The 15 Best Small Towns in the Midwest 2024

foreign [Music] lower than the legal limit allowed during...

lower than the legal limit allowed
during this summer don't let the
vacation season sink your spirits if
your budget is like a sucky sweater that
cannot stretch much you don't need big
stacks of cash to create magical
memories with your fabulous family our
11 epic budget-friendly family vacation
ideas will provide your fam with a
healthy dose of sunshine to turn the
kiddos Brown upside down welcome to
wonderfully lost the best place for
parents to plan their travel let's take
the plunge shall we number 11. Ocean
Ocean City Maryland
City Maryland do freebie family
activities tickle your fancy then head
over to Maryland Pronto you and your
nearest and dearest can have Oodles of
fun at this family-friendly Beach Town
imagine sinking your teeth into salty
buttery popcorn with a good movie on the
beach or boogieing away at an
action-packed Beach concert Ocean City
is the place to be if watching golden
sunsets on the beach rocks your world
children can spend hours Landing the
ocean for dolphins sounds like heaven
doesn't it engage in some friendly
banter with your fam by taking a
cheerful stroll in the Parks or tuck
into a hearty meal with your loved ones
at the lovely Boardwalk which is a
smashing hit with visitors an impressive
number of restaurants and shops with
knickknacks await you to come along and
browse don't forget to try the yummy
saltwater taffy who says you need tons
of cash to have fun number 10. Yosemite
Yosemite National Park California
National Park California have we got a
bucket load of tips and tricks to Pare
down your budget without compromising on
the fun Factor so get ready the gorgeous
Park is immensely popular for its
picturesque landscape which is every
hiker's dream there are hiking trails
Galore Yosemite some trails are even
stroller friendly which is a big plus if
you have very little kids tip number one
bring your own grub yep Yosemite allows
visitors to bring their own edible
goodies that can save you a ton of money
you can even camp out breathe in the
breathtaking colors of the spectacular
scenery and take in the Rippling and
gushing noises of the cooling waterfalls
with your kids as you sail around on a
bike join your family for a jaunty walk
if you're tired feet can't take you any
further then hop on the shuttle that
allows you to take in the chirpy sights
and sounds of the budget-friendly
getaway you're welcome
Atlanta Georgia
number 9. Atlanta Georgia you don't need
to blow out your budget to Avail the
best big city perks and Atlanta Georgia
with its trimmed out budget Savvy costs
allows you to do just that the city is
simply overflowing with attractions and
historical attractions that's what we
call an affordable education a free tour
is available of Martin Luther King
Juniors Abode at the junior National
Historic Park fill up on local historic
knowledge at the national Center for
civil and human rights this is one
history lesson your kids will not get
enough of want to get away from the
crowds and Mayhem then sue their senses
by hitting the state parks and letting
all your stresses melt away with the
cascading waterfalls watch the
glimmering lights aboard the Skyview
Ferris wheel at Olympic Park number
Orlando Florida
eight Orlando Florida maximum enjoyment
on a minimum budget is the Forte of this
Hub of amusement parks and tourist
attractions your best bet try to pick a
resort that is big on Recreation and
amenities to have a fun-filled hall
holiday you simply can't go wrong with
this combo Universal's Cabana Beach
Resort is perfect for making a big
splash with your kids in a selection of
pools and shooting the breeze in the
Mellow depths of the Lazy River there's
more good news room rates are well below
200 and get this the guest limit is out
of this world three of your kids can
share your room free of cost sideline
the idea to hit the theme parks and go
for the amusement parks instead or hit
the sand at Florida's magnificent
beaches it's a pretty Savvy deal so gear
up to visit the Sunshine State we hope
San Diego California
you're enjoying learning about these
family-friendly vacations don't forget
to subscribe so you can hear more number
7. San Diego California so what makes
San Diego different from all the other
lovely touristy places you can visit on
a shoestring budget well for one San
Diego offers an amazing mix of all kinds
of cool stuff there are theme parks
museums and beaches if you want to
switch things up there are Harbor
Cruises and top attractions like the
stupendous San Diego Zoo what's not to
like and here's the best part you and
your Junior Brigade can safely opt for
the go City all-inclusive pass what it
lacks in exclusivity it makes up for
with up to a 50 discount per person the
