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Northern States

With a ‘fall’ that rivals New England and serene crystal clear lakes, rolling hills and plenty of quaint villages to visit, this region offers spectacular lakeside vistas. Recreational activities include hiking, biking and boating centred around 1400 miles of shoreline and 11000 lakes.

ILLINOIS

Chicago is a gateway to the largest expanse of freshwater in the world roughly the size of continental Europe. Located on Lake Michigan this city is an architectural delight thanks to Frank Lloyd Wright who constructed many buildings here. For spectacular views of landmark skyscrapers take the fastest elevator in the world (39 seconds) to the 94th floor of the Hancock Building. Shopping here is fantastic and musicians from the Deep South invented ‘electric blues’ here which is played in dark, smoky clubs downtown.

Beyond the cosmopolitan city lie rolling hills, picturesque river towns and rugged wilderness. The Shawnee National Forest offers diverse scenery of rock formations, canyons, lakes and forests. This area boasts more white sand beaches than Hawaii, and towns offering quaint cafes and galleries dot the coastline. The ‘fall’ is beautiful here and nature’s colours provide stunning rich reds, yellows and deep royal purples set against the vivid blue of the lake itself.

MICHIGAN

Visit Hiawatha National Forest flanked by Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Superior and the setting of the famous poem Song of Hiawatha by Henry Longfellow. Cascading waterfalls and canoe trails abound to transport you to the land of the Native American Indians.

This is where the USA borders Ontario in Canada and crystal clear waters provide a playground for game fish and wildlife such as black bear, deer and moose that roam the forests.

A ferry across Lake Huron will take you to the fascinating Mackinac Island where motor vehicles are banned and taxis consist of horse drawn carriages. See re- enactments of local history at Fort Mankinac or rent a bicycle to tour the island. Nearby Mackinaw City allows you to see the sun rise over Lake Huron and set on Lake Michigan which is truly breath-taking.

MINNESOTA

The Mississippi lazily meanders its way through Grand Rapids in Minnesota as just a gentle stream through Twin Cities as it gathers momentum on its way to the Gulf Coast. This area is full of legend and folklore, pine trees and secluded lakes.

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin forms the western shore of Lake Michigan, and also part of the southern shore of Lake Superior. The lake-side city of Milwaukee hosts the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Museum, a must for enthusiasts.

INDIANA

Indiana is known for its farmland and renowned auto race, the Indianapolis 500. The state capital, Indianapolis offers theatres and galleries on Massachusetts Avenue, while Broad Ripple has hip bars and restaurants. Downtown is home to the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the Canal Walk promenade and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In the heart of Indiana’s Amish Country Elkhart Quilt Gardens offers a one-of-a-kind experience – a showcase of 20 gigantic quilt-patterned gardens create a tapestry of colour.

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