MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Fast Plans / Where to go now

FastPlans/Breezy in Bayfield

Bayfield's marina is filled with sailboats and yachts.

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. Pick berries in the orchards above town. Walk the two-mile Brownstone Trail along Chequamegon Bay. Explore the mainland sea caves by kayak.

Details: For more, see Beloved Bayfield.

Exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula

Copper Harbor Lighthouse can be reached only by water.

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.

What to do: Explore the beaches between Bete Grise and Gay. Kayak the Keweenaw Water Trail. Talk to the living-history interpreters at Fort Wilkins State Park. Go to a concert at the Calumet Theatre

Details: For more, see Digging the Keweenaw.

Staying cool in Grand Marais

People walking on the Grand Marais breakwall.

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.

What to do: Walk to Artists' Point. Skip rocks. Take a class from North House Folk School. Hike at nearby Cascade River State Park. Hunt for agates at Cutface Creek Wayside.

Details: For more, see Four seasons of Grand Marais.

Playing outdoors in Chicago

Kayaks on the Chicago River.

In summer, Chicago lives outdoors, which is a good thing in coronavirus times, since the big festivals are canceled and the biggest attractions closed.

Here's what you can do in Chicago this summer.

For accommodations in all price ranges, see Where to stay in Chicago.

Pedaling and paddling in Lanesboro

A bicyclist pedals on the Root River State Trail.

In summer, this hamlet in Minnesota's southeast corner kicks into high gear as bicyclists, paddlers and trout fishermen stream into its many inns and B&Bs.

The beautiful Root River State Trail jump-started Lanesboro's renaissance in the 1980s, but now tourists also come for the theater and art.

What to do: Bicycle the 42-mile Root River State Trail or 18-mile Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail. Canoe or kayak the Root River. Fish for trout

Details: For more, see The belle of bluff country.