MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Day trips

10 great day trips from the Twin Cities

Within an hour's drive, you can cruise Lake Minnetonka, stroll on the St. Croix or climb a historic bluff.

As wonderful as Minneapolis and St. Paul are, sometimes you just have to get out of town.

Luckily, you only have to drive an hour or so to find a world of fun.

Minneapolis and St. Paul grew around the confluence of two rivers, and their favorite day-trip destinations are on rivers, too.

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10 great day trips from Madison

See the circus, visit Swiss towns or ride a rail trail: There's fun in every direction.

Madison has the state Capitol, the largest university, two big lakes and all kinds of attitude. There's plenty to do if you want to stay put. But sometimes, you just have to hit the road and explore.

Madison is surrounded by great candidates for a day trip — or a mini-vacation, if you prefer. It’s got cheese country to the south, Old World towns to the west, bicycle trails on three sides and good eating all around.

Here are some great ways to spend a day in south-central Wisconsin. If you get out the door early, do lots of stuff and stay late, it really will feel like a vacation.

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10 great getaways from Chicago

Take a break to lounge on beaches, gawk at river canyons and go on brewery tours.

There's an endless number of fun things to do in Chicago, which is why tourists flock to it from around the world. To paraphrase the English wit Samuel Johnson, "When a man is tired of Chicago, he is tired of life.''

And yet, everyone needs to get out of town once in a while.

The traditional playground of Wisconsin lies to the north, and the beaches of  Michigan to the east. To the west, aim for destinations on rivers: the Fox, the Illinois, the Rock.

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10 great day trips around Milwaukee

Ride trolleys, see lighthouses, spot birds and hike past mansions.

Milwaukee doesn’t toot its own horn much, so you’ve got to explore it yourself to see how much fun it can be.

Right in town, you can spend an entire day touring breweries or riding on the Oak Leaf Trail, a 100-mile chain of paved paths, parkways and connecting streets.

But the city also is surrounded by old Yankee mill towns and German settlements.

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