Illinois: Cache River State Natural Area, Johnson County

Cypress Swamp in Heron Pond in the Cache River Natural Area in Southern Illinoisjbtphotos/Shutterstock

The area is situated within a floodplain carved years ago by glacial floodwater of the Ohio River, made up of more than 14,000 acres and includes three distinct spots: Little Black Slough, Lower Cache River Swamps, and Glass Hill. Hikers, bikers, and nature-lovers will enjoy this site.


Indiana: The Roofless Church, New Harmony

courtesy @doughutch/instagaram

It’s fitting that this church, or open park, exists in a town partly called harmony. The interfaith church is open to the public and is maintained by the Robert Lee Balffer Foundation. Although it does, in fact, have a roof, it is really a protective cover for a sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz.


Iowa: The Fenelon Place Elevator,  Dubuque

DUBUQUE, IOWA - MAY 5, 2016: The Fenelon Place Elevator / a narrow gauge funicular railway located in Dubuque, Iowa.BePhumirat/Shutterstock

This short and steep elevator boasts views of the historic Dubuque business district, the Mississippi River, and three states: Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Although the creator was a senator-turned-banker in 1882, a round-trip ride costs no more than $3 today. It is, however, only open from April through November.