In summer, Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula is beautiful and cool, yet quiet even at the peak of tourist season.
It doesn't have many "attractions,'' yet there's so much to see soft pink-sandstone beaches, old mining towns, 10 lighthouses. In late July, blueberries ripen along roads and bear sightings are likely.
Details: For more, see Digging the Keweenaw.
Most people think the best place to look for Lake Superior agates, the Minnesota state gemstone, is a Lake Superior beach. Actually, you'll find more in the gravel pits around Moose Lake, 45 minutes south of Duluth.
What to do: Look for agates; you can print out your own permit. Visit the geological interpretive center at Moose Lake State Park. Swim in Moosehead Lake. Bicycle on the Munger State Trail. Visit the Fires of 1918 Museum.
Events to catch: July 13-14, Agate Days, with the Agate Stampede at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Details: For more, see Agate stampede.
For more than a century, vacationers have been making their way to this hillside village on the Wisconsin shore of Lake Superior.
What to do: Cruise the Apostle Islands. Explore Madeline Island. Take a sailing class. Go to a concert or revue at Big Top Chautauqua. Pick berries in the orchards above town. Walk the three-mile Brownstone Trail along Chequamegon Bay.
Details: For more, see Beloved Bayfield.
In the corner of southeast Minnesota, Winona has an enviable spot on the loveliest stretch of the Mississippi River Valley.
Not only is it scenic, it's a college town, with lots of theater, concerts and coffeehouses.
What to do: Use canoes, kayaks and paddleboards at Lake Lodge Recreation Center on Lake Winona (pictured). Tour the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. Visit Garvin Heights Vineyards and see the view. Visit the nearby Pickwick Mill.
Details: See Afloat in Winona.
On Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior, this village of 1,400 is more cosmopolitan than many towns 20 times its size it has a performing-arts center, a folk school, an art colony and galleries and restaurants that could hold their own in much bigger cities.
Details: For more, see Four seasons of Grand Marais.