local secrets for our top log home locations
Click any county below to find out what to do when you’re there.
 
Door County, Wisconsin Brown County, Indiana
   
Shenandoah County, Virginia Calhoun County, South Carolina
   
Gillespie County, Texas Cochise County, Arizona
   
Grafton County, New Hampshire St. Lawrence County, New York
   
Bonner County, Idaho Humboldt County, California
   
   
Door County, Wisconsin     (Where is Door County?)
Fishing:
With over 300 miles of shoreline, multiple inland lakes and options for both open-water and ice fishing, Door County has established itself as one of the premier fishing areas of the Midwest. Navigate the waters in your own boat, or hitch a ride with an experienced charter captain in any of the peninsula’s fishing hot spots. Try Sturgeon Bay and Washington Island (two of the best small-mouth bass fisheries in America) or angle for brook trout and rainbow trout in Hein’s Creek or Hibbard’s Creek. If you’re unsure of where to begin, the county even provides a daily fishing report via the Door County Fishing Hotline (920-743-7046).
 
Wineries:
Tour a collection of local wineries to truly get a taste of what Door County has to offer. From tours to wine tasting, to taking a bottle (or two) home with you, the wineries of Door Peninsula provide award winning locally produced wines and behind-the-scenes access to how they’re made. The wine alone justifies the areas age-old descriptor of “A Kingdom So Delicious.” For a map of Door County wineries, click here.
 
Old-Fashioned Sundae Drives:
Break up the monotony of the daily grind by discovering Door County’s hidden secrets on an old-fashioned “sundae” drive. Navigate the county’s back roads, which wind past scenic vistas, alongside the shorelines of Lake Michigan, past the most photographed parks in the county and, of course, offer the option of stopping at local ice cream shops. For specific “sundae drive” ideas, click here.
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Brown County, Indiana     (Where is Brown County?)
“The Art Colony of the Midwest”:
The residents of Brown County are ushering in “100 years of Arts and Artists” with a centennial celebration that stretches from spring to fall. Art studio tours, theatrical performances and live bluegrass music are just a few of the celebration’s highlights. The county’s natural beauty and country charm has inspired artists for a century, starting with painter T.C. Steele in 1907 who began to establish Brown County as an artistic epicenter. The serene beauty of every season is continually captured by artists of every craft and is put on display in over 29 local galleries and 54 local studios where visitors are encouraged to come watch art being created. Learn new skills at ongoing local workshops or just peruse the few hundred quaint shops, which dot the countryside. Take advantage of the discounted lodging packages (dubbed “100 Hours of Fun” discounts) by local establishments honoring “100 years of Arts and Artists” by clicking here.
 
Bird watching:
With diverse topography and variations in seasonal climate, Brown County has experienced a surge in the popularity of bird watching—they even published a 26-page pamphlet entitled “The Birding Guide of Brown County, Indiana,” which you can view by clicking here. The pamphlet, created by “interpretive naturalists” at Brown County State Park, highlights 6 popular birding routes, detailed illustrations, and a guide to the various species of birds which inhabit Brown County. Click here to learn more.
 
Outdoors:
Indiana’s largest state park resides in Brown County. The 15,696 acre facility offers 20 miles of paved roads for scenic drives, 70 miles of bridle trails for horseback riding, a 6 mile bicycle trail and 18 miles of hiking trails, all which weave through the majestically forested scenery. Camping is a year-round activity in Brown County State Park and special accommodations are even afforded to those camping with their horses in the southern end of the park. For more information, click here.
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Shenandoah County, Virginia     (Where is Shenandoah County?)
Shenandoah County Music Festival:
Set in the off-the-beaten-path village of Orkney Springs, the Shenandoah County Music Festival has been providing entertainment, music and a glimpse of old-fashioned culture to droves of visitors for 44 years. Visitors are serenaded by a slew of performers—from folk to symphonic (click here for current schedule)—on an open-air pavilion next to the historic Orkney Springs Hotel (now known as the Shrine Mont Camp and Conference Center).
 
Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign Tour:
Retrace the footsteps made by Stonewall Jackson and his Confederate troops in their Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1862 on this “complete, comprehensive and chronological field and walking tour,” guided by two civil war historians. This full-scale (you’ll retrace every step) five-day expedition will highlight important locations, historic interest points, and 15 intact dwellings used as headquarters by Stonewall Jackson himself. The cost of the 5-day event covers lodging, meals, extensive information packages, and of course, the expert knowledge of these historians. For more information, click here.
 
