Sometimes you just need a break from everyday life. Relaxing with loved ones is a great way to connect, regroup and focus on what matters. In the land of 10,000 lakes, you can be sure to find year-round outdoor adventures, charming views and nights under the stars at one of the dozens of resorts across the state.
Here are 15 of the best Minnesota family resorts that promise to keep both the kids and adults entertained.
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15 Best Minnesota Family Resorts
Great Wolf Lodge
Splash around in the massive indoor water park that features a huge variety of tubes, slides and rides. Afterwards, hit the rock climbing wall, ropes course, arcade and bowling alley. Kids will enjoy going on adventures across the Lodge with a variety of interactive attractions.
Receive a magic wand, fill it with powers and choose which quest you want to embark on at MagiQuest. Find treasures at Oliver’s Mining Co. as you pan for gems and other minerals. Create your fur-ever friend and watch it come to life at the on-site Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Eight dining options are available to curb your cravings, from pizza, burgers and breakfast to start your day. Parents can enjoy cocktails and craft beer at The Outpost while kids snack on Ben & Jerry’s.
Appledoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort
Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort in Isle offers year-round fun in tropical-inspired digs. Sitting on Mille Lacs, the second largest lake in Minnesota, come here to enjoy the fresh northern air, family fun and, of course, the sunsets.
Enjoy being at the premiere lake for walleye, northern pike, bass and muskie fish. In the summer, soak up the sun at the private sand beach. Kayaks and pedal boats are available to rent on the beach free of charge. Back at the resort, rent canoes, jet skis, pontoons or a deck boat for the whole family.
The resort also features an arcade with tons of games and other on-shore activities like horseshoes, volleyball and basketball. Stop by the general store for souvenirs on your way out, or to pick up bait, tackle, snacks and other necessities.
Relax at the courtyard and cook up the fish you caught with fire pits and charcoal grills. Enjoy on-site dining at Sunset’s Restaurant & Bar, featuring a three season al fresco patio. Stay in cozy cabins with occupancies from as little to 4 to as large as 26— so no matter the occasion, you can all be together at the end of the day.
Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes
Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes in Baxter is the perfect mix of rustic charm and family fun. Nearby Brainerd offers tons of outdoor adventures for every season, from water sports, hiking and biking in the summer to ice fishing, snowmobiling and skiing in the winter. Explore around town before coming back to Arrowwood to relax.
Arrowwood’s year-round, 30,000 square foot indoor waterpark, named after the legendary Paul Bunyan, features water cannons, a lazy river, four-story slide and more. Enjoy the indoor/outdoor hot tub before hitting up Gold Mine Arcade for games like pool, air hockey, skee ball and more.
On-site restaurant Baxter’s Grill & Bar serves dinner specials like burgers, hand-tossed pizzas and sandwiches, often with fresh and locally-grown ingredients. They’ve even been told they have the best Bloody Marys in town!
Soak in the northern Minnesota ambience with Arrowood’s variety of cabin-inspired rooms that offer space and comfort for the whole family.
Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts
Bluefin Bay comprises three resorts in Tofte and Lutsen. Stay at Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, Surfside on Lake Superior or Temperance Landing. All three resorts promise stunning North Shore views and adventures, plus plenty of amenities for the whole family.
Experience the great outdoors with a variety of recreational activities. Have fun in the sun hiking, biking, tennis, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing and golfing. Bundle up in the winter with skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, ice skating and snowshoeing.
Take your pick between the outdoor heated pool and hot tub that overlooks the lake, or the indoor pool with a whirlpool. Relax and rejuvenate with yoga classes, s’mores by the campfire or at Surfside’s luxurious Waves of Superior Spa. Take part in unique activities like maple syruping or joining a naturalist program.
Bluefin Bay features three dining options with lake views for guests at all three resorts. Bluefin Grille, Coho Café and Bakery and Waves of Superior Café offer innovative menus, wine pairings, healthy snacks and more.
Lodging includes comfortable upscale condos, townhomes and guest rooms with lake or mountain views, plus amenities like jacuzzis, wood-burning fireplaces and private decks or balconies. Select rooms are also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your fur baby along!
Boyd Lodge in Crosslake on Whitefish Lake is an award-winning resort, specializing in family vacations and couples or group getaways. It’s one of the best-known fishing resorts in Minnesota, so come catch some walleye, bass or pan fish.
There are fun outdoor opportunities here during every season. Soak in the sights and sounds of northern Minnesota with over five miles of nature trails within the property. Rent canoes, fishing boats and pontoons, or lay out on their sugar sand beach. Play a game of beach volleyball or choose from one of the daily family activities planned.
In the winter, rent cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes, or go ice skating at their lighted rink. Plus, the resort is located near the Paul Bunyan Trail which has 110 miles of snowmobile trails from Brainerd to Bemidji.
