Stay & Play


Presented by: 

Radisson Blu

We made it through the long, cold winter this year, and we deserve to get outside and devour all that summer has to offer: Sun, sand, culture, patios, new experiences with friends and family, and the natural beauty of our great state.    


Enjoy the simple pleasures of toes in the sand, swimming in the lake, casting and reeling, or cruising in a boat full of happy people during one of the “best vacations of the year” at a lakeside resort. Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge is one of these special places, a 110-year-old family-owned resort offering both tradition and variety. Located on the northwest shore of Lake Bemidji in Bemidji, guests staying at Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge can rent a sailboat, pontoon, or mountain bike (the Paul Bunyan Trail goes right through the park), head out on a guided fishing excursion (or fish from the dock), take advantage of the complimentary kids’ program and free use of canoes and kayaks, play a round on a nearby golf course, or go shopping in town.


The local wine scene is bursting with new players. There are now over 400 vineyards and some 35 wineries in Minnesota, many with tasting rooms where you can sample the wines, making it a fun destination or day trip. Purchase a passport for $25 from the Minnesota Wine Growers Association good for 10 tastings at any of over 30 participating wineries from Laporte to Rochester, and many spots in-between.


Treat yourself and your family to a stay in a gorgeous hotel right in the heart of Minneapolis that’s close to … everything! The newly designed Radisson Blu Minneapolis offers stylish, sophisticated rooms, a fitness center, free Wi-Fi, room service, and a restaurant that serves fresh, local food. You may not want to leave the hotel. But if you do, there’s so much just a few blocks away—the Minnesota Twins playing at Target Field, performances at the Orpheum and State Theaters, concerts at Target Center and First Avenue, shopping, and dozens of restaurants and bars. Another option is renting a green Nice Ride bike and heading for the lakes, parks, or riverfront.


Connect with the beauty and tranquility of the mighty river with a drive along the Great River Road, considered to be one of the most scenic byways in the world. Spend a night or two high in the bluffs at Hawk’s View Cottages where the views are incredible and the surroundings serene. In the town of Fountain City, just a short walk away, you’ll find the Seven Hawks Vineyard tasting room. You can sample their award-winning wines and perhaps take a bottle back to your cottage to enjoy with a sunset!


With more than 400 lakes in the area, Detroit Lakes (or “DL” to residents and regulars) deserves its name. Of course there’s the WE Fest country music festival in August but that’s just one reason to visit Detroit Lakes. Art shows, park trails, fireworks, resorts, horseback riding, flea markets, river tubing, a county fair and plenty of restaurants and bars make this a place full of summer fun!


The American Swedish Institute offers a summer getaway to the best design, art, food and culture of Scandinavia without the cost of a plane ticket to Stockholm or Oslo. Sing and dance at the family-friendly Midsommar Celebration June 14. ASI’s summer exhibits include contemporary Norwegian sculpture, Finnish tapestries, and a look at August Strindberg, Sweden’s most famous author and playwright. Kids will love ASI’s outdoor playcart full of games and activities and the Family Gallery. Enjoy lunch at the award-winning café FIKA and don’t forget to stop in the Museum Shop for a unique keepsake.


This Evita production, running from August 12-17 at the Ordway, is much more sumptuous than the 1970s original. Packed with movement, color, and unforgettable songs, including “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” this new Evita captures the essence of Argentina’s First Lady and her story of ambition, passion, and the cult of personality. Based on fascinating and true historic events, this quintessential musical is a summer must-see. Tickets start at $36.


The celebrated Root River State Bike Trail winds 60 miles through the Minnesota River Valley and at its heart is Lanesboro, the B&B capitol of the state. The trail runs along an old railroad bed and offers gorgeous views of limestone bluffs, the river, open fields and wildlife. Rent bikes in town at the Little River General Store—they can also help you plan your trek. The Historic Scanlan House Bed & Breakfast Inn is the perfect place to stay, a restored Queen Anne Victorian home with beautiful rooms, modern amenities, a generous breakfast, and an incredibly welcoming and helpful staff. •


Alexandria is home to Arrowwood Resort, originally named Darling Dude Ranch for its focus on horseback riding and location on Lake Darling. Today, Arrowwood is an amenity-filled resort with a touch of luxury just a few hours from the Twin Cities. They still offer an extensive stable of horses for trail riding, lessons and hayrides, but are also known for championship golf and bent grass putting courses, a huge waterpark, restaurants, spa, marina and kids camp. The resort is close to boutique shopping and Carlos Creek Winery.


Grab the kids and give geocaching a try—pronounced geo-cashing, it’s a popular high tech treasure hunt available at all MN State Parks and many recreational centers. Use your smartphone or hand held GPS device, available free of charge at 24 state parks, to find treasure or “cache” hidden somewhere in the park. It’s a great way to build navigation skills, get some exercise, and bring out the Indiana Jones in everyone.


