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Ox-Bow
Paddle the lagoon during your creative retreat at Ox-Bow.

The romance of camping in a tent fades somewhere around mosquito bite number 27. And as fab as “glamping” sounds, this is the Midwest. We don’t do butler service in the woods.

Here are three in-between places we feel comfortable roughing it:



Go with Family Camp Tosebo on Portage Lake, Michigan, was once a summer camp for boys, and now the charming original buildings are rented out by the week. A basketball court, miniature golf and a private beach keep campers entertained; retreat to a nearby winery for a grown-up afternoon. 7228 Miller Rd., Manistee, MI; 616-644-8239 or tosebo.com

Go with Friends Chicago couple David Hernandez and Tereasa Surratt are behind the revival of Wandawega Lake Resort in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where they entertain city friends with art- and music-themed weekends. Round up your comrades and rent part (or all) of the campground through airbnb.com. Lakeview Ave., Elkhorn, WI; wandawega.com



Go It Alone Hone your skills in glassblowing, papermaking, ceramics and more at the serene Ox-Bow creative retreat. Beginners and seasoned artists can sign up for courses like the Drawing Marathon (July 21-27)--you’ll sketch in the morning, canoe on the lagoon in the afternoon and hang out in the dining hall by night. Saugatuck, MI; 800-318-3019 or ox-bow.org

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