United States Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Minnesota-UP NORTH trip report

Jump to last reply

Thank you to everyone who helped us plan our visit to Minnesota.
We used our remaining USAIR dividend miles to fly to Minneapolis. We picked up a rental car from Alamo ($78. for four days, great deal, filthy car and long! line at the airport). We stayed at the Blue Fin Bay resort in Tofte, MN. The location was ideal for touring in the area. We were warned in advance the food in the dining room was not good, so we never tried it. The room we rented was $271. a night, first night free. It was a large one bedroom unit with a full kitchen, one bath, living room/dining room. The bedroom had a queen bed. My husband got quite ill one night so I moved to the sofa bed in the living room. It was horrible. I am no dainty flower and can usually sleep on any flat surface, but that was the problem. The sofa bed had a very large bend in the center and simply would not go flat. I mention this only to caution anyone planning to depend on the sofa bed for extra room. The unit directly faced Lake Superior and had a small deck on the water. The service staff at the hotel was very accomodating and the equipment available to guests is good quality and well maintained. I highly recommend the Blue Fin.
We had two exceptionally good meals. One at the Angry Trout in Grand Marais. Fresh and delicious food, well prepared with an entertaining otter to keep us amused between courses. The other great meal was at the Scenic Cafe on the Scenic roadway just outside of Duluth, south of Two Harbors. We ate fairly good meals at the Cascade Lodge (incredible soup) and the Vanilla Bean Cafe (excellent fresh herring). Our meal at the Satellite Cafe (highly recommended by the Minn/St.Paul newspaper) was very ordinary...bagged salad which had turned brown didn't do much to enhance the experience. We ended up driving to Ely to see the Wolf Center. It was very impressive. We didn't find a good meal there, but we stopped at Sherry's for ice cream and liked it.
Probably the single most impressive aspect of our visit was the State park and hiking trails systems. The parks are exceedingly well maintained. Gooseberry Falls is outstanding. The staff in each park was very cordial and well informed. The hiking trails (especially the Superior trail) are so well marked, groomed and accessible everyone of moderate fitness should be able to enjoy parts of it.
I am a knitter and happened to run out of yarn mid project. We stopped in three yarn stores (Grand Marais, good selection, lovely lady, Tofte, perfect match yarn for my project plus a very charming owner, and a great shop with yarn, buttons and beautiful handmade Danish paper mobiles just south of Two Harbors, owner's very nice husband was in charge while were there). We found all the gifts we needed in the Gooseberry Falls State Park gift shop. It was well managed and the prices were good. I was very surprised that with the exceptions of the three yarn stores and the State Park gift shop we were never greeted, offered any degree of assistance or even acknowledged by most of the sales staff in businesses. This was a striking contrast to the food servers who were to a person charming, helpful and very pleasant.
Minnesota proved to be an excellent choice for vacations for people who enjoy outdoor activities. Just bring the bug spray and go for it. We will certainly return. Great place!

14 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement: Writers Needed for Morocco Guidebook
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 11, 14 at 05:51 PM
View all United States activity »
  1. 1 Boston to PEI: Where would YOU stop over?
  2. 2 Hotel to stay before Channel Islands
  3. 3 Trip to Portland and Oregon Wine Tour
  4. 4 Seeking advice from year round Tucson residents
  5. 5 What to see/do in Baltimore without a car?
  6. 6 Dining in D.C.
  7. 7 Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton itinerary - advice requested please!
  8. 8 Florida--single woman seeks best beaches for swimming and
  9. 9 Broadway Banter 2014: Starting off with book recommendation
  10. 10 NYC apartments through CitySonnet.com
  11. 11 Brooklyn why?
  12. 12 Metro from airport to hotel?
  13. 13 Should we stop for a Saturday night in Baltimore?
  14. 14 Napa Girls Getaway - Need hotel advice
  15. 15 Roadtrip Across the Country
  16. 16 Colorado in the summer!
  17. 17 Trip Report My Boston weekend...killing time near MGH
  18. 18 Hotel recommendation for San Francisco
  19. 19 WEst Coast WINTER holiday - 5 weeks driving.
  20. 20 Cab Cost from McCarren to Venetian Hotel?
  21. 21 Where can I best see Orca whales in the wild?
  22. 22 Yellowstone Lodging in October
  23. 23 NYC over Memorial Day Weekend 2014
  24. 24 Kennedy Space Center
  25. 25 Alexandria or Georgetown
View next 25 » Back to the top