Where to go for a midwest photography trip?
August 12, 2009 10:51 AM   Subscribe

I want to go on a photography weekend trip next month. I'm in Chicago, and want to drive no more than 6-8 hours to a destination. With my preferences (inside) in mind, I'd like advice on where to go. Help?

Already asked a few friends and got some ideas... looking for more.

The primary focus of this trip (no pun intended) is photography, and secondarily it's just time to sightsee and laze around. I'm looking to shoot nature and also urban goodness - architectural photography and people watching. When I was first researching a trip, SF and Yosemite were the ideals. But plans have scaled back and I'm not going that far, and I'll be driving instead of flying.

Bonus items:

* Walkable city, decent public transit (might use)
* Good food
* Good coffee houses

Friends recommended Nashville, St. Louis, and Detroit. I considered Minneapolis and like it a lot, but have already been there twice. Been to Madison, Milwaukee. In looking at these cities, I have yet to see anything to really tip me over and say, "Wow - I need to go there!" So, any advice on where those things are would be great.
posted by hijinx to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How about small town architectural goodness? Maybe Columbus and Bloomington Indiana? Bloomington has great food, has the gorgeous IU campus, and is pretty cheap. Columbus is an easy day trip from here to see great architecture. In between there's the kind of silly Nashville artist's colony and beautiful Brown County State Park.
posted by amelioration at 11:01 AM on August 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

St. Louis has a ton of things to take pictures of - the arch, the Botanical Gardens (I spend a minimum of two hours there *every*week* - see my flickr pages for anything labeled MOBOT) City Museum, Forest Park. We have lots of food (recommendations to be found in other threads).

That said, however, I'd consider the time of year: if you're going to be doing this at the end of September (not sure what "next month" means), you should consider going up to the Boundary Waters and thereabouts. Fantastic fall color. Bemidji, the Twin Cities, up to Ely, down to Eu Claire.
posted by notsnot at 11:24 AM on August 12, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, sorry, "next month" is indeed vague. This'll be Labor Day weekend. I can deal with tourists/vacationers (I'm one too!)
posted by hijinx at 12:19 PM on August 12, 2009

Why not Toronto? The city will be relatively quiet as many people 'head out' for the long weekend. Your American dollars will stretch father here as well.
posted by maxpower at 12:49 PM on August 12, 2009

Cleveland has its annual Air Show at lakefront airport every labor day weekend, I think the Blue Angels will be there this year. There's all kinds of interesting things to photograph here, old architecture, decaying industrial hulks, you name it.
posted by greatalleycat at 12:51 PM on August 12, 2009

Memphis is a great road trip destination from the Chicago area and has awesome people watching potential. NTM great food/drink/music offerings.
posted by torquemaniac at 3:19 PM on August 12, 2009

Response by poster: So far so good - thanks, all!

maxpower: I was in TO earlier this year and liked it a lot; that was before the new passport rules came into play however, and I do not have a passport.
posted by hijinx at 6:30 PM on August 12, 2009

Response by poster: ...and the answer is Nashville with possible stops along the way. Thanks again, everyone, for your suggestions!
posted by hijinx at 12:25 PM on August 16, 2009

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