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Lifelong Memories Made on the Road

Travel back to the simple pleasures of summer with a trip to Minnesota cabin country

Picture it, summer 1980-something. It’s blazing hot and your mom busts out the slip-n-slide as you cool down with another popsicle. You’re carefree, barefoot and have nowhere to be. If there’s a plan, it’s to be outside from when cicadas start buzzing to when the streetlights come on. Summer vacation was just different from any other time of the year. You relaxed in the summer, you took your time in the summer and you partook in quite possibly one of the most American as apple pie experiences, a getaway to Minnesota cabin country.

In recent years, trends have reemerged (hey, scrunchies and neon!), elementary-age kids know all the lyrics to ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’, and Maverick and Charlie are back on the big screen. So whaddya say to throwing it back to those simpler days and hopping in the wooden grocery-getter, or your minivan will do, and pack that cooler like you’ll be stranded in the wilderness for weeks? Prepare your list of fight pickers for the car, aim for at least 10-15 “are we there yets?” and get ready to ‘flash ‘em your Coppertone tan’ because fun is about to be had.

If ever there was a time to escape, frolic in the fresh air and let your stresses fade like a bad dye job, it’s now. In addition to busy jobs, our social lives are fuller than ever. If we’re not playing taxi, we’re “catching up”, and when that never-ending list never ends, we’re working hard to stay connected to friends and family. Not only are the kids TikToking 24/7, but they’re also working, playing, and signed up for a gazillion activities. Modern life is exhausting and demanding; the hustle and bustle is real.

But when you unpack your bags in that quaint bedroom smelling faintly of campfire, and your toes hit the sand, something inside of you lets go. Parents let go of worry as their kids walk to the rustic lodge in hopes of filling their bags with penny candy or grabbing that Push-Up that’s sure to melt down their arms in the sun. Kids let go of the need to be the last man standing in a Battle Royale and instead compete for who can skip rocks the furthest.

Like our closely connected circles at home, there is a community of cabin life. The Community of Minnesota Resorts’ sole mission is to highlight and support family-owned and operated resorts and campgrounds in Minnesota so they can help you make lifelong memories. And much like getting a book recommendation from the resident librarian, many resort owners live in communities surrounded by tourism, making them experts in lake living.

There are many things about a 1980s summer vacation that you can’t recreate. Eating watermelon and watching how far you can spit the seeds doesn’t evoke the same excitement it used to. But a common thread that runs deep is the careless magic a summer vacation holds. As parents, we pray our kids love it enough to carry on the same tradition with their own families. We endure the days of packing, road trip bickering, and mountains of laundry because nothing tastes better than a grilled hotdog eaten on a checkered tablecloth under a Red Oak. Soaking in the sun and beauty with loved ones on a mirror-like lake… Best. Summer. Ever. And when the kids ask, “are we there yet?” for the fifteenth time you’ll exhale as you reply, “yes, we are.”