Weekend Getaways

Monumental Midwest: See the Region Through the Lens of 5 Living History Sites

Your visit to the Midwest will be monumental when you visit these five national parks, historical sites and museums in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Kansas:

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site

From 1828 through 1867, North Dakota’s Fort Union Trading Post was the most prominent fur trade post on the Upper Missouri River, where the Assiniboine and six other Northern Plains Indian Tribes exchanged goods.

The post, which is located about 25 miles outside of Williston, during its heyday traded over 25,000 buffalo robes and $100,000 in cloth, guns, blankets and other merchandise. Don’t miss the annual Rendezvous, held annually in mid-June, to get the full experience.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt first fell in love with the rugged beauty of North Dakota while on a bison hunting trip in 1883.

weekend getaways midwest
Go where the buffalo roam in North Dakota. (Photo: Getty Images)

Just as President Roosevelt enjoyed the open freedom and adventure in the state, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as camping, fishing, kayaking at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the western part of the state. Bring the kids for a learning experience of a lifetime with the Junior Ranger Program.

Gilcrease Museum

The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Okla., boasts the world’s largest collection of art and artifacts of the American West, including a vast trove of Native American art and material. The museum, via its collection of some 350,000 items, offers a window on the history of North America’s westward expansion and settlement.

Keeper of the Plains

Where the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers meet is the “Keeper of the Plains,” a 44-foot tall steel sculpture that has become the icon of Wichita, Kan.

weekend getaways midwest
Snap a selfie with the “Keeper of the Plains.” (Photo: Getty Images)

The work by Wichita native and Native American artist Blackbear Bosin keeps a watchful eye on the city and features displays describing local tribes that used to inhabit the sacred ground. Plan your visit in the evening to view the statue lit up surrounding fire pits during the nightly “Ring of Fire.”

Old Cowtown Museum

Step onto dirt roads and travel back in time at Wichita’s Old Cowtown Museum. Immerse yourself in the history of mid-19th century Wichita through some 10,000 artifacts, including textiles, furniture and art. There’s no better way to learn about the city’s past than through the museum’s education programs, costumed interpreters and hands-on activities.