Watch on PBS stations across the midwest
Season two of John McGivern’s Main Streets airs on PBS Wisconsin and is available to stream from anywhere on the free PBS Video App on Roku, Apple TV, other digital devices, Smart TVs and everywhere you stream TV!
Looking for the show on your local PBS station (like TPT in the Twin Cities or WTTW in Chicago)? Check your local listings.
Season one and new episodes are also available to watch on YouTube.
Dodgeville, Wisconsin Dodgeville, WI, is a close-knit yet welcoming driftless area community built on mining. Dodgeville has some legendary Wisconsin treasures, like Governor Dodge State Park, The House on the Rock and Bob’s Bitchin BBQ. There are legendary...
Goshen is in Elkhart County, IN. This area makes 85% of recreational vehicles in the US. Dynamax, Janus Motorcycles, Goshen College and Radio Horizonte were surprising. Mexican food is a given here, but Neopolitan pizza at Venturi and Maple City Indian Restaurant? Yum! Add the Old Bag Factory and Quilt Gardens and what you get is joy.
Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa City is an everyone’s town!
Iowa City is a college town. #GoHawkeyes It’s also a literary town, home to Prairie Lights Books and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. It’s a farming town, growing well at Urban Greens and Wilson’s Orchard & Farm. And it’s an innovative town, with one-of-a-kinds like the National Advanced Driving Simulator, Unimpaired Dry Bar and Crepes De Luxe Café.
Menomonee Valley, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee Wisconsin is becoming a vital and
In Milwaukee WI’s Menomonie Valley, the Harley Davidson Museum,
Palermo’s, Potowatomi Casino and BBC Lighting are well known and always fun. But there’s more happening here. Do you like pickled foods? Bay View Packing is for you. Art? Warehouse Art Museum is unreal. How about eating and drinking? Twisted Fisherman and Third Space Brewing got you!
Escanaba, Michigan, has “Yooper” culture all their own.
You can taste it in the delicious pasties at Dobber’s and in the sweet wines at Leigh’s Winery. You can hear it in Ludington Park when the nearly 100- year-old City Band plays. You can feel it in the great outdoors while you fish with Beaver’s Lures or watch the sun rise at Terrace Bay Inn.
Winona, MN, is a city of 26,000 very lucky people, built on a Mississippi River sandbar.
At Willet Hauser, artists make stained glass. Watkins Co. employees make tons of vanilla, and the crew at Wenonah Canoe make – guess. Sugar Loaf Bluff is paradise for climbers, Yarnology is home for knitters and NOSH is heaven for John, because he’s an eater!
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne, Indiana Fort Wayne, Indiana, is such a great city to visit, but residents say the best part is living here. John knew it‘s home to Vera Bradley and Sweetwater. But he didn’t expect a Diocesan Museum, a huge Public Library with genealogy center and...
Woodstock, Illinois, may have been put on the map by the movie Groundhog Day, but it’s what John McGivern finds in real life that deserves the spotlight.
Amana Colonies, Iowa
Amana Colonies, Iowa Iowa’s Amana Colonies are not Amish! Come meet the past while enjoying right now. Iowa’s Amana Colonies lived communally until 1932. Today their innovative past and welcoming hospitality draw visitors by the thousands. John McGivern is reminded of...
Get ready for all things Dutch,and much more. John McGivern clomps around in wooden shoes at Windmill Gardens, satisfies his sweet tooth at Nelis’ Dutch Village and DeBoer Bakery, cherishes his wooden bowl from the Holland Bowl Mill, and is enthralled at the only Delft factory in North America.
Bloomington Minnesota is home to the Mall of America, and the behind-the-scenes tour was full of surprises for John McGivern.
The rest of the city was also full of surprises. He didn’t expect to find a ski-jump, the largest bicycle products distributor in America, the first tap room in Minnesota and a goat farm!
De Pere, Wisconsin
De Pere, WI is sometimes called a suburb of Green Bay, but don’t say that to anyone who lives there.
