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Looking for some Northwoods seclusion for your annual family vacation? If it could talk, this is the part where the Brainerd Lakes area would say "Why not me?". With untouched natural splendor, thrilling water activities, and unparalleled relaxation, there's really no reason why you wouldn't pick this area for your family. While it might not be full of big city charm, dazzling you with bright lights and attractions at every turn, you and your family will leave wondering how soon you can return.
1

Kavanaugh's Sylvan Lake Resort

Brainerd, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 562 - 8458

Experience all that the Brainerd Lakes area has to offer at Kavanaugh's, a Minnesota resort that values the family experience over all else. Through their warm hospitality, lavish dwellings, and beautiful... read more

Experience all that the Brainerd Lakes area has to offer at Kavanaugh's, a Minnesota resort that values the family experience over all else. Through their warm hospitality, lavish dwellings, and beautiful scenery, your family will feel right at home.

Like most family resorts, variety is the spice of life at Kavanaugh’s. Golf, boating, biking, fishing, antique shopping, and snowmobiling are not only options but pleasures. Open year round, most of these activities are as much fun in winter as they are in summer. Glorious Gull Lake stretches along the shoreline, inviting you and your family to untold hours of wet and wild fun. Of course, the immaculately manicured rooms are full of modern decor and deluxe comforts.

Address

1685 Kavanaugh Drive, Brainerd, MN 56401

Population

13,487 as of 2013

Elevation

1,217′

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2

Gull Four Seasons Resort

Brainerd, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 783 - 4150

The Brainerd Lakes are chock full of quality resorts, and this list only exemplifies what a great region this is for family travel. From its placement at the number two spot on our list, you know that Gull Four... read more

The Brainerd Lakes are chock full of quality resorts, and this list only exemplifies what a great region this is for family travel. From its placement at the number two spot on our list, you know that Gull Four Seasons is no exception. Whether your family craves seclusion or simply wants to nurture their inner angler, the Four Seasons can help them fulfill their mission.

Does your family never run out of energy? Do they love swimming? Four Seasons has you in mind. In addition to the natural splendor of Gull Lake, you can go swimming at the huge on-site indoor swimming pool facility. Including a pool, kiddie pool, whirlpool, and sauna, it's the perfect place to go if the weather is less-than-ideal. If it IS ideal, however, step outside to the incredible patio and work on your tan while the kids swim in the outdoor swimming pool or experience the crystal clear waters of the lake.

Address

4132 St Columbo Rd, Brainerd, MN 56401

Related activities

Brainerd is known for the Brainerd International Raceway, which hosts races throughout the year and has a national drag racing meet annually in August.

Fun facts

The state record for Walleye is 17 pounds, 8 ounces.

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3

Pine Terrace Resort

Crosslake, Minnesota

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+1 (855) 773 - 7954

What comes to mind when you hear the words “Pine” and “Terrace”? For most, rustic luxury is what immediately springs into their head. The words evoke a casual elegance and old-world modernism, a sentiment... read more

What comes to mind when you hear the words “Pine” and “Terrace”? For most, rustic luxury is what immediately springs into their head. The words evoke a casual elegance and old-world modernism, a sentiment that is personified at Pine Terrace Resort. You and your family will be loathe to leave.

Your family will be beleaguered by the multitudes of enticing activities for one or for everyone. From boating out to fish for largemouth bass, northern pike, sunfish, and crappies, to hiking along the neighboring trails, your family will be so tired at the end of the day that you’ll barely notice the amazing luxury cabins you’re staying in. Come to Star Lake, and Pine Terrace will make you feel like the star of the lake!

Address

35101 Pine Terrace Rd, Crosslake, MN 56442

Elevation

‎1,240 feet

Total area

The resort itself occupies more than 36 acres of glorious woodland habitat!

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4

Bay View Lodge

Crosslake, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 880 - 2352

Since 1945 Bay View Lodge has provided a wonderful retreat for families from all over the midwest. There's a reason that a large percentage of their guests are repeat customers!

Fishing, golfing, shopping,... read more

Since 1945 Bay View Lodge has provided a wonderful retreat for families from all over the midwest. There's a reason that a large percentage of their guests are repeat customers!

