Holiday Getaways


Everyone loves gifts, but it’s the places we go and the events we take part in that create the most lasting holiday memories. Minnesota and Wisconsin are filled with fun activities and getaways. This section provides a snapshot of some favorites.

Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center

Alexandria, MN

Located just two hours from the Twin Cities on the shores of Lake Darling, Arrowwood Resort offers year-round fun for the whole family. The Big Splash Waterpark features three exhilarating four-story slides, a Lazy River for floating and relaxing, a tropical whirlpool spa, a basketball shootout, and a children’s play fort with water blasters.

Renew your body and spirit at the Darling Reflections Spa. Special packages let you mix and match spa offerings that include massages, aromatherapy, pedicures and manicures, facials and more.

Elegant, one-bedroom suites offer lakefront views with charming country décor and luxurious amenities, including fireplaces, double whirlpool spas and kitchenettes. For groups or families, Arrowwood offers three- and four-bedroom townhomes. For more information, visit or call 866-386-5263.

Bayfield, Wisconsin

There isn’t a better place than Bayfield during the holidays. The entire family can make lasting holiday memories in this quaint fishing town on the shores of Lake Superior. Seasonal recreation includes skiing, snowmobiling, ice cave adventures, ice fishing and more.

The Hometown Holiday Shopping Season begins Nov. 23 and runs through Dec. 31. The wide assortment of galleries, boutiques and other unique stores all but guarantees there is something in Bayfield for everyone on your gift list!

The season officially begins with the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24. After the ceremony, warm up in the Lakeside Pavilion and enjoy holiday treats while listening to Christmas carols performed by the Rittenhouse Inn Singers.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will catch a ride to Bayfield on the Madeline Island Ferry from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. Upon their arrival, kids will get an opportunity to meet Santa and have a picture taken in the Lakeside Pavilion. Each child also will receive a goody bag from Mrs. Claus and lunch, compliments of the Bayfield Chamber.

You’ll find an assortment of handcrafted items at the Holiday Spirit Arts & Crafts Show, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 8 at the Bayfield Inn. The Holiday Spirit Gallery Tour also will take place on Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 800-447-4094.

Canoe Bay

Chetek, WI

Designed as a true retreat from the stresses of contemporary living, Canoe Bay is a 280-acre country estate in northwestern Wisconsin in an unspoiled, peaceful and wonderfully secluded area. This adults-only resort is set on three private lakes with access to plenty of year-round outdoor activities.

Lodging options include elegant guest rooms at The Lodge and luxurious lakeside cottages with private entrances, decks, and tremendous views. Canoe Bay’s most stunning guest accommodation is Edgewood, a 2,000 square-foot escape with vaulted ceilings and sweeping views of the private nature reserve and glacially carved lake.

Many guests have said they could spend the entire day in The Lodge’s Library, and they’re welcome to do so. A fully-equipped fitness room allows guests to get a workout in, and massage treatments by appointment will help them relax. For more information, visit or call 800-568-1995, Ext. 4.

Photo Courtesy of Lutsen Resort

Cove Point Lodge

Beaver Bay, MN

The picturesque Cove Point Lodge is nestled next to Lake Superior on the North Shore. The tranquil setting overlooks a unique natural cove with a spectacular ledge rock point. All 45 rooms at this Scandinavian-style lodge face Lake Superior.

The lodge itself is surrounded by 150 acres of woods, rocks, and sweeping views of the lake. It offers a pool, hot tub and sauna, along with an intimate dining room and a cozy great hall fireplace where you can curl up with a good book or visit with friends.

If curling up and reading isn’t your style, there’s easy access to downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobile trails, dogsledding and plenty of shopping options so you can bring home more than just great memories. You can give someone else the Cove Point Lodge experience with gift certificates. For more information, visit or call 800-598-3221.


