10 coolest cities in the Midwest

America’s heartland too frequently gets labeled as flyover country -- the states you fly over to get between the East and West coasts. But take another look and you’ll notice that the Midwest harbors some of the country’s coolest college towns, hippest city neighborhoods, cheapest real estate, best cuisine and all-around greatest places to live and visit.

Text by Chelsea Lin | Photo editing by Mike Hipple

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Feb 14, 2013 2:52PM
Nebraska stunk from the cows, thats what I remember when moving to grand rapids,mi from seattle. Been here a long time & still hate it, summers hot & humid, winters freezing no  real mountains for ski,snowboard etc. Nothinng to do much at all compared to seattle where whole family has alot to do. But the great lakes are beautiful! Chicago is nice if not too hot or cold alot to do if you can afford it.
Feb 14, 2013 2:13PM
Hey Nebraska is a wonderful and beautiful State but don't get fooled unemployment is just as high here as in any state. You  can make numbers up. Nebraska did!!!
Feb 14, 2013 1:57PM

I've never been to Michigan, so don't know.  Madison is great.  Omaha is great.


The rest of the cities are the armpits of the midwest.

Feb 14, 2013 12:08PM

I'll take Cincinnati over either of the other 2 cities from the Buckeye State--and I've lived in all 3 of them.  One of America's most underrated cities (along with St. Louis and Kansas City, which did make the list).  A hilly terrain that reivals San Francisco's, great museums, the riverfront (where the Reds and Bengals play), parks everywhere (can't beat the views from any of those hilltop vistas, plus they're great for biking), distinct eclectic neighborhoods with lots of local merchants where everyone knows your name, very walkable, great food you can't get anywhere else (Skyline Chili, LaRosa's pizza and subs, Graeters ice cream and pastries), within 2 hours of Kentucky's Bluegrass region and other day trips.  Lastly, despite being a hobed of social conservatism (right to life and the antiporn crusades are very active here--Larry Flynt was run out of town by a zealous prosecutor in the 70's), Cincinnati voters nonetheless elected Jerry Springer as Mayor (yes, THAT Jerry Springer--he was a colorful local politician in the 70's before becoming what he is today)--after he resigned from City Council when it was discovered that he wrote a check to a prostitute.  Not even the Jerry Springer show could make that one up!

Feb 14, 2013 11:56AM

Yes, St. Louis is one of the nicest places, Also in regards to the crime and dirty. Every city or small town has it area's that are not nice.

People are very friendly, and very generous with other cities when they have problems. I am sorry that you did not have a good experience in St. Louis.

Feb 14, 2013 11:51AM
Proud and glad to live in "fly over" country.  Considering the quality of the people who think that and act that way, keep right on flying. 

Feb 14, 2013 11:07AM
also dirty unfriendly high crime etc etc
Feb 14, 2013 9:23AM
Every city has its good and bad points.....good and bad areas.  If one of them is your hometown you are more than likely to take up for it..  I've never been to Chicago, but I plan to one day.  I want to see the lake and the museums.  I don't care about the "negative" side of it.  All cities have them.
Feb 14, 2013 9:13AM
WIth the exception of Madisosn, WI and Columbus, OH this is a list of the biggest cities in the  midwest, not the "coolest".
Feb 14, 2013 8:38AM
Hey, what about Traverse City MI? Check it out!!!!
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