Did you know that today, January 30, is National Plan for Vacation Day? Yes, there is such a thing and I think it’s awesome! We all know the benefits of taking a much-needed vacation: higher productivity, performance; more positive attitude toward work; increased happiness; improved mental and physical health; better relationships and social life. But did you know that more than half (54 %) of American workers left a total of 662 million vacation days unused?
I LOVE planning vacations and what better time to start planning? To really get down and dirty, I suggest hitting up the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show as well. (Stay tuned for more info!) In the mean time, I asked a few of my Midwest travel experts on some of their favorite Midwest favorites. Here are 13 destinations that should be on your radar. Show them some love and tell them that Cheryl from O the Places We Go sent you.
So tell me, have you started planning your vacations this year? Where do you plan on going this year? What would you add?
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne has always been on my list since it’s Indiana’s second largest city. After reading Lindsay’s post from her blog, Let Me Give You Some Advice, I know we NEED to make this trek this year. So much adventure awaits including a highly rated zoo, science museum, art museum, a minor league baseball team. So much to do! Plus, my little dino lovers would totally dig the playground with dino bones!
South Haven, Michigan
Michigan’s Sunset Coast is always a family favorite because of the beach. Lindsey also dishes more recommended family fun in this cute Michigan town that includes a wood playground, ice cream, movies, and of course — the beach! Fruit picking is also popular and we plan on going blueberry picking this year. We may just have to visit South Haven at the same time!
Jessica from Sweet and Savor talks about her favorite Michigan destinations. Don’t need to convince me — I love the Mitten State. We’ve been to Traverse City and highly recommend it. We do need to explore the Upper Peninsula and Pictured Rocks looks breathtaking. We’ve been to Grand Rapids briefly but know they offer so many family-friendly attractions that we need to explore.
Cindy from Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl recommends stopping by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum if you visit Springfield. We’ve also heard great things about this museum, and sadly we haven’t been to Springfield as a family. We’re waaay overdue for a visit to our state’s capital!
St. Croix River Region, Wisconsin
Janet from Go! Learn Things highlights her trip to the Ice Age Trail. Looks like a great time to get some one-on-one time with nature.
Jeff Bryant from Our Changing Lives shares all the fun things to do in Wichita, Kansas, and was pleasantly surprised at how much there was to see. Tons of museums, after-hours fun, and a cool wildlife park. Sounds like something my family would love!
Overland Park, Kansas
Francesca from The Working Mom Travels thought their spring break visit to Overland Park, Kansas was probably the biggest surprise of their 2017 travels. With botanical gardens, museums, a dining scene, and other unique attractions, they fell in love with this suburban town close to Kansas City. Their fav spot was the Deana Rose Children’s Farmstead.
Sage Scott from Everyday Wonderer fell in love with Cincinnati when she traveled with her two youngest daughters. She has a series of posts for you to learn more about the Queen City. After reading more about this city, we’re definitely adding it to our bucket list. We have to pay a visit to Fiona, their newest hippo, at their zoo. Plus, I love a city with beautiful murals to explore. The kids would totally dig the streetcars.
Tulip Festival, Holland, Michigan
Annie from Annie Wears It suggest visiting Holland, Michigan in May in time for one of her favorite festivals, Tulip Time Festival. Just take a look at her post and the photos and I guarantee you’ll want to visit! The adorable town has a state park, great shopping, delicious foods, and the cutest places to stay! The city plants more than 100,000 tulips each year and they have a giant Dutch windmill outside of town surrounded by tulips! I’ve been dying to go to the Tulip Festival – it’s been on my bucket list for ages. I believe this year may be the year!
Britney from Park Trips and More loved their South Dakota road trip with National and State parks like Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, and Custer State Park. Our epic road trip to Yellowstone included stops through South Dakota and it still remains one of our favorite road trips, ever!
Indiana Dunes, Indiana
Debbra from Tropical Travel Girl shares her published article on the Indiana Dunes area. Living in Chicago, we are a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Dunes and totally have to agree it’s a Chicagoland favorite escape. Debbra’s favorite thing to do is climbing the dunes (of course!) and suggests eating at Lucrezia Cafe in Chesterton, Indiana.
Carrie from Midwest Family Traveler talks about her favorite visit to LeClaire, Iowa, a town 20 minutes north of Davenport, Iowa. We love small, charming towns and will definitely add this to the list when we in the area.
Victoria from That Was A First loved their visit to Duluth, MN in the summer…especially the Canal Park area. She talks about 8 things to do including driving along the north shore of Lake Superior for the view, waterfalls, and all the fun towns along the way. We haven’t visited Minnesota in ages and it’s time we explore the rest of the state. Did you know Minnesota is known for their wild rice?
Quad Cities, Illinois and Iowa
Amanda from Queen of the Land of Twigs and Berries gushes about her former college town that so happens to be family friendly. We have personally visited and totally agree! The John Deere Pavillion and Family Museum of Arts and Sciences is always a hit with families.