Head North This Summer
This page was created to help you do more while you are up north. Summer is a wonderful time to Head North to Grand Rapids, Minnesota for a family vacation. There is probably more to do in the Grand Rapids area than you realize, so select the time you have and things to do ideas will come up.
Select the amount of time you have while you are here and we will show you adventure activities to do in the Grand Rapids, MN area!
- 2 Hours
- 4 Hours
- 6 Hours
- 8 Hours
- Couples Getaway
Grand Rapids is a great place to come to hike and bike. There are over 5.2 miles of hiking and biking trails in the City of Grand Rapids and over 100 miles of hiking and biking trails in Itasca County. At the Itasca County Fairgrounds parking lot, you can access the Mesabi Trail. This is an over 100 mile paved trail that is perfect to hike, bike and run on. Here are some groomed forest trails that offer parking access Alder Pond, Amen Lake, Big Ridge Trail, Stony Ridge Trail, and Wabana Trail.
The Lost Forty is a 40 acre track of tall white pine that was never cut. A great place to fat tire bike, cross country ski and snowshoe to experience 200 year old trees. Worth the drive!
Alvwood, Minnesota (between Marcell and Bigfork, Minnesota)
The Lost Forty is a 200 acre track of land that was never logged. The pine trees in this forest are over 200 years old. They are so large that it will take an entire family to connect arms together to fit around. Come discover this magical primitive area. There are porta restroom facilities and picnic areas at this location.
Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center
Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway, Add new copy: Take the afternoon to drive and enjoy the 47-mile Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway that meanders from Grand Rapids, MN north to Effie, MN on Minnesota’s State Highway 38. The region is studded with lakes and thick with aspen, birch, pine and maple trees that pop with color in the fall season. The road winds around 36 lakes, and through state and national forest. The Chippewa National Forest is home to the largest population of bald eagles in the continental United States. Keep your eyes on the sky to see them soaring above the byway. White tailed deer also are known to graze in the fresh grasses along the side of the road. Make sure to plan a stop at the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center for their FREE naturalist programs (Thurs, Fri & Sat), and stop in at the visitor's center, gift shop and interpretive center with over 50 wildlife mounts on site.
|Wed-Sat: 8:00am – 4:00pm|
Thunder Alley XL
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
|Open Bowling Hours|
|Monday: 3:30pm - 9:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
Friday: 11:00am - Midnight
Saturday: 10:30am - Midnight
Sunday: 10:30am - 9:00pm
Parks and Forests
In the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area there are lots of Minnesota's nature to explore. From the Chippewa National Forest, George Washington State Forest, and two scenic byways - Great River Road and Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway (the oldest scenic byway in the state of Minnesota). You will find great places to camp, bike, hike, and ATV within these designated parks and forests.
Get more information here
Edge of The Wilderness Scenic Byway
The Scenic Byway connects Grand Rapids and Effie, Minnesota on a 47 mile scenic drive that takes you through stunning landscapes of rolling hills and curves, around bogs, and many lake lookouts. You will find many trail access points to stop stretch your legs and explore in Minnesota’s nature.
For more information: Click Here
As you stroll through the grounds of the Joyce Estate imagine the roaring twenties, the time of prohibition and women's suffrage. Imagine how unusual it was in its day, an isolated 4,500 acre resort with 40 buildings including its own golf course, private telephone line and airplane hanger. Heir to the Joyce Family fortune originating in part from lumber taken from northern Minnesota via the Itasca Lumber Company, David Joyce of Chicago built the estate from 1917-1935. Due to excellent railway connections from Minneapolis and Chicago, and its scenic beauty, the Grand Rapids area became nationally known as a major resort area. The Joyce Family used it until 1972. Through its heritage and interpretive programs the Chippewa National Forest manages this site which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
MacRostie Art Center
|Mon - Sat: 10:00am to 5:00pm
If you are looking to view some truly amazing Minnesota art, check out this free gallery that is open to the public. You can check out their art suitcase and create some of your own art while out in Minnesota's nature together.
Scenic State Park
State Park Self-Guided
Contact: Jordan Schaefer
56956 Scenic State Hwy 7
Bigfork, MN 56628
With its pristine lakes, virgin pines, swimming beach, and wilderness-like setting, Scenic State Park is well deserving of its name. Here, visitors can hike the Chase Point Trail for hypnotic views of Coon and Sandwick Lakes and listen to the wind whistle through the giant pines. The park's overnight facilities include campsites (boat-in, drive-in, backpack), and a cabin. The historic lodge houses interpretive displays.
Fraternal Order of the Eagles (Live Music)
Rapids Aerie #2469
1776 S Pokegama Ave
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
218-326-4845 (leave message)
Live music every Friday and Saturday. On site bar/grill, and banquet room to serve large groups. Bingo every Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon.
The Mesabi Trail is a 132-mile paved bicycle trail running from Grand Rapids, Minnesota to Ely, Minnesota. As of 2016, the trail is still under construction with approximately 55 miles of trail complete.
