Winter Escapes

Seasonal getaways aren’t just reserved for warm climates. From resorts and hotels to cottages and lodges, there are plenty of nearby spots to fill your time away with family-friendly fun, adventure, romance, or relaxation.

Family-Friendly Resort

Arrowwood Resort

In Alexandria, just two hours west of the Twin Cities and an easy shot up Interstate 94, is Arrowwood Resort, a family-friendly spot with an up north feel. “We are one of Minnesota’s top leisure destinations, with facilities, activities, and services available to host everything from family reunions, weddings, and getaways to meetings and conventions,” says Amy Parod, director of sales and marketing. These facilities include lodging in guest rooms and suites as well as townhomes and cottages, which have received praise for bringing families and friends together for reunions, girls weekends, and more, offering luxurious accommodations at an affordable price. “We have many families that have been making memories at the resort for over 30 years and have now incorporated the townhomes and cottages into their stay,” says Parod. While located on the shores of Lake Darling, the year-round resort offers plenty of activities for guests who want to stay in or out of the cold. Enjoy outdoor amenities such as groomed trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobile and Mini Z rentals, ice fishing houses or use of snowshoe, ice skating, and broomball equipment. If you prefer to stay indoors, there’s plenty of fun to be had at the 38,000-square-foot Big Splash Waterpark. Here you can twist and turn down three four-story slides, float along the lazy river, play in the children’s fort or hang out in the whirlpool spa. For relaxation, the resort’s Darling Reflections Spa offers a place to unwind with a variety of therapeutic and beauty services. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy the Friday night pasta bar, Sunday brunch or other meals served at Lake Café, or snack on hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in Rafter’s lounge. “We offer so many activities and amenities on our over 450 acres that [guests] never want to leave the property,” says Parod.

Vacation for Two

Canoe Bay

Photo by steve neidorf; courtesy of canoe bay

Named “one of the 50 most romantic hotels in the world” by Travel + Leisure, each of Canoe Bay Hotel’s 25 lodging options is designed for two. Located in Chetek, Wis. on 300 acres of hardwood forest near three spring-fed lakes, guests have praised their stays as being “stress free” and “so relaxing and serene.” For maximum seclusion, choose to stay in one of the cottages that offer private entrances, or if you’d prefer to be less sequestered, check into one of the rooms at The Lodge or The Inn, both of which have common areas for all guests. The property also offers lodging in an architecturally stunning villa, which includes 2,000 square feet of interior living space as well as a 1,500 square foot wraparound deck that looks out onto a private nature reserve and glacially carved lake. No matter which spot you select, all guests can enjoy the hotel’s amenities. Browse through The Lodge’s library of current and classic hardcover titles, select a movie from their up-to-date collection, work out in the fitness center, trek across miles of snowshoe trails, relax with an in-room massage, or let the staff arrange an hour-long horse-drawn sleigh ride. The hotel is the Midwest’s only member of Relais & Châteaux, a renowned hotel and restaurant company, and as such offers a variety of great dining options. Complimentary breakfast items are brought to your door daily, with the option to have lunch delivered as well. For dinner, the hotel’s chef creates a new pre-fixed menu nightly, which is then served in the lakeside dining room. Just a 120-mile drive from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport awaits a getaway that promises to be comfortable, peaceful, and romantic.

Wooded Getaway

Hawks View Cottages and Lodges

Photo courtesy of hawks view cottages

For a true getaway, relax in the small town and deep woods of Hawks View Cottages and Lodges. Located about 110 miles southeast of St. Paul in Fountain City, Wis., your travels here will take you along the Great River Road, one of the top scenic drives in the country, as voted by Huffington Post readers. Situated on bluffs that overlook the Mississippi River, visitors continue to return for the memorable views and chance to spend time with a favorite person. Choose to stay in one of five distinct cottages that look out onto the river or Fountain City, either of two lodges that offer views of the river valley and Seven Hawks Vineyard, or two suites located on the upper floors of the vineyard in the city’s downtown. All lodging options offer free Wi-Fi, a DVD player, full kitchen, fireplace stoves, and a whirlpool tub for two. Enjoy deck and porch lookouts at the cottages, a walk along a one-mile deep woods trail outside the Blackhawk Lounge, or tastings at one of the largest vineyards in the upper Midwest while at the suites. If you’re looking for an intimate stay filled with small town charm, scenic views, and amenities, then Hawks View Cottages and Lodges has all you need.

A Breathtaking Visit

Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, Surfside on Lake Superior, and Temperance Landing

Photo courtesy of bluefin bay

No matter the season, the unmatchable beauty of Minnesota’s North Shore can be enjoyed at Bluefin Bay’s family of resorts, including Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, Surfside on Lake Superior and Temperance Landing, all found in the Lutsen-Tofte area. For family vacations, retreats or getaways, consider the 3,000 square foot log homes at Temperance Landing. These sleep six to eight comfortably and include use of the resort’s Finnish sauna, access to treatments at Waves of Superior Spa and dining at Waves of Superior Café. The same spa and café are also located at Surfside, the newest addition to the resort family, which is located on 780 feet of shoreline. The waterfront townhomes feature floor-to-ceiling windows, in-suite fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, balconies and patios. Bluefin Bay, which has been named Resort Property of the Year by the Minnesota Lodging Association, said to be “a perfect spot for a family retreat” by Outside magazine, and recognized as a top romantic destination by a handful of publications, really offers something for everyone. Choose to stay in a guestroom overlooking the Sawtooth Mountains, a lakeside suite, studio or condo or townhome equipped with all the comforts of home. Aside from first-class lodging and views of the world’s largest freshwater lake, visitors also have access to all the outdoor activities the Lutsen-Tofte area has to offer. Go skiing or snowboarding at Lutsen Mountains, snowshoeing on Superior Hiking Trail, cross-country skiing on the Sugarbush Trail, snowmobiling on the North Shore State Snowmobile Trail, dog sledding with Stoney Creek Kennel, or ice skating at Bluefin Bay’s rink before cozying up by the adjacent bonfire. With three of Minnesota’s premier lakeside resorts all in one location, a stay at these properties is the perfect way to get closer to Lake Superior and each other. | |


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