White Birch Lodge Elk Rapids Michigan
The White Birch Lodge is the place to be for all water-sport enthusiasts this Northern Michigan family resort boasts an almost-unparalleled range of water activities, from kayaking and paddleboarding to sailing and tubing.
Even better, water sports here are a family affair, with daily wakeboarding and water skiing lessons for all members of the family.
The resort follows a lodging system thats tiered, with rooms to suit different tastes, preferences and family sizes!
You can choose from a variety of accommodation, such as multi-bedroom condos and smaller cabins.
The 40-acre resort is all-inclusive and meals are either served at the beachfront deck or the dining hall in the lodge.
Keeping the tykes and tots engaged wont be a problem at the White Birch, with its super-fun range of complimentary daily kids activities organized by the staff such as art-and-craft sessions, scavenger hunts, soccer, basketball and volleyball.
For some wholesome family fun, head to the tennis court or enjoy some shuffleboard and horseshoes.
One of White Birch Lodges most attractivefeatures is its popular tradition of a weekly water ski variety show put up byits staff, with a 2-tier, 5-person pyramid-on-skis being the showstopper.
One important thing to note is that to book a stay here means a minimum of a one-week vacation.
Given all that the lodge has to offer, though, I wouldnt say theres much cause for complaint!
French Lick Resort Indiana
If you are looking for luxury and old-world romance, French Lick is the place to find it in Indiana.
The historic French Lick Resort is as all-inclusive as youll find in the Midwest. Away from the big cities and the stress of life, the resort offers gorgeous views, quality dining experiences, and extremely comfortable beds. It is one of the states most magical places, and its tucked away in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana.
When I read about the resorts history and saw it in person, I was in awe. The French Lick Resort consists of three hotels , a casino, and golf courses. It is also a historic Indiana Landmark and famously known for its mineral springs.
Resort activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, spa services, nightly live music, trails, horseback riding, history tours, afternoon tea, biking, and more.
My husband and I had a romantic getaway at the French Lick Resort and its truly an experience Ill never forget!
Recommended by Jamie Ward, Cornfields & High Heels
Saugatuck Michigan: Lake Shore Resort
This recently renovated family-run motel kept its fun mid-century vibe but added sleek new furniture, lakeside yoga classes, and free bikes and kayaks. And oh, those Lake Michigan views…does it get more romantic than a Lake Michigan sunset?
Offering gracious service and style in the heart of downtown, the historical Pfister Hotel specializes in honeymoons and lets couples escape from interruptions for a day.
Brewhouse Inn and Suites, the former brewhouse in the late 19th-century Pabst Brewery Hotel complex, has found new life as a hotel, with 90 spacious guest rooms surrounding an atrium with six enormous copper brewing vats. Beer and history lovers will enjoy the ambience of the hotel as well as a tour of Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery just across the road.
Saint Kate Arts Hotel has an artsy new personality, with multiple gallery and exhibition spaces.
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Entertaining Everyone On A Road Trip
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Fun distractions are the key to a successful road trip. When youve counted all of the cows you care to count, its time to break out the electronics and dive into playing some of the worlds most popular online games, such as Mahjong, Family Feud and The Price is Right.
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Games from Arkadium keep brains active and engaged and give everyone in the car from 90-year-old great grandma on down some much needed distraction. Even better, theyre available the minute you need them. Buy the annual subscription for a gift your loved ones will appreciate: ad-free access to their favorite games for an entire year. That means no interruptions and no annoying ads. Plus, an annual subscription is the gift that keeps on giving all year long!
More Family Trip Ideas For Minnesota
The birthplace of the Mississippi River and known for its Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, friendly Minnesota contains a trove of family trip ideas.
One of the most classic of Midwest road trips can take you along the North Shore of Lake Superior, from Duluth up to Canada.
The roadway is designated as an All-American Road.
Along the way, youll see the rocky, sandy beaches of dynamic Lake Superior, which is the largest of the Great Lakes. Find opportunities to hike at Lutsen Resort and at Gunflint Trail.
You can also plan stops at Gooseberry Falls State Park for a look at the gorgeous waterfalls, and at Devils Kettle Falls to see the phenomenon of the disappearing Brule River.
Your Midwest road trip will end at Minnesotas highest waterfall in Grand Portage State Park at the Canadian border.
Pick one of three decks for a breathtaking view.
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Grand View Lodge Nisswa Minnesota
The hunting-lodge feels are complete in the Grand View Lodge, with its stuffed moose head and antler chandeliers.
Approximately 2 hours away from the Twin Cities, dont let the stuffed-animal decor fool you into thinking that this is another Schrute farm the Grand View Lodge not only offers horse rides and pontoon boats but world-class spa treatments, complimentary Wi-Fi and cable TV as well!
Catch postcard-worthy views of the lake and the resorts immaculately-maintained lawn while relaxing on the whitewashed Adirondack chairs, or burn some calories at the tennis court and golf course.
The resort also offers a great kids club as well as a waterslide-equipped indoor pool.
In the Cote family since 1937, the Grand View Lodge is timeless yet in touch with the contemporary world, with a combination of vintage decor and photos and 200 modern lodge rooms, townhouses and cabins.