A Bike Pass is required to ride the Mesabi Trail, to purchase: http://www.mesabitrail.com/about/wheel-pass
Located at: Cedar Street Bigfork MN
A life-size copper-colored statue of a logger stands on a log that appears to be afloat on the grass.
Itasca County Family YMCA
400 River Rd
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
There may be different activities happening at the YMCA. Hours are listed below but please call or visit our website for more information.
|Labor Day - Memorial Day
Mon-Fri: 5:00am - 10:00pm
Sat: 7:00am – 7:00pm
Sun: 11:30am – 6:00pm
First Friday Art Walk
For more information on First Friday Art Walk click here for our calendar of events
On the first Friday of every month Grand Rapids Arts and local businesses host First Friday. With artists in many of the downtown shops you get to experience creativity at its best.
In the land of 10,000 lakes we have a great variety of fishing lakes for you to take advantage of. Whether you are looking for Walleye, Crappie, Northern, Bass or Pan Fish there is a lake for you.
Get the latest fishing information here
Enjoy strolling through our historic downtown business district for the best shops & boutiques, as well as the other antique, vintage and gift shops around Grand Rapids, MN.
Paddle Sport Store Rentals, Trips, and Sales
Go Local, friendly, knowledgeable paddle shop offering stand-up paddle boards (SUPs), kayaks, canoes and paddling accessories to buy or rent. We also offer fun ½ day and day trips on the Mississippi river and day trips to a couple cool local lakes!
We carry: Northstar and We-no-nah Canoes. Delta, Jackson, Wilderness Systems, Perception and Current Design Kayaks. Pau Hana, Boardworks, Tahoe, C4Waterman, Lattitude 44, Glide and Loon Paddle Co. Stand-up Paddle Boards (SUPs).
Our Vision: Passing on our passion for being outdoors, on the water, with family and friends.
Our Mission: To provide knowledgeable, friendly service and products that help you find your personal
paddle style. #LetsGoPaddleogle Map
In Grand Rapids we have 3 championship golf courses to choose from: Eagle Ridge Golf Course, Pokegama Golf Club, and Sugarbrooke Golf Course. Check out the courses below!
Address: 1 Green Way, Coleraine, MN 55722
Phone: (218) 245-2217
Pokegama Golf Course
Address: 3910 Golf Course Rd, Grand Rapids, MN 55744Phone: (218) 326-3444
Sugarbrooke Golf Course
Sugar Lake Lodge
Address: 37584 Otis Ln, Cohasset, MN 55721. (218) 327-1462
Fat Tire Biking
Made for Minnesota's unique terrain, fat tire bikes have a rubber surface twice as wide as standard mountain bikes and a much lower, “squishy” tire pressure. This increased surface area allows better traction and keeps riders from sinking into mud or sand.
Grand Rapids Farmers Market
Local Farmer's Market
11 Golf Course Rd
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Local farmer’s market featuring locally grown fruits, vegetables and fresh farm products from growers within 50 miles of Grand Rapids. Fresh farm-raised meats, syrups, honey, vegetables and produce, cut flowers, homemade baked goods, jams & jellies, and handcrafted items. Open every Wednesday and Saturday from May 3rd and continuing into October with seasonal items. Hours: 8am – 1pm (unless sold out); come early for best selection.
Grand Rapids has a wide selection of lodging properties to choose from. You will find economical motels, conveniently located hotels, quaint B&B's, Minnesota Family Resorts, and lake homes to rent. Whether you are looking to rent a cabin for the week for the entire family and extended family, or you are looking for full amenities on site (fridge, microwave, swimming pool, bar/restaurant, golf, lake, etc) you will find it in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
Then check out some of our great lodging properties here!
Reif Center Events
The Reif Center has regular performances from September to May each year. They bring in world renowned performances from all over the country. You will be amazed at the level of entertainment that they bring to northern Minnesota. Check out our annual Theater Deals where you can save on both the ticket price and the overnight lodging when you bundle together: https://www.visitgrandrapids.com/theater-deals/
The Visitor’s Guide Download
Looking for even more events and idea's for your next vacation, or free day? Look no further..
Our free Visitor's Guide contains an easy-to-read guide of the unique adventures in and near Grand Rapids, including some of the following:
- Recreational opportunities for all seasons
- Art & Cultural events
- and much more!
Public Art Tour
Grand Rapids Public Art is a mapped walking tour of sculptures, murals, mosaics, and other artwork in downtown Grand Rapids.
There are 14 locations with art work displayed click here to see the map and description of the art work.
Grand Rapids Visitors Center
Grand Rapids Visitor Center
Phone: (218) 326-6619
Address: 1 NW 3rd St,
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
The Grand Rapids Visitors Center is run by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. They provided a 24 hour section that can be accessed to visitors, and a manned area that is open year-round with seasonal hours.
Forest History Center
Authentically Recreated History
Use your power of imagination to experience life as it was in 1900 at the Forest History Center. Walk back in time to Northwoods #1, an authentically recreated white pine logging camp complete with cook shack, bunkhouse, blacksmith shop, office wanigan, filer’s shack and horse barn. Stop and visit with the cook, clerk, bull cook, blacksmith and other lumberjacks who may be in camp. Try your hand at sawing and pet the Percheron draft horses.
