Three Outdoor Destinations for the Entire Family

Three Outdoor Destinations for the Entire Family

 

It’s getting to the time of year that families start to think about getting away for a long weekend here and there, or a week to recharge in somewhere new. That’s never been more true than now, as people look to get away and see something other than their own backyard.

Here are three great outdoor destinations the entire family can enjoy.

Deadwood, South Dakota

In general, the western United States are rich in history and things to enjoy, but few places have the breadth and depth of western lore that Deadwood does. Deadwood will forever be tied to the legend of American cowboy as the place the Wild Bill Hickock was killed, but that only scratches the surface of the history here. While the Hickock story is worth exploring, you likely won’t have time to see all of the other tourist attractions in Deadwood and the surrounding Black Hills region.

Deadwood itself has the casinos and period re-enactors to replicate the old west experience, but you can also enjoy the beauty the area has to offer. Biking or hiking the Mickleson Trail through the Black Hills is a great way to explore. As is visiting the Broken Boot mine to explore the underground mining tunnels or to try your hand at panning for gold.

Deadwood is located in the heart of the Black Hills, and no trip to the area is complete without a visit to Mount Rushmore and the visitors center there. Having been several times, I would encourage you to make your trip there as early as possible to beat the crowds that gather as the day goes on. You’re also within a short drive of the ongoing Crazy Horse Memorial, also located in the Black Hills National Forest. Devils Tower is just a short drive into northeast Wyoming.

All of that and more awaits you in Deadwood, and we didn’t even touch on the hunting and fishing opportunities that are available to you depending on the time of year you decide to visit. Trout streams, lakes, Merriam’s turkeys and a wide variety of big game offer hunting and fishing opportunities virtually year-round. South Dakota is one of the friendliest and most affordable states for non-resident hunters and anglers. For more information visit www.deadwood.com.

Chautauqua, New York

I think most of us are guilty of painting the entire state of New York with the same brush we use for New York City. The reality is that not so far from the hustle and bustle of Wall St. or Broadway is a state that is truly an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. From the Finger Lakes to the Poconos to Niagara Falls, New York offers a host of outdoor activities, and nowhere has more to offer than the Chautauqua area.

The gem of the Chautauqua area is the 13,000-acre Chautauqua Lake. While brute smallmouth and walleye are the main attraction, they are hardly the only fish worth catching. From the center of the town of Chautauqua, Lake Erie lies barely ten miles away, with its world-famous fishery.

But it isn’t all fishing, if you time it right you can chase turkeys or black bears in the spring, and fall hunting opportunities exist for New York whitetail deer.

Chautauqua is also home to multiple golf courses that make great use of the beautiful topography of the area. Round out your visit with a trip to a winery if you choose. There’s no shortage of opportunity to fill your days in or out of doors in what might be the best kept secret in the east. Visit www.tourchautauqua.com to plan your trip or learn more about the area.

Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

If Deadwood or Chautauqua just seem too, on the beaten path for you, maybe you should consider getting away to the north woods, in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. You might not find the variety of activities here that you will in our other spots, but when it comes to fishing, Lake of the Woods is one of the top destinations in the world. You don’t get a name like “Walleye Capital of the World” by having mediocre fishing!

Beyond the obvious walleye fishing, you can chase muskies and even sturgeon. Bass fishing is also available. If you are looking for time on the water, Lake of the Woods is your answer.

When fall rolls around you can spend time in the public forest ground that is available, hundreds of thousands of acres of it, in pursuit of grouse or other upland game.

To learn more about the opportunities you have in Northern Minnesota, visit www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com and plan a trip.

There’s no shortage of places to explore in this great nation of ours, and with weather turning better and everyone eager to get back outside, it’s time to start looking at new destinations that maybe you haven’t been to yet, and if you’re able to get some hunting or fishing in while you’re there, then that’s just a bonus!

 

 

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