Since we live right in Harbor Springs, and there’s so much nearby, during summer we just like to get out and do what’s here. So, a great weekend for our family—three kids, ages 4, 6 and 7—would start with getting in the water in the harbor, just kayak downtown Harbor Springs in the afternoon. It’s the best. It’s the deepest natural harbor on all of Lake Michigan, and when you look down, you might see ginormous salmon down there. I just love it. After kayaking, we walk around downtown and grab a sandwich, like at Gurney’s. My favorite there is called the Train Wreck. Then we go to Kilwin’s or Yummies for ice cream.

The next day, we could take kayaks to Wycamp Lake, next to Wilderness State Park, and go fishing. It’s a blast. It’s so quiet. Very serene little lake. There are only two buildings on it. You never have to worry about somebody in a motor boat running over you or your kids. And you always see something. Herons, bald eagles, turtles swimming underneath you. There’s a massive eight-foot-tall beaver dam we paddle up to. For fish, there are pike and bass. It’s also easy to access. You can drive right up to the shore and unload your kayaks. But it’s so secluded you also feel like you are really out there.

Sometimes we camp in Wilderness State Park, and our favorite thing to do there is hike out Waugoshance Point. It’s a world-class bass fishery—the bass lay eggs in craters left over from airplane bombing practice in World War II. It’s just an other-worldly place, really cool. One time we were out there and there were hundreds and hundreds of holes in the mud, holes the size of quarters. And we couldn’t figure out what they were. And then suddenly a little frog poked up from one and peeped, and we knew—frog homes! These holes were everywhere, and it was such a mystery until we saw that frog. Spectacular.

Get more great ideas for summer vacations Up North from our July 2011 issue: Available online and in stores now!