Photo by David Bowman
A sunset viewing at Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters.
Before an all-inclusive vacay to Cancun was just a pop-up ad away. Before you could rent somebody’s well-appointed beach home in Aruba via PayPal. Before any of the luxuries of modern travel—or air conditioning—there were hot summers spent on the cool lakes of northern Minnesota. As early as the 1890s, family-owned summer resorts began dotting the state’s shorelines. They’d start as cabins, fishing shacks, or homesteads, but would evolve. Nine holes here. Eighteen more there. A cottage here, a main lodge there. In their own way, the families who started these resorts just kept making their little slice of Minnesota a little bit better and a little bit bigger. Many of these stalwarts persist today as throwback, everything-under-the-sun escapes where fams can ditch their routines and dive headlong into good old-fashioned Minnesota summertime. This is an ode to some of those storied resorts. Grab your family and go to one. We’ll be right there with you.
A bucolic Bay Lake family affair.
An oasis for outdoorsmen waaaaay up north.
Nisswa's natty grand dame.
A little slice of the Catskills on Gull Lake.
Lake Vermilion's rustic island hideaway.
Some more of our favorite ideas and products to keep the lodge fires burning at home.
Even more quintessential Minnesota resorts worthy of a summer getaway.