1 . Ruttger's Birchmont Lodge

Bemidji, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (218) 444 - 3463

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Maybe you were expecting a doorman or a bellhop. Instead, the first thing that greeted you was a giant moose head and a 50-in. muskie! Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge introduces you to the Minnesota Northwoods right away and you will only continue to become further acquainted throughout your stay.

Near the land of legendary Paul Bunyan and Babe, his blue ox, and close to the start of the Mississippi River, we found that magical times are a reality at Ruttger’s Birchmont. Our No. 1 pick dazzled us with more than just northern ambiance. Was it the 1,700 feet of natural sand beach and the marina with Sunfish Sailboats, pontoons and complimentary canoes, kayaks and rowboats? Or was it the supervised Children’s Program with obstacle courses, swimming and family bonfires? Or maybe it was really the two surfaced tennis courts and half basketball court behind the indoor pool facility with pool, hot tub, sauna and weight training rooms. It is all of these amenities combined and more that lend Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge a special place in our hearts. We hope there are many more generations to come after the already amazing four generations of Ruttger family hospitality!

Fun facts

Established in 1915 and originally named Birchmont Beach Hotel, the resort was renamed Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge in 1937 when it was bought by the Ruttger family, whose history of owning and operating resorts stretches back to 1898.

Related activities

Bemidji is renowned for its deer, duck and grouse hunting and during the winter, Ruttger’s Birchmont has skis and snowshoes for rent.

Related Onsite Offerings

Ruttger’s Historic Dining Room offers a complimentary continental breakfast to all registered resort guests and has the option of dining in the lakefront dining room or on the new outdoor patio for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

2 . Zippel Bay Resort

Baudette, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 452 - 9617

WEBSITE

Our No. 2 spot has two unique features. First, it is within the Walleye Capital of the World. Second, it is the only resort on Zippel Bay. But we found more than two reasons to stay at Zippel Bay Resort in Minnesota’s breathtaking Lake of the Woods County!

Picture yourself on a path surrounded by seemingly endless pencil thin trees with sunshine yellow or burnt orange and red leaves. This path can lead you further through fanning boughs of pine trees or to the edge of the 65,000 miles of shoreline on Lake of the Woods. Our path led us to our cabin, rustic but modern, with a comfy sofa in front of a large stone fireplace and a Jacuzzi tub and steam massage shower! Of course, this wasn’t the only path we took. Being on or near the large public hunting land in Lake of the Woods County, Zippel Bay offers prime hunting opportunities. Take your pick of challenging game from mallard and grouse to whitetail deer and bear! And, of course, we couldn’t resist mentioning fishing. Zippel Bay is your lucky catch with the highest walleye and sauger limits in Minnesota and premier lodging!

Related Onsite Offerings

The Out-post Cabin is perfect for the avid hunter. Next to Beltrami State Forest, this four-bedroom log cabin is completely surrounded by public hunting land.

Related activities

Fishing isn’t just for warm weather on Zippel Bay! Drive out on well-maintained ice roads to rent a heated ice fishing house, a dark house, a tip-up house or a sleeper house.

Fun facts

Lake of the Woods is on the border between Minnesota and Canada and has 14,000 islands.

3 . Kohl's Resort

Bemidji, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 336 - 4384

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Loon songs, Big Turtle and creative sand castles…this isn’t the fantasy land you invented as a child. It’s Kohl’s Resort in Bemidji, Minnesota! This Northwoods lakeside resort is a family-oriented haven. Bring the whole family to make memories that are far more magical than any daydream!

Situated on the eastern shore of Big Turtle Lake, Kohl’s is tucked away in the freshly scented pine and birch trees of Buena Vista State Forest. The clear blue water of this lake is home to various game fish and the Minnesota state bird, the loon. On top of all this is our favorite: the weekly Sandcastle Contests! Grab your buckets and exercise your creativity in sand architecture. We’re sure glad we got to see some of the wondrous creations that guests at Kohl’s thought up! More favorites of ours include the minnow races, massage hours, canoe trips, the water trampoline, indoor pool, sauna, game room and more! A little birdie also told us that our No. 3 spot is ideal for avid birdwatchers to spot osprey, Boreal chickadee, Great Blue Heron and many more (the little birdie also told us that once you come to Kohl’s, you’ll keep coming back year after year!).

