Hey there weekend warrior! Here are 4 fun city breaks filled with some of the Midwest’s best cultural experiences, including art, architecture, sport, theatre and history.
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Weekend getaway in Chicago, Illinois
After modest beginnings, Chicago flourished in the 1830s as a transportation hub. With the exception of a massive fire that destroyed most of the city and took many lives, it grew continuously to its peak population in 1950. Chicago became home to many European immigrants, site of the world’s first skyscraper and the nation’s rail centre.
See Chicago’s celebrated architecture with a river cruise and get a top-down view from 94th-floor bar 360 Chicago. Take to the Wabash Art Corridor for street art and the Art Institute of Chicago for finer artworks. Visit starchitect Frank Lloyd Wright’s self-designed home. Eat anywhere on the spectrum from deep dish pizza to Michelin star fare and crawl the hidden downtown speakeasies.
Weekend getaway in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland was founded in 1796 where the Cuyahoga River meets Lake Erie and boomed as a manufacturing centre with the construction of the Erie Canal. Unfortunately, it also suffered the decline of many rustbelt cities but possesses a significant history that can be explored today.
Cleveland is a great base for visiting the attractions of Northeast Ohio, including its very own Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art and the biggest theatre district outside of New York City’s Broadway. A little further afield is one of the world’s largest Amish communities and a landmark Tudor-revival mansion turned living museum. For more details see this list of top things to do in Northeast Ohio.
Weekend getaway in Detroit, Michigan
Discover Detroit on an upswing! At first a French settlement, the city was founded in 1701 before it was taken by the British. As the popularity of automobiles took off, so did manufacturing in Detroit. This Gilded Age of the early 20th century passed and during the 1960s Detroit began a downward spiral. However, Motor City is undergoing a slow revival led by its creative class.
Uncover its incredible legacy including Ford’s Piquette Plant known as “birthplace of the Model-T” and groove on down to the Motown Museum. Take a tour of outstanding local architecture and discover murals by world-renowned street artists. Don’t miss the Diego Rivera-created Detroit Industry Murals at the Institute of Art. More on these things to do in Detroit are just a click away.
Weekend getaway in Indianapolis, Indiana
Spend a weekend getting to know the “Crossroads of America” – Indianapolis. The city was founded in 1821 as the state capital of Indiana. It’s central location near the White River and surrounding flat, fertile land saw it quickly become an agricultural centre. Expanding roads and railways transformed the city into a manufacturing and transportation hub. Indianapolis also established itself as a regional centre for banking and insurance, which it retains today. The City also became synonymous with motorsport, being the namesake of Indycar and hosting the annual Indy500 race since 1911.
See the downtown core of Indy by walking or cycling around the inner-city Cultural Trail. Go for a ride (or take the wheel yourself) in an Indy car on the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Visit the fabulous collection at the Indianapolis Museum of Art including a tour of Oldfields-Lilly House, and eat at the trendy cafes of Mass Ave and Broad Ripple. For more on what to do in Indianapolis, click right this way.
Plan your getaway
Inspired to take a weekend getaway in the Midwest? I hope so. There are plenty of urban gems that can be explored in 2-3 days.
Peace, love & inspiring travels,