If you wanted to go someplace that felt like home – well, you’d go home. But trust us, our No. 1 resort not only puts you at ease the moment you reach its doorstep, it also has all the creature comforts required of a Minnesota luxury experience.
The first obstacle that Nelson’s Resort tackles is feeding the family. Before you get visions of staff members putting bibs on everyone and asking you to “Open up for the plane,” just take a peek at Nelson’s menu. For breakfast, your angler can have the Fisherman’s Platter with a walleye fillet, eggs and more. At the dinner bell, the whole gang will rush to the table for honey pecan crusted halibut, Ruben rolls and ribs. There’s even a kids’ menu for tikes still attached to mini-corndogs and chicken strips. When it’s not meal time, it’s water time. Crane Lake is right outside your door and teeming with walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass. Or, take a canoe trip complete with swimming in the sparkling lake waters on the American/Canadian border. No matter which you choose, a perfect end to your Northwoods day is a Northwoods night beneath the colorful Northern Lights.
7632 Nelson Road, Crane Lake, MN 55725
Another home-like feature you and the kids can both enjoy at Nelson’s is Millie’s Garden. Breathe in the sweet scent of cabbage, lettuce, asparagus, orange marigolds and more.
Related Onsite Offerings
Fish wrapping and freezing services, sauna, playground, hiking trail, game room, volleyball, canoes and a boat launch.
Tamarack Resort is your base camp for family fun. Whether you're fishing off the dock, lounging on the beach, or roasting s'mores over a campfire, everyone is sure to be entertained. Come enjoy the rustic charm of these cozy cabins and indulge in an array of outdoor adventures!
Swap city strife for the simple life in the vast wilderness of this outdoor oasis. Burntside Lake awaits just outside your door, teeming with aquatic activities for all ages. Immerse yourself in the enchanting nature of one of the country's most beautiful lakes with more than 150 islands. With the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness nearby, this locale makes for a reviving retreat for families and friends. Enjoy plenty of family activities such as fishing, canoeing, or lounging by the lake. Wander to the quaint and welcoming town of Ely, Minnesota, for a day of shopping and dining. Spend an afternoon at the International Wolf Center or at the underground mine! In the evening, return to your fully furnished cabin with deck that overlooks the lake, and an outdoor grill. All ages are invited to soak in the simple life here!
P.O. Box 303, Ely, Minnesota 55731
Featuring 150 scenic islands, there are so many angling adventures to have on the lake. Fish near a different island every day and discover your new hot spot!
Burntside Lake keeps the water-based fun coming with two beaches and acres of prime fishing real estate. Reel in trophy fish, build sand castles, or just catch a tan!
As a parent you’ve had encounters with the unnatural, however, our No. 3 pick only surrounds you with all the natural beauty of the North Woods at "A Naturally Superior Destination"™.
In addition to being located in the midst of more than a million acres of Minnesota wilderness, the award-winning River Point Resort is also the only Ely resort and canoe outfitter on the northern, more intimate half of Birch Lake with direct water access to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Along with the impressive title come equally impressive cabins, luxury homes and villas. Inviting Northwoods décor such as knotty pine kitchens and living rooms and a wood-burning fireplace make up the interior of your MN family vacation. Outside, you can get your feet wet on the Aqua Jump Swim Raft or stay on land for a game of bocce ball. Possibilities are endless with kayaks, paddle boats, minnow buckets, an outside fireplace for bonfires, two sand beaches, a marina and more!
12007 River Point Road, Ely, MN 55731
When you feel the need to stretch those legs, try hiking the private “Trail of Reflections” at River Point. Take the kids along, as they’ll enjoy finding all the spots listed in the trail guide. Stop to enjoy a cool beverage at one of the amazing overlooks with sweeping views of the water below.
Related Onsite Offerings
Pontoon boats, pro fishing boats, massage therapy appointments, complete and partial canoe outfitting, fish cleaning houses and services, bait and tackle shop, unlimited firewood, gas grills and more.
The only time you can recall the word “fair” being used, it was in reference to your tan at last summer’s family function. Well, our No. 4 spot gives that pesky aunt something else “fair” to talk about. You just have to find a hammock on the beach and relax.
Fair Hills Resort is a family-owned and operated resort, meaning it remembers the key to a successful Minnesota summer vacation – the lake. We can’t give away the credit – due to Mother Nature – for Pelican Lake, but we can give Fair Hills props for its proximity to Pelican Lake and the aquatic services it offers. No matter what your experience level, Fair Hills will take the time to teach you a sport – for free! During Sports Week, golfing, tennis, swimming and water skiing lessons are taught by a professional instructor. Your older kids are definitely tired of catering to the youngest – the “weakest link,” as they sometimes tease – so spare the tears and participate in Fair Hills’ age-allocated activities! While your youngest is fishing, your 8 to 14 year old will be playing swimming games and you will be on the tennis courts. Afterwards, the whole family can enjoy the Hootenanny.
