In this region, Great Plains take a dramatic geographic turn to broad expanses of prairie where homesteaders and ranchers tamed a remote and breathtaking landscape.

Missouri has diverse landscape, ranging from prairie farmland in the northwest, through rolling Ozark Mountains and wilderness, to the wetlands in the southeast. Known as “The Cave State”, Missouri has more than 6,000 surveyed caves; scores are open for public exploration and guided tours, including one you drive through on a tram, another was a hideout for outlaw Jesse James. The Missouri River slices across the state: along these waterways find riverboat casinos, rich farmlands, and lots of world-class wineries.

Iowa is bordered by two great American rivers, the Missouri on its west and the Mississippi on its east side. Iowa has two well-known scenic byways. The first, the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, is one of the most famous and longest scenic and historic drives in the U.S. It covers 3,000 miles of federal, state and county roads that follow the Mighty Mississippi from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The second is the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway which allows vacationers to explore a rare and spectacular natural landscape: a fragile place of unique flora and wildlife and farms and villages.

Nebraska will surprise you. It has the largest area of sandhill grasslands in the western hemisphere; they’re both a natural wonder and a sight to behold. Chimney Rock and Scottsbluff National Monument marked the trail for the pioneers and still loom large for travellers today in western Nebraska. It is a top-notch vacation destination for birding, most notably each spring, when more than 500,000 sandhill cranes migrate through the Platte River valley, in central Nebraska.

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The Great American Crossing

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