Related activities

Though Kohl’s calls itself a Bemidji Family Resort, they also know how to take care of the ladies. Come up for Ladies Weekend and enjoy the company of other ardent scrapbookers and stampers.

Fun facts

Kohl’s Resort was founded in 1948 by Helen Kohl, a fashion model, and Bob Kohl, a professional photographer, who were tired of Chicago city life. So, they took their two-year-old son and moved to a two cabin vacation property in northern Minnesota.

Related Onsite Offerings

Who says fun at Kohl’s is only for the summer? During the winter, Kohl’s maintains a private skating rink with a hockey net! Bring your skates, sticks and pucks and get in the game!

4 . Sportsman's Lodge

Baudette, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 862 - 8602

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Finally, a true fishing lover’s lodge! There is definitely something fishy going on at Sportsman’s Lodge in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. And this is good news for the fervent fisherman looking for walleye, sauger, muskie, northern pike, perch, crappie, rock bass and more!

Sportsman’s Lodge has thought of every spin you’d want on a Minnesota Northwoods vacation. Stay at Eagle Ridge, the more secluded wilderness lodging, or walk a little further to Oak Island which is close to the Minnesota-Canadian border. Rainy River is the main lodge and, in our opinion, the ultimate headquarters for anglers. Year-round fishing adventures with Sportsman’s means they assist you in every way – in obtaining a fishing license, bait, providing excellent guides and a successful catch! Some people claim that “seeing is believing,” but you can take it from our eyes that the game at Sportsman’s Lodge is on and you’ll come out the victor. Of course, we get carried away when it comes to amazing Minnesota fishing lodges, but here are activities for the non-rod and tackle-bearing guests: mushroom picking, horseback riding, a Fish Fry Cruise, guided duck and goose hunting, a round of golf and 500 miles of snowmobile trails!

Related Onsite Offerings

Sportsman’s Lodge also makes your fishing trip easier with 16 charter boats, 40 fishing houses and docking available.

Related activities

When the sun goes down, if you’re tired of casting and reeling, come to The Sandbar for billiards, darts, video games, live bands, a wood dance floor and tasty beverages!

Getting there

From Minneapolis/St. Paul, take I-94 West to the Clearwater Exit and then take Hwy. 24 East to Hwy. 10 North. Follow this road to Motley. From Motley, take Hwy. 64 North to Hwy. 200 West. Then take Hwy. 71 North to Blackduck and go straight to MN Hwy. 72. This road will take you all the way to the east side of Baudette and to a T in the road. Take Hwy. 11 West through Baudette to Hwy. 172 North on the west side of Baudette and. Take Hwy 172 North for 12 miles and watch for Sportsman’s Lodge’s sign.Turn right on County Road 33. The lodge is straight ahead.

5 . Paradise Resort

Pennington, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (218) 835 - 6514

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We’ve found paradise! Seriously, we have. Paradise Resort on Moose Lake caught our attention and earned itself the No. 5 spot of Northern retreats we’d love to escape to again and again! So grab your sunscreen and your sense of adventure for this Minnesota lake experience!

Paradise Resort understands that vacation is synonymous with location. That’s why they’ve chosen a picturesque spot on Moose Lake among cedar tree groves in the Chippewa National Forest. This is the backdrop to a peaceful walleye, bluegill, crappie, bass and northern fishing expedition for those who are experienced or those who are just beginning. We love that this paradise has boats big enough for the whole family. Rent the Crestliner Canadian 18 Tiller. With its 18-ft. flat floor, pedestal seats, 40 hp Mercury motor and fish finder, the entire group is in for a memorable treat. We suggest getting your feet wet and sampling the various water toys at Paradise, including paddle bikes, a water trampoline with a slide, hydro-paddlers and more! These, along with an outdoor playground, horseshoes and local golf courses, make Paradise Resort an oasis of entertainment!

Getting there

Moose Lake is located 25 miles east of Bemidji, midway between U.S. Highway 2 from Call Lake and Blackduck, Minnesota, 220 miles north of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Related Onsite Offerings

The Lodge, newly renovated in 2008, can provide you with tackle, bait, fishing licenses and some grocery items. It also has a new grill that serves delicious hamburgers, fries, chicken, shrimp, pizza and appetizers!

