In the corner of southeast Minnesota, Winona has an enviable spot on the loveliest stretch of the Mississippi River Valley.
Not only is it scenic, it's a college town, with lots of theater, concerts and coffeehouses.
What to do: Use canoes, kayaks and paddleboards at Lake Lodge Recreation Center on Lake Winona (pictured). Tour the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. Visit Garvin Heights Vineyards and see the view. Visit the nearby Pickwick Mill.
Details: See Afloat in Winona.
Past fast plans: Staying cool in Grand Marais, Riverfront fun in Minneapolis, Pedaling and paddling in Lanesboro, Walking around Lake Geneva, Enjoying spring in Door County
National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Mich. This big fest includes air shows, an arts fair, music, races, the big Cherry Royale Parade and many contests, including pie-eating and pit-spitting. June 29July 6.
Shake the Lake in Madison. Get a head start on the Fourth at this festival on the shores of Lake Monona, which includes live bands, extreme juggling, aerialists, a dinosaur show, kids' activities and fireworks. June 29.
Water Ski Days in Lake City, Minn. There's music, an arts and crafts fair and, on Sunday, a parade followed by a water-ski show on Lake Pepin, where water-skiing was invented. June 2830.
Summerfest in Milwaukee. They call this the world's largest music festival. More than 800 acts perform on 11 stages along Lake Michigan. June 2630 and July 2-7.
For more, see our Events Calendar.
Watch a water-ski show, and you'll want to climb into your Thunderbird and go get a chocolate malted.
There's something deliciously retro about spending a balmy summer evening listening to '50s party music and the roar of marine engines as spangled, sun-bleached teen-agers fly by.
A corny comedy routine is part of the show, but it's the tricks that keep the crowd enthralled: double flips, dance lines and pyramids that can go up to five tiers.
skiing is most popular in the Upper Midwest. Ralph Samuelson, who
invented water-skiing on Lake Pepin in 1922, was a showman, and Tommy
Bartlett began putting on shows in the Wisconsin Dells in 1952.
Over the Fourth of July holiday, every town worth its salt holds a celebration.
There are band concerts, parades with antique cars and cute kids dressed in red, white and blue: It's all good.
But it's an especially good time to travel along the border of the United States and Canada, which celebrates Canada Day on July 1.
That's a Monday in 2019. In the United States, the Fourth of July is on a Thursday.
In vacation hubs all across the region, summer theaters are launching another season of delicious escapism.
With corps of enthusiastic young actors drawn from all over the nation, theyll put on Neil Simon, Shakespeare, Agatha Christie and the bouncy musicals vacationers love "Little Shop of Horrors, "Fiddler on the Roof,'' "Spamalot.''
Light-hearted plays for light-hearted days it's a formula that works.
Here's the schedule for 2019.
As soon as rhubarb leaves unfurl and morels pop out of the ground, towns across the region begin their salutes to the local specialty.
It starts with Norwegian lefse on Syttende Mai and continues to Finnish pasties, German pretzels, Czech kolacky, Danish pancakes and American pie.
There will be music and parades and all kinds of goofy contests rhubarb-stalk throwing in Lanesboro, the rutabaga shot put in Calumet but mostly, there will be a lot to eat.
If youve ever said, I could eat a hundred of those! you'll get your chance this summer. Here are some of the premier places to pig out in 2019.