It's hard to imagine a better location for a waterpark resort than on the banks of Lake Superior—the world's largest freshwater lake. Edgewater Resort and Waterpark has one of the biggest indoor waterparks around, filling 20,000 square feet with 4.5-story slides and a vortex pool. There's an outdoor heated pool overlooking the lake and even a shallow water section in the park's toddler-friendly playground, which has a 300-gallon splashdown every few minutes. Adjacent to the waterpark at the Edgewater Resort's arcade, there are more than 40 games, including Big Bass Wheel and Filibuster Fun. You'll also find the nine-hole mini-golf course here as well as a variety of regularly scheduled crafts and events such as sailboat races. Back in the rooms, amenities range from lake-view balconies to fireplaces to whirlpool hot tubs. Edgewater Resort and Waterpark features two restaurants that serve kid-approved burgers and pizza. You can also hop on the complimentary shuttle to check out some local eateries in Duluth, known for its maritime museum, freshwater aquarium, and for being the birthplace of fourth-place Olympic curler Chris Plys.
The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad whisks passengers away on food-filled excursions through the scenic forests surrounding Spooner. A lineup of vintage train cars ensconces guests in antique luxury, starting with the dining car that plays host to elegant five-course dinners, leisurely brunches, and kid-friendly pizza feasts. Overnight guests sidle into the retro comfort of the 1950s sleeper car's double-decker single beds and individual climate controls. Those seeking deluxe accommodations can book a 1914 private car, complete with such railway luxuries as a full-size bed, private washrooms with showers, and emergency speakers set to play flapper-repelling waltzes. A lounge with a full bar accompanies most trips, lubricating pleasant conversation as each trip wends its way past quaint towns, shimmering streams, and towering trees.
When patrons exit RiverGirl Fishing Co.'s historic train depot for their aquatic kayak and tubing lessons, they're placed in the charge of the outfit's founder, Kelly McCoy. During tours of the New River, which runs north through Todd, she educates guests about the area's natural landscape.
During the winter she heads to Florida, where she leads groups out onto the calm, peaceful waters of the Choctawatchee River from access points such as the Port Washington boat ramp near Eden Garden State Park, the scenic 30-acre gulf coast, or the black creek, and then guides the flotilla into the region's untamed natural beauty. As a fisheries biologist, Kelly's passion helps visitors and locals enjoy the surrounding landscape with conservation-conscious activities.
Named Best Lodge/Retreat in 2010 by Wisconsin Meetings, Heartwood rests upon 700 acres of Wisconsin wilderness and tranquil lake scenery. The timber-framed resort boasts 52 lodge rooms, along with private cottages and guesthouses, and 10,000 square feet of meeting, dining, and exhibit spaces. The Eagle Lodge Hotel's standard rooms come equipped with two queen beds, free WiFi, a flat-screen television, coffee maker, and a private deck or patio with views of the wilderness. The resorts stand as a hospitable gateway to canoeing or kayaking on the federally-protected Namekagon River, hiking and biking trails, tennis, and horseshoes.
Flat Creek Inn & Suites furnishes cozy lodging and hot breakfast for up to four adults and two children, enveloping minds within the calm of Wisconsin's scenic Northwoods. Double queen rooms and king suites swathe sleepers in plush beds surrounded by rustic log furniture, wall ornaments made from dried flowers, and a kitchenette with microwave, oven, and coffee maker. In king whirlpool suites, a TV-clad bedroom connects to a sitting area via refined french doors, and in the bathroom, bubbly jets massage sore muscle and add a challenge during apple-bobbing competitions. Flat Creek Inn's wood-paneled game room entertains kids and grandparents alike with billiards tables, and the indoor pool and eight-person hot tub stay toasty even when snowflakes are falling outside.
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