Thumbnail portrait: Alden

Sweet, petite and super strollable, Alden packs a lot into just a few blocks. The tiny village is nestled on the southeast shore of gorgeous Torch Lake, making it a perfect port for stretching your legs during a day of boating the Chain of Lakes. Boutiques and cafes keep the town bustling throughout the summer; stores stay open late on Thursdays from June through August, when the weekly Alden Evening Stroll brings street musicians and entertainers downtown. Lunch alfresco at Afterloon Delights is a nice summertime treat—the patio has colorful umbrellas and automatic misters to keep diners cool. Generous scoops of hand-dipped ice cream wait across the street at Higgins General Store. Don’t miss the Alden Mill House, a culinary supply haven at the north end of town; at the south end, find Depot Park, a historic train stop with a picnic-perfect lawn and beach access to Torch.

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