Related activities

Nearby attractions include Las Vegas-style gambling and the Itasca State Park, where the headwaters of the Mississippi are found.

6 . Cyrus Resort

Baudette, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 258 - 4457

WEBSITE

In the Land 10,000 Lakes, it can be exasperating to choose just one. Let us narrow it down for you: Bostic Bay in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. You’ll be warbling a happy loon tune in no time when you delight in Cyrus Resort’s many amenities.

We’ve talked a lot about fishing first, so we’ll switch it up and tell you about activities that don’t involve gills. During winter, stretches of powdery white snow await the tracks of your snowmobile. In summer, run after the kids on the outdoor playground or challenge someone to a game of horseshoes. We liked the sound of lounging in the outdoor heated pool best! But we can see you’re anxious to hear about what Cyrus offers for the angler at heart. Bostic Bay is a prime location for northern pike and chartered fishing trips that bring you so close, you’ll feel like you can lean over and touch a fin! The lake may freeze, but that doesn’t mean your fun has to freeze too. Hop on Bombardier transportation to a heated ice fishing house to make that memorable story about the prize catch in the cold of winter.

Related Onsite Offerings

Cabins at Cyrus Resort are cozy and convenient with color TV, linens and fully-equipped kitchens. Larger three- to six-bedroom cabins come with a fireplace!

Related activities

Cyrus Resort has an onsite full bar and restaurant that will prepare an unforgettably delicious shoreline lunch of fresh walleye when you know you’re going to be out on the water all day.

Fun facts

If you are flying into the Baudette Airport of Minnesota, Cyrus Resort can make special arrangements to provide you with transportation from the airport.

7 . Finn'n Feather Resort

Bemidji, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 233 - 2073

WEBSITE

Looking for onsite bait’n tackle? Horseback riding’n state parks? Golf’n gambling? Well, look no further than Finn’n Feather Resort on Lake Andrusia of Bemidji in the woodlands of northwestern Minnesota!

No rumbling of large RVs, screams from the all-girl tent on their first camping trip or stranger’s dogs wandering into your yard. Finn’n Feather Resort is dedicated to providing a serene but entertaining “vacation home” environment. No space for recreational vehicles, no campground and no pets allowed. So, what is allowed? Pure fun’n sun! As part of the Cass Lake chain, Lake Andrusia is teeming with walleye, sunfish, muskies, bass and more. Gas, tackle and bait are on site, along with boat rentals so that all you have to bring is your fishing pole! Fish cleaning facilities and in-house guides make it even easier to find one of an unlimited number of spots to cast your lure. Horseback riding stables, six Bemidji area golf courses, casinos, the beautiful Chippewa National Forest and Itasca State Park are within your grasp! At Finn’n Feather, the kids will never be bored’n complaining. Check out the minnow races, famous family picnics, pickleball, hiking trails, baseball diamond and much more!

Getting there

Finn’n Feather is located 10 miles east of Bemidji and six miles northwest of Cass Lake on Lake Andrusia. Bemidji is served daily by flights from the Minneapolis airport.

Fun facts

At its deepest point, Lake Andrusia is 60 feet and at its widest it is 2.6 miles. It has three inlets: Big Lake Creek, an unnamed creek from Stocking Lake and the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River is Lake Andrusia’s only outlet.

Related Onsite Offerings

Cribs and high chairs are on site and can be set up for free if reserved prior to your family’s arrival.

8 . Morning Star Resort

Cass Lake, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (888) 335 - 8832

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Tradition is not just a series of rituals reserved for the holidays. Join in the tradition of relaxing Minnesota lakeside vacations at Morning Star Resort on Lake Andrusia. With nightly beach bonfires, a waterfront picnic area, boat launch and more, Morning Star will become a family favorite!