pass allows you to access the San Diego
Zoo various museums housed by Balboa
Park as well as Harbor Cruises sail away
to let the Salty Sea Air tickle your
nose or have a wild time at the zoo this
California Locale is the top spot to
make memories on a budget number 6.
Myrtle Beach South Carolina
Myrtle Beach South Carolina what's not
to love about Myrtle Beach it has golden
sand beaches Emerald ocean and a
picture-perfect boardwalk that is made
for a holiday brochure make Barefoot
Landing in North Myrtle Beach your first
stop this will be the launch pad for all
your family vacay Adventures drop in at
the Alligator Adventure Zoo to meet some
sharp toothed crooked friends after your
hair raising Adventure it might be a
good idea to simmer down at the House of
Blues Myrtle Beach feeling the Breezy
Vibe already we feel you if you're
looking for a kid-friendly pocket
friendly option look no further than
Dunes Village Resort with a ginormous
indoor water park your family is going
to worship you for being the fabulous
parent that you are number five
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park Montana
Wyoming Idaho you knew this one was
coming didn't you no family vacation
plan is complete without giving an
honorable mention to this iconic
destination it is bound to be number one
on every kid's list with a wacky
Wildlife that boasts bears Elks moose as
well as Buffalo it's a fascinating place
for kids to Marvel at the Wonders of
Nature and wait till you experience the
hot springs along the likes of grand
prismatic spring and Mammoth Hot Springs
they're truly something else what makes
the park ideal is the sheer number of
cheerful and Cheapo accommodation
options available such as campgrounds in
proximity to the park as well as in the
park itself vacation rentals and hotels
Arcadia National Park Maine
number four Arcadia National Park Maine
the main thing about this amazing stop
in Maine is that you and your toddler
train get to see the stunning beauty of
the coast along with the best of Inland
Landscapes you can't beat that combo now
can you get Spellbound by The Parks of
burst Wildlife get busy with your kids
on the Beehive hike for some
age-appropriate kitty outdoor fun there
are other hiking trails and exciting
Adventures such as swimming canoeing and
riding bikes to keep your family
entertained at all hours whoever came up
with the ingenious idea to plot a
scavenger hunt was right on the mark so
that your young scavengers can have a
ball of a Time
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
number three Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is a perfect
pocket-friendly Paradise that's a bit of
a tongue twister but it's perfectly true
hit the PPG aquarium or explore the
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh this
great City offers a steady stream of
options which spell fun for the entire
family and did we mention the Pittsburgh
Zoo it will be tough for you and your
family to decide which fantabulous place
you need to visit next and if you're
planning to visit in the summer your
children are in for a treat summers are
Rippling with excitement as the 10-day
Grand Prix featuring vintage cars is in
full swing as are the walking tours you
don't want to miss this Thrill Ride the
freebie subway ride to the downtown area
and Golden Triangle is super budget
friendly the upside Pittsburgh has
plenty of low-cost eating options to
fill your family's tummy the downside we
can't think of any number two the Grand
Grand Canyon Arizona
Canyon Arizona four words the Grand
Canyon National Park not only do you get
to Traverse some of the best hiking
trails in the US accompanied by your
family your kids can also become a part
of the national park services Junior
Ranger program immerse yourself in the
fascinating history of the canyon by
embarking on the trail of time the
russet Hue of the canyon and its height
Trails offer epic views of toe curling
drops they can also face their eyes on
the Colorado River
South Padre Island Texas
number 1. South Padre Island Texas full
points to this piece of Nirvana that
allows families to relax and unwind
minus the Thrills and big Frills of the
big cities the ultimate family-friendly
destination goes easy on your pocket
while offering the perks of a beach
vacay you can drive on a patch of the
beach too that's double the fun hop on
to savor the experience at all the
famous attractions such as South Padre
Island Adventure Park learn about Marine
Turtles at sea turtle or get dazzled by
the Dolphin Watch Eco tour and there you
have it don't despair we're here to pump
some jazz into fizzlin vacation plans so
which of these awesome escapes will your
family be heading to thanks for watching
hey are you a Wanderer yet if not head
on over to our travel blog at

