Best of the Chippewa Valley 2023: Day Trip Destinations

our readers’ choices for the best Upper Midwest vacation locales

Measha Vieth

Duluth, MInnesota, from the air. (PHOTO BY CHRISOGRAPHER / CC BY-SA 4.0)
Duluth, MInnesota, from the air. (Photo by Chrisographer / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Eau Claire and surrounding areas are cool and all and we know you’d never want to move away, but maybe you just need a little change in scenery. Not sure where to travel for a day trip? Well, you’re in luck, because we’ve got the deets on the Best Day Trip Destinations. For an Up North vibe, that isn’t just about woodsy cabins, you can hit up our No. 1 destination: Duluth, Minnesota. Duluth offers gorgeous views of Lake Superior and has a rad, world-famous lift bridge where you can watch giant boats pass through the canal – something to cross off your travel bucket list! Not only that, they have something for everyone – tour the Glensheen Mansion, ski, bike, or zipline on Spirit Mountain, or just enjoy the delicious food and drinks at various restaurants.

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away is No. 2 on the list: Stillwater, Minnesota. Stillwater is one of Minnesota’s oldest communities and it really tops the charming town meter. Take a walk through Stillwater and admire the 21 homes on the national historic registry, have lunch on one of many outdoor patios, or enjoy a paddlewheel cruise on the St. Croix River. Oh, and they’ve got a historic lift bridge to cross off that bucket list, too!

Looking for a more nature-heavy day trip? You’re in luck with No. 3: Door County. This destination is located in the thumbhole of the glove that is Wisconsin and offers 300 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Explore the waters via boat, kayak, or water sports galore, or walk on one of their many beaches. Anywhere in Door County offers gorgeous scenery and you’re sure to find a local winery or brewery nearby in a small lakeside community – a perfect place to relax and get away.