We think it’s near impossible to do all of Fair Hills scheduled activities, but we challenge you to try. Take a morning walk around Pelican Lake, relax in the quiet library, enjoy a boat cruise, play a round on the Wildflower Golf Course and more.
Related Onsite Offerings
Outdoor playground, game room, children’s movies, six tennis courts, a basketball court, volleyball court, executive nine-hole golf course, meal plans and more.
24270 County Hwy. 20, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
You’re no stranger to lengthy ordeals. You’ve stood, arms crossed, over tantrums that last an eternity. You can recall road trips without reprieve from whining. So, spending your precious vacation time at Long Lake really doesn’t sound appealing. Let us put your fears to rest with our No. 5 resort.
Lakecrest Resort on Minnesota’s Long Lake will only make you endure several hours relaxing in the shade. There’s no catch when staying at Lakecrest. Pure and simple, you can enjoy the Northwoods how you see fit. Rent a pontoon for the afternoon, exercise on a hydro-bike, zip down the waterslide, fish for bass, crappie and walleye or go bird watching. Far from being a feather-brained idea, Lakecrest is the prime spot to catch a glimpse of fascinating prairie chickens, a ruffed grouse, boreal chickadee, great gray owl and more because of Lakecrest’s location in the middle of the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail. Let the others go ahead while you stay behind to rest in peace and quiet. Stretch out on your grassy lawn. Nap on the comfy couch in the air-conditioned cabin. Take a night off from dinner duty and suggest that your sweetie throws something on the grill.
Birding buffs will be thrilled with the abundant area bird-watching spots such as Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, Hamden Slough, Dunton Locks Great Blue Heron Rookery, Felton and Bluestem Prairies, Itasca State Park and Buffalo River State Park.
Related Onsite Offerings
Games and activities provide full-time amusement with horseshoes, sand volleyball, tennis, basketball, swing sets, sand box, game room, shuffleboard, paddleboats, canoes, sailboats and more.
Lakecrest is open for the winter! Enjoy cold-weather sports like cross country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing.
Get back to nature as a family at Kavanaugh's Sylvan Lake Resort in Brainerd, Minnesota.
Kavanaugh's offers you and your family a spacious home away from home at any time of year in the Brainerd Lakes area. Watch a movie together in your cabin's living room, tell stories around the fire, or watch the sun set on your deck. No matter how big your family is, there is a lodging option to suit your need. No matter what time of year, you'll find plenty of activities perfect for family fun at Kavanaughs. When the snow falls, try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tube sliding. In the spring and summer, try a family fishing trip on Sylvan Lake. Or, in the fall, take a hike through the fiery colors of the woods. All this and more awaits you at Kavanaugh's.
1685 Kavanaugh Drive East Gull Lake, Minnesota 56401
Kavanaugh's is a year-round resort, so the family fun doesn't have to stop when the snow falls. Try snowmobiling or cross country skiing together!
Kavanaugh's has been family owned and operated since 1969!
There will be parts of the family reunion that you could do without, for example, Uncle Bill’s special goulash recipe. Yet, despite any unappetizing aspects, one thing is certain – it’s time for your competitive streak to shine. Here to appease your annual Olympian spirit is our No. 7 spot.
Conveniently close to Lanesboro, named one of 50 Best Outdoor Sports Towns by Sports Afield Magazine, friendly family contests or simple athletic outings are at your fingertips at Cedar Valley Resort. The 60-mile Root River State Bike Trail runs right through Cedar Valley and opens up to breathtaking views of 300-ft. bluffs and the Root River. If a Tour de Lanesboro is not the family competition you had in mind, Cedar Valley has a nine-hole Frisbee golf course, a volleyball court, basketball court and plenty of green lawn for a bocce ball tournament. When it comes to a time-out, enjoy Root River recreation like tubing, kayaking, canoeing and fishing for smallmouth bass and trout. Or, get your game on with a hunting expedition for deer, wild turkey, pheasants and grouse.
Cedar Valley Resort is also close to area attractions such as Amish tours, the Commonwealth Theater, a valley winery, Cornucopia Art Center and more.
From Minneapolis/St. Paul, take Hwy. 52 to Fountain. Take a left onto County Road 8 and travel east to Lanesboro. At Parkway, take a right and travel about five blocks to a stop sign. Make a left onto Hwy. 16 East and continue for four miles to Whalan. Turn left off of Hwy. 16 and onto Main Street. Travel over the bridge and continue straight until the road dead ends at Cedar Valley Resort.
