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The ABCs of Summer Fun

An A to Z list of the region’s hottest summer attractions and destinations

The ABCs of Summer Fun

(page 1 of 4)


You’ve waited all year for the summer season, and finally (finally!) the signs of summer are around us: the crack of bats, the ice cream truck, birds singing, kids playing outside, lemonade on the patio, bare feet, flowers blooming, and endless days filled with warm sunshine. If you’re looking to experience the best of the region this summer, you’ll find it here in this alphabetical guide.


Art Classes/ Festivals >
The oldest art colony in Minnesota, the Grand Marais Art Colony celebrates a 60th anniversary this year, proving that it’s not only a great place to take art classes, but a mainstay in the community. The art colony is the generous sponsor of the Grand Marais Arts Festival July 14-15 on the harbor in downtown Grand Marais. During this exciting weekend, there will be art, art, and more art, fiber guild demonstrations, an old-fashioned pie social, a silent book auction, musical performances, and special activities for kids. www.grandmaraisartcolony.org


Beach Bonfires >
The lively, upbeat, fun summer song “Walking on Sunshine” could easily describe Breezy Point Resort in the summer months. Adults return for the comfortable amenities, 20-foot pontoons, reasonably priced championship golf, great food, live bands, and outdoor Elvis shows. Kids love swimming in Pelican Lake, the two large indoor pool areas, bocce ball on the lawn, and evening bonfires on the beach. Gather a group together and stay in the new four-bedroom reunion cabin (complete with full kitchen, pool table, and large deck). www.breezypointresort.com


Comedy Cruises >
The next time you plan an evening out, do something different than the ordinary dinner-and-movie combo and take your date on an Afton-Hudson Cruise Line comedy dinner cruise, running May 25 through October 12. Enjoy prime rib and chicken marsala, pristine St. Croix River scenery, and the comedy of such hilarious headliners as Scott Hansen and Dave Mordahl of “Last Comic Standing” (see the website for a full list of performing comedians). After the cruise, stay overnight at the charming Historic Afton House Inn. www.aftonhouseinn.com


Day Trips >
Have a day or two to play and don’t know where to go? If you’re planning on staying within state borders, head to Minneapolis North, encompassing the 11-city area of Anoka, Arden Hills, Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Ham Lake, Maple Grove, Mounds View, and Shoreview. From great restaurants to wonderful shopping; diverse sports facilities to beautiful parks; any time spent in the Minneapolis North area is time well spent. www.visitminneapolisnorth.com

When the temperatures soar, get in your car and head across the St. Croix River for a fun day or weekend in Hudson, Wisconsin. Tour the Octagon House, stroll downtown for one-of-a-kind boutiques, restaurants, and Mom-and-Pop shops, visit the always fun Wine Bar, hang out in Willow River State Park (with campsites, hiking trails, a waterfall, and two lakes), see a show at the Phipps Center for the Arts, or pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it from a sunny spot in Lakefront Park, right on the St. Croix River. A classic song that sums up Hudson’s carefree, happy days of summer could be “Saturday in the Park” by Chicago. “Saturday in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July, people dancing, people laughing, a man selling ice cream, singing Italian songs … I’ve been waiting such a long time for Saturday.” www.hudsonwi.org 


Escape to Lake Country  >
Kick off your shoes and sink your toes into a mile of sugar sand beach as you celebrate the arrival of summer in the Detroit Lakes area. In addition to golfing on nine area courses, fishing in over 400 lakes, tubing down the Otter Tail River, mini golfing, biking, shopping, and visiting amusement parks, downtown Detroit Lakes is transformed into a summer jamboree during the Street Faire June 2-3 and Arts and Crafts in the Park July 29. One of the area’s largest celebrations, the Northwest Water Carnival July 7-15, offers volleyball, water skiing, mountain biking, and sailing tournaments, a pageant, water fights, a parade, and a chili cook-off. Other fun events in the area include the White Earth Pow Wow June 8-10, Becker County Fair July 25-28, Pine Point Pow Wow August 11-12, and annual WE Fest country music festival August 2-4. www.visitdetroitlakes.com

While visiting Detroit Lakes, stay at The Lodge on Lake Detroit, a lakefront lifestyle hotel located less than two miles from downtown Detroit Lakes. The focus is on positive energy, pampering, and experiencing the beauty and charm of the Detroit Lakes area. Each of the large, smoke-free rooms and suites face the lake and sunset. The sunset is also the focus during sunset serenades, when guests are encouraged to relax in the lakefront fireside lobby—with drinks and appetizers if they so choose—as soft piano music fills the room. Other unique lodge features include a full-service spa, indoor pool and hot tub, fitness area, sandy beach, dock, and boat slips. www.thelodgeonlakedetroit.com


Fish, Boat, Camp  >
During the sun-soaked days of summer, get away to the Mille Lacs area for some quality fishing, camping, boating, picnicking, biking, and hiking.  This is one of the largest lakes in central Minnesota and the fish are always biting—especially the walleye. Other points of interest include a State Indian Museum off U.S. 169 and Wealthwood State Forest on the northern shoreline. www.millelacs.com

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