GRAND HAVEN, MICHIGAN
The living is easy in Grand Haven, on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Picture sandy beaches, mild waves, colorful sailboats on the horizon, and strolls along the 2 1/2-mile boardwalk. Off the shore, delight your children with a trolley ride (616-842-3200). Head back to the harbor for the sunset spectacle of the world's largest musical fountain. Oh, and don't forget the blueberries. They're a star attraction -- there's even a shop dedicated to them in nearby South Haven (877-654-2400). "I came to Grand Haven as a child, and I still remember the blueberry pies brimming with fruit," says Maura Christopher, senior editor.
All the city's a stage in Branson. On any given day, this high-energy Ozark resort town offers scores of toe-tapping shows for families -- from country music to variety acts. Branson also has lots of other kid-friendly attractions, including a water park and a pirate cruise. And Silver Dollar City, a 61-acre theme park (800-475-9370, www.silverdollarcity.com), is a "don't miss," says Heather Gowen, senior news editor. "Besides the great rides, we really loved the craft demonstrations -- and the barbecues are the best." Just southwest of Branson, overlooking scenic Table Rock Lake, is the Ozark Mountain Resort (866-804-8444, www.omrcondo.com), great for fishing, swimming, and carefree fun.