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 »

  • Weekend fun: Anoka’s Halloween parade

    Anoka’s Light Up the Night Parade Halloween capital of the worldYou can go throughout the Twin Cities and beyond to find plenty of good scares this month (Duluth’s Ship of Ghouls, anyone?). But for a light-hearted look at Halloween and the creativity it inspires, head straight to Anoka, the so-called Halloween Capital of the World… Read more »

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    Posted on October 22, 2010 by
  • Long weekend: Devil’s Lake & Wisconsin Dells

    Devil’s Lake State Park Wisconsin Dells’ fall fun beyond waterparksNeed a fun family getaway for Minnesota’s four-day teachers’ workshop weekend? One of our favorites is a trek to Wisconsin Dells. Sure, the indoor waterparks are a gimme (and weatherproof), but there are several other outstanding attractions that get lost in the crush of things to… Read more »

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    Posted on October 16, 2010 by
  • Find the best views of Minnesota’s fall colors

    The maple leaves are starting to flame into shades of red and gold, making it a great time to plan fall drives. Whether you seek a daytrip or a weekend, here are some of my favorite fall destinations in Minnesota. Don’t forget to check the Department of Natural Resources fall color report for the best… Read more »

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    Posted on September 26, 2010 by
  • Northern Lights Resort: A parting shot at summer

    Every parent should have the chance to launch their child on a family vacation. It’s deeply, deeply cathartic. It somehow equalizes things like broken windows, moldy laundry and barfing on new carpet. 

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    Posted on September 12, 2010 by
  • Minnesota family resorts: Lake vacations with old-fashioned fun

    Hydro-biking at Northern Lights Resort It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but we haven’t had the chance to enjoy a true lakeside resort before–not the neighborly family-run variety where kids roam freely, movie rentals are on  the honor system, potlucks are spontaneous, and the resort dog shows up when she gets the first whiff of… Read more »

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    Posted on September 12, 2010 by
  • Best places to eat wild rice

    Since it’s wild rice season in Minnesota, here are a few of our favorite places to enjoy this nutty grain also known as Mahnomin: Clearwater Travel Plaza’s fritter French Toast and wild rice sausage. Savory wild rice sausageClearwater Travel Plaza, Clearwater, Minn.This bustling, impressive pit stop on I-94 south of St. Cloud built a huge… Read more »

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    Posted on September 12, 2010 by
  • Minnesota’s Wild Rice Season

    Wild ricing on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. The Bois Forte Heritage Center, a wonderful and overlooked Native American museum near Tower, Minnesota, beautifully tells the story of how their band of Ojibwe came to Minnesota. After being forced from the East Coast, a guiding spirit told them to go where food grows on the… Read more »

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    Posted on September 6, 2010 by
  • Watch bears and wolves in Minnesota

    Ginormous Ted, possibly the world’s largest black bear, lives at Ely’sNorth American Bear Center. Here’s a little-known fact: Not only can you watch black bears in the wild in Minnesota, but August is the best time to view them. Why? They’re packing on the pounds for the winter, foraging for enough to get them through… Read more »

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    Posted on August 19, 2010 by
  • Family travel on a budget? Try a camping workshop

    Nine-Mile Lake in Superior National Forest. If families are looking for the best vacation deal around, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, teaming up with REI, has been offering I Can Camp! workshops around the state this summer. The new program teaches families everything they need to know for only $55–that’s with equipment provided. It’s one… Read more »

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    Posted on August 16, 2010 by
  • Garlic ice cream, mustard custard or an organic creamery?

    You’ll be amazed at the number of garlic varieties. Celebrate all things garlicky and good at Garlic Festival When it comes to bizarre food festivals, the Midwest is catching up to California. You no longer have to go to Gilroy’s famous Garlic Festival to taste garlic ice cream. You can do it right in Minnesota’s… Read more »

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    Posted on August 6, 2010 by