We do well with road trips. Better than one might expect. Our latest 2 day road trip to Duluth Minnesota was another triumph, not the least because we couldn't get a room in Duluth.
Too many tourists.
Instead we ended up in Cloquet, a lumber town that reminds me of Williamsport, Pennsylvania -- where we did our residency. It's an interesting town in its own right, but our kids didn't allow us to explore the remarkable used book store we passed by (in the old town, up the hill, in a beautiful old building).
We got lucky on the drive from Cloquet to Duluth. We opted for the road less traveled, and that took us through Jay Cooke state park.
Wow. How did we miss this gem? Try following the river with Google Earth, and visit the photos you find. I want to try the suspension bridge over the Saint Louis River (lots of hydro power, so hardly pristine, but still fascinating). It's about 2-3 hours north of the Twin Cities, so easy to visit.
Looks like some superb cross country skiing there. If I'm very careful I might be able to turn my 6 yo daughter into a cross-country skier -- and then I'd have a case for a trip!