Coastal cities and big metropolises often steal the spotlight in the US. But the Midwest quietly sits in the heart of America, basking in its own unique charm. The Midwest is a diverse region, showcasing a rich tapestry of landscapes that range from the stunning Great Lakes to captivating sand dunes, lush and dense forests, and more.

The picturesque lively cities of America’s heartland await exploration, drawing increasing attention from visitors who are turning their gaze toward once-underestimated destinations. So, let’s embark on a journey to discover the best-kept secrets and the quirky allure of the Midwest’s finest towns. Here are the best small towns in the Midwest;

Make sure to go all the way through to our surprise #1 Vevay.

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15. Ste. Geneviéve, Missouri

This quaint town, with a name that sounds like it’s been lifted straight from a French love letter, is the perfect backdrop for a family escapade. Ste. Geneviéve boasts a history that rivals grandma’s secret recipe, and speaking of recipes, the town is known for its French-inspired culinary delights.

Step into Ste. Genevieve today, and you’ll find yourself effortlessly whisked away to a bygone era. The town has preserved its original structures and enclosed gardens that once shaped its charming village atmosphere. Enhancing the nostalgic ambiance is the thriving arts scene that took root in the 1930s and continues to flourish today.

As you stroll through the historic district, you can almost hear the whispers of time echoing through the charming colonial architecture. Ste. Geneviéve also provides an array of wineries. While the kids marvel at the wonders of root beer at the local soda shop, the adults can indulge in some grape-based therapy.

For a dose of outdoor adventure, take the family fishing along the Mississippi River. It’s a chance for quality bonding time and possibly reeling in a fish tale or two.

14. Petoskey, Michigan

Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, Petoskey is not just a town; it’s a playground for the young, the young at heart, and those who still argue over the front seat. Petoskey is famous for its unique Petoskey stones, and fossilized coral treasures scattered along the shore.

Turn your family into paleontologists armed with pails and shovels. See who can find the most intricate Petoskey pattern, and let the winner boast eternal glory during family gatherings.

For exceptional wine, exploring the region’s wine trail is a must. Be sure to check out renowned wineries such as Walloon Lake Winery, situated near Hemingway’s summer cottage on the picturesque lake, and Pond Hill Farm, a delightful stop along the Tunnel of Trees drive.

13. Galena, Illinois

If you’re yearning for a destination that seamlessly combines historical charm, outdoor adventures, and maybe a few eye-rolls from the kids, look no further than the enchanting town of Galena, Illinois. Galena’s Main Street is a treasure trove of antique shops, each one a portal to a bygone era.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Mississippi River, Galena’s Main Street is a time capsule of vintage shops, art galleries, and cozy bed-and-breakfasts. Galena isn’t just about cobblestone streets; it’s also about river adventures. Jump aboard a riverboat cruise along the mighty Mississippi, where your family can channel their inner pirates, minus the peg legs and eye patches.

What’s a family vacation without a touch of the supernatural? Galena’s haunted history comes alive in ghost tours that will send shivers down your spine – or maybe just a mild shudder. Test your bravery as a family and see who can muster the best ghostly wail when the guide shares a spine-tingling tale.

12. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island in Michigan is a dash of magic for your family escapades. This charming island, where cars are as scarce as a Yeti sighting, is the ultimate remedy for frazzled nerves and bickering siblings.

Hop on a bicycle or hitch a ride on a horse-drawn carriage to explore the island. The only sounds you will hear are the rhythmic clip-clop of hooves and the occasional delighted squeal from your family members. It’s like a soundtrack composed of tranquility itself.

If there’s one thing Mackinac Island is famous for (apart from its absence of automobiles), it’s the heavenly fudge. Consider it the island’s magical tonic that transforms grumpy teenagers into smiling angels and tired parents into energetic explorers. With fudge shops lining the streets, there’s no resisting the temptation to indulge.

History becomes an adventure at Fort Mackinac, where the past comes alive with cannon firings, historical reenactments, and a view that will make your Instagram followers green with envy. It’s not just an educational experience; it’s a chance to witness your kids’ eyes light up as they imagine life in the 18th century.

11. Hill City, South Dakota

Forget about the typical tourist traps; Hill City is the unsung hero of family travel destinations. From quirky attractions to scenic wonders, this little gem in the Black Hills has everything your family needs for an unforgettable escapade.

First stop: the Mammoth Site. Sure, it’s a serious archaeological dig where scientists unearthed ancient mammoth bones, but don’t let that fool you. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for puns and prehistoric dad jokes. “Why did the mammoth bring a suitcase? Because he wanted to pack his trunk!”

All aboard the 1880 Train, a vintage steam locomotive that chugs through the scenic Black Hills. Embark on a one-of-a-kind winter train journey! Enjoy an enchanting hour-long ride from Hill City to the magical North Pole and back. Along the way, you will be treated to a delightful serving of hot chocolate and a scrumptious sugar cookie courtesy of Santa’s Elves.

You can’t visit Hill City without paying a visit to the iconic Mount Rushmore. The massive sculpture curved into the mountain in 1941 has a rich history to offer your littles ones.

10. Elmhurst, Illinois

Elmhurst isn’t just a town; it’s a living, breathing exhibit of history and culture. Dive headfirst into the Elmhurst History Museum, where you will be taken back in time to the town’s early days.

