Check out some great Midwest-related stories I found online this past month:
20 great spring drives-I love Beth's round up of scenic drives throughout the Midwest. I have fond memories of traveling along the North Shore of Minnesota, where we visited Gooseberry Falls many years ago, and the Illinois section of the Lincoln Highway, where we managed to get as far as Joliet a few years ago during some heavy construction. The list concludes with the suggestion of traveling through northwestern Michigan with a stop at the Mission Point Lighthouse, a stop we've made many times ourselves. Check it out at the Midwest Weekends blog.
A Little Swedish Utopia on the Illinois Prairie-Scandinavian immigrants have a rich history and presence in parts of the Midwest like the Swedish enclave of Bishop Hill, which is about 150 miles southwest of Chicago. Terri finds plenty of great food, learns about the history and culture of the Swedes and enjoys some quality time with Pippi Longstocking! Check out her story on the Off the Beaten Page blog.
20 years of Pasty Central and the Pasty Cam-We're lucky enough to have a great, and pretty authentic, pasty place a couple of miles from our home in metro Detroit (Barb's in Clawson). If you want to learn more about these hearty meat-and-vegetable pies that are pretty much the official food of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, check out this story by Farlane at the Michigan in Pictures blog and see some of the UP miners who helped popularize pasties here in Michigan.
30 Things to do in Columbus, Ohio-We've driven through Columbus several times, but we've definitely missed a lot by not making time to visit Columbus itself! I think touring the Ohio state capitol and stopping by to see the manatees at the Columbus Zoo or, if its hockey season, taking in a Blue Jackets game to see if any players I remember from our old Plymouth Whalers days (like Jared Boll or Sonny Milano) take the ice for Columbus would be fun. Read Karyn's story at the Sand and Snow blog.
Weekend Getaway Guide: Athens, Ohio-We loved visiting Athens, home to Ohio University. The college campus isn't far from the Hocking Hills area, and it's a beautiful place to visit as a photographer. Ohio history, early 1800s architecture, a thriving foodie scene and more...what's not to like? Check out Heather's story at the Ohio Girl Travels blog.
Detroit Agate: Auto Factory Paints Accidentally-People who me well, know about my affection for wearing jewelry made of unusual "rocks". Check out this story of an especially intriguing variety of Detroit "rocks"-Fordite! I've wanted a necklace made from a piece of Fordite for ages (Tim-yes, that's a hint for Christmas). Meanwhile, check out this Urbanist-authored story about Fordite at the Web Urbanist blog.
Why you don't want to miss an Early Morning Walk at Maumee Bay State Park-I enjoy walking the boardwalk trail at Maumee Bay State Park. The easy terrain along the two-mile trail is accessible and a great way to see the meadows, swamp and marshes at this Toledo-area nature center while viewing the birds, deer, butterflies and other wildlife along Lake Erie. Check out Tonya's story about this trail at The Traveling Praters blog.
National Center for Nature Photography at Secor Metropark-We loved visiting the National Center for Nature Photography at Toledo Ohio's Metropark when it reopened after a lengthy closure for renovation a couple of years ago. The center has plenty of rotating exhibitions and displays images that continue to inspire others and educate aspiring nature photographers. Check out Bob's story about the center and its current exhibits at the TrekOhio blog.
Top 15 Best Architects in Detroit History-Detroit's architectural wonders never cease to amaze me, and it's great to see so many of my favorite Detroit architectural gems in Dale's round-up story at the I Love Detroit Michigan blog. Check out this article to learn more about architects Albert Kahn, C. Howard Crane, Eliel & Eero Saarinen, Minoru Yamasaki, Louis Kamper and others beloved by fans of classic Detroit architectural history.
On Magee Marsh's Famous Boardwalk, I Spotted Warblers, Blackbirds and Kenn Kaufman-We've enjoyed visiting Magee Marsh multiple times ourselves. Check out Betsy's report on this northern Ohio wildlife refuge and this year's Biggest Week in American Birding activities at her beesfirstappearance blog.
Quirky Attraction: The Indianapolis 500 Museum-Regular readers of Midwest Guest know that we love visiting car museums, so I loved seeing Scott's story about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. We went to an Indy 500 race many years ago, and I have memories of the parades, venturing into the crush of the infield and the streaks of color zooming by as cars circled around the track, but the museum looks like a great place to more fully appreciate the history of the iconic race and cars through the years. Check out the story at The Quirky Travel Guy's blog.
One of the best Places to Visit in Minnesota for Savoring Gourmet Cheese-Shanna takes readers to The Cheese Cave in Faribault, Minnesota. Sandstone caves under the hills near his southern Minnesota city started out by housing beer and barley for a German beer making business starting during the 1850s before Prohibition put a stop to that operation in 1919. Subsequent owners repurposed the caves as a place to age cheese. Check out Shanna's story about it at A Midwest Travel Companion blog.
Tuesday Trivia: New Navy Pier Ferris Wheel Statistics-Chicago's new Centennial Wheel debuted last month. I remember the outsized Ferris wheel being pretty impressive when we saw it more than half-dozen years ago, but the new Centennial Wheel looks even more impressive these days if the list of stats I saw for it is any indication. Check out the story about it at the Chicago Architecture blog.
8 Ways to Celebrate Vernors' 150th Birthday-Vernors is an iconic and uniquely memorable Detroit ginger ale. This snappy yet sweet soft drink is definitely one of our favorites! Vernors is the oldest continuously produced soda pop in the country...isn't it time to give it a try? Check out Heidi's story at the Experiences in the D, Visit Detroit's blog. I'm pretty fond of an ice-cold Vernors simply on the rocks, but I admit having a special place in my heart for Boston Coolers (a Vernors-and-vanilla-ice-cream drink!).
That's it for this month's Midwest travel links list. Do you have any favorite Midwest stories or blogs to share?
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