American heartland destinations

Must-See Destinations in the American Heartland

Don’t fly over these scenic and historic spots

Some call it the American heartland, some call it flyover country — but we call it a bold, beautiful, culturally rich, astoundingly diverse landscape full of hidden gems. Indeed, the middle of the country has some of the most stunning sights you could ever want to include on your Instagram feed and national parks worthy of any bucket list.

For the Must-See Destinations in the American Heartland Gallery, click here.

Defining the “American heartland” isn’t exactly easy, nor is it an exact science. Its most basic definition is “states that don’t touch an ocean,” but it can include more specific parameters, such as a blue-collar work ethic and a traditionally conservative populace. For the purposes of our list, we were liberal with the term. We included the traditional “heartland” states Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming but also expanded our definition to include Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota. While those four states get a little more love than their center-of-the-country comrades, they’re still often overlooked in favor of coastal giants like New York, California, and Florida.

No matter how you define the American heartland, there are destinations that everyone should visit in their lifetime. Yes, there are obvious giants like Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, but there are numerous stunning parks, notable museums, and unique weekend trips that are must-dos. Don’t believe us? Click through to read our must-see spots in the heartland.