Lesser-Known Cities to Check Out in the Midwest

Photo by Patrick Laughlin on Trover.com

Park City, UT

Most travelers don’t realize that there’s more to Utah than Salt Lake City. Particularly perfect for ski getaways and the famous Sundance Film Festival, Park City has so much more to offer than meets the eye. Travelers can check out Main Street’s shopping and restaurants as well as the city’s many art galleries. Some recommended hotels include the Park Regency Resort, the Lodge at Mountain Village, or Park City Peaks Hotel.  Travel guides suggest, as with many ski-resort towns, that travelers come in the summer time when lodging is less expensive – plus the weather will be perfect for exploring over a long weekend.

Peoria, IL

For travelers heading south after Chicago, a stop in Peoria might be worthy of one’s time. With many great and affordable accommodations such as the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette or the Quality Inn Peoria, travelers can focus on enjoying the city instead of worrying about breaking the bank. Recommended activities include the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the George L. Luthy Memorial Botanical Garden besides basic shopping and restaurants. Children will love the Peoria Zoo and the Playhouse Children’s Museum and adults can check out the views from their rental car on Grand View Drive.

Grand Rapids, MI

A tour of the Midwest isn’t complete without a couple days in Grand Rapids. With such attractions as the Symphony, Millenium Park, John Ball Zoo, and more, travelers will always have something to do even when the weather isn’t great. Affordable accommodations include the Ramada Plaza Grand Rapids, the Riverfront Hotel Grand Rapids, and the Econo Lodge & Suites. Home to many year-round festivals and noted as the best place to retire according to AARP, Grand Rapids will keep visitors entertained for days. Make sure to visits its Downtown Market and many theaters and other art celebrations.

Branson, MO

With more theaters than Broadway, Branson is the up and coming go-to hub for theater goers looking to break away from the tourist crowds. Visitors need to check out “the Strip” for access to these theaters and can stay right in the heart of the theater district affordably as well, at such hotels as the Boxcar Willie Inn, 1st Inn Branson, or the Gazebo Inn. Travel guides suggest putting off one’s visit until the autumn when the weather is cooler and pricing drops after the peak summer season. Nature enthusiasts are also recommended to stay in the Falls District to check out the Ozark Mountains.

Bismarck, ND

Due to the lower tourist crowds, Bismarck is an easily affordable yet typical northwestern city that should be on every road tripper’s list. Most hotels will easily be around $100 per night, including the Ramada Bismarck and America’s Best Value Inn & Suites. Visitors can take a tour of the State Capitol or go shopping downtown or in the Gateway Fashion Mall. Visitors can enjoy several festivals during the year, including Applefest at Buckstop Junction and children will enjoy an afternoon at the Dakota Zoo or the Super Slide Amusement Park.


Samantha is currently working with Hipmunk on the #HipmunkCityLove project. Check out some of her latest posts for more hotel and travel tips from Hipmunk!

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