The Getaway
New Wonders of the American Midwest

Welcome to the Midwest! This region of the United States is full of diverse natural and manufactured wonders. From large cities with friendly people to small towns with rich history, there's something for everyone!  The ingenuity of Midwesterners has produced their own unique take on famous monuments, statues, and wonders. If you're a history buff, it's worth visiting these amazing structures.


01 Vatican City’s Sistine Chapel of Iowa

The Sistine Chapel is arguably one of the greatest artistic creations of the Renaissance; Michelangelo painted his masterpieces on a ceiling some forty feet above ground level. The Sistine Chapel of Iowa is a similarly impressive achievement that celebrates the best of Midwestern life. Born in Sarajevo, artist Paco Rosic has created a restaurant that replicates the style of the Sistine Chapel in Waterloo, Iowa. This restaurant offers a Renaissance atmosphere with a full menu of culinary delights. Galleria de Paco restaurant is worth the stop if in the area.


02 England’s Stonehenge of Nebraska

With the creation of his “Stonehenge,” English sculptor Henry Moore has celebrated the greatest of all American achievements: our national highway system. His masterpiece commemorates nature as it is reflected in the roads that connect us all. From above, we can see just how immense those highways truly are. Stonehenge, a testament to the power of America's natural resources, serves as a reminder that no matter how large or small we are as individuals, together we can accomplish anything.


03 Spain’s Seville fountains of Missouri

Architects Felix Candela and Pablo Gargallo, from Spain, created this masterwork to celebrate their Spanish-American heritage. They wanted to honor the fountains present in every major city of Missouri. The awe-inducing columns that Candela and Gargallo created were designed to be enhanced with lighting, bringing light from within them to highlight their true artistry. Once lit up, these columns create a truly awe-inspiring work of art.


04 Michelangelo's David statue of South Dakota

South Dakotans are known for many things: a rich history of Native American culture, great hunting, and fishing, some of the most beautiful scenery in America. But what they're perhaps best known for is their statues, such as Mount Rushmore. Throughout South Dakota, there are carved figures and life-sized replicas on display. The statue of David is a replica of the one created by Michelangelo in Florence, Italy. The statue sits on a green space near downtown, and it's free to visit.


05 George Washington's Mount Vernon Gardens of Nebraska

George Washington was a great leader, and he understood that what makes one truly great is the ability to create lasting beauty. The Mount Vernon Gardens in Nebraska are a tribute to the original gardens in Mount Vernon, Virginia. This work of art serves as a tribute to all Midwesterners who value hard work and community. Both the original and the replica have stunning views in common. Although half the size, the Mount Vernon gardens in Nebraska sit atop the bluff overlooking the Missouri River.


06 Denmark’s Little Mermaid statue of Iowa

One doesn't have to travel to Denmark to see the little mermaid statue. While many are familiar with the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the Little Mermaid statue in Iowa is a work that has never been duplicated. This statue shows so much of what makes Iowa great. This masterpiece was created by an anonymous artist, who city officials have indicated is welcome to add to their creation at any time.


07 Pisa’s Leaning Tower of Illinois

The Leaning Tower of Pisa replica is a testament to the strength and ingenuity of both the midwestern farmer and his family. This is a story of the strength that comes from working together. One farmer built this tower, and his family has been adding to it ever since. The replica in Niles, Illinois, is half the size of the original in Pisa. Robert Ilg built this monument in 1934 as a part of a park for employees of the Ilg Hot Air Electric Ventilating Company of Chicago. Today, visitors and native Illinoisans enjoy this park for picnics and photos.


08 Paris’ Eiffel Tower of Ohio

While the Eiffel Tower has long been a testament to French culture, its grandeur inspired one Ohio farmer to recreate it on his own. To this day, he works nonstop, carefully painting each hand-crafted piece with loving care. There are actually two Eiffel Towers in Ceder Fair parks, one at Kings Dominion and another at Kings Island. If we asked Mr. Wilbur, the creator, if this is a tribute to his favorite foreign country, he might say, "Oui!"


09 Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell of Kansas

The people of Kansas are proud to be known as the "Wheat State." This accessible and interactive masterpiece allows everyone the chance to learn about this historical achievement. This wheat bell may look fragile, but it's built to last. The combining of wheat and liberty has a deep symbolic meaning here in the breadbasket of America. This centerpiece of the Kansas City skyline is a testament to both local history and an ongoing legacy that is meant to be passed on for generations.


10 India’s Taj Mahal of Wisconsin

The Taj Mahal is a symbol of love and devotion; a work meant to last the ages. This tribute from Wisconsin was created by an anonymous craftsman who put his heart and soul into this project. Since its completion, numerous lovers have gathered here for marriage proposals or to remember lost loved ones. This structure can bring out the best in people and even transform a bad day into a good one.


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