One of the best ways to enjoy what Minnesota has to offer—no matter what the season—is grab the family and escape to one of the state’s awesome resorts. No matter what you like to do—fishing, skiing (water or snow), hiking, boating, or just relaxing—you’ll find it at one of Minnesota’s family resorts. Here are some of our favorites.
Grandview is a classic Northwoods resort in the Brainerd Lakes area. This popular family getaway presides over the north end of Gull Lake and offers just about any activity your family could want. Golf? Check. Kids program? Check. Beach with waterfront activities? Check. And, yes, an award-winning spa, too. They also offer packages with a meal plan that can be used in any of the resort’s several restaurants.
It’s the Upper Midwest’s biggest ski resort, but its location in the Sawbill Mountains on Lake Superior’s North Shore make Lutsen a year-round destination for family fun. Whether its gondola rides between peaks, hiking the Superior Hiking Trail, golf, kayak lessons, naturalist programs, swimming, or just a bonfire with s’mores, everyone in the family will find something to do at Lutsen.
Since it first opened as Waterpark of America, families have flocked to this resort during all months of the year. With its rebranding as a Great Wolf Lodge, it’s likely to become even more popular. Not only does it boast one of the biggest indoor waterparks in the country, the Mall of America, with an indoor amusement park and all its other retail, dining, and entertainment offerings, is in close proximity. A regular shuttle runs between the resort and MoA.
Ruttger’s is prides itself on family-friendliness. Kids programs allow parents some time to enjoy the beach, golf, or each other. Yet boat rentals, fishing, and a kid-friendly executive course make for a lot of fun family togetherness. Meal plans at the resort mean you don’t have to worry about anything but relaxing.
Another classic in the popular Brainerd Lakes area, Madden’s not only has all that you’d want from a family-friendly law resort, it also boasts one of the country’s best public golf courses. Thankfully, there are plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied while you sneak in a round or pay a visit to the spa.
Duluth’s Edgewater Hotel and Waterpark is family-friendly in that it’s largely kid-centric. Mini-golf, an arcade, and 35,000 square-feet of water park make it so. But fun-loving grown-ups will enjoy all this, too, along with food and drink options, free bikes for guests to use, awesome Lake Superior views and close proximity to all that Duluth and Canal Park have to offer.
Quadna is the kind of resort that harks back to the state’s original notion of a lake resort. Laid back and pressureless but with enough available activities for family members looking for something to do. Tennis, hiking, biking, swimming, berry picking, and boat rentals keep folks busy in the summer. Cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing occupy winter days. And fishing is always on the agenda at Quadna.
Golf, fishing, boating, swimming, and snowmobiling in the winter, keep Cragun’s guests happy year-round. A sports center, Club Cragun’s kids program and one of the longest beaches on Gull Lake make sure the kids of all ages stay happy all day long. Then families—or parents only, perhaps—can enjoy one of the nightly lakeside bonfires strung along the property.
Breezy Point has long been synonomous with family fun in Minnesota. Multiple lodging options, boat rentals, live music, swimming, and golf bring attract families from all over the place to this Central Minnesota resort. With so many activities to choose from, it’s a good thing the Serenity Spa is not too far from anywhere in the resort.
The only lodge inside a state park is appropriately located within the oldest and one of the most popular parks in the system. Douglas Lodge at Itasca State Park offers countless opportunities for family fun, from swimming, hiking and fishing, to boat rentals, naturalist programs, park-led activities, geocaching, and, of course, straddling the headwaters of the Mississippi River.