Wander down to the 1901 Mississippi River Wanigan, drop in on the 1934 Forest Service patrolman and get a bird’s eye view of the forests from atop the 100-foot fire tower. Explore the visitor center’s interactive exhibits and browse the gift shop featuring items unique to northern Minnesota. Stroll the nearly 5 miles of accessible trails that wind throughout the beautiful forests and along the river’s edge. Call ahead for the special nature programs.
Visitor Center open with nature and logging camp tours available:
June 11 – Labor Day: Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sundays and Mondays
Summer Admission Pricing(June 11-Labor Day):
$9 Adults; $7 Seniors, students and military personnel; $6 children age 6-17; Free for children under age 5
MN Historical Society members get free admission.
Winter Admission Pricing (September-June 8) :
$4 Adults; $3 Seniors, students and military personnel; $2.50 children age 6-17; Free for children under age 5
Itasca County Historical Society & Museum
This area attraction has a FREE museum that highlights life throughout the year's in the Grand Rapids and Itasca County area. You will find things like a Judy Garland exhibit, Now and Then exhibit - what the area looked like 100 years ago and now, and a wooly mammoth tusk.
|Mon-Fri: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sat: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Bovey “Prohibition Speakeasy” & Underground Escape Tunnel
Get more information on the Bovey “Prohibition Speakeasy” & Underground Escape Tunnel here.
The Reenactment of an underground Prohibition Speakeasy Bar & escape tunnel, as filmed in the Gems of Itasca Bovey Edition, is great place to take a step back in time, and experience yesteryear. The Underground attraction is OPEN to the public year round with the added appeal of the Huge Antique Mall& Full service Cafe within! The speakeasy room is available to lease for your next event or party.
Forest History Center
The Forest History Center is a historic environmental learning center that takes you back in time to the early 1900's in a logging camp in the middle of winter. Costume enterpreteurs will take you on a journey back in time. Ride the horse drawn carriage down to the logging village and enjoy their monthly "Into the Woods" events. Open Saturday's and Sunday's - special tour groups for large groups.
Contact: Jeffrey Johns
2906 County Rd 76 - Grand Rapids, MN 55744
- $10 adults
- $8 seniors
- $8 college students
- $8 veterans and active military
- $6 children 5-17
- Free for children 4 and under
- Free for MNHS members
Grand Rapids and the surrounding area offers a wide variety of eateries from charming bistros, to large banquet facilities, to the local place where all the locals go to eat. From family friendly restaurants to a special night out for two; from coffee shops to drive-ins, Grand Rapids offers menus to suit every appetite. Come experience the unique cuisine of Minnesota’s nature.
Judy Garland And Children’s Museum
|Restored childhood home of Judy Garland where the star spent her first four years. Judy’s home has been restored to look just as it did when the child star lived there with her parents and two older sisters. See the staircase landing where Judy and her sisters provided entertainment for neighborhood friends with their earliest performances. The grounds features a memorial flower garden and gazebo. The adjacent museum gallery showcases a wide variety of artifacts from Judy’s musical and theatrical career, personal awards and effects, movie memorabilia and the carriage used in the Wizard of Oz. An extensive gift shop is filled with Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland items.
A place for children to discover, play, and learn. Our museum features many hands-on exhibits: Lake Life! complete with working stage, fishing boat and dock, as well as an obstacle coarse swamp and tree fort!, Riverview Water Table, Treesa~ the talking tree, KEVA Engineering Planks, Monthly scavenger hunts, River Town which hosts: a Doctors office, Fire Department, Animal Clinic, Bakery, Music Department, dress-up room, and much more. We also have a tot park and maze for younger guests. Don't forget to stop and dig for some dinosaurs! On your way out check out the museum store for children’s gifts.
Included in your admission is access to three attractions Judy Garland's Birth home and Gallery, and an exhibit of over 200 classic fairy tale dolls donated by artist Faith Wick, and the Children's Discovery Museum.
Admission is $10 per person anyone ages 2 and up. AAA and Military Discount- $9. Memberships are available
May 16th - September 30th, 10am - 5pm Daily
October 1st - May 15th, Fridays and Saturdays 10am - 5pm
Groups of 20 or more can schedule tours on any day.
Historic Central School Marketplace
The Central School was built in 1894 and architecture style was romanesque. There are several shops and a spa in the School. Hours vary - building is open for self-guided tours
10 NW 5th St
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
1336 Fairgrounds Rd,
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: (218) 326-6470
Itasca Fairgrounds is owned by Itasca County. It hosts many annual events and the annual Itasca County Fair in August. The Fairgrounds and buildings can be rented for events. The Fairgrounds Park is 82.7 acres in size and is owned by Itasca County. The park consists of several large barns, multiple buildings, food courts, the Mesabi Trailhead Building, horse arenas, a large campground and a gravel race track.