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10 Best Flying Destinations in the Midwest

Known as the Flyover States, the Midwest is often overlooked in terms of an actual destination. But the region offers a number of lesser-known flight destinations with beautiful waterways, forests, monuments and events for pilots to enjoy from the air—and the ground. Let’s take a look at the 10 best flying destinations in the Midwest.

1) Boundary Waters, Minnesota/Canada

Airport: Ely Airport (ELO)

FBO Information

Boundary Waters Official Website


The closest access point to Boundary Waters for private jets (on the U.S. side) is Ely Airport, although there are many areas accessible by seaplane. Boundary Waters, located in northern Minnesota/Southern Canada, features some of the most pristine wilderness in North America, with plenty of opportunity for canoeing, kayaking, camping, fishing, hunting and more.

2) Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Airport: Major Gilbert Field (4R5) | located on Madeline Island

FBO Information

Apostle Islands Official Website


The 21 islands in Lake Superior host a unique blend of cultural attractions and natural sightseeing. Visitors can hike, paddle, sail or cruise to experience this unique area. Head to Madeline Island, the largest and most developed of the apostles, for plenty of things to do. This sleepy island livens up at night with bars featuring live music, happening restaurants and happy locals and tourists alike.

3) Black Hills/Badlands, South Dakota

Airport: Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP)

FBO Information

Black Hills/Badlands Official Website


On the western edge of South Dakota are the famous Black Hills and Badlands. The National Park, home to Mount Rushmore, the Devils Tower and Badlands National Park, featuring 244,000 acres of other-worldly buttes, pinnacles and spires. Fly into Rapid City Regional Airport, and you can be backpacking in the rugged wilderness of the Badlands in less than an hour. If the wilderness isn’t for you, visit the area in late summer to experience the ultimate Black Hills event – Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which draws more than 500,000 riders.

4) Twin Cities, Minnesota

Airport: Flying Cloud Airport (FCM)

FBO Information

Twin Cities Official Website


For those looking to experience the city, the Twin Cities has it all. Even though the area features big-city amenities like museums, professional sports teams and extensive downtown areas, it retains its approachable Midwestern feel. Come by for an afternoon Twins game in downtown Minneapolis, or stroll historic avenues in St. Paul. While the area does have an international airport (MSP), we recommend Flying Cloud Airport as a more accessible option that’s close by. In fact, this is the same airport Inflight Pilot Training is based out of – when you fly through, stop by and say hello!

5) Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Airports: Grand Glaize Airport (K15) and Lee C Fine (LCF) Airport

Grand Glaize FBO Information

Lee C Fine FBO Information

Lake of the Ozarks Official Website


In terms of leisure, Lake of the Ozarks has it all – boating, fishing, golfing, shopping and much more. Fly into either Grand Glaize of Lee C Fine Airports, which put you directly in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Spend a few hours enjoying a round of golf, or stick around for the week to enjoy lakeside activities. You really can’t go wrong in the Ozarks!

6) Cleveland, Ohio

Airports: Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) or Cuyahoga County Airport (CGF)

Cleveland Hopkins FBO Information

Cuyahoga County FBO Information

Cleveland Air Show Website


Each Labor Day Weekend, one of the oldest and most established annual air shows in the country takes place – The Cleveland National Air Show. Started in 1929, then known as the National Air Races, the current Air Show showcases some of the coolest crafts in the today’s aerospace industry. More than 100,000 spectators show up for this award-winning event – it’s sure to impress any aircraft lover!


7) Fagen Fighters WWII Museum – Granite Falls, Minnesota

Airport: Granite Falls Municipal/Lenzen-Roe Memorial Airport (GDB)

FBO Information

Fagen Fighters Museum Official Website


For pilots who moonlight as history buffs, fly into Granite Falls Municipal Airport and spend the day exploring the famous Fagen Fighters World War II Museum. Aviation enthusiasts will love the pristine collection of WWII trainer and fighter aircraft, along with the collection of fine art, bronze sculptures, interactive multimedia displays and an ever-growing library. the aircraft in the Fagen Fighters WWII museum are all fully operational. Stick around the hangars, and you’re likely to see the planes out for some exercise!

8) Mackinac Island, Michigan

Airport: Mackinac Island Airport (MCD)

FBO Information

Mackinac Island Official Website


Known as “the jewel of the Great Lakes”, Mackinac Island in Michigan is a beautiful fly-in destination. In fact, flying-in by airplane is one of the only ways to get there, outside of a ferry. There’s no commercial service to the island, but private planes are always welcome. While you’re on the island, enjoy picturesque vistas, shopping and carriage rides during the day, and watch the city transform at night with a lively music and bar scene. No matter what you’re in the mood for, Mackinac Island has something for everyone.

9) Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Airport: Wittman Airport (OSH)

FBO Information

EAA AirVenture Event Website


Experience the largest annual gathering of aviators at the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh event, taking place every summer. From unique, historic aircraft to world-class daily air shows, you don’t want to miss the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. Fly-in to Wittman Airport and participate in the annual gathering of pilots. The event attracts more than 500,000 people and 10,000 airplanes each July. Camping is available, so all you need is a trusty tent for accommodations!

10) Spirit Lake/Okoboji, Iowa

Airport: Spirit Lake Municipal Airport (0F3)

FBO Information

Lake Okoboji Official Website


The Iowa Great Lakes, Big Spirit, West Okoboji and East Okoboji, are known as the state’s premier vacation destination. The glacier-carved lakes feature gorgeous, expansive bodies of water (the largest in Iowa) that cover over 15,000 acres. Fly-in and enjoy a fun day of boating the lakes, strolling the shores, or visiting shops and restaurants.


Would you like to learn to fly so you can reach the destination you’re dreaming of? Get in touch with the Twin Cities’ premier flight school, Inflight Pilot Training, today!


Inflight is a leading pilot training company serving Minneapolis/St. Paul and the surrounding areas. With a reputable training program and deep roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, it’s our goal to help those who’ve dreamed of flying realize their potential of becoming a pilot. We can help you get where you want to go – contact our team of flight instructors to find out more.

For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.