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Old 11-20-2008, 08:17 PM   #15
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(Southeastern Minnesota) Eagle Cliff campground near Lanesboro (Eagle Cliff Index) right on the Root River. No mosquitos (really!) kayaking and tubing on the river, bike trails that go for miles through lovely small towns, Amish crafts for sale here and there, just a great place. Can't imagine not having fun there.

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Old 11-20-2008, 09:06 PM   #16
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IMHO, these states are worth much more than a tour: stopping nightly, and heading on the next day. We like to settle into a campground, spend a day or two in camp--especially along Lake Superior, and then day trip out to points of interest or scenic beauty. We are limited healthwise from being able to participate in the wonderful available outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, canoeing the Boundary Waters, and so on, and yet we always think, "This summer in Grand Marais" whenever the winter shutins set in on us. My disappointment has always been that we've not yet been able to schedule more than 3 weeks. Or have a year's sabbatical in the North Woods. I agree that getting some good books on the areas you are interested in will help you see the richness of this part of our country. Read, plan, and enjoy a marvelous summer Up North. ~G

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Old 11-20-2008, 09:48 PM   #17
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Stillwater,Mn is a very nice old town,lots of antique shops,nice state parks at Willow river state park by Hudson,wi or Taylor falls,nm,or st.Croix falls,wi
The north shore is incredible,We could easily spend 3 weeks there alone.

Any of the state parks fill up quick so make res. early,like January.

Duluth has many museums,trains,The fresh water aquarium ,there is a big iron ore ship in the harbor which has a great tour.

Two harbors is a great town but you need to get down to the harbor to see the ore docks and light house.

farther north of Two harbors (about 40 miles) is the Temperance river,very cool hiking trails,water falls.

Another 25 miles is Grand Marias,we spend a week here every few years.
Great city campground,very beautiful harbor,lots of art galleries and shops.

30 miles farther Grand Portage and I think is the highest water fall in Mn.

Some places in Wisconsin:
Bayfield Wis. is a nice town on lake superior,lots of nice shops or boat rides out to the different islands,Light houses.

Devils lake state park south of Wisconsin dells is very nice,great hiking trails
Southeast of devils lake is:
"The house on the rock" is quite unique it is a place that collects collections,you can easily spend a day there taking the tour.
Then Frank loud wrights studio is very close to this also.
Well there are many more spots so keep looking,I wish I was going with.
Good luck with your plans
It's not worth doing if you're not having fun.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:54 PM   #18
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MN/WI vacation

It all depends on what you like to do/see when on vacation! Lakes are the big thing up here... I've lived in MN most of my life and still haven't seen all I want to... ^_^ Oh...and don't forget Paul Bunyan in Bemidji!

Here are a few sites to get you started....

Explore Minnesota Tourism: Travel Information on Minnesota

Mall of America - Home

Thrifty Hipster - Minneapolis and St. Paul - Bars, Clubs, Happy Hour

Minnesota destinations: Northeast, North Central / West, Metro / Twin Cities, and Southern.

Wisconsin Campgrounds and RV Parks, Camp Resorts, WI campsites camping in wisconsin lake vacation rental

Things to Do in Wisconsin - Wisconsin Attractions - TripAdvisor

Milwaukee Art Museum | Art Lives Here

Cranfest - Welcome to Cranfest Online!

Visitor Information, Madison WI Tourism
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:59 PM   #19
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That's what I was looking for - local knowledge. I'm buying all the books and magazines I can lay my hands on. I work with a colleague from Oshkosh, WI and she is writing down places she knows about - I was wondering what other locals think of as good places to visit. Not all these places are described in the books and magazines - that's what I was looking for - what do locals think of as good places to visit - especially local folks that are AS folks - after all, as 'streamers, we do have some things in common. I thank you for your contributions and now feel I have plenty of information to find our way around Wisconsin and Minnesota.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:25 PM   #20
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Dept. of Tourism

contact the respective Dept.'s of Tourism, they can provide you a lot of information. There are hundreds of spots depending on what you are looking for.

I always liked the 150+ year old dam and mill house on Mill Creek in Iowa County, WI....just turn at the old Blacksmith Shop in the Town of Hyde (only one way you can fact it is the only turn!)

The view from Wisconsin Heights by Mazomanie, WI is well worth it. You can walk the battle ground where the Sauk Chief Blackhawk and a few of his men held off the Militia (Abe Lincoln was in that Militia).

These are just examples, there are also things like trout fishing on the Brule River or tubing the rapids on the Wolf River...what do you like to do...there is also a strong tradition of BEER drinking under the awning at the end of the day...sometimes in the middle of the day too.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:16 PM   #21
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Well, pilgrim, I am hoping to decide to take your trip in early Spring so I don't have to look up so many things. Seems like you're preparing well. Enjoy your trip. We may get their first, though, and will surely post our experiences.

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Old 11-22-2008, 08:18 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Well, pilgrim, I am hoping to decide to take your trip in early Spring so I don't have to look up so many things. Seems like you're preparing well. Enjoy your trip. We may get their first, though, and will surely post our experiences.


Will look forward to your comments. We will probably make this trip in early to mid September. Crowds are usually much smaller, kids back in school, etc.. We will be doing shorter, four nite trips around Ohio and neighboring states leading up to this one. We keep adding to our experiences building toward our BIG one to New Mexico and Arizona. May even include Calif. and up to Oregon and Washington due to family and friends in those places. Can't imagine such an extended trip but it looms out there, eventually. Talk with you all again..................Keep on 'streaming!
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Old 11-22-2008, 08:39 AM   #23
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pilgrim, don't forget Colorado, Utah and Nevada—as it is you'll need 6 months for the states you name!