Take a trip into town for some antique shopping, geocaching or mini golf. There are also plenty of yummy dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a brewery and nearby winery.
Choose from loft cabins or cottages with amenities like fireplaces, grills and dock space for your boat with private landing. Beautiful interiors round out these cozy digs with enough room for everyone.
Campfire Bay Resort
Campfire Bay Resort in Cushing invites you to the great outdoors with old-school activities and lodging that invoke nostalgic memories. There’s a huge slate of year-round things to do lined up for all ages.
Located on Fish Trap Lake, fishing for walleye, largemouth bass and crappie is a treasured pastime of resort guests. Rent a fishing or pontoon boat and spot bald eagles, loons or great blue herons as you navigate across the water.
With workshops and classes to fill your day, it’s like summer camp all over again. Daily activities are also held, like tie-dying groovy shirts on Sunday afternoons or jewelry making on Thursday mornings. Play on the sandy beach, hit the water on a hydro bike or play a game of gaga ball.
Cozy cabins with up to four bedrooms are complete with views and amenities. Utilize the in-cabin pots, pans, dishes and utensils and cook up a delicious fish dinner. Before saying goodnight, stop by the central bonfire held almost every evening for some lively stories.
Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake
Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake in Brainerd was unsurprisingly named one of Minnesota’s Best Resorts by Midwest Living. They offer a full slate of seasonal outdoor adventures, incredible dining and stunning lodging.
Enjoy the heat of summer across the property and bike, boat, fish, golf, hunt, play tennis, swim and water ski. Enjoy beachside activities before making new friends around the nighttime bonfire. Traverse through beautiful waters on a lake cruise aboard the North Star yacht.
Take advantage of the game room with pool tables, ping pong tables, arcade games and more. Bundle up in the winter with broom balling, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, ice fishing, ice skating and snowmobiling.
Cragun’s offers five on-site dining options. Enjoy pizza and drinks at Bear Trap Lounge or get room delivery. Irma’s Kitchen offers classic home cooking made with fresh, local ingredients. Lakeside Dining Room offers a simple but delicious weekend breakfast menu with beautiful bay views.
Legacy Bar & Grille has five menus for every time of the day— early birds can grab breakfast on the go while night owls can enjoy the new late night menu.
Relax at the end of a fun day by choosing from over 20 lodging types. From cozy cabins, poolside rooms, lakeside suites with balcony views or northwoods homes with enough space for all your friends and family, you’re guaranteed to get a comfortable night’s rest.
Edgewater Hotel and Waterpark
Edgewater Hotel and Waterpark in Duluth is located along the stunning shores of Lake Superior. This resort makes the perfect weekend getaway for the whole family. You can even take a day to meander into town and see all of what Duluth has to offer, like Spirit Mountain Adventure Park, Great Lakes Aquarium and Lake Superior Zoo.
Edgewater’s crown jewel is a 35,000 square foot indoor waterpark called the Edge. Complete with a vortex pool, water playground, multiple spiraling water slides and a lazy river, fun gushes out by the gallon. Fuel up with drinks and snacks from Tiki Tom’s Oasis & Grill.
Paradise Cove Arcade features over 40 games, and Tiki Adventure Island offers seasonal activities like a pool, hot tub, mini golf, marshmallow roasting and movies.
Grand Ely Lodge
Grand Ely Lodge is less than a mile from downtown Ely, who was once named one of America’s Coolest Small Towns. The lodge sits on Shagawa Lake, offering fantastic fishing opportunities for walleye, bass and northern pike, and complete incredible panoramic water views.
The lodge’s amenities include an indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna. Kids (and adults) can also enjoy the game room. Explore the great outdoors year-round with their complimentary use of kayaks, paddle boats, canoes, fishing poles and snowshoes.
Rent a pontoon boat or ice fishing house. Hike the nearby four-mile Trezona Trail, ride bikes around the resort, or cross-country ski. Be sure to pick up some souvenirs at the resort shop to remember all the good times you had.
Two on-site dining experiences offer a robust food and drink menu with spectacular views of Shagawa Lake. Plus, kids under 10 eat free at both. Stop by Evergreen Restaurant for hearty and comforting breakfast, lunch and dinners.
When you’re ready to unwind, book a cozy room in their rustic-inspired lodges. Choose from romantic suites with in-room amenities like a spa bath, or comfortable family-friendly spaces with fun bunk beds for the kids. All rooms are complete with beautiful views.
Grand View Lodge Spa & Golf Resort
Grand View Lodge Spa & Golf Resort in Nisswa offers year-round fun focused around families and connecting with nature.
Spring and summer schedules are lined up with waterpark and pool adventures, fishing, ziplining, recreational games and sports, biking and kayaking. Enjoy live music, beer and wine tasting and nightly bonfires. Rent a pontoon boat to enjoy sunsets on the lake, or take a happy hour art class with Traveling Art Pub.
