Place Bucket List (Midwest Edition)

This post is the fifth in my Place Bucket List series inspired by Adventures in Preservation, which asked readers what buildings were on our bucket lists.

*Note: The regions I have given these states in this and upcoming posts are how I have come to rationalize them for this purpose (and to prevent any one post from being too long), not necessarily how these regions are defined by any government entity.


  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Johnson’s Island


  • Mackinac Island
  • Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Motown Museum
  • The Henry Ford
  • Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Whitefish Point Light Station
  • Cranbrook Academy (and the rest of the Cranbrook Educational Community, as suggested by Robert, thanks!)
  • Packard Factory, Detroit (designed by Albert Kahn-my thanks to Robert for this one!)
  • The GM Technical Center (designed by Eero Saarinen, another fine suggestion from Robert)


  • Forest Home Cemetery
  • Taliesin
  • Something involving cheese, like a factory tour where I could then try the cheeses


  • The Walker Art Center
  • Jolly Green Giant
  • Museum of Questionable Medical Devices (In the Science Museum of Minnesota)


  • Quilt Garden Tour
  • Conner Prairie
  • Eiteljorg Museum
  • Columbus (Thanks, Robert, this city looks awesome!)


  • Cahokia
  • The Largest Catsup Bottle
  • Elgin
  • The Field Museum
  • Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site
  • Art Institute of Chicago (Thanks, Marc!)
  • Rockome Gardens (Thanks, Amy!)


  • Effigy Mounds National Monument
  • Decorah
  • The Kaleidoscope Factory, Pomeroy
  • Living History Farms
  • Vermeer Mill, Pella


  • Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
  • Mark Twain Boyhood Home
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum
  • Gateway Arch
  • Elephant Rocks State Park
  • Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park
  • Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
  • Fort Davidson State Historic Site (Thanks to Amy for this and the above three suggestions!)

Think I missed something? Let me know! (If it’s in Ohio, hopefully I’ve been to it since visiting historic sites was a part of my AmeriCorps service last year.)

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4 Responses to Place Bucket List (Midwest Edition)

  1. Erik says:

    You can always stop by Peoria and I’ll show you what’s been torn down. Elgin is great, the whole area from Elgin down the river to Aurora would be right up your alley. See Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles.

  2. I have a few suggestions to add to your list. In Missouri, Elephant Rocks State Park in Graniteville is a must see natural wonder. It has stunning scenery and many one-of-a-kind rock formations. Nearby Johnston’s Shut-Ins State Park, Taum Sauk Mountain, and Fort Davidson Historic Site are also very much worth a visit. All four places are all within a dozen miles of each other and have interesting histories. In Illinois, Arcola’s Rockome Gardens is an Amish-themed attraction featuring Amish food and a recreated 1800s-style town.

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