Hipmunk Hotels: Traveling to the Midwest - Underrated Cities

Correct me if I am wrong but America’s Midwest is underrated. People either travel to the East or to the West coast of America but many don’t seem to have the places in-between on the radar. But there are cities and towns that are quaint, charming and generally worth seeing - for a change. Thus, I am highlighting five of those places - with three of them even being capital cities - including suggestions for places to stay. Have you been to any of those?

Image via  Flickr  by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region

Image via Flickr by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region


Columbus, OH

Columbus is the capital of the state of Ohio. Being among the 15 largest cities in the U.S., this city, which got its name based on Christopher Columbus, has loads to offer. It has also been rated on of the most intelligent cities in the world. If you are a football fan, this is your city, for apparently 90 per cent of the people who live in Columbus love this kind of sport. Travel in fall or early summer and stay at the Varsity Inn OSU North if you’re on a budget or, for something more exquisite, choose the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel.

Madison, WI

Many of us have probably not thought about visiting Wisconsin - not even its capital. It gets cold in the winter but hotels get very affordable. If you’re willing to pay a little more, summer is, however, the season to travel to Madison; Lakes Monona and Mendota are worth seeing and so is Dane County Farmers’ Market. Additionally, being rated America’s most walkable city, you might not even need a rental car. Stay at Super 8 - Madison South for a dime or Hyatt Place Madison Downtown for something more upscale.

Lincoln, NE

Nebraska is one of the places the majority of us wouldn’t go in the first place. What’s there to see? Specifically its capital, Lincoln, offers a lot. The Memorial Stadium is buzzing during football season so chances are you’re part of the crowd. Also, if you’re a fan of museums this is the place for you. There are unique ones such as the Museum of American Speed. Accommodation is very cheap and you get a lot for less, such as the Embassy Suites Lincoln as a superior hotel.

Rockford, IL

Have you ever heard of Rockford? This rather manageable sized area gives big city feel while being rather small and just a stone’s throw from Chicago. Being a comparatively green, Rockford offers things like Japanese Gardens, fishing opportunities and green space to veg out. Take it easy here and don’t worry about spending too much. You can’t go wrong with classics like the Holiday Inn Rockford or Courtyard by Marriott.

Milwaukee, WI

This one might be the most popular of the cities listed here. Tackle the cold and be rewarded with great deals on accommodation such as the Ambassador Hotel - Milwaukee or the contemporary Aloft Milwaukee Downtown. This is the city for all Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, as the company was founded here. It is also home of the world’s largest music festival, Summeriest.

Have you been to any of these cities before? Do you think the midwest is underrated?

This piece was written in collaboration with hipmunk.com, in the course of the Hipmunk Boutique Hotels Campaign to bring you selected hotels for any budget, all around the U.S.