You can’t order a Whopper® at this Burger King. In fact, you won’t find a Whopper within 25 miles of the Mattoon, Illinois, restaurant. You see, the original Burger King is not related to the chain of the same name. So, while you won’t get that fake charcoal flavor the chain is known for, you can enjoy a tasty, diner-type burger with all the toppings.
Notorious gangster Al Capone owned the historic Hotel Julien Dubuque in the 1920s—maybe. He did stay there a lot, and although some believe he owned it at one time, it could never be confirmed. Earlier in history, Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain both stayed at the hotel. However, the building that they stayed in was the original building, which burned down in 1913.
Today, the hotel, located along the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa, is a boutique hotel that combines its original grandeur with modern amenities. Read more
Did you know that ninety-five percent of pumpkins for processing in the United States are grown in Illinois? Specifically, they’re grown in and near Morton, a town southeast of Peoria, home to a large Libby’s cannery. Every September, Morton celebrates its pumpkin industry with the Morton Pumpkin Festival. Read more
Welcome to the inaugural Midwest Wanderer podcast! As we traveled the Great River Road from the Mississippi River headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Quad Cities, we summed up our daily activities each night in a podcast. We turned the first two recordings into videos while we traveled and posted them on Facebook. But that required late nights, and after two nights of five or fewer hours of sleep, we decided to record and wait until we got home to publish them. So here we are, with the first four days of our Quad Cities adventures. Rather than videos, we’re presenting them in podcast format. Read more
I grew up in Illinois just over the border from Northwest Indiana. Although I no longer live in that immediate area, I have lots of friends and family who do. Over the years I’ve heard talk about Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana. I assumed it was just a small-town festival, no big deal—until I finally went to Pierogi Fest. What a hoot! Read more
Local flavor, whether at a diner or farm-to-table restaurant, is a big part of every trip we take. On my recent press trip to Council Bluffs, Iowa, our travel group ate at several locally-owned restaurants and bakeries. All of these Council Bluffs restaurants were winners. Read more