Fantasy Islands: 7 Midwest Getaways
Stout's Island, Wisconsin
In 1903, the Stout family brought their lumber fortune and summer-home dreams from Chicago to this 1,800-acre haven on Red Cedar Lake near Birchwood, Wisconsin (120 miles east of Minnesota's Twin Cities). Frank D. Stout called this place the Island of Happy Days, and he modeled this retreat after the Adirondack resorts in upstate New York.
The 1912 lodge still sports gleaming, wide-plank hardwood floors; framed black-and-white family photographs; and wool spreads on some of the king-size beds. Its 43 rooms capture turn-of-the-20th-century class, while some of the eight cabins have twin beds in sleeping porches (the best place to listen to waves from boats puttering past).
In the dining room, couples, families and friends gather over garden-fresh soups, tasty burgers and cooked-to-order steaks. Outside, the great lawn gently rolls downhill toward a quiet dock, past a croquet game, a fire pit and Adirondack chairs begging for visitors with thick books to sit awhile. From $149. (715) 354-3646; stoutsislandlodge.net