Family Vacations to the Midwest

Arrow Discover more

Midwest – Family Vacation Guide

The Midwest is the perfect combination of beautiful landscapes and bustling cities. It’s a great place for a road trip with kids. Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and Illinois offer coastal living experiences without the trek out to the coasts. Pick a state and start exploring.Midwesterners are passionate about their land and about their offerings to America. You’ll find something for everyone in the family, from lakefront retreats to hiking trails to historic downtown cores.


Why Go

  • Accessible

    For families who live in the middle of the country, the Midwest offers the experience of living on a big body of water without having to make a trek all the way out to the coasts.

  • Big Cities

    Chicago, Detroit, Columbus, Minneapolis, Des Moines and more. There are no shortage of cities to explore.

  • Outdoor Activities

    Whether you’re family loves hiking, biking or just walking around, the rolling hills and tall trees are the perfect backdrop for any adventure.

Where to Go



The state of Illinois is for everyone. Love the outdoors? Visit Shawnee National Forest for hiking, or take a dip under a waterfall at Starve Rock State Park. Families can even go hot air ballooning! If cities are more your style, head to Chicago for some kid-filled fun, the most beautiful architecture in the U.S. or a Cubs baseball game. Want to learn a little bit of history? The state has a huge collections of museums and art centers.

Take Me to Illinois

tab image 1


You can’t go to Michigan without exploring the Great Lakes. Take a road trip along the lakefront starting in the car capital of Detroit. Visit museums and the first headquarters of Motown. As you drive along, stop off at any quaint lakefront town for friendly hospitality and a good bite to eat. Make sure to explore any lighthouses you see, and take a polar bear dip in Lake Michigan or Lake Huron. There are many kid-friendly activities to put on your itinerary!

Take Me to Michigan

tab image 2


From east to west, Missouri is worth investigating. Head to Kansas City for amusement parks and water slides. You’ll find some of the most important history in America here too, with the National World War I Museum. Drive east for St. Louis for the state’s lush botanical gardens before heading to the Gateway Arch to take an elevator ride 630 ft up for a bird’s eye view of the city.

Take Me to Missouri


You’ll get to cross off another Great Lake from your bucket list with a visit to Ohio. Spend some time camping on Lake Eerie before you head over to the state’s big cities, like Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati. You’ll find some arts and culture must-sees you have to share with the kids. Tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie house, visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and search out the iconic Christmas Story movie house.

Take Me to Ohio

tab image 4

What to Do

  • The Great Lakes

    Travelling through the Midwest gives the family opportunity to take a polar bear dip in three of the five Great Lakes. These lakes are so big, you can see them from space!

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland

    See some of the biggest names in music history here.

  • Architecture River Cruise, Chicago

    If you are going to do one thing with your family in Chicago, make it this tour. Whether you love the big city or not, everyone will appreciate the beauty of the water against the cityscape.

  • Visit the State Parks

    Whether your in Ohio or Michigan, each state in the Midwest offers beautiful landscapes for hiking with the kids. State parks are scattered everywhere you look. Try Roaring River State Park in Missouri if fishing is the family’s style.

Getting Around

Pile your family in the car and pick a destination. Anywhere you go in the Midwest promises some type of adventure. You won’t be disappointed if you start your journey with a drive along the Great Lakes. For those more inland, driving between states and major cities only amounts to a few hours, so you can knock a couple off your list in just a week.

Get travel news sent to your inbox