In summer, everyone wants to be in Chicago, and the price of hotel rooms skyrockets. But the entertainment is free once you get there, and it's easy to eat well for very little.
Events to catch: June 12-13, Old Town Art Fair.
Where to stay: See Where to stay in Chicago.
Past fast plans: Walking around Lake Geneva, Enjoying spring in Door County, Spring in Galena, A John Muir tour in Wisconsin, Baseball in Milwaukee
Aquafest in Rice Lake, Wis. The festival in this northwest Wisconsin lakes town includes a carnival, art fair, kids' fishing derby, car show, live bands and, on the last day, a 12:30 p.m. parade followed by a water-ski show. June 1012.
Windsurfing Regatta & Music Festival in Worthington, Minn. This breezy town in southwest Minnesota hosts windsurfing races on Lake Okabena and a free music festival. There will also be children's activities and a beer tent. June 1113.
Walleye Weekend in Fond du Lac, Wis. In addition to a fishing tournament, this free fest features live music on three stages and strongman, volleyball and cornhole competitions, plus a Familyland with a dog-jumping show and many other activities. June 1113.
Lower Sioux Wacipi in Morton, Minn. This Lower Sioux Indian Community wacipi, or powwow, includes dancing, drumming, singing and food. Grand Entries are at 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Everyone is welcome. June 1113.
There's nothing like finding the perfect campsite.
I look for them wherever I go, and when I was at Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest, one of the most popular campgrounds in Wisconsin, I found it: Campsite 435.
It's framed but not enclosed by trees, has a lovely view of Crystal Lake and is on the edge of its sand beach. It's near the shower house and not too close to latrines, easy to reach but not heavily trafficked and off a paved bicycle trail to nearby towns.
The second weekend in June is a good time to try something new in Minnesota and Michigan.
On June 12 in 2021, admission to all Minnesota state parks is free.
Check for naturalist-led events. This year, they included guided nature hikes in many parks as well as programs on fossils, falcons and frogs.
In summer, its not as hard as youd think to take a trip that's a lot of fun but doesn't cost much.
Many of the great travel experiences in Wisconsin cant be bought, anyway bicycling along Lake Michigan, camping on sandbars, volunteering in a lighthouse.
If you like music and festivals, you're really in luck Wisconsin has many fun, family-friendly fests with on-site camping, at unbeatable prices. And its national forests and county parks are full of great campsites.
In summer, its not as hard as youd think to take a fun trip that doesn't cost much.
Many of the great travel experiences in Minnesota cant be bought, anyway hiking amid old-growth white pines, paddling through bluff country, listening to loons in the Boundary Waters.