Destination Heartland

A Guide to Discovering the Midwest's Remarkable Past

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Pub Date 10 May 2022 | Archive Date 01 Jul 2022

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Description

A travel guide to one thousand years of Midwestern history

The Midwest's place at the crossroads of the nation makes it a rich travel destination for anyone interested in the history and heritage of the United States. Cynthia Clampitt's guide to heartland historical sites invites readers to live the past, whether it's watching a battlefield reenactment or wandering the grounds of an ancient Native American city. From the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to the Chinese American Museum, Clampitt uncovers the fascinating stories behind these quintessentially Midwestern places while offering valuable tips for getting the most out of your visit. She also ventures beyond the typical scope of guidebooks to include historic restaurants, small-town museums, and other overlooked gems perfect for turning that quick day trip into a leisurely itinerary.

An informative handbook and love letter to the Midwest, Destination Heartland provides travelers with a knowledgeable companion on the highways and backroads of history.

States covered in the book: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.


Cynthia Clampitt is a food historian and travel writer. She is the author of Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland and Waltzing Australia.

A travel guide to one thousand years of Midwestern history

The Midwest's place at the crossroads of the nation makes it a rich travel destination for anyone interested in the history and heritage of...


Advance Praise

"Clampitt's brilliant new book offers a literal roadmap for those curious souls seeking a guided tour of the Midwest, the nation's lost region, whose deep history we would all benefit from finding."--Jon Lauck, author of The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History

"Places I knew and places I now want to go! Cynthia Clampitt offers interesting information on these locations and what to eat along the way. This book should be kept in the car to refer to as you drive around. I truly love this book!"--Leah Joy Axelrod, former president, Illinois Historical Society

"Clampitt's brilliant new book offers a literal roadmap for those curious souls seeking a guided tour of the Midwest, the nation's lost region, whose deep history we would all benefit from...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9780252086373
PRICE $19.95 (USD)

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Average rating from 21 members


Featured Reviews

My opinion likely colored by my expectation that this was going to be more travel writing than travel guide. That said as a denizen of the Midwest whose spent no small amount of time at a number of the sites covered in the book, Cynthia nevertheless managed to introduce me to a number of places I had no idea existed and that I rushed to add to my to-visit list.

While her eye for places of interest is keen, I was not always engaged with the descriptions of her visits. It definitely serves more as a travel guide/reference than a book to immerse yourself in. That said, I found the short history of the region that begins the book to an excellent, succinct overview that I enjoyed immensely.

(Review copy obtained through NetGalley)

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The Midwest is so rich in history and so intriguing. What’s even better is seeing history in real life and experiencing it for yourself. Destination Heartland is a wonderful book that is a map into Midwestern history that you, yourself can explore and live. It is very informative and tells you some of the Midwest’s story. I’ll personally be utilizing this book on our next Midwestern road trip.


Shoutout to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest, completely unbiased review.

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I enjoyed this travel guide. It’s a good resource for trip planning. I’d definitely recommend it. My thanks to NetGalley and publisher for the opportunity to review.

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This book was more than I expected. The author's love and enthusiasm for the Midwest comes out through the entire book. She explains why this area is important to explore and know its history. As she describes landmarks we can visit, she is detailed about the sites provide. This is a great resource to look at for traveling or even students wanting to research more. The author is thorough throughout the book.

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This book really packs a punch of insightful knowledge into the Midwest and provides a great guide book if you ever want to visit. You can really tell how passionate the author is about all things history especially when it comes to all things Heartland!

I loved how the book was broken into different themed sections, each being a different type of experience. From historical houses and museums to re-enactments to living history sites you can visit. There is something for everyone! There were many different extra history facts and even recipes included!

This is a great book for anyone interested more in visiting the Midwest or even just wanting to learn more about the history surrounding there!

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This book was more than I expected. The author's love and enthusiasm for the Midwest comes out through the entire book. She explains why this area is important to explore and know its history. As she describes landmarks we can visit, she is detailed about the sites provide. This is a great resource to look at for traveling or even students wanting to research more. The author is thorough throughout the book.

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I read this book from NetGalley. I enjoyed it so much. I will have visited some of the sites listed in the book and really enjoyed them. I agree with many of the author's recommendations. I also learned about new places to visit. I will be using this book as a reference and recommend that others look for it as well.

The information within each section is well laid out and clear. I liked the additional information that was provided. It wasn't just a list of places to visit and included information about the site and additional things to do.

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This book gives a little bit of history of the Midwest as well as providing different sites that you can visit. She does tell a little bit about the sites in the book as well as providing some of the background of the sites. She also tells you how to find historical sites that are open to visitors that one can visit when they will be in the area. I would recommend this book for any history buffs who either live or plan to visit the Midwest. I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review from NetGalley.

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Cynthia Clampitt’s Destination Heartland is the type of informative travel book one might logically expect from a university press. It’s not a list of places to see arranged by state and complete with addresses, prices, and hours. Instead, it’s a guide to learning and experiencing the history of one often overlooked region—the American Midwest.

Clampitt focuses on a new way of viewing history in each of her chapters. Chapter 1 provides a brief historical overview, speaking of Native Americans, traders and trappers, pioneers and settlers. Chapters 2-5 cover living history and open-air museums; vintage sites such as historic homes, frontier forts, and archaeological sites; larger sites that merit an extended stop to wander and explore, such as sites with multiple buildings or both indoor and outdoor components, and historic towns with multiple sites worth visiting; and places where one can experience history more first-hand, sometimes by participating in it oneself. This fifth chapter centers on military reenactments, frontier rendezvous, participating (for example, helping with sails on an 18th commercial sailing vessel on the Great Lakes), or volunteering. In Chapter 6, Clampitt introduces readers to historic sleeping and dining experiences, and in Chapter 7, she discusses a variety of ways those interested in historic travel adventures can discover more places than she can include in one book.


Although the author has chosen to arrange her material by ways for experiencing Midwestern history and offers enough history about each place to provide an idea of the place’s history and importance, she provides an appendix that lists places by state, including the page number where the reader can find that place discussed. Her chosen approach makes more interesting reading, but the appendix would be helpful for anyone planning a trip to one or two particular Midwestern states. Since Clampitt focuses on history, a brief second appendix lists Midwestern states by date of statehood.

Clampitt clearly explains her focus at the outset, pointing out that she makes no attempt to include non-historic sites. This is not a book for those readers who want to experience natural geographical wonders. Instead, in the author’s words, “Destination Heartland is a celebration of what is here and what has happened, as well as why it matters to Midwesterners, to the nation, and to the world.”

Although the book includes some black and white photos and is not intended as a coffee table book, more photos of the type used could help bring the history to life

Thanks to NetGalley and the University of Illinois Press for an advance reader copy of this valuable addition to travel books.

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Clampitt provides a quick overview of some places to visit in tour in the 12 stores she labels as part of the Midwest. It’s not a comprehensive list, but serves to highlight many of the delightful historical attractions that are often overlooked. I have visited many of the sites she covers in the book so it was interesting to read her synopsis and recommendations.
I appreciate her writing this book since I have been a midwesterner for most of my life.

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Destination Heartland
by Cynthia Clampitt
Pub Date: May 10, 2022
3 Fields Books
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.
States covered in the book: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Growing up and living in the midwest for 60 years, I really enjoyed this book.
I have been to many of the places described but I was able to add a few to my bucket list.
An informative handbook and introduction to the Midwest's colorful past, Destination Heartland provides travelers with a knowledgeable companion on the highways and backroads of history.
We will be purchasing this for our library.
4 stars

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