Wine Country Trail:
Nestled between the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Wine Country Trail runs alongside the Shenandoah Rivers and stretches from Veramar Vineyard in the north, to Blue Ridge Vineyard on the southern end. Many of the vineyards offer wine tasting and facility tours, and festivals are scattered from spring to fall. To view a map of the Shenandoah Wine Country Trail, click here.
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Calhoun County, South Carolina     (Where is Calhoun County?)
Purple Martin Festival:
This festival, which celebrates natural beauty, community culture, and of course, the Purple Martins, has been going on in St. Matthews, South Carolina for 34 years. The festival was born from the need to rid the area of pernicious mosquitoes in 1969, when residents were either complaining about getting bitten, or complaining about the repellant-spraying trucks ruining their backyard barbeques. The solution: Build homes for Purple Martins—birds famous for devouring insects—and watch the mosquito population dwindle. And it did. To commemorate the arrival of the Purple Martins, the festival hosts a parade, live music, dancing, magic shows, pony rides, a petting zoo, and a variety of other fair fare in a ten-acre park dotted with ponds, lakes and botanical beauty. For more information, visit the community website here.
 
Congaree National Park:
The largest remainder of old-growth floodplain forest resides in Congaree National Park—a designated Wilderness Area, National Natural Landmark and International Biosphere Reserve. Visitors can walk a 2.4-mile boardwalk trail or tackle over 20 miles of backcountry hiking trails, which showcase national and state champion, record-sized trees. Free, Ranger-guided canoe and kayak trips allow visitors to tour the park via waterways, or find some of the most coveted fishing holes in the state. For more information, click here.
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Gillespie County, Texas     (Where is Gillespie County?)
Oktoberfest:
With such a large population of German-Americans it is no wonder the community of Fredericksburg hosts an annual Oktoberfest celebration. Promising “oompah at its best” the Oktoberfest of Fredicksburg features two stages and two tents with ongoing oompah music, competitive polka and waltz contests and showcases local and traditional arts & crafts. The German Bier Tent and Oktoberfest Vineyard area keeps adults satisfied, and certainly hydrated, while the Kinder Park does its best to cater to children. For more information, click here.
 
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area:
Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1970, this pink granite exfoliation dome rises 425 feet above ground and covers 640 acres of land as one of the largest batholiths in the United States. The site has welcomed human visitors for over 11,000 years, and rumors of it being “enchanted” began in the early 1700’s, stemming from Native American legends. Considered a “primitive hiking and camping area” with no modern amenities. Campers are encouraged not to rearrange the landscape and rock-climbers are banned from using pitons so that the rock faces are preserved for generations to come. Click here for more info.
 
119th annual Gillespie County Fair:
When it comes to county fairs, Gillespie County offers the self-proclaimed “Grand Daddy of them all.” In it’s 119th year of existence, it becomes hard to argue with that proclamation. Showcasing everything from livestock, antique farm equipment, pari-mutuel horse racing, simulcast racing, beauty contests, agricultural exhibits, live music and dancing to a carnival midway, this fair sums up just about everything the county stands for. To find out more, click here.
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Cochise County, Arizona     (Where is Cochise County?)
Tombstone:
Visit this relic of history dubbed and get a glimpse of the real, Wild West. This Registered Historic National Landmark recounts western history and hosted the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral, where daily reenactments immortalize the event. Trace the steps of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and visit some of their hangouts including the Bird Cage Theater (now a museum), the Tombstone Epitaph (where the infamous news of the gunfight at the OK Corral was first printed and is still reprinted daily) and the Crystal Palace Saloon. A retinue of historic monuments and western-themed locales, museums, restaurants and hotels inhabit the streets of this “Town Too Tough to Die.” For more information, click here.
 
Kartchner Caverns:
One visit to Kartchner Caverns and you’ll realize why it was kept secret for 14 years   after its discovery in 1974. The gigantic limestone cave harbors 13,000 feet of passageways and two football-field sized rooms. Since it’s opening as a state park in 1999, visitors have enjoyed unique tours of the vibrantly colored cave formations, still in pristine condition. Tours of the cavern’s impressive collection of rooms and formations are offered to visitors, who can also enjoy nearby hiking trails, picnic areas and hummingbird garden. For more information, click here.
 
16th Annual Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival:
Known as one of the bird watching capitals of the world, Cochise County plays host to the annual Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival. The festival promotes environmental education through lectures, workshops, field expeditions and exhibits. Famous birding spots in southeastern Arizona are explored where visitors can enjoy immense biodiversity of birds (trogon, raptors, five-stripe sparrows, and hundreds of rare and exotic bird species), butterflies, insects, mammals, reptiles and over 1,000 species of plants. A keynote speaker (this year’s is naturalist and author Scott Weidensaul) highlights the informational festival and various workshops and exhibits educate all participants on the science and beauty of nature. For event information, click here.
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Grafton County, New Hampshire     (Where is Grafton County?)
White Mountain National Forest:
With over 1,200 miles of hiking trails, 23 campgrounds, 14 picnic grounds, and 9 scenic drives, the White Mountain National Forest epitomizes the great outdoors. Giving home to over 184 species of birds (including falcons), black bears, as well as Endangered and Sensitive species (including the While Mountain butterfly, Canadian Lynx, and Indiana bat), the White Mountains and surrounding forest is a majestic tribute to upholding the purity of nature. Backcountry ski enthusiasts traverse the slopes of White Mountain, which melt into tributaries in the spring, providing spawning grounds for the Endangered Atlantic Salmon. For more information, click here.
 
