MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Fast Plans / Where to go now

FastPlans/A ball in Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Miller Park.

When the Milwaukee Brewers play, no one shivers in the stands, thanks to Miller Park's retractable roof. They play the White Sox March 31-April 1 and the Cubs April 7-9.

There's also a lot to do downtown, and you can get a good rate at hotels, which are expensive during the summer festival season.

What else to do: See the "Global Kitchen'' exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum. On the lakefront, visit Discovery World and the Milwaukee Art Museum, whose "wings'' open at 10 a.m., flap at noon and close at 5 p.m.

Details: For more, see Playtime in Milwaukee.

On Lake Pepin

The view from Maiden Rock Bluff.

On this wide spot of the Mississippi, villages emerge from their winter slumber with the reopening of the popular Harbor View Cafe, which marks the start of tourist season.

Where to start: It's a 70-mile loop from Red Wing, Minn., in the north and Nelson, Wis., in the south.

What to do:  Explore the artsy shops in Stockholm. Visit the National Eagle Center in Wabasha. See downtown Red Wing or climb Barn Bluff. Admire the view from Maiden Rock Bluff state natural area (pictured).

In Pepin, the Harbor View Cafe is open for lunch and dinner Fridays-Sundays in early spring. No reservations.

Details: For more, see A spin around Lake Pepin.

Watching eagles

An eagle looks for fish at the lock and dam in Genoa, Wis.

Along the Mississippi River, it's a good time to go bird-watching, as migrating eagles begin to return to summer haunts.

What to do: Visit the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minn. Find eagles by hiking into sloughs along the Mississippi, Chippewa or Black rivers near Trempealeau and Alma, Wis. Look for eagles in La Crosse or below dams (pictured, the dam in Genoa, Wis.).

Events to catch: March 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26, Soar With the Eagles festival in Wabasha. 

Details: For more, see All eyes on Wabasha.

Fun in Bayfield

Polar plunge during Winter Festival.

When snow covers the Bayfield Peninsula, attention turns from Lake Superior to the hills. That's where there are miles of trails for skiing, snowshoeing, mushing and sledding.

What to do: Ski downhill at Mount Ashwabay. Ski and snowmobile at Mount Valhalla. Go on a dog-sled trip. Hike the blufftop Lakeshore Trail above the ice caves near Cornucopia.

Events to catch: March 3-5, Winter Festival.

Details: For more, see Bayfield in winter.

Gunflint prime time

Skiers glide on trails along the Gunflint's Flour Lake.

On Minnesota's Gunflint Trail, this is prime time. Resist the urge to wait for spring and head north for the best cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling of the season.

What to do: Ski 200 kilometers of superbly groomed trails into April. Snowshoe into the Boundary Waters and on trails. Go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Learn how to mush sled dogs.

Events to catch: March 12, Dog Days of Winter Fun from the Trail Center.

Details: For more, see Winter on Minnesota's Gunflint Trail.