10 Unforgettable Weekend Getaways in the Midwest

If you’re looking for a spectacular summer adventure, it’s hard to beat weekend getaways in the Midwest. America’s Heartland is a friendly, beautiful place to explore. With vast expanses of fertile farmland, a healthy mix of charming small towns and big urban centers, and plentiful lakes and rivers, this summer is the perfect time to enjoy weekend getaways in the Midwest.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape with your sweetheart, celebrating a special occasion, seeking outdoor adventures, or exploring the latest foodie finds around the Midwest, there’s plenty to love about weekend getaways in the Midwest. From exciting cities like Minneapolis/St. Paul to rural, scenic paradises like Wisconsin’s Door County, we’d love nothing more than to share the best of the Midwest with you this summer. 

While you’ll certainly want to choose a fun getaway destination that offers a variety of things to do – or, at the very least, a charming place to relax and celebrate – there’s no better partner for your adventure than our Midwest Bed and Breakfasts. We offer a range of unique properties in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa. 

A stay with one of our Midwest Bed and Breakfasts goes far beyond a place to rest your head at the end of the day. With every visit, we offer unforgettable experiences and the fine-tuned hospitality and attentive service you need to enjoy them. From the most popular attractions to the off-the-beaten-path hidden gems, let us be your travel partner this summer. Book your weekend getaways in the Midwest today!

Senior couple with bikes enjoying the best weekend getaways in the Midwest

Weekend Getaways in the Midwest: The Best of Minnesota

Minnesota is an excellent choice for fun, adventurous weekend getaways in the Midwest. Here are four of the top destinations in the state: 

Minneapolis/St. Paul 

When it comes to weekend getaways in the Midwest, few places compare to the exciting Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. These two cities truly have it all! The cities are the thriving cultural heart of Minnesota, offering a range of activities for the discerning traveler. From a vibrant arts community, unforgettable food experiences, and a booming craft beer scene to stunning parks and trails for all the outdoor adventures you crave, there’s much to love about weekend getaways in the Twin Cities. 

Art lovers will want to dive into the arts at the Minneapolis Institute of Art or tour the stunning Walker Art Center. At the same time, history buffs will enjoy a visit to Fort Snelling, a frontier outpost established in the early 19th century. Spend some time on the water or trails at the Chain of Lakes Regional Park, and don’t miss your chance to chase waterfalls in the heart of this urban area at the beautiful Minnehaha Regional Park. There are so many great things to do in the Twin Cities, which is why it’s an obvious choice for weekend getaways in the Midwest. 


If spending time in Minnesota’s two biggest cities isn’t your idea of a perfect weekend getaway, then perhaps the quaint town of Lanesboro will be! Lanesboro, known as the Bed and Breakfast Capital of Minnesota, is located in the scenic Bluff Country of southeastern Minnesota. Here, you’ll find the popular Root River State Trail, a spectacular multi-use trail that meanders along the Root River and connects several charming small towns in rural Minnesota. 

In addition to riding, walking, and paddling on the Root River Trail, Lanesboro is also a gateway to Minnesota’s Amish Country and offers a charming yet relaxed Scandinavian vibe for weekend getaways in the Midwest. 


Another fantastic destination for weekend getaways in the Midwest is along the shores of Lake Superior on Minnesota’s North Shore. There, the rugged yet hip city of Duluth beckons outdoor enthusiasts of all types. There’s excellent skiing in Duluth in the winter at Spirit Mountain, which also happens to transform into a fantastic destination for mountain bikers in the summer. Duluth is also home to some of the best hiking in the Midwest, thanks to the Superior Trail, Jay Cooke State Park, and so much more. 

Beyond the outdoors, Duluth is home to a burgeoning craft brew scene. Grab a delicious pint on a summer afternoon in Canal Park, and watch the giant ships as they pull into the Duluth Harbor and under the famous Aerial Lift Bridge. There’s something for everyone in Duluth, making it a perfect destination for weekend getaways in the Midwest. 

Younger couple dining out and enjoying the best weekend getaways in the Midwest

3 Fantastic Weekend Getaways in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a big and diverse state filled with fantastic destinations for weekend getaways. If you’re looking for unforgettable weekend getaways in the Midwest, though, here are three unique destinations that can’t be beaten!


Madison is the State Capital of Wisconsin and is home to the flagship University of Wisconsin campus. Despite its size and big-city amenities, Madison retains a delightful small-town feel, which is, at least in part, what makes it such a perfect spot for weekend getaways in the Midwest. Like the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Madison offers a little something for everyone. 

In Madison, you’ll find more than 200 miles of biking and hiking trails for those who want to spend at least part of their getaway immersed in nature. To that end, it also offers beautiful garden spaces like the Olbrich Botanical Gardens and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. Madison also has a hip food and drink scene, making it the perfect destination for food lovers across the Midwest. Spend your days exploring State Street, which houses numerous museums and cultural attractions, and stop in for fantastic eats at the area’s many eateries. 

Door County/Door Peninsula

No trip to Wisconsin is complete without a visit to the breathtakingly beautiful Door Peninsula. Door County is one of the most popular places for weekend getaways in the Midwest, and one look at this area’s stunning scenery, you’ll know why. Spend your days paddling or hiking at Peninsula State Park, or climb the 100 steps to the top of Bailey Harbor’s Cana Island Lighthouse for a picturesque view of Lake Michigan. 

As you drive along the peninsula, stop at every roadside cherry stand you can find and indulge in Door County’s most popular fruit. The peaceful atmosphere of Door County, coupled with the historic charm, small-town ambiance, and gorgeous scenery, keep visitors coming back year after year and keep this remarkable place ranking as one of the best weekend getaways in the Midwest. 


