Most people up there are either on vacation or retired, so everyone is very laid back. Up at the lake we try to get away from all the stuff that makes our life so hectic and fast paced, and instead try to spend more time doing things as a family.
There's canoeing, sailing, water skiing and fishing on the lake as well as well as rafting and a lovely forest preserve and nature center in the area.
The town nearby has a turtle racing festival every summer and a quaint old diner that we always stop by. We love to grill out with the neighbors.
Sometimes their grandchildren will be up and we'll all try to catch frogs and turtles down on the lake shore, and then we'll make s'mores afterwards. Lake Ponto, Minnesota is my favorite place on earth, and I look forward to it every year
We went swimming every day and out to eat every meal. We spent afternoons at The Garden of the Gods, enjoyed Seven Falls (a color-changing waterfall) and went to the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.
After our first week on vacation, we drove to a little town up in the mountains called Estes Park. We spent two more weeks on our trip in a cabin at 8,000 feet. It was gorgeous! We spent a lot of time hiking and fishing in the Rocky Mountain National park.
Evenings were spent grilling out fish we had caught and watching the sunset from our aspen-tree-lined deck. The air during the day was dry and hot (we went in August), but cool and breezy by evening.
We even saw a bear (from the safety of our cabin) rummaging through our trash one night. We played games, ate a lot of good food, and went shopping in the quaint downtown district.
Almost every shopping trip included a run to Starbucks. Colorado has always been our vacation spot of choice.
This wonderful state has many beautiful towns, and almost no boring scenery. Even areas such as Durango (further south with fewer mountains) have a very austere, but interesting look.
The mountains, however, are the biggest draw for us. There is something about being in Colorado that makes you feel closer to God.
It might be the whispering wind through the aspen trees, or the starry nights with the moon bouncing off the mountain tops, but there is just something out West that I cannot deny.
I would strongly recommend considering going on a house boat trip to anyone who loves the outdoors or just wants to try something besides taking out the RV. There are many fun things you can do while house-boating like taking out a 14 foot fishing boat with family. That’s what we did and we caught a lot of nice northern pike.
You can also just find a beach to sit and relax for a day if you’re not the outdoors type. Their where also many sites to go see in Voyageurs National Park including a dam, stone garden, hiking trails, and even old abandoned mines. Over all I would strongly recommend looking into house-boating if you go camping and just love the outdoors.
We spent the night in Denver, touring the nightlife and saw a play. The next day we woke up early to drive to the dude ranch. This was the bulk of our vacation (1 week). The dude ranch was a lot of fun. There were 4 other groups of people staying the same week.
My family and I went horseback riding, enjoyed campfires, and explored the ranch daily. One day we even spent off-roading in a jeep. The overall vacation was a lot of fun for the entire family!
The more serious shoppers would enjoy the many outlet stores at several mall areas around Pigeon Forge. Plan a full day's activities at Dollywood where you can ride a real train, be entertained by The Kingdom Heirs, one of the most popular Southern Gospel Quartets in America, visit rides, specialty stores, restaurants, or snack at one of several specialty stands on "fried green tomatoes" or hot "cinnamon flavored pecans".
For that family meal, Huck Finn's the place offering fried chicken or catfish with all the fixin's but for the steak lovers, The Alamo is the place to go. Not to be missed is Bennett's Barbeque. In addition to mouthwatering barbeque, they have one of the best salad bars in the area.
Summer or winter, makes no difference when you visit. There are always flowers out front of stores and on the streets. All the local folks will welcome you with true southern hospitality.