Morning Star Resort has the much-desired quality of seclusion paired with the convenience of proximity to Bemidji and other area attractions. If one lake’s tranquil waters are not enough, steer your boat in the direction of the eight other lakes in the Cass Lake chain. Just make sure you return with your catch of the day and fire up the grill by your cabin’s deck! Take a dip in the crystal blue water off the dock or take the kids tubing and water skiing! When they’ve exhausted themselves on the playground or building sandcastles, we recommend taking a much-needed rest on the sandy beach with a good book. Organize a game of horseshoes or volleyball before heading out for some sightseeing at Paul Bunyan’s Playhouse or shop in downtown Bemidji. Disappear into the forested lake country of Northern Minnesota at Morning Star Resort and reenter the world refreshed and revitalized!

Average temperature

In the summer, the average temperature is 70-85 degrees F and in the spring it is 45-65 degrees F.

Getting there

From Cass Lake, MN travel two miles west on Hwy. 2 to County Rd. 75. Travel 3.75 miles on County Rd. 75/Palace Casino Rd. to County Rd. 33. Turn right onto County Rd. 33/Mission Rd. Travel 1.75 miles to Bald Eagle Drive. There will be a large Morning Star Resort sign on the left. Turn left onto Bald Eagle Drive and travel 1.75 miles to the T in the road. Turn left onto Lake Andrusia Rd. and travel .75 miles until you see Morning Star Resort on your left. The resort is located at 223 Circle Loop.

Fun facts

Lake Andrusia is 1,647 acres and Cass Lake is 15,596 acres.

9 . Break on the Lake Resort

Cass Lake, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 443 - 5101

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Our No. 9 spot couldn’t be more straightforward with its name: Break on the Lake Resort. Isn’t this what we’re all ultimately striving for this summer (or winter, for those cold sport lovers)? True to its name, this Cass Lake resort is simple and restful.

Enjoy community on Spaghetti Night when you can spend quality time with your family and meet other families staying at Break on the Lake. There is a pool, sun deck, outdoor playground and lodge with pizza and snacks, but the amenities we deem most important are the watercraft. In paddleboat or kayak, take time to paddle out on Cass Lake to Star Island which has its own lake, Lake Windigo. This is the only lake inside of a lake in the country! When you have completed your historic expedition, try your luck at catching the largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, muskie, walleye and perch that swim beneath the water’s surface. If your travels take you off the lake, Forestedge Winery is the next stop for sampling delectable fruit and berry wines. Remember – this is your break and you should relax and enjoy it however you want. And that’s the philosophy at Break on the Lake!

Fun facts

Bemidji is divided into two parts. The older section has quaint shops, restaurants and a small theater. The newer section has modern department stores like Target, a movie theater and more restaurants.

Related Onsite Offerings

One dock space or slip is free for one boat per cabin at Break on the Lake Resort’s dock.

Getting there

Break on the Lake Resort is located on the north shore of Allen’s Bay on Cass Lake. Take US Hwy. 2 to Resort Area Dr./County Rd. 75. Drive 3.5 miles to County Rd. 33. Turn right and continue 2.5 miles to the Break on the Lake Resort sign.

10 . Wigwam Resort

Baudette, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (218) 634 - 2168

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Of course a Minnesota Northwoods vacation would be incomplete without some form of fishing fun, but our No. 10 pick, Wigwam Resort on the Rainy River has compiled an impressively comprehensive array of services for all seasons of fishing!

A yellow log lodge surrounded by manicured grounds with a full-service dining room, nightly entertainment and a cabana bar stand at the forefront of this wooded resort. Inside you are greeted by an inviting fireplace and cushy chairs and impeccable service. Winter, summer, spring or fall – it doesn’t matter, the staff is here to make your angling adventure at Wigwam a success. In the winter, ice fish with bait, poles and tackle from the resort and have the resort clean, package and freeze your catch for the trip home! Summer fishing means you can take the boat on Rainy River and expert guides will help you from fishing the reefs to down-rigging for that story-worthy walleye. Spring means the days are longer and the guides track fish daily to acquire the expert knowledge for you and your fishing team. Fall fishing for sturgeon can be combined with hunting to make the ultimate sportsman experience!

Related Onsite Offerings

Enjoy special package deals on special occasions at Wigwam Resort like a bachelor or bachelorette party!

Fun facts

Wigwam Resort is a pet-friendly resort.

Related activities

Want to keep up with the goings-on at Wigwam even after you’ve left? Check out the Wigwam Blog on the resort’s website!

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