This is the third installment of some road trip possibilities to jumpstart your summer vacation discussions. Summer is going fast, so better get planning!
1. Is your kind of vacation one that includes hiking, camping, paddling, swimming, picnics and other outdoor recreation? Then Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, 15 miles west of Ontonagon in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is the place for you. The 60,000-acre park is one of the few remaining large wilderness areas in the Midwest and features towering virgin timber, secluded lakes, and miles of wild rivers and streams.
Areas of attraction include Lake of the Clouds, Summit Peak observation tower, and the scenic Presque Isle River corridor, which hosts the state’s second largest waterfalls. And keep your eyes open─black bears are common in the “Porkies.”
2. If you are looking for something a little more urban, try Galena, Ill., in Jo Daviess County in the northwest part of the state. Shop Galena’s historic downtown was voted “Best Main Street” by Midwest Living Magazine readers, and this small historic town has plenty of different ways to explore, discover and experience a variety of shopping, historic sites, golf, tours and outdoor recreation.
Highlights of the area include Diamond Jo Casino, the Ulysses S. Grant Home historic site, Linmar Gardens, 10 golf courses, wineries, art galleries and of course shopping for antiques and collectibles, apparel and accessories, confectionery, home and garden, and specialties and gifts.
When you get tired of all that, try one of the 14 spas in the area for some relaxation and pampering.
3. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, might not be the first place you think of when planning a road trip, but there’s plenty to do there that will keep the whole family happy, especially if you share a love of learning. Start with the African America Museum of Iowa and its current exhibit: What Was West Africa Like Before the Transatlantic Trade? Then try Brucemoor, a historic 26-acre estate with a 19th-century mansion and gardens. Throughout the year, the estate features outdoor theater, concerts, specialty tours, festivals, garden walks, family programs, holiday celebrations and more. Don’t miss the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which houses more than 7,200 works of art from many eras, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and the National Motorcycle Museum.
When you need a break from the museums, check out a Cedar Rapids Kernels game. The Kernels are the Class A Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and play through August on Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.