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Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are the 12 states that make up the Midwest, also known as America's heartland.

Apart from being home to the tallest man-made monument, the Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri is a region in the western hemisphere that has an interesting geological history. From the Great Lakes to South Bass Island, from Ohio River to Lake Superior, from Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to the Sand Dunes along Lake Michigan, the American Midwest is a marvel in its own right.

Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and Lake Erie are the Great Lakes located in the region. Other famous landmarks in the region include Traverse City in Michigan, Cave of the Mounds in Wisconsin, Chicago Theater and Willis Tower in Chicago, and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

The Midwest is home to stunning landscapes, national monuments, and one-of-a-kind man-made masterpieces. Here are the 15 most fascinating landmarks in the Midwest, from Mount Rushmore to Willis Tower.

Famous Landmarks In Illinois

Following are famous landmarks in Illinois.

Starved Rock State Park: In central Illinois, Starved Rock State Park is a year-round hiking destination with winter hiking, frozen waterfalls, and ice climbing. Its 14 waterfalls, especially the Tonti Canyon Falls, are particularly beautiful in the summer.

The park contains 18 canyons with moss-covered vertical walls, waterfalls, natural springs, and outlooks with spectacular views and is located on the Illinois River bluff in La Salle County. The history of Starved Rock State Park extends back to 8000 BC when it was home to Native American tribes and European explorers.

Willis Tower: Willis Tower is a 108-story skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, and the third-tallest building in North America at 1,450 ft (442 m). It was the world's tallest skyscraper when it was completed in 1974, surpassing New York's World Trade Center, and it held that record for 25 years (between 1974 and 1998).

Willis Tower is now the world's 23rd tallest structure, with the highest observation deck in the United States. The 103-floor Skydeck has a glass box ledge 1,345.1 ft (410 m) above the ground. Standing on the glass with Chicago beneath your feet and speeding up in the elevator in 60 seconds are thrilling experiences.

Famous Landmarks In Indiana

With such a rich history, there are numerous historic buildings, museums, and locations to explore, as well as stunning beaches and woodlands.

Evansville Museum: The Evansville Museum is yet another experience for art, science, and history. It's a broad museum with something for everyone and is a fantastic setting in downtown Evansville's historic district. The museum has a collection of over 30,000 artifacts on display, providing something for everyone. It covers a wide range of subjects, from fine art to anthropological and natural history objects.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a beautiful national park with some of Indiana's best beaches. There's plenty to keep you occupied with soft sand beaches, a variety of restaurants, and miles of hiking paths. It is considered by many to be one of the best spots to visit in Indiana.

Basilica Of The Sacred Heart, Notre Dame: On the ancient Notre Dame University campus, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a stunning Roman Catholic church. It is most recognized as the United States' fifth-largest church, and it is an outstanding structure with intricate ornamentation. While you're there, take a tour around campus to take in the historic buildings and lush greenery.

Famous Landmarks In Iowa

Many distinctive and historic landmarks can be found throughout Iowa, serving as reminders of people and events that shaped the course of history in both this state and nation.

Grotto Of The Redemption, West Bend: The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend called the Eighth Wonder of the World is the world's largest man-made grotto and has the world's largest collection of precious stones and gems in one spot.

Old Capitol Building, Iowa City: In the year 1839, on orders from State Governor Robert Lucas, Iowa City was founded for housing the state capitol building by replacing Burlington as the state capital.

The state agreed to move the state capital to Des Moines after 10 years of hosting the government in Iowa City. The Old Capitol Facility became the first permanent building acquired by the University of Iowa when the state government relocated to Des Moines in 1857.

Famous Landmarks In Kansas

Mentioned below are some of the most famous landmarks in Kansas.

Hollenberg Pony Express Station: The Hollenberg Pony Express Station, also known as the Cottonwood Pony Express Station, was a famous stop in the 1800s when hundreds of pioneers and Pony Express mail delivery riders stopped by this small but pleasant waypoint. Today, the historical site and museum offer tours of rooms with period furnishings, the opportunity to put on period clothing, and a visitor center with a wealth of fascinating information about the time period.

The Hollenberg Pony Express Station is located outside the small town of Hanover, near the Kansas-Nebraska border. It may not be close to many urban attractions, but Fancy Creek State Park is only a day's drive away.

