It’s flat. It’s boring. There’s nothing to do. Six travel bloggers debunk the Midwestern stereotypes they’re sick of hearing.
I call it coastal arrogance. It’s real, and it can be quite ugly. As someone who has lived on both coasts, I usually just ignore derogatory comments about the Midwest. After all, the statements are usually so uninformed that it’s no surprise when the New Yorker, Floridian, or Californian making them ultimately admits that they’ve never been to the place they’re bashing.
No one is expected to love every destination in the country. Or the world. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of where you’re from and having a deep sense of hometown pride. But I personally disagree with trash talking a large swath of a nation based on stereotypes.
I recently experienced such an egregious example of coastal arrogance, it landed the monologue spot of this blog post. And was the inspiration to debunk several other stereotypes we Midwesterners are sick and tired of hearing.
A special type of arrogant behavior directed toward people living in the Midwest by those living on either coast
It was during a conference call at work. A group of us on a conference call with a vendor in California were wrapping up the implementation and training details for a new software tool. After selecting the dates that the young woman would join us in Kansas City, the vendor asked, “Since I’m from California, I like to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Will there be anything for me to eat in Kansas City?”
I looked around the table at stunned expressions and dropped jaws while my colleagues tried to process what they’d just heard. The vegetarian and vegan came to their senses first, assuring her she’d be fine. As soon as the call disconnected, a flurry of chatter erupted.
“Did she seriously just suggest that we don’t have fruits and vegetables here in Kansas City? Are you kidding me?”
“Yeah, I like to keep a cow in my pocket, just in case I get hungry and need a snack!”
Here are six Midwestern stereotypes that people in “flyover states” are sick of hearing.
1 – It’s Flat
Midwestern stereotype debunked by Kylie Neuhaus of Between England and Iowa
One of the things that shocked me the most when I moved from England to Iowa was that there are actually ski resorts in the Midwest! When I think of skiing, I automatically think of places like Europe, Canada or the Rocky Mountain states like Colorado. In eastern Iowa, I’m within a 40-minute drive from TWO ski resorts…proper ones too, they actually have 20+ runs!
The Midwest has more than ski runs. Parts of the Midwest have huge towering bluffs. Dubuque, Iowa has the world’s shortest, steepest funicular railway and Michigan has the amazing Silver Lake Sand Dunes that are steep enough for sand boarding!
2 – The Weather is Awful
Midwestern stereotype debunked by Jenn Singer of Day Tripper
If you believe this Midwestern stereotype, you just haven’t found the right activity for the weather. The Midwest offers four seasons, and that means four different times of year to find the perfect outdoor experiences. Spring is the best time to go on a waterfall hunt. When the weather heats up, cool off at a Midwestern beach. Fall is the perfect time for corn mazes and vineyard hopping. You can even participate in a grape stomp, or two! In the winter, head outdoors to enjoy the beauty of the new-fallen snow.
Wait! Did you suggest going to the beach in the summertime? That can’t be right. There aren’t any beaches in the Midwest! Which brings us to stereotype number three…
3 – There Aren’t Any Beaches
Midwestern stereotype debunked by Bisa Myles of Myles to Travel
4 – There’s Nothing to Do!
Midwestern stereotype debunked by Susan Gleissner of This Big Wild World
For years I moved around the US, Australia and England. I loved it, for a while. Now I prefer to have a place to call home. Somewhere that I can always come back to. For me, #minneapolis offers me tons of outdoor adventures and a major airport to get me where I’m going. I don’t believe you have to choose travel or home. You can have both, without compromise. Where do you call home? . . . . . . #onlyinmn #capturemn #getoutside #outdoortherapy #travelblog #mplslove #home #lifechoices #worldnomads #lensculture #exploremore #travelwithintention #travelstoke #adventuretravel #offthebeatenpath #iamatraveler #athomeintheworld #travelphotography #neverstopexploring #letsgosomewhere #liveauthentic #lonelyplanet #bbctravel #livetravelchannel #mywherever #worldnarrative
After living in Los Angeles and England for eight years, I am proud to call the Midwest home. From kayaking to rock-climbing, skiing to surfing, you are only bored in the Midwest if you choose to be. The best part about the Midwest is that you get to take advantage of all four, beautiful seasons. Each season offers new adventures and a completely different landscape. So stop calling the Midwest the “flyover states” and come check out all that the Midwest has to offer. I’m glad I did!
5 – There’s Only Country Music
Midwestern stereotype debunked by Lindsay Hindman of The Siouxland Families Blog
- Pop rock classics Goo Goo Dolls and Cyndi Lauper in St Louis, Missouri,
- Christian rockers like Newsboys and Lincoln Brewster in Kansas City, Missouri, and
- Legendary queen of soul Aretha Franklin in Sioux City, Iowa
To find great live music in the Midwest, I recommend you check the lineups of state fairs and big concert venues for the hottest acts, and county fairs and music festivals for up-and-coming and edgier bands and musicians. Whatever music you love, you can probably find it in the Midwest, and you sure won’t find a friendlier crowd to enjoy it with you anywhere else!
6 – All There is to Eat is Meat and Potatoes
Midwestern stereotype debunked by Francesca Mazurkiewicz of The Working Mom’s Travels
Nothing more than meat and potatoes in the Midwest? Really? The Midwestern city of Chicago has a vibrant dining scene. There are restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores that feature just about every cuisine and culture. Even smaller cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan, offer outstanding meals like the Scandinavian dinner I had at The Søvengård. One of the most delicious Cuban sandwiches I’ve ever had was at Red River Kitchen at City House in St. Paul, Minnesota. And you can’t miss the mouthwatering avocado toast at Rosie’s Place in
Noblesville, Indiana. So think twice before you dismiss the Midwest as having nothing more than meat and potatoes!
Related Article: Midwest Restaurants with Memorable Breakfasts
What about you?
Is there a Midwestern stereotype that you’re sick of hearing? Do you still believe in one of the stereotypes debunked here? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.