Iron Range Weekend Adventure

The January issue of Minnesota Monthly is out on the stands now, and I recommend that you read a short piece written by Assistant Editor Ellen Burkhardt called “Let it Snow.” For those who long to hit the slopes this time of year, Giants Ridge is the place to go. According to Burkhardt, it’s Minnesota’s Vail. For downhillers, Giants Ridges features 35 runs. Snowshoers and Nordic skiers will also enjoy all 60 kilometers of trails. Those less enthused about outdoor activity will find rest and relaxation at the Lodge at Giants Ridge’s “indoor oasis”: La Ridge, a full-service Aveda spa.

A few highlights from Ellen’s journey include a sampling of homemade jerky at the family-owned Koshar’s Sausage Kitchen, a stop for deep dish at Biwabik’s Vi’s Pizza, as well as a tour of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame located in nearby Eveleth, which I mentioned in a previous post about Two Harbors. See Herb Brooks’ jackets and other memorabilia from the 1980 miracle on ice Olympic team.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the pleasure of traveling Up North during the winter. In particular, I highlighted the rustic comforts to be found at Two Harbors this time of year. While the quiet stay in a country inn is certainly appealing, it might not meet all travel tastes. So when I opened my email yesterday morning and found a message about a new Two Harbors attraction that is a little bit more spirited, I had to pass it along.

BLU Ice Bar and LoungeOn Wednesday, Grand Superior Lodge opened the icy doors of BLU, Ice Bar and Lounge for a second season. As the name implies, the bar is literally made of ice. Three times larger than last year, BLU features fur-lined benches, drink specials served in shot glasses made entirely from ice, three roaring fireplaces, and ice sculptures depicting the Split Rock light house and other nearby attractions. Open in time for the Winter Solstice, BLU will remain open every Friday and Saturday, from noon to 9 p.m., through February. On New Year’s Eve: Noon to 12:30 a.m. It’s a true Up North Experience.

Needless to say: Bring warm clothes. Happy New Year!