Set in spectacular natural settings, these action-packed, all-inclusive camps are a fun alternative to resort vacations and guaranteed to keep everybody busy.
By Pamela Wright
Hike boreal forests and paddle the boundary waters.
Listen for the howl of a timber wolf, the slap of beaver tails, and the screech of an owl as you and the kids paddle through streams and lakes, and hike the forests of northern Minnesota. This rustic Northwoods camp, set on the edge of the famed Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), has been hosting vacationing families for more than four decades. Home base is Camp du Nord Village, which sits on the North Arm of Burntside Lake (just north of Ely), a great spot for swimming, sailing, and kayaking. Daily nature programs are tailored to specific age groups and might include guided hikes, boating excursions, and arts and crafts. Take a one-day canoe trip to nearby lakes, or land bass or northern pike (both common catches). Campfires and cookouts take place in the evenings.
Lights out: Rustic (some with shared baths) and deluxe cabins, and tent sites.
Cost: Weeklong family programs are offered early June through early September. Tent sites, $400 a week; cabin tent sites, $525; sleeping cabins (4-7 people) $675-$990; deluxe cabins (2-16 people) $1,150-$3,400. Add on three meals daily for $44 (ages 3-7), $98 (ages 8-12), or $150 (ages 13 and up); other meal plans are also offered.
More info: 651-645-6605; www.dunord.org