From vintage Main Street storefronts to exhibits on local lore, your family will be transported to a simpler time when neon signs and poodle skirts ruled the day.

Elmhurst knows a thing or two about green spaces. Head to Wilder Park, where the sprawling lawns and towering trees create the ideal setting for a family picnic or a game of frisbee. But the real MVP? The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art nestled within the park – where else can you see gemstone masterpieces amid the serene beauty of nature?

9. Glenwillow, Ohio

Picture this: a quintessential American town, tucked away like a cozy secret in the heart of Ohio – that’s Glenwillow for you. While jet-setting to exotic destinations may have its appeal, there’s something oddly charming about packing up the minivan and embarking on a family adventure to this unsuspecting gem.

Glenwillow may not be a Michelin-starred mecca, but it’s a haven for those who appreciate comfort food with a side of character. Dive into the local diners and family-owned joints for a taste of Midwest hospitality served with a side of cornbread.

Explore the family-friendly haunts like the Glenwillow Ghost Town, where rumors of friendly ghosts abound. It’s the perfect opportunity to teach the kids the difference between a spooky story and a genuinely good time.

8. Mineral Point, Wisconsin

Forget the theme parks and crowded tourist traps; delve into a history-clad destination to unearth the unexpected treasures of this quirky little town. Mineral Point was initially a mining town in the 1800s.

Start your family escapade with a cheese-tasting extravaganza. From squeaky fresh curds to aged cheddars that have seen more birthdays than your grandma, Mineral Point’s dairy delights will have your taste buds doing a happy jig.

Are the kids tired of theme park lines and flashing lights? Take them back in time to Mineral Point’s historic Pendarvis district, where meticulously preserved Cornish cottages and lead miners’ cabins await exploration. Let the little ones imagine life in the 19th century as they roam through these charming, time-capsule houses.

Mineral Point is not just a haven for cheese enthusiasts and history buffs; it’s also an artist’s paradise. Stroll through the town’s art galleries, showcasing everything from contemporary paintings to quirky sculptures.

7. Sheboygan, Wisconsin

This unassuming gem on the shores of Lake Michigan is an exceptional family getaway. Sheboygan’s slice of Lake Michigan is a water lover’s dream. Instead of the usual beachside boredom, why not turn your family into sailing enthusiasts? Sailboat rentals are aplenty, and who knows, you might discover a hidden talent for navigating the high seas within your ranks. If all else fails, there’s always the option to build sandcastles and bury each other in the sand.

Sheboygan’s culinary scene is a haven for sausage enthusiasts. Try the local bratwurst variations and embark on the Sheboygan Shuffle – a dance of joy inspired by the deliciousness of grilled meats.

The Harbor Centre Express Trolley of Shoreline Metro offers a delightful day-long ride for just $1 per person, with complimentary rides for children aged five and under. It’s an enjoyable way to explore the finest attractions of this charming destination.

The Above & Beyond Children’s Museum is an excellent environment for kids and parents to engage in play and learning. With a variety of interactive exhibits, the museum offers a blend of education and entertainment. Kids can explore science, art, and history, and adults can join in the fun as well!

6. Bloomington, Indiana

Welcome to Bloomington, Indiana, where Hoosier hospitality meets a cornucopia of quirky escapades for the whole family. Bloomington’s Kirkwood Avenue is a boulevard of wonders, offering everything from delightful boutiques to mouthwatering eateries.

Bloomington is a haven for nature lovers, with lush parks and scenic trails that turn a family hike into a memorable expedition. Griffy Lake Nature Preserve offers paddleboarding for the daring and serene picnicking spots for those who prefer to watch the adventure unfold from the comfort of a blanket.

Every family needs a sugar rush to fuel the exploration, and The Chocolate Moose is the answer to your confectionery dreams. From handcrafted ice cream to decadent chocolate treats, this sweet haven will satisfy every family member’s sweet tooth.

5. Ottawa Hills, Ohio

When it comes to family travel, Ottawa Hills, Ohio, might not be the first destination that comes to mind. However, hidden within this quaint village are treasures waiting to be discovered by intrepid families seeking a unique blend of history, nature, and small-town charm. Ottawa Hills is not just a neighborhood; it’s a symphony of white picket fences and neighborly vibes.

Start your adventure at the Wildwood Preserve Metropark, a sprawling oasis of greenery with walking trails, picnic spots, and a nature center that’s sure to captivate the kids. For the younger ones, the Ottawa Park playground offers a haven of slides, swings, and open spaces to expend their boundless energy.