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Old 11-22-2008, 09:09 AM   #24
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Can't really say the camping crowds will be thinning out in mid september. There's usually a crush of late season camping up here, culminating in the fall colors tour. It's worthwhile to make reservations ($8) at most of the State Parks.
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:40 AM   #25
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Mark, what's the Spring like there? The snow must melt sometime, probably earlier than here. We haven't had much so far, but you have, so it looks like tough winter there and a drought here this winter.

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Old 11-22-2008, 02:02 PM   #26
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Average ice out off the lakes in the Twin Cities area is around April 15th. It can vary from late March to late April. Trees do not leaf out until about May 1st. The temperatures in early April have at times topped 90 degrees but last snow fall can be in May. It can be iffy but generally May is pretty nice but not swimsuit weather.

What to do in Minnesota? You can Google any suggestion for details.

Minneapolis/St. Paul is loaded with museums and cultural attractions if urban exploring is your thing. They also have great lakes and parks and numerous walking/biking trails -- more than you can imagine.

Mall of America with Ikea nearby. This is a shopaholic's heaven and a unique attraction. Just to walk it is at least a 3 mile hike. I have to mention it because I was involved deeply in the mall's design and spent three years of my life working on it.

Duluth is the other city worth time and exploring and of course is the springboard to driving up the north shore. If you are a birder, Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve is the place for spotting.

Starting in the southwest you can explore Pipestone National Monument and Blue Mounds State Park (for camping and viewing the bison herd).

A drive from La Crosse, WI up Highway 61 along the Mississippi to the Twin Cities is scenic and historic. You can stop in Wabasha, MN and visit the National Eagle Center, a very impressive place to learn about and see our national bird. Lunch at Slippery's in Wabasha and have a Walleye sandwich. Slippery's was the place used in the movie Grumpy Old Men. Or if you want a touch of Scandinavian Minnesota the Anderson House will do. The City of Red Wing on the way is one of the 25 best historical destinations according to National Geographic Traveler magazine.

You can go to Itasca State Park where the Mississippi River begins and say you actually walked across the Mississippi (because you can there).

You can visit open pit iron mines on the Iron Range and actually go down a mine at Tower Soudan State Park.

On to Ely, the stepping off point to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. If that interests you, you can see it from the road or you can make arrangements to go into the BWCA via canoe and experience nature at its most primitive. The Dorothy (Root Beer Lady of the BWCA Molter Museum is interesting. The Bear Center is nearby.

The drive from Duluth to the Canadian border is the best. There are several parks and scenic water falls along the way right up to the border. You can drive the 60 mile Gunflint Trail from Grand Marais, MN and again touch the BWCA.

On to Wisconsin.

The Apostle Islands on Lake Superior is a pleasant stop and you can rent kayaks there and take a guided tour on the lake.

The National Forests in northern Wisconsin are great for primitive camping. Most campsites are on lakes in conifer forests.

Door County northeast of Green Bay is the Midwest equivalent of visiting Cape Cod/Maine shore type of places.

Milwaukee's Santiago Calatrava designed Art Museum is a must stop in my opinion. There is no other museum like it.

You've got the Wisconsin Dells if you are in to that sort of thing. There are boat tours, duck boat tours of the rock formations. There are also tons of water parks and trinket shopping. It is actually the premier destination for taking kids.

The area southwest of Madison, WI is worth exploring. The area centers around the historical Swiss village of New Glarus. I like to go there for the New Glarus Brewery, one of the best brews in the country.

The bonus. If going to Minnesota and Wisconsin you might as well include the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Pictured Rocks National Monument and Mackinac Island.

Leaving you with a drive up the North Shore of Minnesota...

Gooseberry Falls

Gooseberry Falls

Split Rock Light House

Cross River

Cascade River SP

Devil's Falls, Judge Magney SP

Pigeon River SP on the Canadian border
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:47 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Twotone View Post
I would definately say the north shore of Lake Superior. If you head due north on hwy 2 from Two Harbors for about 15-20 miles, then west (it's been years, can't remember road names) to the Rollins, Brimson, Fairbanks, Toimi area you will love it . There are a couple of camp grounds near there, one is on Indian Lake at Brimson. Pretty rustic, but spotless, like most of the Superior National Forest.

Hey Tom...your post proves the "small world" theory. My wife and I own a 1920's log cabin on a small lake (George Lake) just a couple of miles from the Indian Lake campground. I grew up in the 50's and 60's visiting the cabin every weekend in the was owned by an aunt and uncle. We purchased in 1974.

We now also own a home in rural Two Harbors on 80 acres...and our adult children and grandkids now use the Brimson cabin...we visit during the days and return to the comforts of modern living after dinner and smores!

The general Brimson area you describe are still nearly as undeveloped as they were in the 50's...would be enjoyable if you like rural forests, etc.

If you want to visit metro attractions...different world

The OP's comment about not enough to do...I would be fine camping in Two Harbors or Grand Marais campgrouds for full summer (ya I know...just a couple of weeks ) BOTH campgrounds are right on Lake Superior...not sure I would need much else.

Tom Two Harbors, MN
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:52 PM   #28
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Thanks to all for the GREAT suggestions. We've been studying the maps and the info sent from the various towns, cities, villages and the state tourism agencies. We've gotten most of our trip outlined and now we're looking for some campgrounds. I've gotten several identified but am having problems finding one in the Milwaukee area and one in the Door County area. I think we're all set for the areas of Minnesota we plan to visit - Northern and Twin Cities area. Any suggestions for really great camp-grounds in the Milwaukee and Door County areas?? We like quiet, walking trails, wifi is nice but usually we'll spend time visiting sites during the day. No pets to think about.
In advance, THANKS for you great suggestions.

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