Midwest Vacation Guide

Whether you want to reconnect with your sweetie or find the perfect spot for the whole family, the Midwest Vacation Guide is an invaluable resource for planning the perfect getaway.

 

FAMILY BONDING

Breezy Point Resort
Breezy Point, MN
800-432-3777
www.breezypointresort.com

In the heart of Minnesota’s vacationland — the Brainerd Lakes Area -— Breezy Point Resort offers something for everyone in every age group. A wide variety of lodging styles set the perfect stage for a fun family reunion or getaway. The sugar sand beach and crystal clear waters of Big Pelican Lake combined with a wide assortment of water sports, create nature’s own outdoor waterpark environment. Golf courses challenge the beginner and novice alike, creating tales almost as fabled as those from the fishing boat. Bike, hike or stroll the scenic Paul Bunyan Trail and experience nature up close.

Caribou Highlands Lodge

Lutsen, MN
800-642-6036
www.caribouhighlands.com

From Lutsen Mountains to Lake Superior, families will make memories and “stay where they play” at Caribou Highlands Lodge. Family bonding abounds whether it’s hiking along the Superior Hiking Trail, mountain biking through backwoods trails or along the summer slopes of Lutsen Mountains, going on canoe adventures along the Poplar River, or taking in spectacular views of the area. With so many activities in Caribou Highland’s backyard, and resort amenities including pools, playgrounds, game rooms and gift shops, families won’t want to leave.

Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau
Hastings, MN
651-437-6775
www.hastingsmn.org
Historic Hastings invites you to browse antique and specialty shops. In July, thousands of people attend Rivertown Days, a community-wide festival, which features a parade, music fest, arts and crafts fair, flea market, carnival and much more. Fans of the great outdoors will appreciate Carpenter Nature Center, Spring Lake Park Reserve and nearby Afton State Park with fantastic river views and trails. Whether plunging down the waterslides at the aquatic center, picnicking near Vermillion Falls, golfing, biking or bird watching, you and/or your family will enjoy Hasting’s charm.

Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort
Brainerd, MN
800-562-7061
www.kavanaughs.com

Boat, fish, swim or soak up the summer sun on beautiful Sylvan Lake. Golf on any of the 18 world-class courses located on the Brainerd Golf Trail. Over 300 family-friendly holes are found within a 45-minute drive or less from Kavanaugh’s. Find more fun times among the new indoor pool and recreation complex. Start a friendly game of basketball on Kavanaugh’s full-sized court or play a game of tennis. Grab your camera and hike or bike near Kavanaugh’s Resort grounds, or explore trails in adjacent Pillsbury State Forest.

Lakewoods Resort
Cable, WI
715-794-2561
www.lakewoodsresort.com

Lakewoods Resort and Convention Center offers the finest accommodations and amenities to those visiting Northwest Wisconsin. Located in the 850,000 acres of Chequamegon National Forest and on the shores of 3,200 acre Lake Namakagon, Lakewoods is surrounded by the northwoods. Lakeside Restaurant (open breakfast, lunch and dinner) and Buck’s Bar and Grill along with the banquet rooms, outdoor patio, and expansive grounds are great for groups of 3 to 300. Try the 18-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, hot tub, game rooms, tennis, hiking/biking trails and Marina with boat rentals. Become one with nature at Lakewoods.

Lutsen Lodging Company

Lutsen, MN
800-686-4669
www.lutsenlodgingcompany.com

The Lutsen Lodging Company presents a thoughtful collection of lodging choices for your next North Shore vacation. From inn rooms to private homes, mountainside or on the shore, just off the fairway or off the beaten path, these lodging choices are located among the area’s finest wilderness and recreational settings. And if you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own business in the Lutsen-Tofte-Grand Marais area, contact the Lutsen Real Estate Group, which is working with several different businesses ranging from lodging/resort properties to food and beverage and general retail operations.

Lutsen Resort
Lutsen, MN
800-258-8736
www.lutsenresort.com

Lutsen Resort, hidden away along Lake Superior, has a romantic tradition reaching back to 1885 when the site was first settled. Casting a spell over couples and families alike, this romantic property combines traditional northwoods adventure with contemporary refinement. The historic Scandinavian lodge with its fire lit lobby, lakeside casual fine-dining room and pub is a classic. Resort amenities include swimming pools, whirlpools, saunas, massage, golf, shuffleboard, gardens, walking trails and even a covered bridge. Handcrafted log cabins, luxury condos and townhomes provide a great variety of lakeside lodging options.

