ROW, ROW, ROW A BOAT 16 Hey, Bridget Jones fans. You know that scene where Bridge and Daniel recite bawdy limericks in a rowboat on a gauzy afternoon? That could be you, in Forest Park, drifting with your sweetie around the 1904 World’s Fair-era Grand Basin. Parasol recommended. 19 SCALE A SANDY RIDGE Lake Michigan’s epic dunes are living mountains— shaped by wind, stitched together by plant roots and subtly changed each time we walk upon them. Some 50 miles of trails crisscross diverse and fragile ecosystem. Look for Chicago from the Dune Succession Trail at West Beach. ST. LOUIS LOOK BACK— AND FORWARD 17 Indiana Dunes National Park’s For slaves in the antebellum South, the Ohio River marked the boundary of freedom. With its meditation labyrinth, Black Brigade Monument to volunteer soldiers, and zany all-ages toys, Smale Riverfront Park cleverly invites both play and reflection. Rock on riverfront porch-swing benches and take in the view. PORTAGE, IN Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore stretches for 35 achingly gorgeous miles; the highest dune drops 450 feet into the cerulean abyss of Lake Michigan. EMPIRE, MI CINCINNATI KICK BACK IN A TUBE 18 Philosophical question: If a summer passes without floating downriver in a big inflated donut tethered to your friends—and to a tube you’ve rented just to carry the cooler—have you really summered at all? 20 GO TANKING
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