It's a tradition to walk across the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park. Look for wildlife (even the occasional bear) and some of the more than 100 lakes on Wilderness Drive. Overnight in rustic cabins; Douglas Lodge, with on-site dining; or the forested campground (sites start at $23 a night).
Renovated cabins at nearby Mantrap Lodge (from $225) appeal to families eager to ditch the TV in favor of the beach
When it’s time to eat, try La Pasta Italian Eatery in tiny Dorset, the self-proclaimed Restaurant Capital of the World.
There’s no need to travel for breakfast—Mantrap Lodge’s cabins feature full kitchens.
Shops downtown include Trading Post, which sells loon calls and T-shirts. Wildwood Enchantment stocks handmade jewelry and other accessories; Lazy One sells North Woods-inspired sleepwear. Minnesoda Fountain serves '50s nostalgia with each milkshake and sundae.
Just north of town, the trendy shops in the barn and cottages at Summerhill Farm include The Stable for decorative rugs and Carriage House for kitchen gadgets.
Each summer, Legends and Logging Days brings in traveling lumberjack shows.
Open seasonally since 1955, the modest Rapid River Logging Camp still serves meals fit for loggers’ appetites at communal tables; tour the camp and see what life was like in early logging days.
More information: (800) 247-0054; parkrapids.com