Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My top 5 favourite places in the Midwest-ish.

(in order, finally!)

5. Holiday World (Santa Claus, IN): I had to put a theme park in here, didn't I? Why not put one that's a bit lesser known? I pretty much went here every year growing up. It's a small park with three wooden rollercoasters & some other fun rides, but the atmosphere is unmatchable. They also have a pretty awesome waterpark (with free sunscreen), and have won awards for being the cleanest & friendliest theme park in the US. Not to mention the best part: free soft drinks! They have stations all around the park where you can duck in & get some cold beverages. Can't beat that! website

4. Mammoth/Merango Caves (IN & KY):
I don't know what it is about them, but I love caves. I love the mystery of them, the beauty of them, and most of all... the coldness of them. The atmosphere is unmatched. I even went "dirty spelunking" in Merango Cave & got down & dirty in the mud. Sliding down a cliff on my belly into a pool of water in the middle of a cave is quite an experience! Also a fun feature in Merango is the "bat cave" crawling area. I'm not sure if it's still there, but it allows you to crawl through a wooden replica of a tight cave. It's dark, disorienting, but quite fun! Don't be afraid to bump your head once or twice. merango

3. Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Yes, the whole town is my favourite place. There are tons of shops lining the street which snakes up the mountains, an amazing lift which takes you up the mountainside, and wonderful trails that you can take. It's an almost otherworldly place. I've never visited a place where I got so many beautiful photographs in my life! Visit the "highest point in the Smokey Mountains", you may not see much because of the fog that covers it much of the year, but the fog alone makes it a sight to see. website

2. Garden of the Gods (IL):
One of the most beautiful places in the area, truly. Situated pretty much in the middle of nowhere Illinois, this place will have you on your tip-toes in awe of it. You can climb on the rock formations (CAREFULLY!) and look down the mountains into the trees below. It's beautiful & majestic. When you go, also stop by Cave In Rock, IL. (You can get there via Ferry... which is also quite fun) It's a tiny town of around 300 people... situated around one big open cave. website cave-in-rock

1. St. Louis City Museum:
This is literally the most magical place I've ever been. From giant pipe organs that span several stories and fill the entire 10 story building with music to lifesize white whales you can climb on top of and peer through the blowhole at your friends below, this is a place for the young and the old alike. I often call this place a "playground for adults". You can do anything from watch a circus to climb two stories in wire tubes into a real airplaine stories above the ground. Quite literally my favourite place in the world. website


  1. Thanks for including us on your list! Hope you can make it back this season for the new Pilgrims Plunge, the World's Tallest Water Ride. It's enormous!