This town in north-central Wisconsin is all about the outdoors in winter.
But in addition to a variety of snow sports that's among the best in the Midwest, Wausau has fine dining, lovely hotels and a popular art museum. Best of all, it's easy to reach from the big cities.
Details: For more, see Winter in Wausau.
Past fast plans: Fun in Itasca, Tundra swans in Monticello, Cocooning in a cozy cabin, Christmas in Chicago, A merry holiday in Milwaukee
Icebox Days in International Falls, Minn. In this far-north town, there will be smoosh races, frozen turkey bowling, a toilet-seat toss, boot hockey and fireworks. Jan. 1720.
Bald Eagle Watching Days in Prairie du Sac, Wis. This town along the Wisconsin River offers guided bus tours, live birds of prey programs and kids' activities. On Saturday, there's an eagle release. Jan. 1819.
Winterfest in Mackinaw City, Mich. In this town on the Mackinac Straits, there's a snow-sculpting competition, sleigh rides, a poker run and outhouse races. Jan. 1819.
Back to Hack Winter Festival in Hackensack, Minn. The festival in this Brainerd Lakes town on the Paul Bunyan State Trail features snow sculpting, an ice-fishing contest, penguin plunge, kids' games and Saturday fireworks. Jan. 1820.
For more, see our Events Calendar.
There's a reason why winter is the favorite season of many photographers it's gorgeous.
You've seen this region's icicle-draped sea caves, volcanic Great Lakes waves and dancing northern lights on social media. Now get out there and enjoy the scenery yourselves.
Snowshoe up frozen river canyons, barrel through the woods behind a team of huskies and go to bock festivals at breweries. Learn to ice fish, track wolves and look for bald eagles.
There's no use hiding from winter it lasts too long, and eventually that living room will get old.
Many of the tourist spots we love to visit in summer work hard to lure us back when it's cold, offering festivals with lots of fun in the snow, plus bonfires and chili feeds to warm us up afterward.
For an exciting spectator event, watch the start of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in Duluth.
If you've always wanted to see the Winter Olympics, see the next best thing at ski-jumping competitions in Westby, Wis., or Iron Mountain, Mich.
In February and March, most of us are getting tired of winter . . . time to eat some chocolate.
everyone knows, chocolate has unique restorative qualities. It's
effective draped on strawberries, whipped into mousse, covering cakes .
. . you get the idea.
Here's where to go to thumb your nose
at winter (and your diet). Pick from tastings, tours and road
Here's how to take the chocolate cure in 2019.
In the Upper Midwest, travel can be competitive.
Many festivals are so big and so fun that everyone wants to go. If you do, too, you'll have to act fast to stay ahead of the crowds.
And sometimes, you also need to know when not to visit a certain area, so you can avoid sold-out hotels or sky-high rates.