Here's where to stop (and eat!) when you pass through.

By Erica Sloan and Claire Sullivan
June 24, 2020
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There's so much to see across the Midwest—but think beyond the traditional monuments (like St. Louis' Gateway Arch or Chicago's Cloud Gate) and be sure to bookmark the lesser-known spots the Martha Stewart Living editors never pass up. Here, a curated list of our favorite things to see and the best places to eat when traveling from Minnesota to Ohio and everywhere in between.

Minnesota

Hop on over to St. Paul and visit an island overrun with bunnies. "A teen converted one of the Mississippi River isles near this Minnesota city into Peacebunny Island, a haven for rescue rabbits. It's a predator-free place where they bounce around freely," says art and photo assistant Madeline Warshaw. "If you go to my hometown of Minneapolis, bring back bittersweet-chocolate cookies from Rustica Bakery, a Faribault Woolen Mill blanket, wild rice, and a pair of Minnesota-made Sven clogs!"

Wisconsin

Looking for a unique souvenir for your home? When you're in Milwaukee, stock up on new, vintage, and custom brass fixtures made on-site at Brass Light Gallery.

Illinois

Speaking of intriguing homewares: Jayson Home in Chicago has timeless yet distinctive furniture and rugs. And at Detroit Garden Works, you'll find Old-World containers and outdoor ornaments.

Missouri

If you're planning a trip to St. Louis, prepare to eat well. "My favorite meals in my college town are the cacio e pepe at Pastaria, the bison burger at Baileys' Range, and the brisket sandwich with cracker-topped mac and cheese at Salt + Smoke," says assistant editor Erica Sloan.

Michigan

Driving through Michigan and looking for some healthy fuel? Stop at the Cherry Point Farm & Market in Shelby, Michigan, which is one of the oldest operating farms in the area. You just might walk right into a fish boil as you weave your way around the property's flower-filled labyrinth.

Ohio

First up, check out The Original Goodie Shop in Columbus. "My grandmother always has cinnamon sticks from here when we visit her," says associate editor Claire Sullivan. "They're like optimized cinnamon rolls: layers of dough baked with cinnamon sugar and drenched in buttery brown-sugar glaze." Then stumble upon some real art. "The locally funded (free!) Butler Institute of American Art is a big surprise to visitors of my small Ohio hometown, Youngstown," says sales director Brad Moore. "It's a century old and houses works by Mary Cassatt and Winslow Homer."

Originally featured in Martha Stewart Living, July/August 2020.

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