Lakeland Fun in North-Central Minnesota
Just 15 miles northwest of Brainerd, Nisswa hosts the weird and wonderful Wednesday afternoon turtle races, a tradition that draws crowds (pictured at left). Youngsters can rent turtles or bring their own and feverishly urge them on, while onlookers cheer (800/950-9610; Nisswa.com).
Nisswa also offers several good choices for shopping and restaurants. Cool off with an ice cream cone at The Chocolate Ox (218/963-4443) or try a peach scone at Rachel's Bakery (218/963-0900). Lundrigans Clothing (218/963-2647) sells cabin-style home decorating items as well as clothing; Rainy Days (218/963-4891) is a bright, cheery bookstore with a good selection of children's books.