Family time: Traverse City
Book the Wolf Den at the Great Wolf Lodge (winner “best hotel stay with kids”), and not only will kids memorably sleep and play in the in-room cave, entertainment is covered by the free passes to the indoor water park. Swimming makes everyone hungry, so head to Bubba’s, winner of both best burger and best children’s menu; favorites like their cheese quesadillas run just $3. On funky weather days, explore the Great Lakes Children’s Museum or take in a 25-cent Saturday matinee at the beautifully restored State Theatre. Any other time, take to the bay on a $15 kids cruise on the Nauti-Cat (another boating finalist). Everyone can help raise the sails and Hula-hoop to Disney Tunes on deck.