10. Nisswa, MNGet More Info
Why go: Two and a half hours from Minneapolis, Nisswa in the Brainerd Lakes Area of central Minnesota has the refreshing small-town charm city dwellers crave in the summer. Soak up the sun on the lake shores, kayak the meandering waterways, or hike the Paul Bunyan State Trail, which runs right through Nisswa.
Where to stay: The Grand View Lodge offers cabins and villas scattered across hundreds of acres along the shores of Minnesota’s popular Gull Lake. Staying here is like traveling back to summer camp: You can go zip-lining, fishing, paddle boarding, cruise on a pontoon, jet skiing, biking, and horseback riding. There’s also 45 holes of championship golf.
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