With a whopping 63 National Parks in the United States, there’s lots of “America’s Best Idea” ripe for exploration. Luckily, our heartland expert Katy Spratte Joyce has broken down her favorite Midwest National Parks for anyone planning a trip between the coasts. From pristine Great Lakes to verdant hardwood forests and everything in between, these are three national parks to add to your travel bucket list.
Voyageurs National Park (@voyageursnps)
One of the least visited National Parks, Voyageurs is perfect for experiencing untouched natural wonders. Resting on the edge of the Northern Boreal Forest in Minnesota, this protected area consists of more than two hundred thousand acres of watery wonder. Consider a winter journey to glimpse the aurora borealis, or paddle the wilds of the north during a warmer weather trip.
To Stay: Cantilever Hotel (@cantileverdistillery)
Just ten miles from VNP, this boutique property, complete with rooftop sauna and industrial chic vibes, houses its own distillery featuring Minnesota-made spirits.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (@sleepingbearnps)
Located conveniently near the Northern Michigan hotspot of @traversecitytourism , Sleeping Bear Dunes celebrated its 50th year in 2020. Visit for stunning Lake Michigan views and some of the prettiest hiking in the entire Midwest. For those making a quick stop, consider the short but scenic Empire Bluff Trail.
To Stay: The Inn at Black Star Farms (@blackstarfarms)
This luxe Kentucky-style equestrian estate turned 10 bedroom inn, features miles of hiking trails, vines, and on-site distillery plus award-winning wines.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (@cuyahogavalleynps)
Ensconced between the Cleveland and Akron metro areas in Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a central states gem. Stop by Brandywine Falls via the 1.5 mile loop trail for the most insta-worthy views; this area is especially stunning during the peak of fall foliage.
To Stay: The Kimpton Schofield Hotel (@theschofieldhotel)
Stay at this hip downtown Cleveland spot, where Victorian-inspired artwork meets modern comforts.
On any trip to these three Midwestern National Parks, we recommend, as always, to research local health and safety guidelines prior to traveling.