Click on Map above to explore the Midwest
If you wonder why the centre of the USA is known as the Midwest, the answer lies in US history. The colonies that formed the USA were all to the east of the Appalachian Mountains, and any westward expansion was restricted by French colonisation of the Mississippi and Missouri basins. The 1803 Louisiana Purchase made the Mississippi and Missouri basins the western part of an enlarged USA and it remained the west for over 40 years. In 1846 the Oregon Treaty with Britain extended the northern USA to the Pacific coast and in 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalg with Mexico did the same in the south, creating a new western border. At that time the most populated part of the USA was still the former British colonies to the east of the Appalachians, and to the people living there everything west of the Appalachians was still ‘the West’. Over time the term Midwest was applied differentiate to the central part of the USA from the states even further west. There is no standard definition of the Midwest, so we have defined the Midwest as the states to the west of the original colonies and to the east of the states that include the Rocky Mountains.
The Midwest contains states that are among the least visited by tourists, so in some areas tourist attractions are thin on the ground. Much of the terrain is flat plains where agriculture is king and the most significant features on the horizon are grain silos.