To further add to its allure, the lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, rolling fun and historical relevance into probably the most unique offering among all vacation resorts in the Midwest.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Located at the tip of Wisconsin are 22 beautiful islands riddled with sea caves, cliffs, spiky pine trees, and wildlife! The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is well known for its sailing and sea kayaking, but the Bayfield Peninsula also has excellent hiking, sightseeing, and food and drink spots as well!
The Apostle Islands are a seven and a half hour drive from Chicago, a six hour drive from Milwaukee, four hours from Minneapolis, and ten and a half hours from Detroit.
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Midwest Road Trip: South Dakota Destinations
Driving through South Dakota is THE iconic Midwest road trip. Start with a stop in Wall, South Dakota, to gawk at the incredibly touristy Wall Drug, wind through the breathtaking Badlands National Park, see Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, pay your respects to Crazy Horse, then watch the buffalo roam at Custer State Park.
Consider staying in Rapid City. Its centrally located to all of the South Dakota attractions. If youre driving through North Dakota, youll find a bunch of free things to do in Grand Forks.
Birchwood Wisconsin: Stout’s Island Lodge
The Stout family brought their lumber fortune and summer-home dreams from Chicago to this 1,800-acre haven on Red Cedar Lake. Frank D. Stout modeled Stout’s Island Lodge after the Adirondack resorts in upstate New York. Today, 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, and some of the eight cabins have twin beds in sleeping porches. Spend the day canoeing, fishing, playing croquet or just curling up with a good book. In the evening, dine on garden-fresh soups, tasty burgers and cooked-to-order steaks.
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More Midwest Vacation Spots
Shawnee Mission Park, KS
The 1,600-acre Shawnee Mission Park is a multi-use green space situated in Shawnee and is one of the most popular parks in the state. You can enjoy a good variety of water sports on the 120-acre lake, including boating, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing you can hire canoes, pedal boats, and fishing boats at the marina.
You can go swimming at the Shawnee Mission Park Beach or go hiking and biking along plenty of scenic trails there are also bridle paths for equestrians. Other park attractions include picnic shelters, an archery range, a large dog park, and a disc golf course. During the summer, you can watch a show at the open-air Theatre in the Park.
Shawnee Mission Park, KS
Situated just 4 miles from the town of Lawrence, the Clinton State Park offers locals and visitors a scenic and convenient recreation area. You can enjoy all the facilities on a day-visitor basis or bring your tent or RV and park it in one of 380 campsites, some of which are open all year round.
If you are not so fond of camping, you can plan ahead and book one of the seven cabins. Hikers and bikers can get some exercise on the 25-mile hiking/biking trail, while those with less energy can enjoy the 1-mile nature trail. The large lake is served by the Clinton Marina, which boasts ample boat launch ramps. There are trout ponds, including a childrens fishing pond, a fish cleaning station, four playgrounds, disc golf, and archery on site.
Get Your Nature Fix At A State Park
Location: Voyageurs National Park, International Falls
Tired of urban life? If youre looking for a more nature-themed excursion, a trip to Voyageurs National Park is one of the best weekend getaways in Minnesota.
Featuring untouched landscapes, top-notch hiking trails, and a wealth of flora and fauna, Voyageurs not only promises an adventure-filled weekend but an opportunity to disconnect.
Couples usually reach the area by car from the city of International Falls, the most popular launching point.
Travelers can access the visitors center easily by car, but the Kabetogama Peninsula, the state parks heart, may only be accessed by boat, plane, or by traversing the frozen lake during winter.
Here, couples can participate in several nature-based activities including hiking, fishing, canoeing, spying for local flora and fauna, as well as visiting the many historic sites available in the area. Voyageurs National Park offers 270 campsites which are only accessible by boat travel.
If youre lucky, you may be able to witness the rare northern lights spectacular natural light displays caused by solar winds!
Check these hotels and lodges near Voyageurs National Park to book a weekend of exploring. Be sure to stop by the International Wolf Center and/or downtown Ely on your way up to a great Northern Minnesota getaway.
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Best Road Trips In The Midwest Exploring The Ozarks In A Weekend
If youre planning for a Midwest road trip in Missouri, youre in luck.
The Ozark Mountains provide a playground of trails, rivers, and lakes and simply beautiful scenery perfect for driving to or through.
There are more than 300 miles of winding, forest roads. The area was once covered in water and you can learn more about what this ancient sea looked like with a trip to the Onondaga Caves.
Rent a log cabin or tent camp in the . Make sure to contemplate a portion of the Trail of Tears at the Indian Trail Conservation Area.
For another fun option, cue up your Andy Williams playlist and drive to Branson, MO, for family-friendly shows and museums.
Endless outdoor activities are minutes away in the Ozarks lakes and mountains.
If you venture a couple of hours east on US-160E from Branson, you can scout the Little Grand Canyon of Grand Gulf State Park.
This natural wonder is a collapsed cave system, stretching for almost a mile between 130-foot high walls.
The best viewing is from the trails at the top of the gulf. More adventurous types can scramble to the floor for a walk under the 250-long natural bridge.
