4 Midwest RV Travel Gems

Owning an recreational vehicle is the greatest way to explore all of the natural beauty, unique architecture, and diverse culture that exists throughout this magnificent world of ours. It’s a freedom unlike anything other, providing you and your family with countless opportunities for learning and growth.

Still, after several years of traveling, it can be difficult to branch out and identify new roads you’ve yet to discover. That’s why Vogel Talks RVing is posting a series of articles—each one focusing on a different region or state.

In today’s post we’ll focus on four favorite “lesser-known” travel locations in the Midwest including recommended RV parks. All selected parks have been personally visited.

The Midwest consists of 12 states in the north central U.S.: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Wall Drug, Wall, South Dakota

Wall Drug © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Wall Drug © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s impossible to avoid the Badlands-bordering, 76,000 square foot wonder of tourist-trapping randomness, so just go in. You will emerge with a “Where the Heck is Wall Drug” sticker. And you’ll be happy you stopped every time you see a roadside Wall Drug sign every five minutes for the next 300 miles.

One of the world’s most well-known tourist stops, it’s hard to believe Wall Drug Store got its start with something we wouldn’t even turn our heads at today … the promise of free ice water.

You will find $.05 coffee here. SERIOUSLY!

Where to Stay: Arrow Campground, Wall

Far from a 5-star park. Sites are large with utilities including 50-amp electric service centrally located.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Theodore Roosevelt National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

North Dakota, when not being depicted as bland and uninspired, is generally cast in a bad light. Whether it’s fiction or real life, the spotlight’s seldom kind to NoDak. But there’s also a place where the buffalo roam, and that place is Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Theodore Roosevelt is unique among the scenic parks in that it preserves not only an extraordinary landscape but also the memory of an extraordinary man. It honors the president who probably did more for the National Park Service than anyone before or since.

Where to Stay: Red Tail Campground, Medora

Far from a 5-star park, Red Tail Campground is the best full-service park in the area.

Shipshewana, Indiana

Yoder Hardware, Shipshewana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Yoder Hardware, Shipshewana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Many of the towns in Amish Country date back 150 years or more. Among these is tiny Shipshewana known for an enormous flea market where 1,000 vendors peddle their wares twice a week from May through October.

Due to the Amish lifestyle you can almost believe you’ve stepped back in time a century or more. To learn about Amish history, tour Menno-Hof. Through multi-image presentations and historical displays, you’ll travel back 500 years to the origins of the Amish-Mennonite story.

Where to Stay: Camp Newmar, Nappanee

Full-service campground at the Newmar factory for owners receiving warranty work.

Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota

Mitchell Corn Palace © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Mitchell Corn Palace © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The needle of the corn compass points to Mitchell, a prairie town that is corn crazy and proud of it. Mitchell’s high school sports teams are the Kernels. Its local radio station’s call letters are KORN. And it’s home to the “agricultural showplace of the world,” the Mitchell Corn Palace.

The World’s Only Corn Palace is Mitchell’s premier tourist attraction. During it’s over 100 years of existence, it has become known worldwide and now attracts more than a half a million visitors annually.

Where to Stay: Dakota Campground, Mitchell

Better than average, Dakota Campground is a pleasant-enough park with mostly shaded sites. Pull-through sites are in the 50 feet range. Utilities including 50-amp electric service located near the rear of the site.

Also see Southwest, California, Texas, Alabama—each representing some of the region’s best locales.

Worth Pondering…

America is laced with nooks and crannies, good places that go undiscovered by many mainstream travelers.

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