Minnesota’s Big Bog State Recreation Area

    Story and Photos by Lisa Meyers McClintick With the excitement of a birder spotting a rare warbler, my daughter and I quickly sunk to our knees on the edge of the Big Bog boardwalk to study our botanical target: insect-eating pitcher plants. They carried enough of creepy-crawly “eew” factor to convince my 10-year-old… Read more »

Best North Shore adventures along Minnesota’s Lake Superior

Top 10 Things to do in Lutsen and Tofte, Minn. Photos & feature by Lisa Meyers McClintick Looking for one of Minnesota’s most scenic spots and best destinations for adventures? Point the car north and buzz up the North Shore along Lake Superior for a guaranteed great getaway. One of our favorite places to stay… Read more »

St. Louis offers flying trapeze at Union Station

Circus Harmony’s new flying trapeze at St. Louis. Photos provided by Explore St. Louis. Circus Harmony offers fresh wayto have fun and face your fears Sometime in my late 30s, the inner equilibrium that fueled a childhood full of cartwheels, flips off swim rafts and summer pool somersaults disappeared, leading to severe vertigo with any… Read more »

Minnesota wildflowers at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Marsh marigolds brighten Hidden Falls at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park by Northfield. Discover Southern Minnesota’s wildflowers Wildflowers flank the trails at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. Story and Photos by Lisa Meyers McClintick The trill of a red-winged blackbird swaying atop cattails instantly takes me back to growing up on the southern still-rural edge… Read more »

Spring Apple Blossom drives in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Apple orchards bloom across the hills above the Kickapoo River Valley in Gays Mills, Wisconsin. Head south on the Great River Road Photos by Lisa Meyers McClintick Craving a Minnesota or Wisconsin road trip to celebrate the welcome end to winter? Let spring blossoms inspire your route. Some of Minnesota‘s most stunning views can be found… Read more »

Family Fun: Brookings, S.D.

It’s not all tame at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota. T-rex Jr. (above) provides a thrill, as does big mama. T-rex, prairie playland create one-of-a-kind fun Photos and story by Lisa Meyers McClintick To the right, kids line up shoulder to shoulder to fish in a pond, squealing as they haul out and net… Read more »

Visit Wisconsin Fox Cities Appleton-Neenah-Menasha

Learn about famed escape artist Harry Houdini and other Wisconsin natives at History Museum at the Castle. Make paper at the Paper Discovery Center, Appleton. Find Houdini, a glass museum, paper history and shopping in Wisconsin’s Fox Cities  Photos & story by Lisa McClintick Wisconsin’s city of Appleton, as well as neighboring Neenah and Menasha—anchor the… Read more »

Trumpeter swans flock to Mississippi River for the winter

Thousands of once-endangered trumpeter swans spend their winters on the Mississippi in Monticello, Minnesota. Swans use winter as their social & courting season. The trumpeting sound of Monticello’s swans Here’s a glimpse of the thousands of trumpeter swan that winter on the Mississippi River in Monticello, Minnesota, December through early March. Even better, you can hear… Read more »

Follow snowbirds to best stops along Interstate 75

Even without a polar vortex hitting the Midwest, the beaches of Fort Myers, Florida, beckon winter snowbirds.  Eat your way down I-75 to Southern warmth Photos & text by Lisa Meyers McClintick The Berea, Ky, rest stop is filled with regional art. Had enough of the Midwest’s bone-chilling polar vortex? Follow the snowbirds south. Whether you… Read more »

Park hosts moonlight ski around granite quarries

Haley Entner and Dayna White of St. Cloud enjoy cross-country skiing at St. Cloud’s Quarry Park & Nature Area. Frost flocks Haley Enter on a super-chilled morning. Minnesota’s Quarry Park offers unique ski trails  Story & Photos by Lisa Meyers McClintick On a mid-December morning, the air bites so frigidly, even the snow seems to… Read more »

  • Insider’s guide to Mall of America holiday shopping

    With more than 500 stores, free concerts and coffee plus valet parking, Mall of America bustles all December. Enjoy MOA’s festive Christmas season  Feature & photos by Lisa Meyers McClintick If you’re want to brave the crowds for holiday shopping at Minnesota’s Mall of America, there are plenty of reasons to join in the festivities…. Read more »

