Everybody loves Galena, the cute little "town that time forgot.'' And because everybody can be a lot of people, spring is the best time to enjoy it.
Tulips and daffodils bloom on the terraces, weather is mild and streets are not too crowded. And there's always lots to do in this northwest Illinois town.
Past fast plans: A John Muir tour in Wisconsin, Baseball in Milwaukee, A spin around Lake Pepin, Spotting eagles, Fun in Bayfield
Syttende Mai in Stoughton, Wis. The festival in this town south of Madison, which celebrates Norwegian constitution day, is the largest in North America and probably the world. It features Norwegian dancing, a Viking strongman contest, a canoe race, an arts fair and a big parade at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. May 1416.
Syttende Mai in Spring Grove, Minn. In Minnesota, Norwegians settled first in this town in bluff country. There's Norwegian food, music and dance, and a big parade at noon Saturday. May 1416.
Morel Mushroom Festival in Muscoda, Wis. This town along the Wisconsin River calls itself the Morel Mushroom Capital of Wisconsin. There's a parade, a pedal tractor pull, arts and crafts show, a chainsaw-carving show and fireworks. May 15.
Art-A-Whirl Studio and Gallery Tour in Minneapolis. More than 500 artists take part in this tour of 60 locations in the northeast Minneapolis arts district. May 1416.
For more, see our Events Calendar.
What's so great about hiking in spring? That's easy there's so much to see.
Move your feet in any direction and you'll run across wildflowers, waterfalls and, best of all, sweeping views that last only until the trees leaf out.
Head out before summer makes its brash appearance, with walls of greenery and fleets of bugs.
Here are 20 great places to go hiking in spring. If you especially want to see a lot of spring ephemerals, see Where to find spring wildflowers.
It's a wonder that we love the Norwegians so much, considering the food they brought from the old country.
Lutefisk, or dried cod soaked in lye? Rømmegrøt, a butter-soaked cream pudding that should be called heart-attack-in-a-cup?
We forgive Norwegians because they have a sense of humor about everything, including their food (O Lutefisk, how fragrant your aroma. O Lutefisk, you put me in a coma. You smell so strong, you look like glue, you taste yust like an overshoe.")
The food and the sense of humor are on display at Syttende Mai celebrations, which include rømmegrøt- and lutefisk-eating contests.
In spring, we're all delighted by the arrival of the first spring wildflowers. Here are just a few of the best places to look for them.
State parks are obvious choices, with carpets of flowers just off hiking trails. For more unusual flowers as well as more solitude, visit one of Minnesota's scientific and natural areas (SNAs) or Wisconsin's state natural areas.
It's a beautiful spring day finally. The trees are budding, the birds are chirping. What do you do?
Road trip! Somehow, the call of the highway is especially strong in spring. We want to feel the wind on our face and see something new and unusual.
There's a lot to do along the way: Walk through bluebells, spot birds, visit artist studios, sample cheese, watch a parade.
Here are 20 of the best spring drives in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.