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Wisconsin Parent

Summer Vacation in Wisconsin's Northwoods

Apr 24, 2014 10:42AM ● By Dannelle Gay

If you are looking for a summer getaway with your family, The Minocqua/Manitowish Waters area of the Wisconsin Northwoods is a great place to start.

There are a ton of places to stay, from private cabins to hotels. Because the area has so many lakes, it is easy to get a beachfront property!

northwoods paul bunyan

We think a fun start to your Great Northwoods adventure with a hearty breakfast at Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty—make sure you order the warm buttermilk donuts.

For lunch or dinner, have a pizza at the Aberdeen Lodge. With casual dining and beautiful lake views, ask to be seated near the big wall of windows (or, better yet, outside on the gravel patio).

For family-friendly activities, try the Wildwood Wildlife Park. There is nothing like a petting zoo adventure, feeding a bear, or having a deer walk right next to you. You simply have to "feed the birds" with a seed coated popsicle stick! (Unless you have a healthy fear of that Alfred Hitchcock movie!) Tip: Wear a hat in the bird house.

northwoods pony ride

Holiday Acres is the place for your kids to ride Q-tip the pony. If you want to get in on the action, ask for a full-sized horse.

If you love the water, you should rent a boat from Greer's Pier on Spider Lake. Whether you select a speed boat or a pontoon, pack a picnic and make a day of it! A lot of Northwoods lakes are interconnected so you can go for hours and hours (but keep an eye on your gas tank).

Did you grow up too late to enjoy the famed "Supper Club Era"? Fear not, Supper Clubs are still going strong in the Northwoods and you can indulge to your heart's content.

Your first stop should be the Historic Voss' Birchwood Lodge; over 100 years in the same family as well as being right on the lake. Make sure to have a reservation and save room for the mint pie!

northwoods Marty's

Are you a steak lover? If so, you need to hit Marty's Place North for a melt-in-your-mouth treat that is still served on a metal boiler plate. They are also famous for their Strawberry Schaum Torte, which is large enough to share for an impressive low price of $6. Keep an eye on it though as bites just seem to disappear when you turn your head.

north woods plantation

The Plantation is another Northwoods area fixture. Every dinner includes a hot appetizer tray that features chicken wings, onion spread crostini and cocktail weenies. Finish off your meal with an ice cream treat like a Golden Cadillac or a Grasshopper.

Before you make any plans, check out the local Chamber of Commerce. Throughout the season you'll see different fairs and festivals that could add a lot to your holiday itinerary. I don't know about you, but I love walking through a craft fair!

Regardless of what you do in the Northwoods, make sure you take some time to unplug and simply enjoy the beauty of the nature around you. Sit by the lake, take a hike, or even make s'mores. Your soul will thank you!