MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This week, we’re checking out one of the hotspots of Minnesota cabin country.

Frank Vascellaro and Chris Shaffer headed about three hours north of the Twin Cities to Hackensack.

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The guys visited Stony Lake Friday, which is just over 550 acres of clear water. It’s a very popular lake for homes and cabins. You can also catch a lot of different fish — from bass, to pike, to walleye and perch.

And once you’re off the lake, head to downtown Hackensack for some ice cream at Big Dipper. They have specialty sundaes, shakes and malts, as well as burgers, salads and sandwiches. A lot of our viewers urged Frank and Chris to stop by — and they were not disappointed.

Some of the best parts of trips like this are learning about the things that make these lake towns so unique. In Hackensack, the Northwoods Art and Book Festival is one of those things. It features more than 60 artists and 35 authors. Becky and Bob Seeman are two of those artists.

“We see ourselves as messengers of nature, so it’s really love, respect, protect,” Becky said. “And we make art in the woods, and that’s our name ‘Artwoods.'”

Besides meeting up with some cool local artists, you can also meet local authors like Candace Simar.

“In the last 20 years, I’ve written six historical novels, all set in Minnesota,” Simar said. “I spend a lot of time in isolation writing these stories, and it’s great to connect with readers who enjoy them.”

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And if art or books aren’t your thing, don’t worry — there’s plenty of other fun to be had as well.

“We’ve got beer, wine, live music. We have a kids tent, there will be face painting,” said Lyn VanAllen, artist coordinator for the Northwoods Arts Council. “It’s just a lovely, magical day.”

This is the 24th year for the Northwoods Art and Book Festival. You’ll find them right off Lake Street outside the UCC Church in town. This is just one of many festivals held in Hackensack each year.

There is no question the lakes in Hackensack is what makes this place unique, but they’ve got some great local places to eat as well.

Chris and Frank stopped into Udom’s Thai Restaurant on Thursday, a place our friend Mark Rosen told us we couldn’t miss.

That’s isn’t the only unique place they visited. They couldn’t leave town without stopping at Paws + Claws Rescue & Resort. It’s one of the only places in the area for people to board their animals or adopt a new one.

Summer is the season to enjoy the lake life in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, but time spent in cabin country isn’t all just lounging around. In Hackensack, there’s plenty to eat, and plenty of ways to compete.

Jeff and Lori Burka have owned Woman Lake Lodge since 1992, but it first opened in 1923. They found a way to keep people coming by: delicious and colorful donuts, made fresh daily. But “donut” procrastinate — they go fast, so get to the lodge early for these tasty treats.

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After chowing down, Frank and Chris thought it was time to get a workout in. Luckily, Woman Lake Lodge had some Hydro Bikes on hand. They also have a giant version of Scrabble, which they call “Patio Scrabble.” Of course, the fellas couldn’t pass up a chance to play!