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America’s great Midwest anchors the country’s greatness with iconic, bustling cities and the majestic, true heart of the nation’s culture and hospitality. Photo: f11photo /

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Everything is big in Chicago, from towering skyscrapers to voluminous Lake Michigan and the city’s wildly diverse range of entertainment. Long known as America’s “Second City,” this bustling metropolis has the capacity to overwhelm. So breathe in, steel yourself, and experience Chicago like a local – with a hot dog in hand and a spring in your step! • Groove to late-night jazz, blues, and rock at one of Chicago’s numerous music venues. • Spot outrageous outsize works by Picasso, Calder, Oldenburg, and Chagall on the streets throughout downtown Chicago. • Join a cruise on the Chicago River to spot architectural gems like the Willis Tower (a/k/a Sears Tower), John Hancock Center, Wrigley Building, and Aon Center. Diet-conscious diners beware: Chicago meal portions are huge! If you’re looking for gastronomic gluttony, you can’t turn down classic deep-dish pizza, a genuine Chicago hot dog with all the trimmings, and an authentic, dripping Italian beef sandwich. And there’s no shortage of Michelin-starred eateries in town, including a few three-star gems.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, Ohio

CLEVELAND, OHIO Perched on the shores of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, Cleveland has experienced a resurgence in popularity with tourists who can explore cultural attractions and historical landmarks from the city’s legacy as a major manufacturing center. • Visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which, in true hard rock fashion, is open 365 days a year. • Revisit your childhood – and Ralphie’s – at A Christmas Story House in the Tremont neighborhood, the setting for the beloved 1983 holiday classic movie. • Walk on the wild side at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, complete with a simulated rainforest.