East Bay Suites

Grand Marais, MN

Whether you’re a skier, snowmobiler or simply need a quiet getaway on the North Shore, East Bay Suites is the perfect place to call home in this winter wonderland.

East Bay Suites offers great deals for a winter respite for that special someone on your list. Plan a visit now for a romantic getaway for two. Or, pack the kids and plan an extended holiday weekend or a full week over spring break.

When you’re ready to come in from the invigorating outdoors, enjoy a fully furnished modern lakeside condominium with a full kitchen, fireplace, flat-panel television and all the cozy comforts of home. And all just steps from Lake Superior and your favorite shops and restaurants in the quaint harbor village of Grand Marais! A concierge can assist with complimentary shuttle services to Lutsen Mountain, rentals, or scheduling massages. The condos are dog-friendly, too! Come enjoy a spectacular view, Superior experience. Visit or call 800-414-2807.

Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota

Just 90 minutes north of the Mall of America and right next door to Grand Casino Mille Lacs, you can find a spot to do whatever makes you happy around this 132,000-acre lake. Snowmobiling, ice fishing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are part of the daily routine in this whitewashed paradise.

“Frostbite Flats†is created every winter when thousands of dedicated anglers place their temporary fish houses — many complete with cook stoves, bunk beds and even toilets — on the ice-covered lake. Local resort owners will do all of the work so all you need to do is grab your coat and make your way up.

Lake Mille Lacs is a haven for winter sports fanatics as well as a treasure to those who prefer shopping to snowmobile or browsing to boating. The Mille Lacs area features numerous shops where you can find unique gifts and tasty treats you may find nowhere else. For more information, visit or call 888-350-2692.

Photo by Brian Hansel

Thunder Bay Tourism

Thunder Bay, Canada

Looking for a Superior winter vacation getaway? Make Thunder Bay your destination! Interested in sports such as skiing, snowmobiling, ice-rock climbing and dog-sledding? Thunder Bay has them all, and more! Perhaps your taste runs to indoor activities? Visit the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, attend Broadway productions and symphony concerts at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. A stop at Fort William Historical Park — the world’s largest reconstructed fur trading post — is a must!

Shoppers will find everything from “Hand-Made in Thunder Bay†treasures and unique Canadian keepsakes to outlet stores and malls. Neighborhood pubs and fine dining bistros make Thunder Bay the gourmet Mecca of the north!

Thunder Bay is just 90 minutes north of Grand Marais — a spectacular drive along Lake Superior’s rugged north shore. Call today for your Free Vacation Package or visit us online at 800-MOST-FUN (667-8386).

Photo by kurt

City of Lakes Loppet

Minneapolis, MN

Thousands of cross-country skiers will line up at Theodore Wirth Park on the morning of Feb. 3 and whoosh through woods and across urban parkways in the annual City of Lakes Loppet. Skiers of all ages and abilities will enjoy this beautiful urban course. Go for your best time, or simply enjoy this unique experience. Loppet events include: Saturday, Feb. 2: American Family Skijoring Loppet (dogs pulling skiers); Rossignol Junior Loppet (race for middle school age kids); Sons of Norway Minne-Loppet (free event for little kids); Toko/Finn Sisu Sprints (short, heart-pounding sprint races); Caribou Coffee Luminary Loppet (non-competitive ski by candlelight with cocoa stations along the way). Sunday, Feb. 3: Hoigaard’s Classic 25K; REI 12K Tour; Loppet Freestyle. All events finish in Uptown, Minneapolis. For more information visit Part of the Minnesota Skinnyski Series (

U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Xcel Energy Center

St. Paul, MN

The capital city is proud to welcome the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships to St. Paul Jan. 20-27. Single session tickets are available now, as are a limited number of Weekend Packages. The package includes one ticket to the pairs free skate, free dance and ladies free skate on Jan. 26 and men’s free skate on Jan. 27. You’ll enjoy the same great seat for all four competitions and see figure skating history in the making! For more information, visit