The region certainly boasts its big cities, this was, after all, the country’s industrial hub for decades, but its quintessential scenes tend to be more rustic in nature.
Vast corn and wheat fields ripple to the horizon while noble barns and silos surveying grazing Holsteins, walleye- and bass-roamed lakes, undulating woods afire with autumn color, a rut-primed whitetail buck striding through an evening oak savanna.
Peppering that bucolic countryside are small towns showcasing the Heartland’s unmistakable cultural tone: hard-working, unpretentious, and open-hearted, that “Midwestern hospitality” you hear so much about is alive and well out here.
Let’s take a freewheeling cruise of some of the Midwest’s coziest, most endearing small towns, from the shores of Lake Superior to the bluffs of the Mississippi River.
All have their own distinctive charm and character, but each and every one represents the best of the Midwest, and, not insignificantly, draws an important part of its magic from the broader natural regions it’s nested within.