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Unleash Your Inner Culture Vulture
For couples looking for an art fix, the Minneapolis Institute of Art is one of the best weekend getaways in Minnesota for good reason.
Located south of the downtown area, MIA receives more than 700,000 visitors annually.
The museum offers a wide range of attractions and art, all without having to pay a single penny for admission.
MIA boasts of an extensive collection of art: more than 89,000 artworks to be exact, with permanent and temporary exhibits of various themes, from ancient artifacts to African American art, textiles, European masterpieces by Monet and Titian, and a plethora of Asian masterpieces.
Planning to tag your children along?
Kids activities like the monthly Family Day and scavenger hunts make MIA one of the best family weekend getaways in MN.
MIA is also the home of the Doryphoros, one of the four surviving Roman copies of ancient Greek sculpture. Once youre done exploring art, grab a cup of coffee or cold-pressed juice at MIAs Agra Culture Coffee Shop and Cafe.
While general admission is free, some special exhibits cost extra. Exploring MIA will take around 90 minutes, but other visitors recommend breaking up your tour into two days.
Check these top hotels near the MIA to make your visit into a weekend getaway of art and culture.
While youre in the Twin Cities, make sure you add the Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum, and the Minnesota History Center to round out your culture trip.
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Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky
One of the 14 Great Wolf offerings around the States, the Great Wolf Lodge at Sandusky leaves families spoilt for choice with its 271 guestrooms, indoor water park with water slides, a lazy river and splash attractions, outdoor swimming pool, a host of kid-friendly activities and a ton of other family-friendly fun .
The lodge has a daily offering of family-friendly activities, along with kids activities such as the Great Clock Tower Show, the MagiQuest experience and Story Time.
Families can avail free Pack n Play cribs and free Wi-Fi, while kids can have their share of fun thanks to the resorts kids program and a game room.
They even have a kids spa, to add the already long list of activities such as the Wolf Walk hike, Creation Station, Cub Club, Snowland and Howl-o-ween .
With regard to rooms, guests can choose among family suites, double queen suites, queen sofa suites, family fireplace suites, wolf den suites, whirlpool fireplace suites, KidCabin suites, loft fireplace suites, and royal bear suites.
All rooms come with microwaves, refrigerators, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, water park passes for each of the rooms guests and coffeemakers.
The hotel also offers kid-specific amenities such as Suave Kids 2-in-1 Shampoo, Scooops Body Wash and Boogie Wipes.
Just as with everything else, the Great Wolf Lodge leaves guests spoilt for choice with its many dining options, some of which even offer kid-themed menus!
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Black Hills South Dakota
Black Hills, South Dakota is another one of the romantic getaways in the Midwest that will make you and your partner experience a unique adventure away from the crowd.
The Black Hills offers a fantastic nature escapade from the lodges, ranches, and mountain adventures that await couples.
Start your romantic getaway in the Midwest by visiting the Mount Rushmore National Monument where you can see the majestic faces of four US presidents carved on a mountainside. You can also explore the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is still in progress.
Afterward, head to Custer State Park where you can go hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking. You can also drive through the wildlife loop to see some of the parks animals like bison, pronghorns, and elk.
For a more relaxing experience, you can go to one of the many hot springs in the area or take a scenic drive through the Needles Highway.
For this weekend getaway, you must also visit Deadwood, a historic town that was once the setting of the Wild West. The town offers many casinos, restaurants, and shops.
Finally, no trip to the Black Hills would be complete without seeing the beautiful natural phenomenon known as Sylvan Lake.
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The Most Magnificent Midwest Winter Getaways
Select Registry – November 19, 2020
The Great Lakes, rugged backcountry roads, and vast prairie land lure visitors to the Midwest each year. As temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall, the landscape transforms into a winter wonderland. Consider planning the trip of a lifetime to one of these magnificent Midwest winter getaways. Read on for some of our suggestions on where to go this winter. Then, be sure to check out our Romantic Getaway Guide if youre planning this trip with your sweetheart!
North Shore Minnesota And Isle Royal National Park
This part of Minnesota is a hidden gem. Start your trip with a drive along State Highway 61, by exploring from Duluth to Grand Portage, which sits on the Canadian border. The scenery features forests, charming cottages, and lighthouses, all set against beautiful Lake Superior. This region of the state is known as North Shore, Minnesota.
Once you commit to this trip, consider visiting one of the least visited of all the national parksIsle Royale National Park, which is open from April 16 through October 31. Grand Portage serves as one of the limited departure points to access the island.
Eight state parks offer lots of natural beauty and outdoor adventure. For example, Tettegouche State Parks lakeside cliffs make for a popular birding destination, especially for peregrine falcons.
Gooseberry Falls State Park has five waterfalls, organized in a fun weekend waterfall tour. Of course, Split Rock Lighthouse is the site for the regions signature icon, a postcard-perfect lighthouse set on a rugged, lakeside cliff.
Furthermore, there are many other attractions for families to enjoy together. In terms of North Shore beaches, be sure to see Silver Bays unique Black Beach or Ionas Beach, a pink beach known for its singing sounds.
Where to Stay: East Bay Suites, Grand Marais South Pier Inn, Duluth
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