Help Me Plan My Trip to the Midwest

In celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary in February, my dear husband and I are planning a road trip through the eastern Midwest: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and West Virginia.  We are in the talking about it stage, where very few plans are concrete, so we were hoping some of you might be able to make recommendations on things to see and places to stay.  Here’s what we are sort of planning:


Reds Baseball


National aircraft Museum



Chicago History Center

Art Institute

White Sox Baseball

Southern Wisconsin

Northern Indiana

Lake Michigan

Dearborn, Michigan

Henry Ford Museum


Kent, Ohio

Kent State Museum

Canton, Ohio

NFL Hall of Fame

Marietta, Ohio

Through West Virginia

And back to North Carolina

Since this is a his and hers trip, we need to plan for things other than fashion and art.  Tim likes art and science, sports and history.  So he is pretty easy to plan for.

I’d appreciate any ideas on other museums along the way, interesting hotels, and anything you know would be of interest to me.  That includes vintage shopping.  We only know where we will be staying in Cincinnati and Marietta.  Feel free to post here or to send an email.  Oh, the trip will be in May or June.

Thanks!  Lizzie and Tim


Filed under Road Trip

30 responses to “Help Me Plan My Trip to the Midwest

  1. Babs

    Check out the for some ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a marvelous trip! If you want to add a stop in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not to missed. Hubby and I were there for a day about 5 years ago, and the “main event” was a tribute to Pink Floyd.


  3. Lizzie if- by chance- you have never been to the Greenbriar ( Old White) in Sulphur Springs W Va. , I think you would enjoy seeing it! I am sure you know of this grand old beauty!? Please wiki it if not – the NY legendary siren decorator Dorothy Draper socialite “was responsible for it’s initial “re-do” in the 1940’s. For West Virginia it would be a nice way to round out a trip.


  4. Not to get going on “religious” issues, but if you’re in Chicago, and you value things that have weathered well with age, you might do well to skip the White Sox and go to the North Side. The Field Museum and Science and Industry also have some wonderful exhibits, often having to do with fashion. If you love pizza, Gino’s East on Superior is well worth the trip, and hot dog lovers ought to at least try a Vienna Beef dog or “Italian Beef” sandwich.

    In Northwest Indiana, the National Lakeshore has several of the 1933-4 Century of Progress houses between Porter and Michigan City, Indiana Dunes State Park has a great art deco center (currently in renovation). In South Bend, you’ve got the Studebaker mansion/Tippecanoe Place (wonderful brunch there) and some school with a football team and a golden dome. Michigan City is also the (former) home of Jaymar Ruby–probably not much to see there, tho. Production has been in Asia for decades, I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for so many great recommendations! I’m afraid that the White Sox game is non-negotiable, as Tim has been a fan since childhood. We might do the Cubs as well, depending.

      And thanks for the name of the Pizza place. Chicago style pizza was on our list to try.


  5. Fun trip! Here in Chicago, besides the Art Institute and Chicago History Center (Museum?), I always recommend a visit to Navy Pier, for the great views of the city. The Chicago Architectural Foundation does great tours. The Oriental Institute, down at the Univ. of Chicago, has great exhibitions of artifacts from the ancient Near East. There are great music venues that cover everything from classical to the blues, and there are all kinds of free outdoor concerts during the summer. I could go on.


  6. In Dearborn, there’s the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, which is wonderful. Even better is the Saarinen House at Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills: Cranbrook also has a science/natural history museum, though I haven’t been to it. The Cranbrook grounds are beautiful.

    As far as Lake Michigan goes, it depends on which part you intend to be at. I’m partial to the northern shoreline, which I think is the most beautiful, but there are beaches (and probably antiques malls) along most of the shoreline.

    Of course, if you were going to visit Grand Rapids I could recommend some vintage shopping and the Frank Lloyd Wright Meyer May house, as well as and food and drinks with us. 😉


  7. penny hall

    In Indianapolis we have a little known museum, The Indiana Medical History Museum. A preserved medical building from the 1800’s. Inexpensive, too. I won’t spoil it by offering too many details. It is very close to the Indy 500 track if you have any interest in that.