Mall of America

Bloomington, MN
800-490-4200
www.mallofamerica.com

Mall of America® welcomes more than 35 million visitors a year from across the country and around the world to enjoy over 520 retail and specialty stores including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s. Experience unique dining at over 50 restaurants and enjoy some of the country’s leading attractions such as the nation’s largest indoor family amusement park with 30 remarkable rides and adventures featuring a spinning roller coaster, Timberland Twister. Other attractions include Underwater Adventures® Aquarium, LEGO®, NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway, A.C.E.S. Flight Simulator and Dinosaur Walk Museum. In addition, there is no sales tax on clothing!

Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber
Park Rapids, MN
800-247-0054
www.parkrapids.com

The Park Rapids Lakes Area, Loon Capital of the USA, is a vacation paradise. More than 500 crystal clear lakes, 3.5 million forest acres, and more than a dozen charming communities with boating, biking, fishing, birding, camping, shopping, antiquing and sailing make for an endless parade of memories. Walk around one of several charming towns to study the architecture, visit antique shops, museums and art galleries, or stop at the local bakery for a treat. Enjoy the town by staying in a wonderful bed and breakfast, motel, lakeside resort or campground. And perhaps best of all, interact with the nicest, friendliest and most helpful people you could ever hope to meet.

The Inn on Madeline Island
La Pointe, WI
800-822-6315
www.madisland.com

Discover the perfect Great Lakes island experience. Ride the ferry from Bayfield, Wisconsin to Madeline Island and find peaceful relaxation in vacation delights offered by The Inn. Gateway to the shimmering beauty of Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands and the historic world of French fur traders and the Ojibwa nation, the Island sustains all elements unique to Wisconsin’s northern woodlands and Lake Superior’s majestic shoreline. At The Inn, located in the town of La Pointe (overlooking Lake Superior) you will find comfortable and soothing accommodation and amenities to make the most of your vacation.

Tomah Convention & Visitor Bureau

Tomah, WI
800-948-6624
www.tomahwisconsin.com

Tomah is located midway between the Twin Cities and Milwaukee, where the state’s interstate system (I-90 and I-94) divides. Tomah boasts small town charm with plenty of shopping including antiques, Amish and cranberry goods, over 680 motel rooms, indoor and outdoor water parks, and quaint restaurants to explore throughout the area. Whether you’re interested in driving tours, the fall cranberry festival, autumn color tours, or winter activities, you’ll find that the Tomah area has a variety of annual activities. From “Winnebago Wonderland” to the new Lemonweir River Walking Trail, there’s something for everyone.

Wisconsin’s Innkeeper Association
Brookfield, WI
262-782-2851
www.lodging-wi.com

Wisconsin is the perfect place for your next meeting, reunion, or getaway with a variety of lodging accommodations, including historic inns on the river, convenient motels along the interstate, and quiet cabins in the woods. You can also find elegant hotels in the city, relaxing resorts on the lake, and cozy bed and breakfasts in quaint towns.

Discover your perfect Wisconsin vacation at www.wisconsinlodging.info where you can search over 1,100 hotels, resorts, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, condominiums, cottages, vacation homes and campgrounds throughout Wisconsin. Use the “Lodging Search” to easily locate lodging accommodations by property name, geographic region, type of property, rates, on-site amenities, and more.
 

 

ROMANTIC RETREATS

Afton House Inn
Afton, MN
651-436-8883
www.aftonhouseinn.com

The Historic Afton House Inn, located in the quaint town of Afton, is known for fine dining and 25 Jacuzzi and fireplace suites. Indulge your taste buds in the Wheel Room with the signature tableside Steak Diane and Flaming Bananas Foster Dessert. During your stay enjoy a massage and return to your room with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. The Sunday brunch buffet has tantalizing items for all tastes. For casual dining, try the Catfish Saloon & Café. Additionally, the Afton * Hudson Cruise Lines offers public and private cruises on the Scenic St. Croix River from May – October.

Fitger’s Inn
Duluth, MN
218-722-8826
www.fitgers.com

As Duluth’s only AAA Four Diamond Hotel, Fitger’s Inn offers guests romance, history and luxury. Delightful shops, four great restaurants and numerous amenities make for a wonderful stay. The hotel has its own museum, with artifacts dating as far back as the 1890s, including an extensive beer bottle collection and photographs of brewing days gone by.

