A holiday Central States of America is characterized by the versatile landscapes. This varies from vast flat prairies in the east to the first slopes and peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the west. Combined with beautiful lakes and vibrant cities, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas form a large green heart that likes to be explored. Discover the wealth of the Central States!
Natural areas in Central States
According to growtheology, Minnesota calls itself “the state of 10,000 lakes.” And with more than 14,000 lakes, we can call that a justified nickname. A legacy from a distant past when the state, which borders Canada, was largely covered by glaciers. A real paradise for outdoor adventurers, because you will also find numerous green swamps, rivers and streams and rocky outcrops.
Lake Itasca is one of those lakes that is definitely worth a visit during your Central States vacation. If only because the Mississippi River originates from this lake. The lake is located in the beautiful Itasca State Park.
A visit to Duluth to the north should not be missed on a Minnesota vacation. It is the gateway to the beautiful nature that the state has to offer. In the summer, rent a kayak and explore the large lake that borders the town. In the winter months you can enjoy the view of the beautiful, high snowy mountains on foot or by bike. In Duluth you will find a network of more than 150 kilometers of bike paths on which you can easily cross the entire city. That Duluth is a sporting paradise is also evident from the fact that the city has raised no fewer than 150 Olympic athletes.
Voyageurs National Park
Even further north is Voyageurs National Park. This park is located on the border of the Americas and Canada, making it rightly the heart of the North American continent. In the park you will find many beautiful and extensive lakes, which are a paradise especially for fishermen. It’s no surprise that fishing is the number 1 national sport in Minnesota. This part of Minnesota is a great place to visit in the summer months, as winter temperatures don’t rise above freezing for long periods of time. Therefore, go on holiday in the Central States during the summer months and go fishing in Minnesota for a day.
Chippewa National Forest
More centrally in Minnesota you will find overwhelming natural areas such as Chippewa National Forest that you should definitely visit during your Central States vacation. A National Forest that spans Itasca, Cass and Beltrami counties. The area includes great forests, lakes and an overwhelming splendor of flora and fauna. Chippewa National Forest is a recreation area with three large and many smaller lakes. Sailing, swimming, fishing and canoeing, you can do it all in this great area. In winter, snowmobile drivers and skiers find their entertainment here.
At Cass Lake are breeding grounds of the White-headed Sea Eagle (American Bald Eagle), the heraldic animal of the US. The abundance of fish and the tall trees provide an ideal habitat for these rare birds. They can be recognized by the white head and their impressive wingspan of two meters.
Detroit Lakes was founded in 1871 by Colonel George Johnston and grew rapidly thanks to the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Nowadays the city is a wonderful base for action and entertainment in nature. On or near the water, in one of the beautiful forests in the area; Detroit Lakes offers it all. From a bike or hike to a marathon, but culture enthusiasts will also get their money’s worth here. The many cultural festivals provide a pleasant atmosphere in the city.
Best places in Central States
During your Central States holiday, not only nature will overwhelm you. The Central States has many atmospheric pictures full of culture, cosiness and history.
Little Falls is a charming and cozy town on the banks of the Mississippi River. Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh grew up here and you are reminded of this in several ways. During your holiday you can relax in Lindbergh State Park or visit the house in which Lindbergh grew up. The Minnesota Fishing Museum is also located here. Just above Little Falls you can visit Camp Ripley with the Minnesota Military Museum. Also impressive is a visit to the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery where the veterans are honored.
Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, the state below Minnesota. The city is located in the heart of the Corn Belt, a large agricultural area where a lot of corn and grain is grown. The city’s name is probably derived from the French Rivière des Moines, which literally means ‘Monks River’. Des Moines is therefore located at the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers.
In the city you will find more than 50 parks where there is plenty to do. Rent a boat and cruise Gray’s Lake Park or walk the pier. Jester Park offers camping, fishing, golfing, horseback riding, hiking, hunting and picnicking. You almost forget you are in the city.
A versatile and very attractive city that is really worth a visit during your Central States holiday. That’s how you can describe Wichita. Kansas’s largest city offers everything. From culture, museums and natural beauty to cozy restaurants and cafes in the ‘Old Town’. But the large Sedgwick County Zoo is also well worth a visit! Also nice is the Old Cowntown Museum where you can get acquainted with daily life in an old ‘cow town’ in 1870. Historic buildings and actors revive old times.
Springfield is a Missouri green city with more than 90 parks, including the Nathanael Greene Close Memorial Park, the neat Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, and the Springfield Botanical Gardens. You can enjoy walking in all these parks and gardens. Springfield is also credited as the birthplace of U.S. Route 66 because the name Route 66 was first suggested in this city in 1926. In the city, it is therefore mainly about Route 66. It has won many awards in recent years for the safest city and most popular city for young people to live in.
St. Louis is a city with a French touch. Not surprising since the French colonized several states of America in the sixteenth century, including Missouri. The characteristic houses and the Lafayette City Park are reminders of that time and influence. Many small shops are located in the old wooden buildings. The most iconic building and absolute eye-catcher in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch. This monumental arch from 1947 is 192 meters wide and 192 meters high. This makes it an attraction not to be missed. The Gateway Arch symbolizes the expansion of American settlers westward. The monument is not just a statue. With a special elevator in the arch you go to the top. From there you have a beautiful view over the vast beautiful city.
In addition to being Oklahoma’s largest city, Oklahoma City is also the state’s political, cultural, and economic powerhouse. This makes the city a lively and particularly attractive destination during your Central States holiday. Oklahoma is also graced by many parks. In addition, Oklahoma has various neighborhoods, all of which are characterized by something special. This way you can go on a discovery tour through the Adventure District, the Arts District and Bricktown.
A nice place to relax is Lake Hefner, a large lake surrounded by beautiful parks. In the summer it is a perfect place for sailing, picnicking or fishing. You can also enjoy walking and cycling and delicious food in the various restaurants along the waterfront.
Minneapolis, together with the neighboring capital and sister city of Saint Paul, forms the Twin Cities. More than half of the state’s residents live in these cities. In Minneapolis, as a culture lover, you can indulge yourself with a visit to the Minneapolis Museum of Arts where you can see paintings by Van Gogh. And in the modern cube-shaped Walker Art Center you will mainly find contemporary art.
Mall of America
But maybe Minneapolis is on your wish list on your vacation through the Central States for a completely different reason. With more than 520 stores, the Mall of America is a mecca for shopaholics and one of the largest shopping centers in the country. Even rollercoasters circle through this mega mall. The Mall of America has been the city’s most visited attraction for many years.
You will find sister city Saint Paul right next to Minnepolis. With the Cathedral of Saint Paul as the biggest attraction. This cathedral is inspired by Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Saint Paul is also the birthplace of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald on Laurel Avenue. Take a city walk along the Saint Paul of the author of the Great Gatsby. You walk past the different houses where the writer lived, his old school and the Saint Paul Hotel where he could regularly be found.