    In northern Indiana the Mennonite museum has a room that simulates being in a tornado


  8. Beth McLaughlin

    If you are going to pass through Marietta, OH you should take a detour and go to the Dairy Barn in Athens, OH. It is the home of Quilt National. There is always a fun exhibit there. Athens is a fun university town, too.


  9. Jan Caloia

    We travel all over the Midwest in our antique cars and have several suggestions for you. Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, MI (the 4th largest house museum in the U.S.) was the home of the widow of John Dodge and her 2nd husband. They have a fabulous collection of clothing original to the family from 1900-1967 and some articles are usually on display. Plus the 88,000 sf, 110 room mansion, the gardens all are wonderful. The Auburn-Cord-Duesenburg Museum in Auburn, IN has gorgeous cars on display but it’s the beautiful Art Deco building which I always want to see again and again. The Gilmore Car Collection in Hickory Corners, MI is a large collection of cars of all vintages across all brands housed in several buildings. The Model A’s are in a building which looks like a 1930s dealership, for instance. In addition to cars, there are toy pedal cars, hood ornaments, and clothing on display. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL is very nice and make sure to allow time to visit his gravesite. Also in Springfield is the Dana-Thomas House, a FLW home very similar to the Meyer-May home in Grand Rapids, MI. Have a wonderful trip!


  10. If you can detour a bit to southwestern Pennsylvania, go to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob.
    The Warther Museum in Dover, Ohio! ( It’s a safe bet that no one else will mention it (we found it by accident). It is Not To Be Missed.
    In Indianapolis: the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.
    Right up your retro-alley: the Curt Teich postcard collection.
    Don’t forget that Prof. Pski (author of The Lost Art of Dress) teaches at Notre Dame and thus lives in the South Bend area.

    Maybe you’ll need to plan a second trip!
    P.S. White Sox but not Cubs?


  11. Julia S.

    If you love antiquing (and I know from reading your blog that you do) you can’t miss Springfield, Ohio, especially during the weekend of their amazing Flea Market Extravaganza at the Clark County Fairgrounds, May 19, 20, and 21. You could never possibly see it all! It is one of the very best in the nation. Follow that up with a trip to the three-yes, three-antique mega malls in the area, and I’ll bet you’ll wish you would never see another antique in your life. It’s so much fun! Only a half-hour east of Dayton, Ohio on I-70. People come from across the country to attend.


  12. Jan Caloia

    A couple more suggestions. If you are planning to visit the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, we would suggest the Rouge Plant Tour, also part of The Henry Ford. Staying at the historic Marriott Dearborn Inn is always a treat and the historic cottages are very charming. Check with the Dearborn Inn about packages which include The Henry Ford. The Ford Piquette Plant, the birthplace of the Model T, is another wonderful museum. Two outstanding examples of Detroit’s Art Deco heritage are the Guardian Building and the Fisher Building. Both offer tours, but just walking in for a quick look at the gorgeous architecture is definitely worth it. Enjoy!


  13. The Kent State Museum is a must. Loved it!


  14. Nancy

    Don’t miss the textile gallery at the Art Institute of Chicago. It is tucked away in the lower level. They have an amazing collection and the exhibits change often. The Detroit Art Institute is also great, and the Diego Rivera murals are awe inspiring. I used to be a volunteer there and spent hours in the court absorbing every detail. Detroit and Dearborn are quite close to each other so it is not out of the way.


  15. I would definitely recommend the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago. It is one of the best museums I have been to. As for Wisconsin, I would recommend Brookfield Suites as a hotel (stayed there in 2008) and the local history museum in downtown Milwaukee. “The Streets of Old Milwaukee” exhibit is really fun. If you like German food, Mader’s is a famous Bavarian restaurant in Milwaukee. Happy Anniversary; I hope you have a great trip! : )


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