Not too far outside the Milwaukee metropolitan area, you’ll find one of the most quintessential Wisconsin towns that oozes with more charm than you can imagine. It’s a quick and easy city break for those in Milwaukee and offers enough to draw in crowds from all over the Midwest throughout the year. 

Attend Cedarburg Strawberry Festival in June, see it all dressed up for A Cedarburg Christmas, or simply come for some shopping and wine tasting. It’s home to one of the best wineries in Wisconsin! It’s also not too far from the lakeshore or the northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, which is absolutely mesmerizing in the fall. 

A view from Grant Park into Galena Illinois, one of the best weekend getaways in the Midwest

Top Illinois Destinations for Weekend Getaways

There’s plenty to love about weekend getaways in Illinois, and it goes far beyond the thriving metropolis of Chicago! Fun, adventure, and romance are waiting for you in the great state of Illinois, especially when you head to one of these fantastic destinations. 


If your ideal weekend getaways in the Midwest involve history and effusive charm, then Galena is the town for you! Don’t let its small size fool you, though. Galena offers plenty of things to do for all types of travelers and is the second most visited tourist destination in Illinois, behind only Chicago! Galena started as an old mining town and was the home of famed US President Ulysses S. Grant. Over the years, Galena has reinvented itself as a must-see getaway destination, today offering a variety of historic attractions, fantastic shopping, great restaurants, beautiful scenery and natural recreation, and a gorgeous place to relax and unwind. 

Like many other cities on our list, Galena is located in the Driftless Area of Illinois, which lends an uncharacteristically beautiful backdrop to this well-preserved historic town. See it all from above on a hot air balloon ride, take a scenic drive through the countryside, or hike and bike in nearby parks and preserves. Galena is just off the Great River Road, too, making it a great stopping-off point for those traveling along this incredible scenic drive on the Mississippi River.


Like St. Paul, Minnesota, and Madison, Wisconsin, Springfield is the Capital of Illinois and offers a wonderful variety of things to do for those who visit. Springfield is located between Chicago and St. Louis and makes for an exciting Midwest weekend getaway. Visits to Springfield are all about paying homage to our nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. To start, head to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum before continuing to visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, and the Lincoln Memorial Garden & Nature Center.

Part of the famed Route 66 travels through Springfield, too, offering the nostalgic among us an opportunity to explore various sites along this famous route. Portions of the original road still exist here, including a 1.25-mile stretch of historic brick road. There’s some beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright architecture to admire in town and plenty for the avid outdoor enthusiast

Quad Cities

The Mississippi River features prominently in several of the best weekend getaways in the Midwest – and it’s no different with the Quad Cities. Apart from its scenic location and ample opportunities to relax and have fun, one of the best things about the Quad Cities is how easy they are to get to! The Quad Cities are technically in Illinois and Iowa – but no matter the side of the river you visit, prepare for a fantastic vacation filled with Midwestern charm. 

With great festivals all summer long, vibrant Farmers Markets, fantastic parks and bike paths to explore, and the beautiful Mississippi River at the heart of it all, there’s a lot to love about visiting the Quad Cities. When you need to replenish your energy, you’ll also find some fantastic breweries and marvelous restaurants to enjoy. 

Sunset on Lake Okoboji, one of the best weekend getaways in the Midwest

Great Iowa Spots for Weekend Getaways in the Midwest

As vibrant as Des Moines is, that’s just a tiny sample of what Iowa has to offer couples looking for fantastic new weekend getaways in the Midwest! Here are three of our favorite getaway destinations worth considering this year.

Lake Okoboji/Spirit Lake

If you’ve visited Iowa in the summer, odds are you’ve found your way to Iowa Great Lakes Region, home to Lake Okoboji and Spirit Lake. The Great Lakes Region is the perfect summer paradise. Whether you want to paddle or boat on the lakes or hit the trails for hiking and biking, there are plenty of great ways to enjoy the great outdoors in this scenic area. 

For a touch of nostalgia, visit Arnold’s Amusement Park on the lake, then take the time to play a round or two of golf at nearby courses. When you need a break from the sun, head to places like the Indian Motorcycle Experience Center or one of the fantastic local breweries. 

Cedar Rapids

Are you an art lover? Then don’t miss a trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, home to famed American Painter Grant Wood, the artist behind the famous piece “American Gothic.” You can tour the studio where this piece was painted. Also on your list should be the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which houses the world’s largest collection of Woods’ Art. 

Great art isn’t the only reason Cedar Rapids ranks as one of the best weekend getaways in the Midwest, though. There’s some impressive history to explore here, too, including the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library and the stunning 19th-century Brucemore Estate


Our final city is another Mississippi River and Driftless Area gem. Dubuque sits on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois along the Great River Road and is just minutes from downtown Galena. The most popular attraction in Dubuque, besides the picturesque riverfront, is the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. This fantastic music is affiliated with The Smithsonian and features a range of exhibits about the history and ecosystem of the Mississippi River. 

When you’re done with the museum, ride on the historic Fenelon Place Elevator Company Funicular – the world’s shortest and steepest railroad! You’ll enjoy stunning views of Dubuque and the surrounding states from the top. Beyond these fun attractions, Dubuque offers a historic district packed with charm near the river. Head to Cable Car Square and browse the many shops, galleries, and restaurants, most of which are housed in beautiful Victorian buildings. 

As you can see, there’s no shortage of fantastic weekend getaways in the Midwest. The hardest part is choosing where to go first! No matter where you end up this summer, make sure to partner with the only network of Midwest Bed and Breakfasts, and rest assured that a high-quality, personalized lodging experience will be an enjoyable part of your getaway. 

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