A Perfect Day in the Boundary Waters of Lutsen, Minnesota
If you are staying in Lutsen, Minnesota, it is likely that the lure of Lake Superior’s North Shore drew you here. Most visitors to the area find the perfect day combines some activity with a lot of hanging out around Lake Superior’s dramatic shore. Start your day with breakfast at the Lutsen Resort lakeside dining room overlooking the lake. After breakfast, take your coffee down to the beach, relax in an Adirondack chair and enjoy the sun on your face and the cool lake breezes. If you are looking for a little activity, we’d suggest taking a short hike at one of the nearby sites. The Oberg Mountain Loop, about a 3 mile hike, gives you a 360 degree view of Lake Superior as well as the inland forest which stretches for miles into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Or take a shorter hike along the rapids and fall of the Temperance River or Cascade River as they descend into Lake Superior.
For those who want to spend the day on the water, we’d suggest either a charter fishing trip on Lake Superior or a day trip paddling the Kelso Loop in the Boundary Waters. Sawbill Outfitters has all the equipment you need and is great to work with.
To get a real perspective of the Lutsen area, head over to Lutsen Mountains ski area, about 3 minutes away and take a Gondola ride to the top of Moose Mountain where the views spread out to the horizon. You can get a snack or lunch at the new chalet while you relax on the deck. If you are looking for a little excitement, there is an Alpine Slide near the Gondola. Take a ride up a chairlift, grab a sled and zip down the alpine track which winds its way down to the base.
Lutsen and the nearby community of Grand Marais is an artist’s haven and you’ll find many small shops, galleries and studios to visit. We’d suggest you gallery-hop from Lutsen to the village of Grand Maris. Plan to have lunch or dinner in Grand Marais. Our favorites are The Angry Trout which serves local Lake Superior fish and other sustainable food options, the eclectic Crooked Spoon restaurant or the very down-home “My Sister’s Place” where local artifacts cover the walls and a canning jar of beer and a great burger or pizza and salad await you.
Once you’ve had your fill of galleries, shopping and food, take a walk out along the breakwater that shelters Grand Marias’ tiny harbor. There is a great stretch there of classic Lake Superior ledge rock to walk along and you can go quite a long distance at the water’s edge. This is a beautiful walk. As you return to your car from the breakwater, you’re only about a block from Sydney’s which serves fabulous frozen custard. You can climb up on the roof above the small shop and, once again, stare out at the mesmerizing lake as you enjoy your treat.
As the day comes to a close, head back to Lutsen. If you are interested in some music, check the local weekly activities calendar which you should find almost anywhere. Lutsen Resort has live music on the pool deck every Thursday and in the Inn’s lobby every Saturday night. There are a variety of evening naturalist programs in Lutsen around a campfire where you can hear tales of wolves, bear, loons, the Voyageurs and the stars. And speaking of stars….the sky is dark and the stars are sparkling. A glass of wine back in those Lutsen Resort Adirondack chairs star-gazing is a pretty fine way to end your day.