are natural jewels with widespread appeal, before you even get to the next-tier areas like the Lowcountry, the Outer Banks, the Keys, the Atchafalaya Basin, the Gulf Coast, the Gold Coast, etc. I’m not saying the Midwest doesn’t have appealing natural elements. But it’s definitely a more subdued aspect of the region, it’s closest kin would be the Northeast.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:30 PM
 
Location: IN
20,974 posts, read 36,320,874 times
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Anywhere south of I-70 isn’t really the Midwest, so those natural scenic areas are generally more aligned with the South.

Last edited by GraniteStater; 09-15-2019 at 08:19 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
24,406 posts, read 18,176,102 times
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To me, the best parts of the Midwest are generally not where the population centers or jobs are.

I'm from northeast TN, and have lived in Des Moines and Indianapolis.

Central Indiana has basically no scenery worth mentioning. From Indianapolis, you're about an hour to an hour and a half to the "hills" in southern IN in Brown County. There's very little development and few jobs in southern IN. While nice, it never compared to back home in Tennessee. Northern IN has some pretty areas, but it's still no comparison to the Lake Michigan coast. From Indy, Holland, MI and similar cities are about four hours away. Mackinac is seven to eight.

The same thing is true for Iowa. There are beautiful areas in northern MN and WI, but those are hours away from Des Moines.

I wouldn't mind to live in Holland, MI or parts of Wisconsin eight months or so of the year, but the pretty places are small and it's tough to make a living there.
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