In 1910, Fitger’s Brewing Company was one of the largest and most successful breweries in the state, with a record production of almost 100,000 barrels annually. Brewing the Fitger’s beer continued until 1972, when the company closed down operations. In 1984, the Fitger’s Brewery complex reopened with a 48-room hotel, two restaurants, and a retail center. Fitger’s continued to grow and in 1995 the brewhouse opened.

Grand Superior Lodge
Two Harbors, MN
800-627-9565
www.grandsuperior.com

Romantic moments are part of the everyday at Grand Superior Lodge. The relaxing setting of Lake Superior has a way of dissolving daily thoughts so couples discover what really matters: each other. Whether couples relax in their luxurious lakeside accommodations, or explore the breathtaking sights of the North Shore at nearby Gooseberry Falls, or along the Superior Hiking Trail, it’s a long-awaited romantic getaway.

Each of the lake log homes, cabins, lodge rooms or suites have the quintessential setting for romance with fireplaces, whirlpools, up close lake views, and charming northwoods ambiance. The beach house is the most spectacular cabin at the resort. Sitting right on the water’s edge, it’s recommended for someone planning a honeymoon or special romantic getaway.

Madden’s on Gull Lake
Brainerd, MN
218-829-2811
www.maddens.com

Truly a “Minnesota’s Classic Resort,” Madden’s on Gull Lake celebrates it’s 77th year of creating memories in the beautiful Brainerd Lakes area. Stay in luxury accommodations, lounge by the pool or on one of three sand beaches and bask in the solitude of The Panache Spa at Madden’s while being pampered with a raindrop therapy massage or a facial. Enjoy dinner overlooking the lake or the lush greens of the golf course, followed by a nightcap in the O’Madden Pub. Great golf and vacation packages are available.

Stout’s Island Lodge
Birchwood, WI
715-354-3646
www.stoutslodge.com

Stout’s Island Lodge is a lumber baron’s romantic 1903 estate located on a wooded island in the middle of picturesque Red Cedar Lake, northeast of Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Accessible only by ferry, Stout’s Island Lodge features 42 guest rooms in the Main Lodge, Shore Lodge and rustic cabins, many furnished with period antiques and most with a woodburning fireplace. Chosen as one of eight “Best Summer Escapes in the U.S.” by National Geographic Adventure magazine in 2005, Stout’s Island Lodge is a rustic, yet refined oasis of natural beauty and serenity — a magical place where memories are made and never forgotten.
 

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center
Alexandria, MN
320-762-1124
www.arrowwoodresort.com

No matter what the occasion, guests have found that Arrowwood is a perfect destination any time of year. Nestled within an expansive property is an 18-hole golf course and executive putting course, 30-horse stable with riding ring and trails, and a full-service marina that includes ski boats, fishing boats, pontoons, jet-skis, paddleboats, canoes and funyaks. Arrowwood also offers lighted sand volleyball courts, a basketball court, croquet, bocce ball, hiking trails, walking and jogging paths, bike rentals, indoor and outdoor tennis, a fitness center, whirlpool and indoor and outdoor pools. The new Darling Reflections Spa features an extensive menu of therapeutic and beauty services.

Bayfield Chamber of Commerce
Bayfield, WI
715-779-3335
www.bayfield.org

Bayfield celebrates the glory of spring with a month long celebration, “Bayfield in Bloom.” As the countryside and waters of Lake Superior come to life, the colors of the season are lush with blooming wildflowers and 12,000 planted daffodil bulbs all waiting at Bayfield’s entrance. “Bayfield in Bloom” features gardening workshops, garden tours, walking tours, annual and perennial flower/shrub sales, cooking classes at Wild Rice Restaurant, sidewalk sales and special offerings. Don’t forget to enjoy many of the area’s adventures by canoeing, kayaking, fishing, sailing, golfing and scuba diving.

Faribault Chamber
Faribault, MN
507-334-4381
www.faribaultmn.org

Faribault is located along the Cannon Valley corridor, just 25 minutes south of the metro area. The recipe for fun is simple as Faribault has many diverse and thriving outdoor activities, including 10 lakes within 10 miles of the city. Enjoy an abundance of resorts, campgrounds and fish you won’t find anywhere this diverse south of the Twin Cities. The new Mill Towns trailhead facility is the hub for the 39-mile recreational jewel that is the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail. Bikers, rollerbladers and joggers have found this trail to be one of the most beautiful in the state as it follows lakes, wooden bridges, prairie landscapes and rolling farmland.

