Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield: Civil War on the Family Farm

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield: Civil War on the Family Farm

John Ray stood in his cornfield watching the nightmarish scene unfold before him, the rest of his family crouched in the farmhouse cellar. Cannon booms resonated in the usually quiet setting. Soldiers’ cries pierced the hot, humid summer Ozark air as bloody bodies fell. The Battle of Wilson’s Creek, in which 1,317 Union Soldiers and 1,222 Confederate soldiers lost their lives, is considered the first significant Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River. John Ray’s farmhouse is the only original structure that still stands today. It is one of the eight interpretive stops at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Springfield, Missouri. Read more

Gailey’s Breakfast Café: Award-Winning Breakfast, Nostalgic Atmosphere

Gailey’s Breakfast Café: Award-Winning Breakfast, Nostalgic Atmosphere

How much more patriotic can you get with breakfast than the Freedom Waffle? That’s what I ordered the first time I dined at Gailey’s Breakfast Café in Springfield, Missouri. The thick Belgian waffle, topped with loads of sweet strawberries and blueberries and striped with whipped cream, was made to resemble the America flag. It was as delicious as it looks. Read more

Leong’s Asian Diner: Original Springfield Style Cashew Chicken

Leong’s Asian Diner: Original Springfield Style Cashew Chicken

Chicago has deep-dish pizza. Philadelphia has Philly cheesesteak. And Springfield, Missouri, has Springfield style cashew chicken. Springfield style cashew chicken, a regional favorite, was invented in the 1960s by David Leong. You can find copies of Springfield style cashew chicken all over town, but you can get the original only at Leong’s Asian diner. Read more

12 Fun Facts You May Not Know about the Midwest

12 Fun Facts You May Not Know about the Midwest

One fun part of travel is learning interesting facts about the places you visit. Following are bits of trivia I’ve picked up about each of the Midwest states: Read more

2015 Midwest Wanderer Year in Review

2015 Midwest Wanderer Year in Review

2015 has been another great year of firsts for us. We’ve visited new destinations, enjoyed new experiences, and had several “who knew?” moments.

Here are some of our favorite 2015 experiences: Read more

New Year’s Eve in the Midwest for $25 or Less

New Year’s Eve in the Midwest for $25 or Less

You don’t have to spend a fortune to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Here are 12 events throughout the Midwest that won’t break the budget before the New Year even begins: Read more

Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks: U.S. Military Heritage

Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks: U.S. Military Heritage

The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks often comes as a surprise to visitors. Tucked into a strip mall, you would never expect it to be filled with not only 5,000 artifacts, but also to include military aircraft and vehicles. Read more

Hotel Vandivort: Local History, Art, Food

Hotel Vandivort: Local History, Art, Food

The Hotel Vandivort, Springfield, Missouri’s first urban boutique hotel, is built in a former Masonic Temple. Giving a nod to the building’s history, as well as to the local community, the 50-room upscale downtown hotel incorporates Masonic symbolism, as well as artwork by local artists, throughout the hotel. In addition, the hotel’s restaurant, The Order, uses locally-sourced food as much as possible. Read more

Hurts Donut: Wackiest Donuts Ever

Hurts Donut: Wackiest Donuts Ever

The young man at the Hurts Donut counter in Springfield, Missouri, told us, “When they first started, people were like, people aren’t gonna wait out in a line for a donut.” Yet, two days before our visit, a Sunday morning, there was a line out the door for four hours. What’s all the hype over donuts? One look in the donut cases will tell you. Hurts donuts are the wackiest, most over-the-top donuts I have ever eaten. Read more

Exploring the Gardens of Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park in Off-Peak Seasons

Exploring the Gardens of Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park in Off-Peak Seasons

Twice this year we’ve had occasion to visit Springfield, Missouri, and on both trips we spent time in the botanical gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. Neither March nor mid-October is considered an ideal Midwest garden season, but on both visits we found plenty of beauty in the park. Read more