Off-Season Beach Bargains
What It's Like: All north woods, beach dunes, and lakeshore, this region was both Hemingway's boyhood vacationland and location of most of his Nick Adams stories. It's bracingly cold here in winter, with daily highs a little below freezing, but that doesn't keep anyone indoors.
What to Do: Sled, snowshoe, snowmobile, ice-skate, and ski both downhill and cross-country, all within view of the lakes. And to really embrace the charms of cold weather, take a winter raft trip through the snowy woods along the Jordan River.
Where to Stay and Dine: Weathervane Terrace Inn and Suite (111 Pine River Lane; 800/552-0025; weathervane-chx.com) has suites, with fireplaces, kitchenettes, and lake views from $79. For dinner, Stafford's Weathervane is a grist mill-turned-restaurant styled by Earl Young, the local architect responsible for most of the Hobbit-y stone buildings in town. Get a table near the meteorite and boulder fireplace or by the window overlooking the channel that runs between the lakes. For a truly local breakfast or lunch experience, head to Juilleret's (1418 Bridge Street; 231/547-9212).