Ottawa Hills may be a small village, but its culinary scene packs a punch. Treat your taste buds to a variety of flavors at local eateries like Eddie Lee’s Restaurant or Amie’s Pizza Factory. Whether you’re craving comfort food or gourmet delights, Ottawa Hills has options that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters in the family.

4. Dyersville, Iowa

Nestled in the heart of America’s breadbasket, Dyersville, Iowa, may not be the first name that comes to mind when planning a family vacation, but this quaint town has a surprise waiting for you. Famous for its iconic baseball field and the classic film “Field of Dreams,” Dyersville offers a wholesome and unique experience that is perfect for a family getaway.

Take your family on a stroll through the iconic baseball diamond, where the ghosts of baseball legends seem to whisper in the rustling cornfields. It’s not just a field; it’s a piece of movie magic that transcends generations, making it a perfect spot for family photos and creating lasting memories.

Dyersville celebrates its agricultural roots at the National Farm Toy Museum, a fascinating destination for families interested in farming history. The museum boasts an extensive collection of farm toys, from miniature tractors to barns and everything in between. It’s a hands-on experience that will educate and entertain both kids and adults.

Take a stroll through Downtown Dyersville, where charming boutiques, antique shops, and local cafes await. It’s the perfect opportunity for some family bonding as you explore unique treasures and try some homemade goodies. The friendly atmosphere of the town extends a warm welcome to visitors, making you feel like a part of the community.

3. Pella, Iowa

Pella is a hidden gem that beckons with its tulip-lined streets, Dutch architecture, and a warm community spirit. Pella is renowned for its annual Tulip Time Festival, a springtime spectacle that transforms the town into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors. The kids will be enchanted by the sight of wooden shoe dancers, Dutch costumes, and the infectious spirit of celebration that fills the air.

Embrace the town’s Dutch heritage by exploring its unique attractions, including the Vermeer Windmill and the Historical Village. The kids will be fascinated by the 124-foot working windmill, a symbol of Pella’s connection to the Netherlands.

For some classic family fun, head to Pella’s Molengracht Plaza, where a one-of-a-kind playground awaits. Inspired by Dutch folklore, this playground is a hit with kids of all ages. Parents can relax in the adjacent seating area while the little ones unleash their energy in a safe and imaginative environment.

2. Columbus, Indiana

Nestled in the heart of the Hoosier State, Columbus, Indiana, is more than just a pit stop on the map; it’s a treasure trove of architectural wonders, outdoor adventures, and family-friendly fun. Columbus is renowned for its architectural diversity, boasting buildings designed by legendary architects like I.M. Pei and Eero Saarinen.

Take the family on a self-guided architectural tour, marveling at the modernist gems that grace the cityscape. The kids might not fully appreciate the historical significance, but they’ll certainly enjoy the quirky shapes and sizes of the structures.

Columbus doesn’t just cater to grown-up enthusiasts; it’s a haven for curious young minds too. The Kidscommons Children’s Museum is a must-visit, offering interactive exhibits that blend education with entertainment. From climbing the “Firehouse” to exploring the “Bubble-ology” exhibit, your little ones will be engaged for hours.

1. Vevay, Indiana

Vevay is a hidden gem that promises not just a vacation but an experience filled with warmth, history, and the kind of memories that last a lifetime. Nestled along the banks of the Ohio River, Vevay boasts a tranquil setting that sets the stage for a peaceful family retreat.

The riverfront parks provide an ideal backdrop for picnics, leisurely strolls, and even a bit of fishing. Let the kids splash around in the water while you soak in the picturesque views that make Vevay a true escape from the hustle and bustle.

For families with a liking for history, Vevay offers a captivating glimpse into the past. The town is steeped in history, with well-preserved 19th-century architecture lining its streets. Visit the Switzerland County Historical Museum to transport your family back in time and learn about the region’s rich heritage, from early settlements to the heyday of riverboat travel.

Treat your taste buds to the delectable Swiss chocolates that the town is famous for, and don’t miss out on the annual Vevay Swiss Wine Festival, a celebration of local wines, artisanal chocolates, and the community spirit.

The Midwest may not boast the glitz and glamor of the coasts, but within its vast landscapes lie towns that define the true essence of American charm. So, the next time someone underestimates the Midwest, share these hidden gems and let them in on the secret – the heartland is where the real magic happens.

Enhance your family travels with safety and comfort! Explore our guide to the ‘5 Best Travel Car Seats for Children‘ for secure and hassle-free journeys. For on-the-go baby comfort, don’t miss our selection of the ‘Top 9 Travel Cribs‘ Make every adventure memorable!

Happy Travels!

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