Related Onsite Offerings
After all those family games, you’ll need to relax those strained muscles with a massage. Prana Healing Center provides therapeutic body work in the comfort of your cabin.
Flowers peek out of window boxes beneath the windows of cocoa brown cottages. The kids race to be the first on the bicycles as you drop the suitcases by the door. The cool breeze blows off the lake. Classic family fun awaits you at Dickerson's Lake Florida Resort near Spicer, Minnesota.
Dickerson’s has been family owned and operated for four generations. With that kind of history and experience, you can be sure that your stay at Dickerson’s will combine all the comforts of home with the amenities of a vacation. Just outside your cabin door, you will find a wealth of great family fun. Ride around the resort on Dickerson’s tricycles, bicycles and wagons or take a ride down the Glacial Lakes State Trail. Blaze a trail of your own across 674-acre spring-fed Lake Florida on a hydro-bike, canoe or paddle boat! You can also go fishing, play mini golf nearby, and much more. Bob and Connie Dickerson host mixers for everyone to get acquainted. On Sunday mornings, you can amble down to the Dickerson’s kitchen for homemade doughnuts and juice. Monday is pizza party night and Thursday night is the hayride for children followed by s’mores around the campfire.
13194 2nd St NE, Spicer, MN 56288
Dickerson’s Lake Florida Resort is located in Kandiyohi County, which has more than 40 marked historical sites and several museums, such as a boat museum and a car, truck and tractor museum.
Related Onsite Offerings
Wireless Internet, paddleboats, kayaks, hydro-bikes, sailboats, canoes, rowboats, hot air popcorn popper, drip coffee maker, picnic table and more await you at Dickerson's Lake Florida Resort.
Families will be treated to wilderness on water at Rainy Lake Houseboats! Located in the untainted Voyageurs National Park, you'll have access to an array of aquatic adventures, acres upon acres of natural land, and sun-soaked beaches. Rainy Lake proves that fun floats in International Falls!
This fun is nearly infinite, as guests can explore 220,000 acres of sky blue waters and idyllic forests. Take a plunge into aquatic activities at Voyageurs National Park, the only inland water-based park in the National Park System. Fishing fanatics can cast off on an expedition for a variety of fish species including walleyes, northern pike, smallmouth bass, black crappies, and muskies. Canoe or kayak a bevy of bays set amid stunning scenery. Whether you bring your own vessel or rent from Rainy Lake, you're sure reconnect with nature. Stay dry hiking through the tree-lined nature trails, bird watching, or observing the roaming wildlife. The family fun continues on your houseboat, which features amenities for all ages. Shoot down the waterslide, make a splash with the swim platform, and rock the boat with the stereo system. Once you've built up an appetite throw some burgers on the gas barbecue grill and lounge in the deck chairs. Accommodating anywhere from two to 12 guests, these boats can fit families of all sizes. Come stay at Rainy Lake Houseboats, where family fun floats on!
2031 County Road 102, International Falls, Minnesota 56649
Mother Nature is on full display here. Catch a glimpse of white-tailed deer, black bear, beaver, and moose. Focus your eyes on the skies and observe bald eagles, hawks, and ospreys, and pelicans soaring overhead.
Voyageurs National Park lies on the edge of the Canadian Shield, an exposed outcropping of ancient granite dating back 500 million years.
An idyllic Northwoods nook, Royal Starr Resort employs Minnesota's lush wilderness to ensure an unforgettable family vacation. Cozy cabins put you in close proximity to three fun-filled lakes and acres of tree-lined natural splendor!
Located on the 6th Crow Wing Lake between Park Rapids and Nevis, the aquatic adventures abound here. Cast off on a family fishing expedition, bounce on the Bongo Raft, or dive in for a swim. Kayak up the nearby river or just relax on the onsite beach and catch a tan. For those who prefer to stay dry, hike the lush nature trails, serve up a game of volleyball, or roast marshmallows over the bonfire. These 13 rustic cabins offer a classic up-north stay with all the comfort. Knotty pine interiors and views of the sparkling lakeshore make you feel connected with nature while amenities like fireplaces, private decks, and more make you feel at home. Prepare a delicious meal on the complimentary barbecue grill and then sit together as a family at the picnic table. Outdoor recreation and onsite relaxation make the Royal Starr an unforgettable family stay!
19222 Echo Ridge Drive, Nevis, MN 56467
Weekly kids craft time allows the little ones to use their imagination while holey board tournaments inspire a little healthy competition.
Related Onsite Offerings
Rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats from the resort and explore the waters any way you wish!