For parents, vacations to the lake promise relaxation – a chance to leave work behind, let the kids run free, and get back to who you are without all the hustle and bustle. For kids, it means excitement and adventure; days are spent swimming and tubing, hiking and biking and…well, we could go on and on!
You’d think it’d be hard to find a place that does both – but these up north, lakeside cabins do just that. So go for it! Let your hair down, go barefoot, jump in the lake and soak up summer with your whole crew. Read on to discover where to head next – we’ve saved you a spot by the fire.
Boondoggle Resort — Chetek
The tongue-in-cheek name for Boondoggle Resort, an up-cycled 1950s resort near Chetek in Northwestern Wisconsin, refers to two couples’ “expensive mistake” opening a resort in 2016 with no prior experience. It turns out the joke is a misnomer; families are clambering after the cabins on Lake Chetek complimenting the fun hosts, retro chic decor, and classic water activities. You can go fishing off the dock, take one of the kayaks out on the lake, or watch the sunset from the screened-in overlook.
Boondoggle also provides vintage bikes you and your family can ride around the island or to the nearby public beach. If you love cabin life and appreciate trendy design and fun quirks, Boondoggle is for you. As a bonus, well-behaved dogs are also welcome to stay!
Brekke’s Fireside Resort — Rhinelander
The bigger draw of Brekke’s is its endless number of activities in the summer. You can rent a pontoon boat, or use the free kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats to explore the lake. In the beachside rec room, play pool, darts, and pinball over pizza and old records. The resort also features tennis courts, shuffleboard, volleyball and badminton. No kid or kid-at-heart could be bored at Brekke’s!
A Lot of Lakes Resort — Three Lakes
Located on Big Stone Lake and near Nicolet National Forest, the large, modern log cabins at A Lot of Lakes Resort offer families a retreat from business of daily life. Wake up to wind rustling the pine trees and waves hitting the shore. Then start the day on the water fishing for northern pike or swimming. In the afternoon, explore the woods on a family hike. Retreat at the end of the day to your cozy lodging, playing cards or watching a movie together. This is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and each other.
If you grew up going to your grandma’s lake house, BJ’s Lake House near St. Germain will tap into your nostalgia and provide your kids the same kinds of joyous, lakeside experiences you had. The recently renovated 1930s cabin is full of wicker and antique furniture, colorful quilts, and homey touches. One of the best features is the large porch that looks out on uninterrupted lakeshore.
You’ll enjoy a private dock and fishing boat, and your kids will love the sandy-bottom lake for swimming. At night, throw dinner on the grill and share your favorite ghost story around the campfire. By the end of your stay, you’ll wish this really was your grandma’s house.
Deerfoot Lodge & Resort - Hayward
Inspired by their own week-long family fishing trips, the Wilson family started Deerfoot Lodge & Resort as way to give that cherished, slow-down-and-reconnect experience to others. Located on the Chippewa Flowage near Hayward, the resort’s ten cabins help families make unforgettable memories of their own.
Spend the days fishing (maybe it’s the kids’ first time), race to and jump off the swim raft, relax on the sandy beach and explore the Hayward area’s many attractions. You’re close to the Chequamegon National Forest and the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame — a family photo with the world’s largest musky sculpture is a must.