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    Posted on December 12, 2013 by
  • Mall of America Top Things to Do

    Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe’s natural lighting can cure mid-winter cabin fever, but it’s also festive at night. Mall of America’s best bets for fun Photos & story by Lisa Meyers McClintick Whether you’re a chic shopping connoisseur, a family seeking an amusement park in the dead of winter, or someone who craves crossing “world’s biggest”… Read more »

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    Posted on December 6, 2013 by
  • Duluth, Minn: Top Things to Do for Holiday Fun

    Bentleyville lights up Duluth’s Bayfront Park. Photo by Lisa MeClintick Duluth, Minnesota, with the magical backdrop of Lake Superior, has always been a favorite summer and fall getaway for Twin Cities residents and others across the state. If you need another enticement to head north, here are the top things to do for the holidays… Read more »

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    Posted on November 26, 2013 by
  • Minnesota fall migration: Sandhill cranes make a comeback

    On special sunrise tours Oct. 19-20, see sandhill cranes greet the day and take flight with a ancient cacophony. Hear sandhill cranes’ prehistoric sunrise chorus  Sandhill cranes lift off at sunrise. Text & Photos by Lisa Meyers McClintick “As dawn lightens the landscape at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, a group of sandhill cranes lifts up… Read more »

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    Posted on October 18, 2013 by
  • Little Falls, Minn: Best things to do in Land of Lindbergh

     Charles Lindbergh’s boyhood home on the Mississippi. Photo by Lisa Meyers McClintick Small-town charm, Lindbergh home, a small zoo, fishing and military museums all thrive along the Mississippi River By Lisa Meyers McClintickLearning about Charles Lindbergh–Minnesota hero, ace aviator and one of the world’s first mega-celebrities—would alone be worth the visit to Little Falls. The… Read more »

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    Posted on May 11, 2013 by
  • Best Twin Cities day trip destinations in Minnesota, Wisconsin

    LARK Toys’ amazing carousel near Wabasha, Minn., adds magic and whimsy to the Great River Road. Get help planning the top Twin Cities day trips If there were a fairy godmother to – “Poof!” – make Minnesota weekend getaways or week-long vacations as easy as Cinderella’s dress, I’d volunteer for the post. Really. Give me… Read more »

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    Posted on September 27, 2012 by
  • Minnesota’s northern lakeside resorts embrace bigger luxuries

    Around since the 1930s, Clamshell Beach Lodge north of Brainerd has new luxuries–like newer cottages and a pool.   Minnesota cabins get bigger, modernize By Lisa Meyers McClintick My daughter jumps into the pool. On a Minnesota resort trip last June, my 7-year-old daughter barely glanced at the sandy beach on Whitefish Lake north of… Read more »

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    Posted on July 4, 2012 by
  • Spring getaway to California’s flower fields

    California’s Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch explode into 50 acres of spring color, visible from Highway 1. SoCal ocean to desert: A flower power vacation   Photos & feature by Lisa Meyers McClintick Rows of sherbet-orange blossoms march to the right, sloping toward a hillside of bubblegum pink, ruby red and sunny yellow. Giant ranunculus… Read more »

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    Posted on March 3, 2012 by
  • Minnesota ice bars, ice fishing & polar plunges

    Grand Superior Lodge’s BLU ice bar takes inspiration from the Split Rock Lighthouse. Lake Superior helps keep it cool. Minnesota dreams up icy frolics & February fun By Lisa McClintick Costumes add to the fun of the Pout Plunge that’s part of Walker’s Eelpout Festival. Take warm welcome of Minnesota Nice, nip it with winter… Read more »

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    Posted on February 2, 2012 by
  • Duluth B&B ranks among best in the nation

    A.G. Thomson House blends history & comfort Trip Advisor listed Duluth’s A.G. Thomson House Bed & Breakfast at the top of its 25 Best B&Bs and Inns in the United States this week. It was among two Midwest winners for the 2012 Travelers’ Choice award. Fleur-De-Lys Mansion in St. Louis, Mo., another great choice, also… Read more »

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    Posted on January 20, 2012 by