Edit ModuleShow Tags

Family Vacation at Bluefin Bay


Every August since 2007, my parents, my siblings, and our families go on a three-day getaway somewhere within a few-hours drive of the metro. We have stayed at Superior Shores in Two Harbors, Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior, Crooked Willow Lodge in Alexandria, and Fillenwarth Beach Resort on West Lake Okoboji, Iowa. This year the winner was a three-bedroom townhome, complete with amazing lakeviews, at Bluefin Bay in the Lutsen/Tofte area.

I will never—as long as I live—get tired of the North Shore. It’s such a beautiful place. Not only is the scenery spectacular, but there are so many things to do. There were 10 people in our group, ranging in age from one to 61, and not once did I hear the complaint “I’m bored.” We hiked along the Superior Hiking Trail, shared fantastic pizza at the Coho Café (I highly recommend the margherita fresca), visited the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum, strolled along the Tofte Lakewalk, played Quelf (one of the craziest board games I have every played), and listened to a talented singer/guitarist sing Gordon Lightfoot songs while roasting s’mores over a campfire on the beach. Nothing like listening to "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" while sitting just feet from Lake Superior. I've never really listened to the words of that song and wow. What an emotional tribute in response to a terrible tragedy—a reminder of the incredible power of the “big lake.”

My four-year-old, Adam, was content throwing rocks in the lake (I’m surprised he didn’t throw out his arm), my one-year-old Ben would’ve been happy to swing, swing, swing at the playground, and I was excited to try a free yoga class one morning while my husband Aaron took advantage of the free bike rental—with attached Burley carrier for the kids—and pedaled along the paved Gitchi-Gami State Trail. No one in our group felt deprived of their favorite vacation activities. My brother and sister-in-law channeled their inner Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams on the on-site tennis court (and challenged Aaron and I to a hilariously bad game of doubles), my dad and brother were psyched to go on a Lake Superior fishing trip through Tofte Charters—my dad even caught a 10-pound lake trout, which we grilled for dinner that night—my 18-year-old niece was all about the heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and my mom was just happy to spend so much quality time with the family (while enjoying the occasional glass of wine from our deck overlooking Lake Superior).   

I can’t say the trip was relaxing for me (other than the yoga), since chasing a very, very active toddler is exhausting (insert a few more “VERYs” for the full effect), but it was so nice to get away for a few days, enjoy the beauty and fresh air of the North Shore, and create a special family memory that will stay with me until I’m old and grey. Without a doubt, vacationing at Bluefin was one of the highlights of my summer. And based on the sheer number of activities that are available year-round, I can imagine it is the highlight of those vacationing there in the  fall, winter, and spring as well. I can’t wait to go back. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: November

Sue Z.'s ideas for getting charitable this month include baking with North Minneapolis teens and the annual Taste of the NFL

Finding Neverland Brings the Story of Peter Pan to Life

There was never a dull moment during the performance of Finding Neverland, the story of how Peter Pan came to be.

Drag Queens Fill First Ave for Puerto Rico

Flip Phone and drag queen Phi Phi O'Hara team up for a First Avenue show in Minneapolis with all proceeds benefiting victims of Hurricane Maria

Photos from Nigeria: A Series with a Cause by a MN Resident

MN photographer Bre McGee's series "Stolen Lives: The Lost Futures of Nigeria's Trafficked Youth" raises money for victims of child labor and sex trafficking

Calhoun, Mud Lake, and Pig’s Eye: A Brief History of Renaming Minnesota Places

Lake Calhoun is on its way to becoming Bde Maka Ska, but it's only the latest in the history of Minnesota place renamings, which includes N-word lakes, Pig's Eye, and a middle school almost named after Prince

Staging a Magazine: A Storytelling Pop-Up in St. Paul

St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater hosts a "live magazine"—where journalists become performers

What to Do on Halloween around the Twin Cities

Celebrate scariness over the weekend—or on Tuesday,, October 31—with haunted tours, a First Ave monster mash, and the last Zoo Boo

Pumpkin Nights: 3,000 Artful Jack-o'-lanterns

In this photo essay, check out how the MN State Fairgrounds have transformed into a Halloween celebration—and go for yourself this weekend

The Weird Beauty of Scream Town

How the decade-old Minnesota scare fest, in the middle of a Chaska cornfield, has combined today’s "Insidious"-conditioned jump-scare obsession with the dreamlike, strangely touching allure of old-world Disneyland

Hit the Road for a Fall Weekend in Alexandria, Minnesota

When fall comes around in Alexandria, Minnesota, the leaves aren’t the only things that are colorful. Fall festivals and events brighten up the first chilly months and give life to a city that lives on the lake during summer.

Lantern Light Festival Celebrates Chinese Culture at Canterbury Park

Shakopee is the temporary home of dazzling lanterns illuminated in lights, Chinese performances, and a unique family-friendly experience.

Get Ready for a Sweat Fest

ALTR’s fitness classes in Minneapolis' North Loop are a high-octane thrill ride with a one-way ticket to shredded

Photographing the City on Your Lunch Break

Local photographer Wayne Moran leads afternoon tours through picture-perfect Minneapolis

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: October

Help out mothers and children dealing with homelessness, fight against cancer, and contribute to a north Minneapolis bakery with the Cookie Cart.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags