Minneapolis and St. Paul remain favorite Minnesota travel destinations for visitors seeking culture, museums and fine dining. But visitors after the sprawling appeal of the state’s luxury resorts do better by traveling to far-flung vacation properties situated on one of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes. Howling wolves, moonstruck lakes, densely wooded forest and snow-cloaked fields make a natural backdrop for the top-notch spa treatments, deeply quilted blankets, venison steaks, high-tech gadgets and superior hospitality available at Minnesota’s luxury resorts.
Minnesota’s Grandview Lodge luxury resort, situated on 750 acres of pine forest on Gull Lake, offers an on-site spa, sandy beach, nine-hole golf course, private cabins, screened front porches and game rooms. Guests can book spa massage treatments incorporating warmed river stones, couples massages, cinnamon-paprika cellulite treatments and kids’ pedicures. During summer, kids play on the resort water slide, and guests can snow mobile, cross-country ski or snowshoe during wintertime.
Guests stay cozy at the Larsmont luxury cottages on Lake Superior with goose down comforters, whirlpool tubs, leather chairs, in-room fireplaces, DVD players and satellite TV. Lakeside wood-burning saunas, indoor swimming pool, massage amenities and activities including croquet, horseshoes, weekend bonfires and fire pits for snuggling help guests relax. Visitors can check out GPS equipment before heading out into the Minnesota wilderness for birding, cross-country skiing or dog-sledding. Menus at the on-site restaurant include salmon stew, Swedish meatballs, Scandinavian pot roast and forest mushroom risotto.
Visitors to the Gunflint Lodge can bird watch for the region’s loons, mallards and bald eagles, paddle on the lake, horseback ride to springtime waterfalls, search for wild strawberries and watch the autumn leaves change color along the lake. Luxury cabins hold private saunas, wood-burning fireplaces and steam showers. Guests can take sleigh rides, book massage treatments and venture out on guided fishing expeditions. The on-site restaurant incorporates plenty of Minnesota’s culinary treats, including wild game, wild rice, forest berries and maple syrup. Wild blueberry salad vinaigrettes, Drambuie-scented venison and pan-seared duck star on the menu.
Located within 30 minutes of the Lake Superior wilderness, The Black Bear Casino Resort offers luxury accommodations for visitors interested in sampling some of Minnesota’s gambling and entertainment after hiking, canoeing or mountain snow-shoeing. Guests can dip into the swimming pool and hot tubs or relax in the sauna. The on-site restaurant serves shrimp, steak, and Canadian lobster, and the resort’s events calendar includes appearances from bands, performers and comedians. Flat-screen TVs, on-site massages, poker tournaments, blackjack tables and an 18-hole golf course round out the luxury offerings.
- lake superior shoreline great lake image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com