The cold doesn’t stop Grand View’s fall and winter fun. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride or stay active with skiing, snowboarding, tubing and snowmobiling. Get out on the ice for ice fishing or ice skating. You can still enjoy live music, bonfires and beer and wine tastings, too.
Hit the Glacial Waters Spa to rejuvenate from head to toe, or play a few rounds of golf with your buddies. While you relax, little ones can enjoy Kids Club as they make arts and crafts, explore nature together and play games.
Incredible rooms and amenities round out this resort with enough space and comfort for all your friends and family. Choose from boutique hotel rooms, cabins and cottages or lakeside, beachside or golfside homes.
Good Ol’ Days Family Resort
Good Ol’ Days Family Resort in Nisswa promises just that— to take you back to the good ol’ days. They’re located on Lower Cullen Lake, right on the legendary Paul Bunyan Trail. Downtown Nisswa is only six blocks away where you can find dining and tons of fun things to do in or around town.
Back at the resort, relax on the sugar sand beach with crystal clear water. Get out on the water with pontoon boats, paddle boards, kayaks and canoes. Hike and bike around the property or on the Paul Bunyan Trail. Cool off inside the game room and stop by the general store for snacks.
Stay connected with nature at the nightly campfire. During peak season, everyone will enjoy classic activities like worm and minnow races, sand sculpture contests, ice cream socials, scavenger hunts and tie-dying.
Half Moon Trail
Half Moon Trail in Park Rapids is a family owned and operated resort only minutes away from Itasca State Park. You can find this resort nestled between oaks and pines on Boot Lake, which has some of the clearest water in Minnesota.
Fill your days on the beach or lake with fishing, swimming, wakeboarding, kayaking, hydro biking, boating and so much more. Take in more fresh air with yard games, volleyball, swimming at the pool, hiking and biking. Kiddos can have fun on treasure and scavenger hunts, watching movies, making crafts, racing minnows and playing marbles.
Enjoy a snack bar, pizza, root beer on tap and an old-fashioned ice cream counter. Relax indoors with ping pong, board games and video games, or rejuvenate at the sauna or with a massage. Don’t forget to stop by the apparel shop to pick up a cool souvenir.
A variety of one, two, three and four bedroom cabins with private balconies and views invite you to comfortably fit all your family and friends. Enjoy other amenities like a fully-equipped kitchen, charcoal grills and picnic tables on the deck that encourage even more family time.
Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort
Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort in Brainerd has been loved by travelers near and far for over 50 years.
Enjoy activities like kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, boating and more across two sandy beaches or Upper Sylvan Lake. Hikers, bikers and photographers will love the nearly one mile trail on the resort. You can also explore an extra nine miles of trail in East Gull Lake which has trail connections into the resort.
Plus, the resort is only eight miles away from the iconic Paul Bunyan Trail. Other classic outdoor activities include tennis, basketball, volleyball, swimming at the pool and tons of winter fun. Restaurants, golfing, horseback riding and more are just a short trip into town.
Stay in your home-away-from-home at one of the cottages or condos, complete with a gas fireplace, charcoal kettle grill and a private deck or patio.
Sugar Lake Lodge
Sugar Lake Lodge in Cohasset promises a one-in-a-million family getaway.
Enjoy outdoor activities for every season. Guests can rent kayaks, canoes, paddle board and rowboats at no extra cost. Fish or explore the lake out on a pontoon boat. White Sand Beach was named “best resort beach” by Star Tribune, so take advantage of its crystal-blue waters.
Play a round of golf, bike and hike around the property, or play pickleball, tennis, basketball and horseshoes. Relax in the heated pool, or take part in a summer group activity with campfires and storytelling, nature walks and more.
On-site restaurant Otis’s Grill & Bar serves up pub food and drinks with beautiful Sugar Lake views. Don’t feel like sitting down inside or on the deck?
Stay in cabins, lodge rooms or golf course villas among oaks and sugar maples along the stunning lake shoreline. There’s enough space and amenities for everyone to cozy up and relax for the night.
Trapper’s Landing Lodge
Trapper’s Landing Lodge in Walker features luxury lodging and a sandy beach along thousands of feet of Leech Lake shoreline.
Trapper’s is all about outdoor adventures, like canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Enjoy their full-service marina and boat rentals for fishing or watching the sunset from the lake. Play board games and yard games before meeting up with the rest of your crew at an evening bonfire.
The Merit Lakeside Dining & Cocktails pairs lake views and patio dining with a delicious family-friendly menu and, of course, cocktails. When you’re ready to call it a night, stay in comforting homes and cabins with amenities like lake views, full-size kitchens and cozy fireplaces.
From humble campsite lodgings to massive luxury retreats, Minnesota has endless family-friendly resort options for enjoying all of what the beautiful state has to offer. Disconnect with the ‘real world’ and reconnect with the people that matter most to you.