Fortune Bay Resort Casino
Tower, MN
800-555-1714
www.fortunebay.com

Whether you are planning a romantic getaway, family vacation, outdoor adventure, celebration, conference, or golf retreat, Fortune Bay Resort Casino is truly a few miles north of ordinary. First-class accommodations, breathtaking northwoods surroundings and professional service will help make your stay a memorable one. The 116-room hotel offers deluxe rooms with all the comforts and conveniences of home, including whirlpool and fireplace suites. Enjoy the sparkling pool, whirlpool and sauna, or relax on the deck overlooking stunning Lake Vermilion. Fortune Bay has three fabulous restaurants on site to satisfy appetites of all kinds, and an exciting nightlife and casino to spice up your life.

Fort William Historical Park
Thunder Bay, Onterio, Canada
807-473-2344
www.fwhp.ca

Although the Fort is known for re-creating the Canadian fur trade days in the early 1800s, “Rock the Fort”, a three-day classic rock festival, is a major attraction at Fort William Historical Park. Last year was the inaugural year for the event, which attracted 31,500 fans—10,000 people per day, setting the record for the largest outdoor rock festival ever held in northwestern Ontario. Fans had “concert seating” on a gradually sloping hill towards the main stage, which featured the Kaministiquia River and surrounding forest area as a backdrop.

Iron County
Hurley, WI
715-561-2922
www.ironcountywi.com

From the Loon Capital at Mercer to the sparkling nightlife of Hurley, Iron County is a great place to get away from it all. Discover vast forests, little mountains, hidden canyons, remote waterfalls, the world’s largest freshwater lake with four miles of sandy beach and more than 200 smaller lakes. Camp, kayak, fish, hike and bike or ride Wisconsin’s largest ATV trail system with more than 200 miles of trails linking the entire county. There’s a wide variety of lodging options from Mercer to Hurley and west to Montreal. And you’ll discover a surprisingly large selection of great places to dine, noted for modest prices and ample portions of good food. For more information, contact either the Hurley Chamber of Commerce at 866-340-4334 or www.hurleywi.com or the Mercer Chamber of Commerce at 715-476-2389 or www.mercercc.com

 

Travel Montana
Helena, MT
800-847-4868
www.visitmt.com

Explore Montana, where Lewis and Clark discovered our country’s most beautiful alpine lakes and mountain landscapes. Hike miles of trails in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, and enjoy the native lands that were once home to famous leaders such as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. Visit the beloved mountain towns of Bozeman, Red Lodge, Missoula, Whitefish and Kalispell, or the classic frontier towns of the American West, such as Virginia City and Fort Benton. This summer, Little Bighorn Battlefield and the Dude Rancher’s Association are celebrating anniversaries, and the magnificent Beartooth Highway is re-opening. There is also a new tour train between Anaconda and Butte.

Northernaire Houseboats
International Falls, MN
800-854-7958
www.northernairehouseboats.com

Experience the wilderness in the comfort of home, on a Northernaire Houseboat in Voyageurs National Park. Voyageurs is the nation’s premier water base park, the watery terrain is punctuated with sandy beaches rocky bluffs and hundreds of islands, coves and bays. This is where eagles soar and the splash of beaver tails evoke the dipping paddles of the French-Canadian voyageurs who plied these trade routes centuries ago and for whom the park is named. The unparalleled beauty of Rainy Lake offers the opportunity for world class fishing while experiencing the relaxing sounds of an otter splashing, the cries of a loon or the far off wolf calling to its pack. Surrounded by nature, family and friends, make unforgettable memories on a Northernaire Houseboat vacation.

Thumper Pond
Ottertail, MN
218-367-2000
www.thumperpond.com

Thumper Pond Resort is the perfect place to relax and get away. Located in the “Heart of the Lakes” area of Minnesota, Thumper Pond offers fishing, boating, hiking, biking, bird watching and other activities. Stay in one of the deluxe suites with complimentary continental breakfast, and play golf at the 18-hole championship Thumper Pond Golf Course. Enjoy great food at the Red Pine Restaurant, which features a menu for every occasion. The Eagle View Lounge – with its breathtaking views of the golf course, offers casual dining and refreshments. Betty’s Boutique features local artist items, and opening this spring is the Northern Hideaway Indoor Waterpark. Quality, relaxation and fun can be found at Thumper Pond in Ottertail.

