At the foot of Chequamegon Bay, Ashland, Wis., lives in the shadow of the resort town of Bayfield and the Apostle Islands.
But it's a good destination in itself and a great base for exploring nearby waterfalls and hiking trails.
What to do: Go on the Mural Walk in downtown Ashland. Visit the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, just west of town. Hike to the top of St. Peter's Dome (view, pictured) and to Morgan Falls. Hike in Copper Falls State Park and see Copper Falls and Brownstone Falls.
Hike the North Country National Scenic Trail between Drummond and Mellen. Mountain bike on the easy trails of CAMBA's Drummond cluster.
Events to catch: Oct. 9, Fish Boil and Pasta Feed.
Oct. 10, WhistleStop Marathon and Blues & Brew Fest
Where to stay: The handsome Hotel Chequamegon (pronounced Shuh-WAH-muh-gun) on the bay. The AmericInn on the bay, which has a small indoor water park. Two B&Bs: Inn at Timber Cove and Second Wind Country Inn.
Where to eat: The Deepwater Grille and South Shore Brewery (make reservations on weekends). For savory soups and sandwiches, Black Cat Coffeehouse. For pastries, Ashland Baking Company.
Details: See City on the bay.