Map of Midwest States USA | Midwestern United States Map | Midwest Region Map
The Midwestern United states referred to as simply the Midwest is one of the four census states in the country. The Midwest refers to the north-central states of the United States which are just east of the centre, lying midway between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains and north the Ohio River.
The following are the states defined by the federal government as belonging to the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
The twenty-fifth largest state in the country, Illinois(Capital: Chicago) is surrounded by water bodies on nearly every border: the Mississippi River on the west, the Ohio and Wabash Rivers in the south and Lake Michigan in the North.
The 38th largest state by area and 17th most populous, the Hoosier state of Indiana(Capital Indianapolis), which literally translates to ‘the land on the Indian,’ is known for being one of the leading states in the US in the automotive industry. It is also believed to be the state that makes the most popcorn in the country.
The state of Iowa(Capital: Des Moines)sits nestled between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, known for its rolling plains and sprawling fields of corn- it is the leading state in the country for corn production. Iowa is also called the Hawkeye State and the birthplace of…sliced bread.
Kansas(Capital: Topeka), home of the Wildcats, is bordered by Nebraska to the North, Missouri to the east, Oklahoma to the south and Colorado to the west. Just like how Iowa is known for its production of corn, Kansas, aptly termed as the breadbasket of the country is the leading producer of the country.
Michigan State(Capital: Lansing) comes from the Ojibwe word mishigami which means large lake or large water, which makes sense seeing as how Lake Michigan is the second largest of the Great Lake in terms of volume, after Lake Huron and Lake Superior
Minnesota(Capital: Saint Paul) is home to the largest of the Great Lakes: Lake Superior. The state also houses more than 10,00 other lakes, including Lake Itasca, which is the Mississippi River’s primary source of water. Minnesota is also known for its twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, which are both cultural hubs in the Midwest.
The 18th most populous state and the 21st largest in terms of area, Missouri(Capital: Jefferson) is known for its Kansas style Barbecue, yes, but also more importantly for being a major centre of beer brewing: St.Louis is the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch and home of Budweiser.
Nebraska(Capital: Lincoln) is known for the sprawling prairies of the Great Plains, the towering dunes of the Sandhills and also for the panhandle’s dramatic sweep of rock formations. Nicknamed the Cornhusker State, Nebraska is America’s third-largest producer of corn, and also a leading producer of eggs, dry beans, sugar beets and hogs.
9. North Dakota
North Dakota(Capital Bismarck) is the state where the Great Plains give away to the rugged Badlands. North Dakota is the largest producer of honey in the United States. North Dakota is known to honour its Scandinavian Heritage, as well as its Native American heritage.
Ohio(Capital: Columbus) is the seventh most populous state in the country and perhaps known best for its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The actual word Ohio originates from Iroquois which means good river, or La Belle Riviere, as translated by the French, in reference to the beautiful river of Ohio. Ohio is also known for being Holmes County houses more than half the country’s Amish residents.
11. South Dakota
South Dakota (Capital: Pierre) is home to one of America’s iconic monuments, Mount Rushmore. The state is sparsely populated and is known for its breathtaking Badlands. Badlands National Park in South Dakota protects 242,756 acres of this landscape.
The last of the Midwestern states are Wisconsin, known for its numerous re-created international villages, in the capital city of Milwaukee. It is called America’s Dairyland is one of the largest producers of dairy. Just like North Dakota, Wisconsin is a centre for German American and Scandinavian American culture.
Key Tourist Locations in the Midwest
You cannot get more ‘American’ than the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. Centred on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite mountain, Mount Rushmore features the four founding fathers of the country: George Wahington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, nestled in the beautiful Black Hills.
This 60 feet structure is one of the most popular tourist spots in the Midwest.
2. Northern Lights in Minnesota
You do not have to go to the Arctic Circle to see the northern lights or the aurora borealis.
Cook county in Minnesota is also one of the best places to see the Northern Lights and it happens to be right here in the northern part of the midwest. There is no best time to see the lights as it can happen year-round, which brings tourists pouring in to catch a glimpse.
Other must-see sights in the Midwest include the Gateway Arch in St.Louis, the Bean in the windy city of Chicago, Illinois, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Henry Ford Museum in ‘Motor City’ Detroit, Michigan.
You can also visit the shores of any of the four of the beautiful Great Lakes: Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Huron.
Best Cities in the Midwest
Some of the largest and most vibrant cities to visit in the Midwest include :
1.Chicago and Springfield, in Illinois
2.Kansas City, in Missouri and of course, Kansas City, in Kansas
3.Grand Rapids, in Michigan
4.Fargo, in North Dakota
5.Des Moines, in Iowa
6.Madison and Green Bay, in Wisconsin
7.Indianapolis and Columbus, in Indiana
8. Omaha and Bellevue, in Nebraska
9.The Twin cities of Minneapolis and St.Paul, in Minnesota
10. Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Pierre, in South Dakota
11. Cleaveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, in Ohio