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Complete Winter Traveler

Don't just survive this winter, thrive this winter. Leave the comfort of your igloo and explore, explore, explore.

Complete Winter Traveler

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ROMANTIC GETAWAY

Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior • www.bluefinbay.com
Surfside on Lake Superior • www.surfsideonsuperior.com
Temperance Landing • www.temperancelanding.com
 

If romance and relaxation is on the agenda this winter, no one does it better than the trifecta of Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts—whether you’re listening to the waves lap against the shoreline at Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior; relaxing at the new coastal contemporary waterfront retreat Surfside on Lake Superior (complete with the North Shore’s only destination spa, Waves of Superior), or unwinding in the log home luxury of Temperance Landing. While all three properties are phenomenal, Bluefin Bay has been ranked one of the most romantic resorts in the state, with amazing up-close views of Lake Superior, in-suite fireplaces, whirlpool baths, award-winning restaurants, and a signature outdoor heated hot tub overlooking the lake. “We’ve seen more marriage proposals, honeymoons, mini-moons, and anniversary celebrations over the years than perhaps any other resort,” says Lori Schaefer, marketing director. Early winter travelers can take advantage of the Gales of November and December Special, where guests can stay at any of the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts for three nights and receive one night free (Oct. 24-Dec. 25, 2011).   
 

APOSTLE ISLANDS SLED DOG RACE

Bayfield, Wis. • www.bayfield.org
 

“The best thing about a sled dog race is that you can feel the excitement in the air!” states John Thiel of Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing. “The dogs love it, the mushers love it, the volunteers love it, and all that energy ignites the crowd.” If you want to experience a unique sporting event/weekend celebration and witness first-hand the strong bond between musher and sled dog, visit Bayfield, Wis. during the Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race Feb. 3-5, 2012. The weekend kicks off with the “Meet the Mushers” dinner (open to the public) Friday in the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion, followed by races on Saturday morning (there are two main races: an eight dog, 80-mile race and a six dog, 60-mile race completed over two days), the Mushers’ Mixer at the Bayfield Inn on Saturday evening, and races on Sunday morning, with the awards ceremony immediately following. Multiple spectator locations along the race course include amenities such as warming tents, concessions, and bonfires.
 

ICE FISHING

Mille Lacs • www.millelacs.com 
 

Every weekend there’s a party somewhere on Mille Lacs Lake. That’s because, every winter, there are 139,000 acres of frozen water (typically frozen over by mid-December). That means 139,000 acres for car races on ice, snowmobile races on ice, windboards on ice, and an ice fishing contest just about every weekend. There are up to 5,500 ice fishing shacks on the lake any given winter. If you don’t own a fish house, you can rent one; if you don’t know the hotspots, you can hire a guide. If ice fishing isn’t your thing, the Mille Lacs area is also laced with cross-country and snowmobile trails, offering miles of uninterrupted travel.
 

HOLIDAY PARADE

www.holidazzle.com
 

Bundle up the kids, warm up the apple cider, and head over to downtown Minneapolis for the Target Holidazzle Parade, Thursdays through Sundays from Nov. 25 to Dec.18, 2011. Watch as the brightly-lit storybook characters and fairy-tale floats light up the night from a street-side spot or escape the cold and watch from the toasty warmth of the Holidazzle Hot Seats (Hot Seat tickets are $9 each). Before or after the parade, shop, dine and explore all that Minneapolis has to offer. Shop along Nicollet Avenue, taste the cultural diversity of fine Twin Cities restaurants—Italian, German, Asian, African, Scandinavian, traditional American (and more), or discover downtown’s famed Warehouse District, located near the Target Center, where you can visit art galleries, antique shops, and nightclubs. Get into the giving spirit of the season by bringing a food or cash donation to the Emergency Foodshelf Network, either before the parade (volunteers will collect items) or during the parade, when the Circus Train chugs down the street.  The parade starts at 6:30 p.m., traveling down Nicollet Mall from from 12th Street to 4th Street.
 

SNOWMOBILING

Bemidji Area • www.visitbemidji.com
 

A whopping 14,000 miles of snowmobile trails branch off in every direction in Bemidji, as the crossroads city for two of the major Minnesota Interconnecting Trail System routes, MITS-71 and MITS-2. Riders are guaranteed connections to virtually any place in the state because the MITS trail links up with hundreds of spur trails.  Groomed and well-marked, the trails lead riders past amazing scenery and through quaint towns. A challenging ride might include dashing near frozen lakes, along the Continental Divide, over bogs, beside rushing streams, up rolling hills, and through forests draped in snow. A $16 snowmobile state trail sticker is required for all persons operating a snowmobile on state or grant-in-aid trails.
 

SMALL TOWN CHARM

Owatonna • www.visitowatonna.org
 

Get into the holiday spirit by visiting Owatonna Dec. 1-4, 2011 for the Hometown Holiday Weekend, starting with the Hometown Holiday Lighted Parade Dec. 1 from 5-6 p.m., followed by Santa in the Bandshell from 6-7 p.m. (the Great Bearded One will be in town from the North Pole to flip the switch for the synchronized twinkle lights and music show). On Dec. 2, sample cookies and cider from 1-3 p.m. at the newly renovated and reopened Cottage 11 of the Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children (a museum that was once the only state-run orphanage in Minnesota), and from 5-7 p.m. at the Village of Yesteryear, take part in horse-drawn sleigh rides, pictures with Santa and Mrs.Claus, Christmas caroling, and cookie-decorating. On Dec. 3, indulge in a pancake breakfast and pose for pictures with Santa before heading out for a day of touring, eating, and shopping. Save time to check out Cabela’s, the largest fishing, hunting and outdoor gear store in the Midwest. Owatonna is about an hour south of the metro area.
 

INDOOR WATERPARK

Arrowwood Resort • www.arrowwoodresort.com
 

Right now you’re probably not feeling housebound, but by January you might feel like you’ve had it up to here with the cold and snow. Take a break from the outdoors at Arrowood Resort, located two hours northwest of Minneapolis in Alexandria. The 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark features three exhilarating four-story slides, a “Lazy River” ride, a tropical whirlpool spa, and plenty of excitement for the little ones. The fun continues with an indoor pool, whirlpool, fitness center, spa facility, on-site restaurants and lounge, and a huge indoor tennis facility (open year-round).
 


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