Take a three-hour scenic drive northwest of the Twin Cities and you’ll find the serene, small city of Walker. Bustling with tourists and welcoming hometowners, Walker is a hidden gem providing breathtaking views over Walker Bay on Leech Lake. Not only does Walker have some of the best fishing opportunities for walleye and muskie, it brings fun for everyone with endless things to do and places to go for any occasion – a family trip, girls’ weekend getaway, you name it.
Chase on the Lake
This historic hotel was recently restored to the charm of its glory days in the 1920s, and is ideal as a stress-free weekend getaway for those headed up North for luxury in lieu of fishing. Situated right on the lakefront of Walker Bay, you can grab a cocktail from the outside patio bar and sit back to watch the sunset on the sandy beaches of Leech Lake – that is, right after you’ve had a plate of the Walleye Wild Rice Cakes at the elegant 502 restaurant. Other amenities include the Aveda Copper Door Spa, where a Chakra Massage is a must, and the intimate two-lane bowling room, Chaser’s Alley.
Northern Lights Casino Hotel
More of a late-nighter? Just up the road from downtown Walker is the Northern Lights Casino Hotel, which glows all night long and houses special events and concerts. This hotel has a great lodging experience for the night crawler looking for fun. After a long night of poker and slots, head to the sauna and jacuzzi for some relaxation.
Benson’s is a Walker staple. Its homestyle menu offers plates from handmade pizzas to the “world famous” full pound Leech Lake Burger, which few have been able to tackle in one sitting. Located in the heart of downtown Walker, a side window allows a sneak peek of the action: you can watch your pizza crust being tossed in the air.
A short drive past the main street, Boulders sits atop a hill and offers a peaceful fine-dining experience. The menu emphasizes fresh fish plates such as the Crab Crusted Grouper and the Salmon, Meuniere, plus a variety of meats, salads, and appetizers. Boulders brings a sophisticated atmosphere to a small northern town.
The Walker General Store
A vintage-inspired shop that’ll take you back in time, the Walker General Store has something fun for everyone. You know you’re someplace special the second you spot the retro glass-bottle pop machine at the door. Once inside, you can shop for old-time candy, souvenirs, and “up north-style” brands such as Minnetonka Moccasins.
Aunt Belle’s Confectionary
To keep energy high during a day of shopping, Aunt Belle’s is a drool-worthy candy store that will bring back childhood memories. You can smell the fresh-made taffy and homemade fudge wafting down Minnesota Avenue, but don’t miss the back room where the walls are lined with dozens of jars of assorted candies and chocolates.
It’s easy to lose yourself amongst Christmas Point’s charming collections of home décor, kitchen must-haves, and fashionable finds.
If you’ve heard of Walker, chances are it’s because of the excellent fishing. One of its main draws is the always-fantastic fishing in Walker Bay, evidenced by the lineup of fishing boats from dusk until dawn, each hoping to catch a walleye or muskie. Even those without a boat are welcome to spend the day casting off the city docks in Walker.
Paul Bunyan Trails
Don’t like to fish? No problem. There are plenty of ways to stay outside and active around Walker. The Paul Bunyan Trail is a popular walking and biking trail that connects multiple cities, and Walker is right on its path. Take a long afternoon ride and appreciate the scenery in northern Minnesota.
Northern Lights Casino Hotel
This grand casino/hotel combo offers a large floor with many slot machines, blackjack tables, and private poker rooms. Step outside of the casino and you can find a separate arcade room for you or the kids. This casino hosts concerts ranging from Trace Adkins to Gloriana to the Eli Young Band.
Within the vast Chase on the Lake hotel is the intimate bowling room Chaser’s Alley. While affiliated with the hotel, Chaser’s is open to the public for reservations. This two-lane alley offers a private bowling experience for groups of all ages: you have the room to yourself, along with the control of the jukebox. Get the party going and you’ll want to stay all night.
Aveda Copper Door Spa
Relax and let your stresses melt away at the Aveda Copper Door Spa, located inside Chase on the Lake. This full-service spa offers massages, waxes, body treatments, nail care, and much more. Round up a group and have a soothing afternoon well-spent with friends.
Moondance Jam and Moondance Jammin’ Country Fest
The music festivals just keep coming and coming and we’re all for it! Moondance Events hosts both Moondance Jam and Moondance Jammin’ Country Fest in the summer months of June and July at the Moondance Events grounds. Both festivals draw huge crowds, so come enjoy a weekend filled with music, food, and drinks with top headliners in big-time music: past lineups have included REO Speedwagon, the Styx, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, and many more.
moondancejam.com or jammincountry.com
City of Walker Art Fair
As the season rush of visitors comes to a close, the Walker Art Fair is the last summer weather hoorah. Spend a warm September morning strolling through the stalls of work by local artists while eating State Fair-worthy food. You’ll be sure to find something unique.
The Eeelpout Festival
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! There’s no better way to celebrate the chilly Minnesotan winter than heading to The Eelpout Festival, a fun weekend long ice fishing, bull-riding, beer-drinking time. If you have the guts to spend a weekend outside during a Minnesota winter, then this could be a good time for you.
The possibilities are endless in the great up north of Walker, Minnesota. Discover Walker and find more information at leech-lake.com.