10Best is almost halfway through building the ultimate American travel bucket list. So far, our readers have chosen their favorite state attractions on the West Coast and in the Southwest, and now we have our sights set on the American heartland: the Midwest.
This often overlooked and underrated region is so much more than just the breadbasket of America. Visitors who take the time to linger here find staggering natural beauty, pioneering history and more than a few worthy cultural and artistic hubs.
We've enlisted a panel of travel writers and photographers in each state to nominate 20 their favorite must-see attractions. Now we need you to pick the winners. Vote once per day for your favorites in each state. Voting closes on Monday, August 28 at noon ET, and winners will be announced on Friday, September 1.
Click on each category below to vote:
Best Illinois Attraction
Millennium Park — Photo courtesy of Adam Alexander Photography
While Chicago dominates the state of Illinois with its big skyscrapers and even bigger cultural punch, there's more to the Prairie State than just the Windy City. World Heritage Sites, cypress swamps and famous homesteads number among the state's many worthwhile attractions.
Best Indiana Attraction
McCormick's Creek State Park — Photo courtesy of iStock / Kenneth_Keifer
Indiana is more diverse than postcards of its corn-stubbled landscape would have you believe. Whether in Indianapolis, the state's largest city, or small towns like Columbus, Hoosier hospitality permeates the state.
Best Iowa Attraction
Pikes Peak State Park — Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr
Germany colonies, covered bridges, college towns and some of the nation's most productive farms – this is Iowa. Attractions here are diverse, everything from movie sites and trucking museums to burial mounds and scenic drives along the Mighty Mississippi. What's your favorite?
Best Kansas Attraction
Monument Rocks — Photo courtesy of Kansas Office of Tourism & Travel
Known for its amber waves of grain and Wizard of Oz connection, Kansas is a scenic gem of a state too often overlooked (or flown over) by travelers heading to one coast or the other. Whether you're looking for wide open spaces or a slice of the Wild West, you'll find it in the Sunflower State.
Best Michigan Attraction
Mackinac Island — Photo courtesy of iStock / DougLemke
Michigan is the Midwest with the volume turned up. From the Lower and Upper Peninsulas to the Thumb, the state boasts 2,000 miles of shoreline (more than California) with access to four of the five Great Lakes. While the natural attractions are plenty desirable, so are the cultural, from the museums of Detroit to the windmills of Holland.
Best Minnesota Attraction
Walker Art Center — Photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis
The land of 10,000 lakes actually has more than 11,800, yet aquatic adventure is only one of many draws to Minnesota. The twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul teem with cool cultural attractions, and there's plenty of history to be found along the Mississippi River.
Best Missouri Attraction
Katy Trail State Park — Photo courtesy of iStock / Lokibaho
One of the most populated states in the Great Plains, Missouri has it all – big city attractions in St. Louis and Kansas City and wild, open places like the rolling Ozark Mountains.
Best Nebraska Attraction
Rowe Sanctuary — Photo courtesy of Nebraska Tourism
While the big cities of Lincoln and Omaha boast plenty of cultural appeal, Nebraska's rugged beauty also entices in places like the Missouri River Valley and the Sandhills grasslands. What's on the top of your must-see list in the Cornhusker State?
Best Ohio Attraction
Cuyahoga Valley National Park — Photo courtesy of TourismOhio, Ohio.org
The Buckeye State, also known as the Gateway to the West, embodies not only the spirit of the Midwest, but the spirit of the nation as a whole. Within its bounds, travelers can ride a buggy through the country's largest Amish community, tour one of its greatest art collections, ride one of its fastest roller coasters and see some of its oldest manmade structures.
Best Wisconsin Attraction
Door County — Photo courtesy of iStock / LesMorganPhotography
Wisconsin is known as the Dairy State thanks to the 2.5 billion pounds of cheese it produces each year, but it could easily be called the Land of 15,000 Lakes, because that's about how many were left behind by a great glacier some 10,000 years ago. Wisconsin's got natural beauty in spades from Door County to the Apostle Islands, and its cultural appeal is easy to see in hubs like Milwaukee and Madison.
Did your favorite attraction make the list of nominees? Let us know in the comments!