The wide open spaces of the American midwest call out to Gildshire’s Travel and Nature Magazine. There is something about the air, the people, and the miles and miles of miles and miles that beckon us to travel. They are called “flyover states,” by the Hollywood elite, but we find that an insult and an oversight. Some of our favorite people hail from the midwest, and some of our favorite hotel gems have a “Vacancy” light burning out front.
Spearfish Canyon Lodge: 10619 Roughlock Falls Road, Lead, South Dakota: South Dakota is a state with an image problem. At least the western half of it has an image problem. Known as a flat and uninteresting place, western South Dakota has some of this nation’s finest scenery! Into that postcard of rugged mountains and rushing creeks find Spearfish Canyon Lodge. Hard up against the Black Hills, the Lodge isn’t just a great hotel, but also a great value. For our $150 per night budget, we can rent the Burlington Minisuite, commemorating the railroad that helped to settle the Old West. If money is no object, then try the Bridal Veil Executive Suite for about $100 more.
The Campbell Hotel: 2636 E 11th St, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma retains more of its western heritage than does, say, Oklahoma City. That’s why Gildshire recommends it as a starting point for exploring the Sooner State. The old western towns centered around the post office, the saloon, and the hotel. One can imagine the Campbell Hotel in the middle of that picture. From the outside, it looks like 1000 downtown mid-major city hotels. Step inside, though, and see a beautiful thing. A classic lobby area resides beneath rooms appointed in interesting and unique ways. Local pride exhibits itself with “Go T.U.” wall hangings. The Campbell features a full-service spa, a restaurant, and 2 bars/lounges.
Hotel 340: 340 Cedar St, St. Paul, Minnesota: Too often overshadowed by its larger Twin City, St. Paul has had to try harder. Evidence of this capital city’s success can be found in the lovely Hotel 340. Built in 1917, it’s updated for service but
kept pristine in its ambiance. It shares the building with the St. Paul Athletic Club and some of their services are available to hotel guests. This is an important feature, as Olympic-sized pools aren’t readily available to travelers…at least not in this country. Let the registration desk know if your stay is part of a particular celebration, because they may find a bottle of champagne lying around.
Hotel Pattee: 1112 Willis Ave, Perry, Iowa: Walking into the Hotel Pattee is like opening a Christmas present. The outside is fine, but the inside is a miracle! While no expense was spared decorating both the public and private areas, this place still resides comfortably under our $150 budget. Fine artwork greets visitors. Fabulously appointed rooms greet guests. Accommodating service personnel greets everyone. This is a destination hotel miles from where one would expect such a fine place. What else is special? Well, it is the first hotel with a bowling alley we’ve seen! Yes, a bowling alley. The entrance to the Hotel Pattee is the featured image up top.
Potawatomi Hotel and Casino: 1721 W Canal St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: “The Pot,” as the locals call it, is one of eastern Wisconsin’s finest getaway lodging destinations. The rooms are spacious and modern. You’ll find Kohler fixtures in the restrooms. Throw open the curtains and see great views of the canal/downtown on one side, but Miller Park on the other side. The hotel alone is lovely and well-appointed, so that makes the casino the value added! Gaming aficionados declare the casino equal to some of Las Vegas’ finest. Low and medium rollers from Chicago make the 92-mile trek north just to play here. We recommend it for a night…or a week.
Longman and Eagle: 2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, Illinois: We wanted to close with someplace truly unique in the region. This is NOT a traditional favorite hotel in any way, but it is all the better for it. The hotel is atop the bar and, quite frankly, isn’t the quietest room you will ever find. That said, the room amenities are special and dinner for two at the L&E is every moment local and world-class. Do you like an adult beverage at the end of a workweek or while on vacation? Uh, huh, that’s why we thought you might like to know this hotel/restaurant’s motto. “Eat, Sleep, Whiskey.” Pretty much says it all, while being oh-so-convenient to Chicago’s famed “El” railroad system.
That’s our favorite hotel list, but does it agree with yours? We love to hear your stories, so keep them coming.