Fishing, golfing, shopping, hiking, nature-watching, skiing... the fun activities available at Bay View reads like a grocery list of awesomeness. You'll spend a huge portion of your time out on the lake, swimming, boating, and fishing to your hearts content. Accommodations are homey and spacious, perfect for any size of family. When you aren't relaxing in its warm embrace, spend an afternoon in Crosslake, window shopping and having a merry old time.

Address

12038 Harbor Lane, Crosslake, MN 56442

Related activities

Make sure you stop in at Crosslakes' legendary ice cream parlor!

Fun facts

There are 14 lakes in the Whitefish Chain.

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+1 (866) 835 - 0564

You’re on vacation. The kids are off doing who-knows-what, but they’re undoubtedly having a good time. So what do you do? Simple: grab your clubs and hit the links! Not only is Cragun’s Resort and Hotel the... read more

You’re on vacation. The kids are off doing who-knows-what, but they’re undoubtedly having a good time. So what do you do? Simple: grab your clubs and hit the links! Not only is Cragun’s Resort and Hotel the perfect place for the entire family, but it’s the perfect place for playing the gentlemen’s game to your heart's content.

Cragun’s Resort and Hotel has been the premiere Brainerd Lakes golf resort for almost 80 years. Combining towering trees, verdant green fairways and a spectacular location adjacent to Gull Lake, the courses are a treat for the senses as much as for the playing. Of course, this is a family vacation, and odds are your entire family isn't going to be as enamored with golf as you are. Visit the marina on Gull Lake and try out boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming, and more. When you’re done, return to your comfy room or cabin and relax in unparalleled splendor.

Address

11000 Craguns Dr, Brainerd, MN 56401

Highlights

Cargun's offers 54 holes of golf on nearly 15,000 yards of beautiful Northern scenery.

Related activities

If you feel the need for ski, the Brainerd Lakes Ski Area is only eight miles away.

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6

Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge

Deerwood, Minnesota

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+1 (800) 450 - 4545

Since 1898, families have been flocking to Ruttger’s Bay Lodge for frivolity and the unmistakable aroma of freshly-made memories. With a potent blend of golfing, fishing, and pampering available, your family... read more

Since 1898, families have been flocking to Ruttger’s Bay Lodge for frivolity and the unmistakable aroma of freshly-made memories. With a potent blend of golfing, fishing, and pampering available, your family will be as busy or as unburdened as they choose. After all, isn't a vacation mostly about choice?

If you’re looking for a real Minnesota cabin vacation, they don't get much more authentic than at Ruttger's. The shores of flawless Bay Lake are a paradise of family fun and relaxation. Choose from 27 holes of golf, a luxurious spa, and Bay Lake itself present a diverse and exciting mix of potential activities for you and your family to immerse yourselves in. Spend time together or get some alone time; again, it’s all about choice. Make Ruttger’s your summer destination; your family will thank you for it.

Address

25039 Tame Fish Lake Rd, Deerwood, MN 56444

Season

Open year round!

Highlights

Crappie, walleye, bass, muskie, and rainbow trout are available in the area for your fishing pleasure.

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7

Madden's on Gull Lake

Brainerd, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 788 - 2154

For the family constantly on the move, Madden’s is the perfect place to slow down your hectic lives and simply relax. Hit the lake for some watersports or waltz into the spa for a day of primping; if you want... read more

For the family constantly on the move, Madden’s is the perfect place to slow down your hectic lives and simply relax. Hit the lake for some watersports or waltz into the spa for a day of primping; if you want to spend a weekend worrying about nothing but what you’re eating for dinner, Madden's is the place for you.

"Do it all, or do nothing" -Words that Madden’s (and, by extension, their guests) lives by. Madden's famous golf courses, delicious restaurants, and pristine sand beaches are only some of the options at your fingertips. While the kids are having a blast on the lake, head over to The Spa at Madden's for unparalleled relaxation. With a stunning lake view and relaxing plantation-style architecture just a few feet from Gull Lake, The Spa at Madden's will make you melt into a content pile of ooze. Try out a rejuvenating pedicure, or feeling your stress melt away with a hot stone massage. Either way, you're going to be reminiscing about it for years to come (or until you go back).

