In summer, Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula is beautiful and cool, yet quiet even at the peak of tourist season.
It doesn't have many "attractions,'' yet there's so much to see soft pink-sandstone beaches, old mining towns, 10 lighthouses. In late July, blueberries ripen along roads and bear sightings are likely.
Details: For more, see Digging the Keweenaw.
Past fast plans: Cool Grand Marais, Moose Lake agates, Breezy in Bayfield, Summer in Winona, Minneapolis' river
Fisherman's Picnic in Grand Marais, Minn. There's a lot going on at the North Shore's biggest festival, including loon-calling, log-rolling, herring-eating and rock-skipping contests; Saturday fireworks; and the grand parade at 1 p.m. Sunday. July 30Aug. 2.
Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven, Mich. There's nightly entertainment on the waterfront, a downtown carnival, tours of Coast Guard cutters and a Grand Parade and fireworks Saturday. Through Aug. 2.
Brat Days in Sheboygan, Wis. This town on Lake Michigan is sausage central. There's music, a carnival, beer and, of course, a brat-eating contest. The parade is 9 a.m. Saturday. July 30Aug. 1.
Taste of Wisconsin in Kenosha, Wis. This free harborfront festival features locally produced specialties as well as cooking demonstrations and music on three stages. July 31Aug. 2.
For more events, see our Events Calendar.
One Great Lake east of Superior, theres another North Shore.
It doesnt have any craggy points or sheer palisades, and there are no agates waiting to be found. It has no waterfalls, and not a scrap of basalt; in fact, theres nothing volcanic about it.
But this north shore, on the leeward side of Lake Michigan, has something Minnesota's beautiful North Shore on Lake Superior doesnt have: Sand, lots and lots of sand.
In fact, its nothing but a big, squashy pile of sand, deposited by the last glacier and continually whipped into new shapes by the same norwesters that skip right over the North Shore.
Even if you camp, you don't have to rough it.
A lot of state parks have plenty of woods, water and wildlife, but they're also just a short bike ride or walk away from the finer things in life say, a pizza parlor or ice-cream stand.
Nearby restaurants make packing easy because you can leave the pots, dishes, soap and firewood home. Even if you like cooking over a fire, it's still nice to go out for a treat.
Here are 15 parks in five states where you won't be too far from some of your favorite things.
It's that time of year again.
If you're wondering how the
Vikings, Packers or Bears will do this year, you can get a preview by
watching the players gear up for the season at training camps.
Make a day of it, because all of the camps offer festivities, games of skill, giveaways, autograph sessions for kids and even fireworks. Admission is free.
Here are the highlights in 2015.
In Minnesota's Otter Tail County, everything comes extra-large and in multiples.
Few know that this county near the North Dakota border has more lakes than any other in Minnesota 1,048 or even that it has lakes at all.
It also has the state's densest concentration of giant mascots and
roadside sculptures, largely thanks to a scrap-metal wizard who also is the father of an astronaut.
But before he made his first piece, a 1,200-pound foot, the county already had a 23-foot fiberglass warrior plus a 15½-foot pelican and 22-foot otter, both billed as the world's largest.
Tent camping is the best deal in travel. You can go at the last minute, you get the most scenic locations and you pay hardly anything.
It's too bad about all that stuff you have to bring along.
Some super-organized people love to pack gear and have most of it ready to go after the last camping trip. But most of us aren't that kind of person.
Most of us just want to head out the door and go. But if you want to save on a hotel bill, you've got to bring stuff.
The question is, how much? Here's how to make it easy on yourself.
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