Polar Caves Park:
Immense blocks of granite cracked and loosened over fifty thousand years ago from a glacial drift to form what is now known as Polar Caves, an impressive collection of caves and passageways. A winding boardwalk trail showcases the rocky terrain and highlights the Glacial Rock Garden – a collection of boulders deposited when the original glacier melted. For more information, click here.
 
Boogie N’Blues Festival:
Entering its 11th year, the White Mountain Boogie N’Blues Festival is the largest outdoor blues festival in New Hampshire. The natural amphitheater stage is nestled in the heart of White Mountain, on a 72-acre pasture in the Pemigewasset River Valley.  Food and craft vendors, a climbing wall, Saturday night fireworks and activities for the kids pair with award-winning blues artists to pull off this celebration of great music and beautiful views of the mountainous area. To check out this year’s lineup, click here.
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St. Lawrence County, New York     (Where is St. Lawrence County?)
Adirondacks State Park:
Larger than the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite combined (and larger than life for that matter) is the Adirondacks State Park. Spanning over 6 million acres, the Adirondacks was the first great preserved wilderness; inspiring photographers, artists, hikers, magazines and just about anyone who wandered into the vast expanse of forest glades, trails, mountain summits, waterfalls and rivers. Over 500,000 acres of old growth forest, 3,000 ponds and lakes, 2,000 miles of hiking trails, 1,500 miles of rivers, roughly 100 campgrounds and multiple four-star resorts all reside in Adirondacks State Park, begging travelers to come explore. Click here for more information.
 
Remington Art Museum:
This accredited museum showcases a collection of Frederic Remington’s most popular sculptures and oil paintings as well some of his personal possessions, studio equipment, and memorabilia. Rotating exhibits highlight watercolors, sketches and illustrations of the North Country and Canada. The museum is dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting Frederic Remington’s life work: his art. Interactive exhibits engage museum visitors and creatively educate visitors about Remington’s life and work. School tours, gallery talks, special exhibits and workshops fill the museum’s calendar, educating visitors and illuminating one man’s dedication to capturing the natural beauty around him for the world to see. For more information, click here.
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Bonner County, Idaho     (Where is Bonner County?)
Festival at Sandpoint:
For the past 25 years, the shores of Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho have played host to this internationally renowned, non-profit, summer concert series. The Festival aims to display a variety of musical styles—symphonic, jazz, blues, folk, world, and popular music—to promote cultural and ethnic diversity in the intimate setting of Sandpoint, Idaho. To find out more, click here.
 
Brewery Tour:
Not into wineries? Then the Laughing Dog Brewing Company tour may wet your whistle. Though the brewery is in its infancy—it opened its doors in 2005—their award winning beer is worth a stop on any trip into the Selkirk Mountains outside of Ponederay, Idaho.  Whether you watch the beer being brewed on a fifteen barrel PUB brewing system, take the brewery tour, sample the local ale or just stop by to meet Ben—the canine namesake of the company—you’re sure to enjoy your time there. For more information, including details on the Second Anniversary part on August 25th, click here.
 
Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge:
Twenty miles south of the Canadian border, in Idaho’s panhandle, sits this 2,774-acre expanse of wetlands, meadows, riparian forests and agricultural fields. Originally established in 1965 as a habitat and resting area for migrating waterfowl, this wildlife refuge has grown into an area with a wide variety of habitat types. Coniferous and riparian forests coat the lush foothills of the Selkirk Mountains giving way to the open-water ponds, seasonal cattail-bulrush marshes, tree-lined ponds and roaring creeks of the wetlands below. Over 230 bird species and 45 mammals have been spotted in the refuge, which can be toured by designated foot trails and auto tour roads. For more information, click here.
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Humboldt County, California     (Where is Humboldt County?)
Humboldt Redwood State Park:
Encapsulating almost 53,000 acres—32% of which are untouched old growth coast redwoods—the Humboldt Redwood State Park is the third largest California State Park and guards an ecosystem unique to any other place on the planet. Over 250 family campsites, environmental camps, group and trail camps and horse camps provide temporary homes for those exploring the park. Hikers, bikers and horse riders have over 100 miles of trail to choose from, and the South Fork Eel River, which provides fishing, boating and swimming options, easily satiates water enthusiasts. Click here for more info.
 
Avenue of the Giants:
Cruise this 31-mile route to take a glimpse into Humboldt County’s history while absorbing the famously towering redwood trees. Drive scenic roads weaving through small California towns once reliant on the timber industry, which are now more dependent on tourism. The avenue careens its way through this slice of Northern California past former mill towns and sustenance farming hamlets while providing up-close-and-personal views of popular tourist attractions. For instance, “The Eternal Tree House”—a 20-foot room in a living redwood, or “The Shrine Drive-Thru Tree”—a tree wide enough for cars to drive through. To find out more about these and other attractions, click here.
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