The Great Lakes USA

Peter Morrell hears all about a great region in which to discover a totally different facet of America

American Eagle in Wisconsin

American Eagle in Wisconsin

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio

Abraham Lincoln Heritage, Springfield, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln Heritage, Springfield, Illinois

The Natural Beauty of Minnesota

The Natural Beauty of Minnesota

Motown, Detroit, Michigan

Motown, Detroit, Michigan

Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana

Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana

Many of you will have fond memories of your trips to the USA. The energy of New York, the thrills in Orlando, the excitement of LasVegas and the glamour of Los Angeles. But between the east and west coasts there are many other interesting and rewarding places to visit, encompassing big city culture to small town charm.

I recently met a group of people from the Great Lakes region of the USA. This part of America comprises six States, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. They are clustered around five massive interconnecting lakes which hold more than 20% of the world’s fresh water.

To give you an idea of what to do and where to go in the Great Lakes, here are some of the highlights:

City Culture

Chicago is a world city and with it comes outstanding art galleries and museums. To match what’s inside the city’s architecture is also stunning, Chicago is where Frank Lloyd Wright spent the first 20 years of his career and there are many grand buildings showing his and many other architects’ designs. Detroit, Michigan is going through a re-birth and is emerging as an example of a post-industrial city with a future. It offers the musical legend of Motown, opera, orchestras and festivals. In nearby Dearborn is the unmissable Henry Ford Museum and a fascinating operational car factory tour. Over in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the Harley Davidson Museum and if you like that you will also be interested Cleveland, Ohio’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Heritage

Springfield, Illinois was the home of Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s greatest presidents and and leader during the Civil War. His house is still there and is open to visitors. Running through Illinois is the world’s most famous road, Route 66. Cruise down it and you will see drive-ins, roadhouses, murals and a whole range of kitsch memorabilia. In northern Michigan is Mackinac Island, this is a land that time forgot, there are no cars, transport is by horse and cart and you can stay in quaint, family-owned boutique hotels.

Cuisine

The food in the region features locally grown ingredients with the emphasis very much on ‘farm to fork’ dining. There are 100s of vineyards in the region producing high quality vintages and like elsewhere in America the craft beer business is booming.

The Great Outdoors

If you are in to hiking, biking, kayaking, golf, bird-watching or just enjoy being in nature then the region offers a number of National Parks. This year the Parks Service is celebrating its centennial, so all the facilities are well established. Minnesota is the source of the mighty Mississippi river and you can follow the scenic Great River Road from there through Wisconsin and Illinois.

Something for Everyone

Since 1911 the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana has been a mecca for petrol heads. If cars are not your thing then up in Minneapolis, Minnesota is Mall of America offering shopaholics 2.5 million square feet of retail therapy and entertainment.

This is only a tiny selection of attractions and things to do in an area the size of continental Europe. So if you want to see a totally different aspect of American culture, heritage and scenery then The Great Lakes could be just the destination for you

Getting There

A number of airlines offer direct flights from the UK to Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit.

More Information

To find out more about The Great Lakes region and the wealth of attractions it has to offer go to
www.GreatLakesUSA.co.uk

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