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Old 02-22-2010, 05:42 PM   #1
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Resorts or Vacation Cities in the Midwest

Hello All,
I am planning my vacation for this summer and was searching for a listing of resort/vacation locations in the Midwest. My definition of the Midwest is Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, or Indiana. (Forgive me Ohio and the rest of the Midwest but would be interested in that information as well!).


What I am looking for is that town that is a tourist trap with a lot to do, good restaurants, shopping and entertainment. Things that could be considered mayhem! Like the WI Dells. I do a week in Sandusky at Cedar Point each year and what I am looking for is that back woods location that is not advertised but has that “Uncle Buck” feel. You know the place; you went there as a kid and fished, swam, shopped and maybe even rode a carnival ride or two. That place you were taken to by your parents and stayed in the cabin (I will stay in the Airstream).

Any suggestions or any recommended links to point me in the right direction is appreciated.
Thanks
Ed
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
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No so much tacky like the Dells, but Brainerd MN has lots of stuff, or Two Harbors, even Grand Marais.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:47 PM   #3
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Shipshewana, IN is nice (lots of Amish stuff), as is Madison, IN (an old river town on the Ohio with a revitalized downtown). They are, however, at opposite ends of the state. I also like Galena, IL which is on the Mississippi River). In WI, try Lake Geneva.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
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You don't have Missouri on your list but Branson is a fun tourist trap.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:18 PM   #5
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Ditto on Grand Marais -- Municipal Campground sites 156W to 162W. Cool restaurants -- our fave is Angry Trout. Great state park walks with waterfalls supreme! Hike Oberg (easy) or Eagle (difficult) mountains. Take a sail on the Hjordis. Minimal bugs down by the lake.
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Be sure to stop over for a night in Duluth at Lakehead Boat Basin to enjoy Canal Park (eclectic maritime campground, water & electric hookups, shower building).
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Lanesboro, MN -- limestone valleys, riverside bike trails, pie shop at Whalen, cute towns; tuned to visitors but not overly touristy, NO BUGS! (part of the driftless area; no marshes, well drained)
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Bayfield, Wisconsin
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The whole upper peninsula of Michigan
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A Lake Superior Circle Tour (we're doing it at the end of August)
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Governor Dodge State Park at Dodgeville; Mineral Point, WI
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Palisades State Park, IL & Galena, IL (very touristy)
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For Mississippi valley I prefer LaCrosse, WI, (Trempeleau State Park) or the totally unrecognized northeast corner of Iowa
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:39 PM   #6
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Ditto for all the above.

Add:

Drive the Great River Road from Galena up through Wisconsin. Unlike the southern part of the River, this part is not levied, offers beautiful views of the river, and there are lots of old river towns along the road with restaurants and places to buy locally caught and smoked fish.

Have a great trip and travel safe.

Maggie
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:22 PM   #7
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Great suggestions

thanks all, is there one town or village that is a true trap? Only a summer escape for us? Or do you all know of a web site that addresses this?
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:59 PM   #8
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There is a good deal in the Spencer, Iowa area and also around Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Each city is the commercial center serving the lakes around it.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:53 AM   #9
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Grand Marais...We've been returning for over 20 years now, never bored, always enchanted by the region, so much to do, ditto for the Angry Trout. We stay in the municipal park on the harbor, a place that has undergone change since we first began coming up there with tents and popups, but that still is a marvelous central location for day trips all around, up to Fort William in Canada (passports in order?), over to Ely and inland lakes, up the Gunflint Trail all the way to End of the Trail, blue berry picking in August, and on and on! Can't go wrong, and the River Road up the Mississippi is a great route for getting there. ~G
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:18 AM   #10
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Sleeping Bear Dunes area near Traverse City, MI is also beautiful, and lots of little towns with fun shopping.

Maggie
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