Regarding the MW "core". Until last year I never had a telescope true field of view larger than about 1.4 degrees. Now I have an 85mm refractor going to 4.5 degrees.
This was a revelation when viewing the "core" Sagittarius area in dark skies!! (for me about 21.8 SQM). So many star clouds / dust? clouds besides the usual dark and bright nebula. I was seeing more structure in these areas than I had seen before. To me this is better than many other Milky Way sections (northern hemisphere). I would say the areas roughly bounded by M6/M7 on the west, M22 on the east, and M16 on the north is a new favorite. With a brighter sky of SQM of 21.3, the area was much less impressive.
Big Bend being farther south and being so dark will show this core area even better.