Roughing It, Gently

Yes, there is a summer vacation for the disorganized and broke. Most of this summer's hostel visitors have come and gone already, so August is a great month to walk in (though a family who wants a private room should call ahead). More than 115 hostels dot the U.S., according to Hostelling International hiayh.org) Prices vary by season but are generally less than $20 a night for adults and $10 for children. While not luxe, hostels are not just for backpackers, as these resorts demonstrate. --By Desa Philadelphia

LAKE ITASCA, MINN.

--The Mississippi Headwaters hostel, built entirely of logs,...

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