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7/31/2015
Daydreaming on a beach or dangling your legs over the side of a dock might be your top speed at Minnesota's Brainerd Lakes, but if you're looking for something new to do on vacation, you'll find plenty of options in this area 130 miles north of Minneapolis. 1) Cruise the lake. The 120-passenger North Star yacht began cruising Gull Lake’s 15 square miles last summer.... More
7/28/2015
Nobody stumbles upon Isle Royale or stops in on a whim during a drive to somewhere else. This national park—one of the nation’s least-visited—requires a ferry ride of 2-6 hours, depending on which town in Minnesota or Michigan serves as your port of departure. And with the notoriously moody Lake Superior separating the remote archipelago from civilization, your passage to the... More
7/21/2015
When summer days start to sizzle, head underground. The Midwest claims some of the world’s longest cave systems, along with reclaimed mines and other underground adventures. Our picks for cool attractions:  Lake Vermillion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, Soudan, Minnesota Visitors travel by mineshaft cage a half-mile into the earth then take a tram through... More
7/17/2015
If you’re in Cedar Rapids, get ready for cultural immersion! From Czech Village to the outlying Amana Colonies—with plenty of food, drink and market stops along the way—the second-largest city in Iowa is an eye-opening, mouth-watering destination. 1. Cedar Ridge Vineyards Pick your potable at Cedar Ridge, aka the first licensed distillery in Iowa since Prohibition. If... More
7/10/2015
Sitting in a gazebo overlooking a lake, we drink a toast to the setting sun as we watch Grevy’s zebras, Sichuan takins, Sable antelope and even a Bactrian camel visit the water below us. Witnessing this sundown ritual, it feels like we’re on an African safari. But we’re much closer to home—southeastern Ohio, in fact—at The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center... More
7/7/2015
At Hands On Art Studio in Door County, Wisconsin, gold, red and blue tiles for mosaics fill jars like jellybeans in a candy store. Owners Cy Turnbladh and Karen Ohm are used to seeing customers wander around their two-story barn with the same look of wonder that kids have when surrounded by sweets. Would-be artists choose from projects such as including fused glass, metal... More
6/30/2015
Chicagoans love summer. It’s glorious here through September (and even into October), with the waters of Lake Michigan sparkling, green parks bustling with families, tulips blooming and fireworks bursting over Navy Pier. And the best part? You don’t have to pay through the nose to make the most of the summer in Chicago. Look around and you’ll find free outdoor... More
6/23/2015
Johnnie Morris’ repertoire leans heavily on his knack for framing experiences. The Missouri-based entrepreneur grew his Bass Pro Shops into a chain of megastores by turning them into attractions full of wildlife dioramas and giant aquariums that elevate a trip for buying fishing rods into a family memory. Since then, he’s turned his attention to luxury tourism experiences,... More
6/16/2015
It's flea-market season. Whether you're a browser, a buyer or a bargainer—or all three—here's our list of must-attend Midwest flea markets, each filled with quality antique, vintage and art finds.   Illinois Sunday at Sandwich Antiques Show Sandwich, Illinois; July 12, August 9, October 11. Admission: $5. After watching attendance drop at... More
6/9/2015
It’s an impressive disappearing act. Each year, 200-some artists descend on a town to paint for four days. When they leave, the only clue they were ever there is a tribute to the town’s history told in approximately 18 murals. This month, they'll gather in Delavan, Wisconsin.  These Houdinis of the art world are the Walldogs. Artist Nancy Bennett began the... More