Constitution Hall State Historic Site: Constitution Hall State Historic Site, commonly known as Lecompton Constitution Hall, is a national historic landmark that protects and preserves an important aspect of Kansan and American history. In 1857, a number of antislavery protesters gathered in this hall to speak out against the proslavery constitutional convention conference that was taking place at the time, influencing the destiny of Kansas's membership in the Union.

Near Constitution Hall State Historic Site, there are a variety of things to do. Constitution Hall State Historic Site is around halfway between Topeka and Lawrence, both of which have a plethora of restaurants and shopping options.

Red Rocks State Historic Site: Red Rocks State Historic Site, the formal name of the preserved home of William Allen White, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a political advisor to multiple presidents, is surely a sight worth seeing in the small Kansas town of Emporia.

Things to do: Because Emporia is almost halfway between Kansas City and Wichita, there are plenty of things to see and do within a day's drive.

Cave in Rock is a famous landmark located along the banks of Ohio River.

Famous Landmarks In Minnesota

Here are some of the most well-known landmarks located in Minnesota.

Northern Lights, Minnesota And Michigan: During the winter and spring, visitors visiting Minnesota and Michigan may be lucky enough to witness the northern lights (aurora borealis), a natural phenomenon more commonly associated with Iceland or Norway. Cook Country in Minnesota, particularly at Oberg Mountain in the Superior National Forest, is one of the best places to see the lights illuminate Lake Superior.

You might alternatively travel to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where the lights can be seen from the port town of Marquette or the Keweenaw Peninsula, which is 115 mi (185 km) north.

Mountain Iron Mine: Mountain Iron Mine, which initially operated in 1892, was the first mine on the Mesabi Iron Range, which swiftly became a world-famous place for mining steel. Mountain Iron Mine also holds the distinction of being home to the world's largest iron ore deposit, and while the bottom of this open-pit mine has since filled with water, you can still see the outside perimeter of this historic site, where mining operations continued until 1956.

Como Park Conservatory, Minnesota: The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, commonly known as Como Park Conservatory, is a half-acre of gardens and art galleries on the grounds of the Como Park Zoo in Saint Paul. A Bonsai gallery; a butterfly garden; a Japanese garden; a palm dome with over 150 varieties of palm trees; a tropical garden with plants and animals from central and South America; as well as a variety of grasses, flowers, and trees; are among the highlights. The sunken garden offers stunning views of the glass greenhouse filled with vibrant flowers and lush foliage.

Famous Landmarks In Missouri

Here are details of some of the most famous landmarks located in Missouri.

Gateway Arch, Missouri: At 630 ft (192 m), the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is the tallest man-made landmark in the entire country. The stainless steel building was completed in 1965 and is also dubbed as the Gateway to the West.

Things to do: The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, which is located on the west side of the Mississippi River and houses a museum as well as a tram that carries visitors to the top, was built to help revitalize the riverfront.

Sergeant Floyd Monument, Sioux City: The Sergeant Floyd Monument is located at Floyd's Bluff in Sioux City, on the Missouri River. Charles Floyd, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, died on the upstream expedition in 1804 and was buried here, which is commemorated by this monument. On the expedition, he was the only one who died.

Famous Landmarks in South Dakota

Here are some famous landmarks in South Dakota.

Mount Rushmore: Mount Rushmore is one of the most well-known landmarks in South Dakota. The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are carved into the side of granite cliffs, and it was designated as a national monument in 1925. Every year, more than two million people come to see the huge carving. Stop by the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and explore the 0.6 mi (1 km) presidential trail to get a closer look at the monument.

Things to do: Mount Rushmore is close to the Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park, which are both great places to visit if you want to get some fresh air. The Crazy Horse Memorial is also a short distance away.

Badlands National Park: Badlands National Park is 370 sq mi (2.6 sq km) of unique and renowned landscape located just a few miles east of Black Hills National Forest. Hiking, bicycling, and backcountry camping are all great in these buttes, slopes, and pinnacles. The Badlands Loop Road will carry visitors through the picturesque park from the luxury of their cars, for those who wish to take it easy. Another section of the park is Buffalo Gap National Grassland, which is one of America's last remaining pristine prairie landscapes. The park also has a free-roaming bison herd, which is frequently seen by visitors.

Things to do: The towns of Wall, Interior, and Scenic are all located just outside the park. Rapid City is only an hour away to the northwest, and Mount Rushmore is also only an hour away.

Written By
Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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