According to a new study, there is a  list of the “55 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America". A handful of towns in the Midwest made it onto this list, and one Illinois town is also found itself on said list.

The United States is full of beautiful small towns. Though large metropolises like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Washington, DC, are often thought of as culture and beauty capitals, this doesn’t mean other locales can’t be beacons of these qualities too.

How They Got These Numbers

A few different things were used to make these judgments. A few things Architectural Digest looked at include,

  • The history
  • topography
  • Natural Beauty
  • community

We looked at easy access to nature, the presence of historic or design districts, and topography that’s appealing in its own right—whether it’s beaches or mountains, or maybe a riverside perch.

Other Midwest Spots On This List

Dunbar town beach, Wisconsin, USA

Some other beautiful spots that made it onto the list that you may want to visit are as follows:

  • Rocheport, MissouriTwo hours from both Kansas City and St. Louis.
  • Decorah, IowaIt’s also a college town, thanks to Luther College.
  • Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin - Near the top of the Door County peninsula, and along Lake Michigan.
  • Yellow Springs, Ohio -  See a 78-mile-long Little Miami Scenic Trail that connects to the 752-acre John Bryan State Park. Also, many residents are artists.
  • Grand Marais, Minnesota - There is a vast wilderness that spans Minnesota’s Superior National Forest and Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.
  • Holland, MichiganThe area was settled by the Dutch in 1846, and this heritage remains a big part of the city’s current culture.
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Illinois' Most Beautiful Town In America

Some of you may agree with Architectural Digests' listing of this town, others might roll their eyes. As a history buff and nature lover, I'm happy to see this spot on the list. I'm also sure many of us have at least taken a day trip here.


Galena, Illinois

With goat walks, nature walks, antique stores, unique town design, and the connection to Uylesss S Grant, this town has it all when it came to what Architectural Digest was looking for.


My two personal favorite things were the goat walks, and looking at former President Grant's house.


Congrats to Galena, Illinois!

Chicagoans like to book romantic weekends in this town along the Mississippi River where the state’s flatlands are replaced by river bluffs. Between April and November, a popular attraction is the funicular, affording a bird’s-eye view of the town.

Iowa Stingray Home

This home is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It holds two tanks, both around 300 gallons each. They both contain different types of stingrays. As for right now, this project is just for fun, though the owners do hope to someday breed these rays.

It's been about a 6-month process getting all the supplies, tanks, and stingrays.

Signs a Long Hard Winter is Ahead

Have you seen any "evidence" of a harsh winter ahead? Let's take a look at some Midwest folklore stories that could predict how early or rough our winter will be.

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