Nothing recharges your spirit like hitting the open road with the radio blaring and taking in the scenery that makes it clear why they call this part of the country the “heartland”. Northfield is a fun destination for your next road trip—a great little college town that’s an easy 45 miles south of the metro. Start your visit at Riverwalk Market Fair which runs on Saturdays from June through October and features organic and sustainably grown produce from local farmers, artisan foods, seasonal flowers, a juried selection of the region’s top art and fine crafts, live music and more. A visit to Northfield Olive Oils & Vinegars to sample over 65 varieties of olive oil and vinegar is worth a stop too and you’ll probably want to take some home, perhaps to dress some of the produce you picked up at the fair. This good-looking shop is housed in an old bank—the site of the James Gang robbery attempt of 1876. Historic tours are available year-round.


Get your heart pounding watching thoroughbred and quarter-horse racing at Canterbury Downs in Shakopee, where live racing is featured through Labor Day. The atmosphere is fun, family-friendly and a great value with reasonably priced admission (kids are free), food, beverages and $2 bets, if you’re so inclined. There are pony rides and a petting zoo for kids every Sunday too. Canterbury also offers a Cards Casino and deals a wide variety of games including Blackjack, Pai Gow and Texas Hold ‘em. First races are held at 12:45 on Saturdays and Sundays in June and July and 6:30 on Thursdays and Fridays all summer long.


Get a taste of another culture and see how many ethnic restaurants you can visit this summer. Create a family passport to make it both an adventure and a way to introduce the kiddos to new flavors. How about Ethiopian food? At the Blue Nile you can sample an authentic and super flavorful cuisine that’s exotic yet familiar. Kids will love the fact that you can eat with your hands (using a traditional flat bread called Injera). Find more ideas at the Explore Minnesota website.


The truly awe inspiring North Shore of Lake Superior hems in incredible woods, trails, and an impressive altitude. Altitude? Yes, in Minnesota! In fact, the North Shore is where you’ll find both the highest and lowest elevation in the state (Eagle Mountain and Lake Superior, respectively). Summer is a great time to escape to the North Shore.

Caribou Highlands Lodge , located on the mountain in Lutsen, offers popular guided canoeing trips on nearby Poplar River where you’ll glide among the Sawtooth Mountains and often see deer, eagles, and occasionally a moose. The nearby Superior Hiking Trail is another memorable outdoor recreational option. At the resort there’s tennis, volleyball, indoor and outdoor pools, the much-loved Mountain Kids Camp, and nightly campfires. If staying in the area’s only log cabin resort piques your interest, book a stay at Grand Superior Lodge along the shore— perfect for a romantic getaway or an extended family vacation.

You’re guaranteed high-end accommodations, modern amenities, and genuine hospitality at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, including Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, Surfside on Lake Superior, Temperance Landing, and the Waves of Superior Spa and Café, the only resort spa on the shore that offers a full range of spa services and amenities, complete with a restaurant featuring the creations of renowned chef Judi Barsness. The destinations—each featuring their own special flair—are located in the Lutsen/Tofte area within three miles of one another. •

Two Harbors is home to Split Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls—two North Shore attractions that are deservedly popular. It’s also home to the beautifully designed Larsmont Cottages on Lake Superior. These luxurious cottages have every amenity you might want while on vacation, plus resort extras like bikes, kayaks, bocce ball, campfires, pool, and dining at Ledge Rock Grille.


The charming harbor town of Grand Marais has long been home to musicians, artists, and others who find daily inspiration in the natural environment. Visitors will find no shortage of things to do, whether hiking up Pincushion Mountain or taking a charter fishing trip on Lake Superior. The town has plenty of shopping and excellent restaurants, including the Angry Trout Cafe where they serve fresh fish from the lake and locally grown produce. Stay at East Bay Suites, located right in town, on the water’s edge. Accommodations range from studios to three-bedroom suites and nearly all feature kitchens, fireplaces, and incredible views.


Watching Minnesota’s professional men’s soccer team, the MN United FC will give you new appreciation for the sport that dominates the rest of the world. Tickets are affordable and include a family fun zone, beer garden, tailgating, and the opportunity for post-game autographs. The team will take a break from mid-June to early July for the World Cup, but after that, its “game on” at the National Sports Center in Blaine! Olé, Olé, Olé!


Minnesota is home to some top-rated golf courses sprinkled all over the state. A fun feature you can find at one of them, Giants Ridge in Biwabik, is a giant’s footprint on the third fairway! Most are located in areas with ample lodging and amenities so you can make a weekend out of it. So why not grab a few friends and give them a try?


In 2007 the eagle was removed from the endangered species list—a powerful example of how people can affect a positive change in preserving a species, but have you ever seen one up close? A scenic drive to the National Eagle Center located on the Mississippi river in Wabasha can remedy that with daily live eagle programs and the opportunity for kids to “fish for an eagle.” The center will provide all the fishing gear. If your little ones are able to land any fish, they can donate them for the eagle’s lunch. For your own meal, head into town—Wabasha offers plenty of dining options.