Lincoln Square, Chicago
Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood boasts a main street straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. John McGivern enjoys the German roots still present, but also finds many ethnicities in this diverse neighborhood.
Sister Bay, Wisconsin
If you googled popular Wisconsin tourist spots, Sister Bay would definitely be at the top of the list. Sister Bay was named after the unincorporated Sister Islands just off the horizon in the bay.Its endless shoreline has been a hotspot for tourists since the late...
n 1900, Kalamazoo was the celery capital of the world! No kidding. The nearby “mucklands” –which must not exist where I live-are perfect for growing celery! Earlier, in the second half of the 1800’s, Kalamazoo was known as paper city. The Bryant Paper Company here in Kalamazoo became largest Michigan manufacturer of book paper. And by World War II, a score of local mills made Kalamazoo the largest paper producer in the nation.
Le Claire, Iowa
Le Claire is a storied river town, a classic Mississippi River port that boomed in the mid-19th century. The old river pilot homes are still here, which are testament to the fact that river pilots were needed because here is where the river makes a sharp turn to the...
Formed more than 10-thousand years ago by glaciers, the area was first home the Miami and Potawatomi tribes. The area quickly thrived thanks to its location to not just Lake Michigan, but also rivers –helping the fur trade and eventually steel production, flourish. But water wasn’t the only mode of transpiration that brought in commerce. Railroads brought in goods and people.
Today, the Indiana Dunes are a hot spot for visitors in the Midwest and beyond.
Rochester is located in Southeastern Minnesota. It’s about an hour and a half drive south west of the Twin Cities and about 50 miles due east of Winona on the Mississippi River. Today, Rochester has residents and visitors from all around the world. The population of the city is about 120,000 and the Mayo Clinic employs over 40,000 of them.
This charming town in northwest Illinois is named after a mineral mined here 20 years before the gold rush in California.
Milwaukee’s Harbor District
As the name proclaims…The Harbor District begins at the mouth of the Lake Michigan Harbor and stretches southdown the river.
The Harbor District surrounds Milwaukee’s Inner Harbor–the place where our three rivers come together –The Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic River all flow into the harbor of Milwaukee at Lake Michigan.
South Bend, Indiana
The history of this midwestern city is rooted in the river it sits on -and how it’s had to evolve with industry’s past and present…Oh, and also a very famous University that’s next door.
Established in 1865, South Bend saw a business boom in industry thanks to the St. Joseph River. Studebaker, Oliver Chilled Plow, and Singer Sewing machines were just a few of the big names. But we can’t forget the University of Notre Dame. It’s a huge influence on economy and culture in South Bend to this day.
Rockford is the largest city in Illinois outside of the Chicago area. It was originally known as “Midway Village” because, for travelers, it was halfway between Chicago and Galena.
This city was known for industrial manufacturing in the last century but today it’s been retooled into a center for healthcare and aerospace technology.
South Haven, Michigan
Being right on Lake Michigan, South Haven Michigan has always been a port city. In the late 1800’s the surrounding timber industry gave way to farming, but another industry grew very well here–the resort and tourism industry.
Sandy beaches, lovely lake breezes and a charming downtown still make South Haven a popular summer tourist destination. South Haven is in southwestern Michigan, along Intestate 196 at the mouth of the Black River on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Green Lake, Wisconsin
Green Lake is about seven miles wide, and its maximum depth is 237 feet, making it the deepest natural lake in all of Wisconsin.
It’s a great spot for fishing, golfing, sailing, canoeing, hiking, biking, and pretty much any relaxing outdoor activity you can think of. Some people even come here to SCUBA dive.
On the corner of Myrtle and Main Streets in Stillwater, Minnesota began.
So why here? Well… when Wisconsin became a state in 1848, that left people west of the St. Croix river “high and dry” with no government.
So, the people of Stillwater held a territorial convention right here and voted to send a delegate to Washington D.C. to organize a new territory called “Minnesota” which became a territory in 1849, and a state in 1858.
Dubuque, Iowa was and is, first and foremost, a river town. The mighty Mississippi is worked, revered and enjoyed here by locals and visitors alike.