Wintergreen Designs
Ely, MN
800-584-9425
www.wintergreendesigns.com

Slipping into a Wintergreen Northern Wear garment feels as good as slipping into Minnesota’s northwoods. For nearly 20 years, Wintergreen gear has been designed and sewn in the Boundary Waters region and has been field-tested and fine-tuned on adventures all over the world. Paul and Susan Schurke launched their designs for an expedition, the Steger North Pole Expedition of 1986. Since then, they’ve produced over 20,000 of their flagship garment, the Wintergreen anorak, a layered jacket system that provides four-season comfort and versatility. Now they’ve expanded into an entire line of outdoor gear, including the distinctive Wintergreen hat, mittens, fleece tops, shell pants and great kids clothes. From their base in Ely, they’ve also expanded to a new store in Duluth’s Fitgers complex.

Wisconsin Harbor Towns Association
800-554-1448
www.WisconsinHarborTowns.org

Dotted along 1,100 magnificent miles of scenic coastline like pearls on a necklace, Wisconsin’s harbor towns have been welcoming visitors to their shores for more than 150 years. Individually, each of the harbor towns represent a vital part of what makes Wisconsin’s shoreline act like a magnet, attracting visitors from within the state and around the world. From sophisticated cities to quaint fishing villages, Wisconsin’s harbor towns feature a unique smorgasbord of outdoor recreation, museums, shopping, arts, dining and relaxing scenery. Come to Wisconsin Harbor Towns where you can relax and renew your spirit as you discover the best of what Wisconsin has to offer.
 

TRIBAL TOURISM

Dacotah Ridge Golf Club
Morton, MN
507-644-GOLF
www.dacotahridge.com

a harbor with sailboats Dacotah Ridge Golf Club is Minnesota’s premier golf destination and is rated by Golf Digest amongst the top five public golf courses in the state. Dacotah Ridge is the only Rees Jones designed golf course in Minnesota and offers golf enthusiasts an opportunity to enjoy one of the finest conditioned golf courses in the country. Uninhibited by homes or other distractions, golfers can immerse themselves in the peacefulness and solitude of the vast southwestern Minnesota prairie setting.

Located approximately two hours southwest of the Twin Cities, Dacotah Ridge is best enjoyed when combined with the attractive Play & Stay Packages at Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel.
 

Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel

Morton, MN
800-946-2274
www.jackpotjunction.com

As southwestern Minnesota’s premier golf resort, guests choose Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel as their vacation destination and corporate guests find it to be the perfect place for a business retreat. The Lower Sioux Lodge, adjacent to the casino, is an AAA Three Diamond Rated Hotel, offering deluxe accommodations. Adjacent to the hotel is Kids Quest childcare, great for children 6 weeks to 12 years old. Once settled in, experience two floors of gaming excitement, delicious food, great entertainment, a friendly staff, and so much more.

Northland Native American Products
Minneapolis, MN
612-872-0390
www.northlandvisions.com

Northland Native American Products is a beautiful gallery and retail space where visitors can find wonderful gifts of the region, designed by the Native peoples from Minnesota, the Dakota’s, Wisconsin and Canada. Visitors from all over the world have enjoyed this special treasure.

The Gallery is truly an oasis, a sensual experience given over to celebration. Once inside enjoy the soothing sound of the native flute, the gentle scent of sage and cedar, and a warm greeting from the staff. Wander around and drink in the beauty and spirit of the native art. There is pottery, jewelry and beadwork. There are sculptures of elders, horses, eagles and the White Buffalo Spirit.

Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort
Granite Falls, MN
866.293.2121
www.prairiesedgecasino.com

Enjoy Minnesota’s newest casino located just outside of Granite Falls. Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort is Minnesota’s top-notch choice for business or vacation travelers. The casino offers an exciting array of 650 of the newest and most popular slot machines. Try blackjack or poker at one of 15 tables, and prepare for a relaxing night in the luxurious, 90-room suite hotel, complete with year-round pool, hot tub, sauna, and fitness center. Dining options include fine dining at the Cottonwood Café, diverse buffet at the Meadows Buffet, or your choice of cocktails in the Firefly Lounge.

Treasure Island Resort & Casino
Red Wing, MN
800-222-7077
www.treasureislandcasino.com

Enjoy Treasure Island’s Caribbean-themed gaming areas with 2,500 state-of-the-art slot machines, 44 blackjack tables, video poker, video keno and bingo. The tropical-theme 250-room hotel has a fabulous year-round swimming pool and hot tubs set in a lush rainforest environment. Experience the tropics everyday by visiting one of the four restaurants, including Spirit of the Water for a nautical brunch, lunch or dinner.

Come see national and international celebrities and headliner entertainment every month. From stand-up comedy to country music, big bands to rock bands, funk to pop to R&B, Treasure Island has something for everyone.

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