The holiday season has arrived and though it may not look or feel like it yet, winter is here. We have two options: shy away from the cold and snow that awaits us (and count down the days until the spring thaw), or embrace what’s in our near future. Here are some perfect close-to-home destinations for making the most of winter.
Some people want to relax when they leave town, others seek out adventure. Brainerd has both. Get your adrenaline going as you snowmobile along the Paul Bunyan Trail or hit the slopes at Ski Gull. Truly embrace the frozen tundra and go ice fishing—Brainerd is home to the world’s largest charitable ice fishing contest. Whether you’re more of the cozy cabin type or modern lodge style, there are plenty of places to stay.
Where: Two hours and 10 minutes northwest of the Twin Cities via I-94
Contact: Visit Brainerd at 218-825-0410
Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast
Yes, you really can sleep in a lighthouse. More specifically, you can stay at Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast on (where else?) the North Shore.The winter months at Lake Superior tend to be a little quieter, which is great if you are looking to relax and simply enjoy the natural beauty of the world’s largest freshwater lake. There’s really not a bad room—just about every room offers a breathtaking view of the lake. And be sure not to miss out on the delicious candle-lit Scandinavian breakfast.
Where: 1 Lighthouse Point, Two Harbors
Spirit Mountain in Duluth is great for experienced ski bums or those just beginning to learn the sport. The views are pretty spectacular, overlooking the Duluth harbor and Lake Superior. Finding deals shouldn’t be too challenging, either, as many hotels offer ski and stay packages. If you don’t ski or board, Spirit Mountain has multiple lanes dedicated to snowtubing—and you can ride the Timber Twister year-round.
Where: 9500 Spirit Mountain Place, Duluth
Grand View Lodge
Grand View Lodge is perfect for those looking to get away from the city and unwind. Book a spa treatment at Glacial Waters Spa, embracing the natural mineral-rich water from ancient glacial lakes, believed to have healing and rejuvenating properties.
Where: 23521 Nokomis Ave., Nisswa