While camping may be one of the best ways to experience northern Minnesota, sometimes it’s nice to have a good-old-fashioned bed to sleep in after a day’s worth of adventure. Indeed, other times the extreme winter temperatures necessitate having a warm place to stay.
While there are plenty of B&B’s, lodges, hotels, and other accommodations up north, we rounded up some of our favorites. If you’re planning a trip to the Northland, be sure to check into one of these top spots. They all offer an authentic taste of the northern Minnesota culture, often with cozy fireplaces and beautiful views.
1. Bluefin Bay, Tofte
Bluefin Bay has long been a popular spot for people heading up to the North Shore. Offering upscale accommodations and breathtaking views of Lake Superior, Bluefin allows you to enjoy the Northwoods in style. A stone’s throw from Lutsen Mountains and the Superior National Forest, this is a great spot for skiers, hikers, and mountain bikers alike.
2. Cascade Lodge, Lutsen
A historic lodging option, Cascade Lodge has overlooked Lake Superior for nearly 90 years. Featuring both log cabins and a historic main lodge, this is a great spot to stay if you’re looking for something rustic, but still comfortable. With miles of shoreline right out the front door, Cascade provides a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
3. Lutsen Resort, Lutsen
Also situated on the banks of Gitchi-Gami, Lutsen Resort has been around since 1885. Named the “Best North Shore Resort” by the Star Tribune , it’s a great place for a weekend getaway or a big event. Lodging options include the main Scandinavian-style lodge, sea villas overlooking the lake, luxurious condos and townhomes, and handcrafted log cabins.
4. Fenstad’s Resort, Silver Bay
Fenstad’s offers one, two, and three bedroom timber-log cabins for rental, right along the rocky shores of Lake Superior. With fully equipped kitchens and bathrooms, as well as wood-burning fireplaces, Fenstad's allows you to get the Northwoods experience without sacrificing modern accommodations. This is a great place to sit around the campfire, head out on the lake in a canoe, or spend a day hiking the nearby trails.
5. Naniboujou Lodge, Grand Marais
On the National Register of Historic Places, Naniboujou Lodge boasts a history that includes both Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey as two of the original lodge’s charter members back in the 1920s. While much has changed since those days, the lodge has been preserved, and it features the largest native rock fireplace in Minnesota, which weighs more than 200 tons. Affixed between Lake Superior and Judge C. Magney State Park, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities to pursue from Naniboujou.
6. East Bay Suites, Grand Marais
If you’re headed to Grand Marais, it’s hard to beat the accommodations at East Bay Suites . A hotel resort on Lake Superior, it sits at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains. This is also a great stopover if you’re heading up to the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area or out on the Superior Hiking Trail. Grand Marais has plenty of outdoor activities, great restaurants, and several art galleries to keep everyone occupied.
7. Cove Point Lodge, Beaver Bay
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend by the lake or you plan on tackling some serious outdoor adventure, Cove Point Lodge is the perfect jumping off point for all the area has to offer. The property features two- and three-bedroom cottages on Lake Superior, as well as single rooms in their main lodge. A pool, sauna, hot tub, and campfires are available no matter which lodging option you choose.
8. Cobblestone Cabins, Tofte
The last small, family-owned and operated resort in the area, Cobblestone Cabins has been serving visitors since 1926. True to its name, this resort features eight cabins overlooking a cobblestone beach on Lake Superior. If you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful weekend on the North Shore, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better place to stay than Cobblestone Cabins.