Address

11266 Pine Beach Peninsula, Brainerd, MN 56401

Highlights

There are over 35 species of aquatic life in the water of Gull Lake!

Fun facts

Of the seven Gull Lakes in Minnesota, this Gull Lake is the largest in area and shoreline.

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8

Sullivan's Resort & Campground

Brainerd, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 850 - 1458

Between Sullivan's superb accommodations and impeccable hospitality, it's easy to lose track of time!

Located in scenic Brainerd, Sullivan's Resort's nine two-bedroom deluxe cabins, one three-bedroom, and... read more

Between Sullivan's superb accommodations and impeccable hospitality, it's easy to lose track of time!

Located in scenic Brainerd, Sullivan's Resort's nine two-bedroom deluxe cabins, one three-bedroom, and huge Retreat Home are the perfect place for you and your family on your next vacation! Brainerd is chock full of things to do and see for families of all sizes, but perhaps the best way to spend your time is on the lake! Take a boat out for some fishing, cannonball off the dock, or just catch a tan on the shore- when you return you'll have Sullivan's bevy of amenities and cozy cabins to look awaiting you!

Address

7685 Co Rd 127, Brainerd, MN 56401

Getting there

The resort lies 13.1 miles from downtown Brainerd.

Related Onsite Offerings

Guest laundry and a fish cleaning station are also available.

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9

Grand View Lodge

Nisswa, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 758 - 4381

While golf, spas, and romantic walks on the beach might be more catered to newlyweds, the historic Grand View Lodge on Gull Lake has a fanatical devotion to providing quality family vacations as well.

Yes,... read more

While golf, spas, and romantic walks on the beach might be more catered to newlyweds, the historic Grand View Lodge on Gull Lake has a fanatical devotion to providing quality family vacations as well.

Yes, there are two championship golf courses on the property. Yes, the rejuvenating Glacial Waters Spa has been pampering guests for eons. And while your children will appreciate these thing when they’re older, right now they just want to have some good clean FUN. Not to worry: this has been Grand View’s mission since 1916. Waterskiing, horseback riding, and paddleboard yoga (maybe not) will all entice and enrapture younger minds. Rooms can accommodate all sizes and tastes. Grand View succinctly puts it, “Whatever you are looking for in a Minnesota resort vacation, we have the lodging just right for you”.

Address

23521 Nokomis Ave, Nisswa, MN 56468

Population

2,004 as of 2013

Fun facts

Nisswa comes from the Ojibwe word "nessawae" (which means "in the middle" or "three")

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10

Train Bell Resort

Merrifield, Minnesota

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+1 (800) 252 - 2102

In the end, what is a family vacation about? It’s about becoming a more tight-knit community. You share experiences, laughs, and memories that can last a lifetime. Train Bell Resort knows this and invites your... read more

In the end, what is a family vacation about? It’s about becoming a more tight-knit community. You share experiences, laughs, and memories that can last a lifetime. Train Bell Resort knows this and invites your family to make those memories with them.

To no one’s surprise, the Lodge is located on a lake, this time the beautiful North Long Lake. Known for its fabulous fishing and crystal clear water, it’s the perfect place for the kids to swim and you to relax on the sugar sand beach. A multitude of habitations are available: lakeshore cabins, condos, villas, and even a grand lodge will accommodate parties of all sizes, and come stocked with cozy decor and modern amenities. If you want some undisturbed family time, rent a pontoon for a fun day on the water, a day in which your family will have no choice but to get along. That’s another part of a family vacation: forcing them to be with each other.

Address

21489 Train Bell Rd, Merrifield, MN 56465

Highlights

A vintage tourist train offers trips around the property's grounds!

Getting there

The resort is only 10.2 miles from Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

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11

Agate Lake Resort

Nisswa, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 389 - 6320

Agate Lake Resort is the family owned and operated destination of choice for families from all over the midwest!

Open year round, Agate Lake shines in every season! Their rustic Nisswa location gives them... read more

Agate Lake Resort is the family owned and operated destination of choice for families from all over the midwest!

