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Looking for a quiet spot on Lake Michigan near Chicago

I am traveling to Chicago for my college graduation. My family is coming from Minnesota and New Jersey, and my husband and I are traveling from Oklahoma. I'm having a difficult time pinpointing the best place for us to vacation at away from the city once my graduation is over. None of us enjoy the city and would much rather stay somewhere on Lake Michigan, preferably a not highly populated campground with cabins. Thank you! - Kerri, Oklahoma City

I'm assuming your college graduation is in May, which is a great time for a vacation on Lake Michigan (July and August are really busy, and weekends book up a year in advance).

A lot of people with family in the Twin Cities and Chicago like to meet in Wisconsin Dells, which is the halfway point.

But you want Lake Michigan and a less-populated area, which means you'll have to drive a good way out of Chicago.

Michigan state parks have a lot of cabins and guesthouses, but the closest to Chicago are the three mini-cabins in Warren Dunes State Park near Sawyer. For more, see Michigan's great lake cabins and Camping around Lake Michigan.

You could try the cabins at Michigan City Campground in Michigan City, Ind.

Wisconsin state parks don't have cabins, but Point Beach State Forest in Two Rivers does have two "indoor group camps" (rustic cabins) that are right on the beach. They sleep 14 and 16. For more, see Two trails from Two Rivers.

Sheboygan is a great beach town, and never all that crowded. In May, I bet you could get a good rate at the Blue Harbor Resort (ask for group sales). For more, see Sights of Sheboygan.

If that's too far away, consider Lake Geneva. It's crowded in summer, but not in May. In fact, that's my favorite time to visit. 

I love the Chippewa Resort, the last old-style family resort on Geneva Lake. If you can get in, I think you'd really like it.

For more, see Gawking in Lake Geneva.

Last updated on March 25, 2013