On Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is gorgeous, with 90 miles of trails through old-growth forest, 25 miles of Lake Superior shoreline and four inland lakes.
Hiking is best in late summer and fall, when bugs are gone and hardwoods turn colors that are among the region's most vivid.
What to do: Hike the Escarpment Trail above Lake of the Clouds (pictured). See waterfalls along the Little Carp and Presque Isle rivers. Take a workshop at the Porcupine Mountains Folk School.
Events to catch: Aug. 23-25, Porcupine Mountains Music Festival.
Details: For more, see Afoot in the Porkies.
Past fast plans: Exploring La Crosse, Cooling off on the lake in Duluth, Paul Bunyan in Bemidji, Traveling by boat in Voyageurs, Exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula
Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul. Try flights at the Craft Beer Hall, eat food on a stick, listen to free concerts and watch the 2 p.m. daily parade. Aug. 22Sept. 2.
Potato Days in Barnesville, Minn. This goofy central-Minnesota festival features mashed-potato wrestling, a golden potato hunt, potato car races, peeling and eating contests and a Saturday parade. Aug. 2324.
Mexican Fiesta in Milwaukee. Enjoy the best of Mexican culture: mariachi, arts and crafts, spicy foods and contests: dance, costume, jalapeno-eating and el grito, or shouting. Aug. 2325.
Great River Folk Festival in La Crosse, Wis. This festival in Riverside Park includes children's activities, a traditional arts and crafts fair and music performances and workshops. Aug. 2325.
For more, see our Events Calendar.
During harvest time in a vineyard, turning purple has nothing to do with the Minnesota Vikings.
is what you'll be if you get into a wooden tub of grapes and try to
turn them into juice with your bare feet.
Vineyards don't get their juice that way anymore, but many still offer a grape stomp, and there's nothing goofier to do on an autumn day.
There are prizes for
those who extract the most juice and those who show the most "style,''
so wearing a creative costume helps.
Fall is the busiest travel season of the year we all know the nice days are numbered, and we're going to try our darndest to make them count.
But with pretty much everyone heading out to look for fall color, especially on weekends, there are few bargains.
That's why those of us on a budget look to our old friends: the parks, the mom-and-pop motels, the environmental centers, the hostels, the outdoors clubs.
Here's our 2019 list of 20 great autumn trips. Most of them cost $100 or less per person.
It's a big rush, zipping over treetops.
You can ride over an Ontario canyon, dunes in Door County,
a gorge near the Dells and a creek in Michigan.
Zip lines first made an appearance at environmental learning centers, alongside
climbing towers and high-ropes courses.
If you want to try one, here's
where to look. There's usually a weight restriction of between 230 and 275 pounds, and a minimum age of 7 to 10 years. Most courses require reservations.
On the Great Lakes, everyone loves to see a multi-masted schooner, white sails flapping in the breeze.
They're always the favorite guests at festivals, especially on Lake Superior, which usually sees only freighters.
On Lake Michigan, these magnificent replicas of 19th-century schooners and sloops are more common, offering tours and day sails from their homes when they're not appearing at festivals.