Open year round, Agate Lake shines in every season! Their rustic Nisswa location gives them serene tranquility aplenty, while remaining right in the middle of some of the state’s finest golfing and fishing destinations. On warm summer days you'll want to spend most of your time out on the clear, sandy beach, shallow for even the smallest of swimmers. Cast off the dock or rent a boat for some stupendous lake fishing, or head into town for restaurants, golf courses, shopping and other activities – something’s always happening in Nisswa and at Agate Lake Resort!

Address

9326 Agate Lake Rd, Nisswa, MN 56468

Related activities

The resort is 12 miles north from Isle, 21.1 miles from Garrison and 29.9 miles from Grand Casino Mille Lacs.

Related Onsite Offerings

There's a fire pit, plus a sandy beach and a kids' playground.

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+1 (218) 828 - 9308

Canoeing, kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding... A stay at Shady Hollow Resort and Campground is filled with fun from start to finish!

As the sole resort on pristine Hardy Lake, Shady Hollow Resort and... read more

Canoeing, kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding... A stay at Shady Hollow Resort and Campground is filled with fun from start to finish!

As the sole resort on pristine Hardy Lake, Shady Hollow Resort and Campground makes good use of its unique backdrop. All kinds of families will find something to love, whether you're interested in tranquility or adventure. Tucked away in rolling hills and pines forests, those looking for a peaceful setting need only step out the door. Meanwhile, there's practically no end to the activities your family can take part in here. Of note, the fishing at Shady Hollow is spectacular; Northern, Bass, Crappies, Sunfish, and that elusive Walleye are all waiting to be caught!

Address

1009 Shady Hollow Rd, Pillager, MN 56473

Extra Stops

The lodge is only 9.6 miles from downtown Brainerd.

Related Onsite Offerings

Other amenities include a game room, guest laundry, and a convenience store selling ice cream and fishing bait.

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13

Niemeyer's Rugged River Resort

Brainerd, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 694 - 9948

Families from all over the midwest flock to Niemeyer's Rugged River Resort for all sorts of reasons- come and find yours!

Show your family the joys of fishing at Niemeyer’s Rugged River Resort! Flanked by... read more

Families from all over the midwest flock to Niemeyer's Rugged River Resort for all sorts of reasons- come and find yours!

Show your family the joys of fishing at Niemeyer’s Rugged River Resort! Flanked by the majestic Brainerd Lakes area, head out on the water for a chance at some Northern Pike and Walleye. The lodge's mile of undeveloped shoreline makes for a beautiful setting for just about any activity, from water fun to a nap on the sand. What's more, Niemeyer's Rugged River Resort is only a few minutes away from Brainerd, where you can shop, eat, and experience small town charm to your heart's content!

Address

12241 Stallman Rd, Brainerd, MN 56401

Getting there

The resort is 9.3 miles from Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

Related Onsite Offerings

Other amenities include a playground, boat launch, fishing dock, shuffleboard court and hiking trails.

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14

Quarterdeck Resort

Nisswa, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 920 - 1237

Known far and wide as one of the finest resort properties on Gull Lake, Quarterdeck is an incredible place to spend a weekend. Grab the family and come show them how Quarterdeck got its reputation in the first... read more

Known far and wide as one of the finest resort properties on Gull Lake, Quarterdeck is an incredible place to spend a weekend. Grab the family and come show them how Quarterdeck got its reputation in the first place!

From its intense hospitality to its spacious accommodations, there's little your family WON'T love here. In Gull Lake's waters you'll find boundless enjoyment via the 10,000 acres of water sports playground with miles and miles of shoreline to explore. Make sure you check out the sandbar for fantastic sunbathing! Meanwhile, parents will love the newly refurbished 12 lakeside Lodge Suites, new terraced landscaping, and the new 96 slip dock system! Quarterdeck may have "quarter" in the name, but you'll have all the fun!

Address

9820 Birch Bay Dr SW, Nisswa, MN 56468

Related activities

The resort is less than a mile from winter sports at Ski Gull and 10 miles from downtown Nisswa.

Related Onsite Offerings

There are also basketball and tennis courts, plus hiking and snowmobiling trails.

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