Summer break is almost here and many families are planning their summer family vacations. Here are a few ideas for places you can take your whole family.

Wisconsin Dells

I remember the best family vacation we ever went on. I was in late grade school and even though we had to camp, it was still a lot of fun. We went to Wisconsin Dells for five days and it was great. Water parks, mini golf and cheesy tourist traps? I was all about it. We played on the water slides and wave pools, played mini golf at Pirate's Cove, took a ride on the Wisconsin Ducks on Lake Delton, saw the Tommy Bartlett Show, went to museums and got really sunburned. That vacation proved to me that my parents weren't total squares and could still have fun. If you're not about the camping business, there are lots of hotels with indoor water parks and babysitting.


If gas prices are going to restrict where you're headed this summer, there are over ten thousand lakes around the state, and one of the most popular (and one of my favorite) destinations isn't that far away. The Brainerd Lakes area has many lodging options like camping, hotels, motels, resorts and time shares. If he's a golfer, they have some of the best courses in the state. If you're into shopping, they have cozy, quaint gift shops and malls, plus if you forgot anything at home, they have the big box discount retailers, too. There are also some of the best lakes and beaches in Minnesota and you can rent a cabin or beach house for the week. Staying close by means you can pack everything the kids or baby will need without fear of baggage restrictions and fees.


Another cool place to go and another city where I have spent a considerable amount of time is Duluth. It's about two and a half hours away, and they have many different lodging options like camping, resorts, hotels (including one with an indoor water park). They have golf courses, guided fishing tours, museums, and a cool train ride that takes you up the shore while you pig out on pizza, shopping and lots of scenery. They offer the Vista Cruises that take you around the port and you can get up close and personal with the big lake freighters. Nearby Two Harbors offers lodging, dining, antiquing and gift shops. It's less expensive and less crowded than Duluth, so if you're not looking for something expensive or fancy, and don't mind the 20 minute jaunt to Duluth, Two Harbors is your spot.


Fargo, North Dakota gets a bad rep for being cold and flat, but it's actually a fun city if you know where to go. Bonanzaville has a pioneer village with lots of historical sites and artifacts that Mom and Dad and the kids will enjoy, too. There are also several museums to check out. One of the coolest is the Air Museum. You can climb in a real cockpit, work the gears and find out what all those buttons are for. The Red River Zoo is also another definite must.

What's Your Favorite Family Vacation Destination?