A couple of weeks ago we did a blog post on what to expect for winter activities at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. With the new guidelines from the state of Minnesota, some of the activities have evolved a bit so we wanted to provide an update. Rest assured, there will still be PLENTY to do this winter and our activities team is really looking forward to being your local guide to the North Shore. We have the inside scoop so don’t hesitate to stop by and ask about trail conditions, where to go to see a moose or how the skiing is at Lutsen Mountains. In fact, we encourage you to try and stump the crew with a really difficult question about the area 😉
Rather than physically being present with you, we have decided to create adventure packs for our guests so that you can go on self-guided excursions. In this way, we can still “guide” you on your hike, we just won’t actually be there with you. The packs will be available around December 10th and will include things like laminated trail maps and trail activities. What do we mean by trail activities? Think bonfire hike materials, forest ecology information, animal track bingo, winter tree identification information. Basically any of the fun, interesting tidbits we typically provide on guided hikes, we’ll give to you!
Use of Equipment
The convenient part of these guidelines being during the winter season is that we are already set up in a self-serve way with all of our equipment. Snowshoes, Cross Country Skis and Ice Skates have always been available to our guests during the winter, and that will be true again this year. We do need a bit more snow before we’ll begin making these items available so think snow! We are hoping the ice rink will be ready in a couple weeks as long as the weather remains cold.
If you read our last blog post, you know we had added two new craft activities that we were excited about. We went back to the drawing board and we’ll be introducing activities that you can do on your own or as a family. This will include medallion hunts (we had the first one on Thanksgiving weekend!), scavenger hunts and other family challenges. If you have ideas on these, let us know! We are always open to hearing guests’ suggestions. If the guidelines continue longer than currently forecasted, we’ll look in to more virtual activities like zoom yoga and online craft classes.
If you have any questions about our new activities or have any ideas for us, please give us a call at 218-663-7860. And remember – there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
Each year the holiday of Thanksgiving reminds us to give thanks. We take time to remember what we are grateful for and we acknowledge how important that practice of gratitude is. At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we have a lot to be thankful for. We are grateful for our dedicated employees and our owner partners for the trust and energy they give to the resorts. We are thankful for all of our vendors and contractors that help us to provide excellent service. We are grateful for the little slice of heaven that is the North Shore of Lake Superior and our community here. And every year, we are especially grateful for our loyal, return guests. We are also grateful for our new visitors this year and we thank you for trusting us with your vacation experience. We are grateful to all those that choose us as their home away from home ❤❤❤
If you happen to be visiting us this weekend, we wanted to give you the scoop on dining and activities.
Dining on Thanksgiving Day
We will have two dining options available to you on Thanksgiving.
Bluefin Grille will be open with a Thanksgiving Menu available from 12-8pm. We do ask that you pre-order your Thanksgiving meals by calling the Grille at 218-663-6200. The Thanksgiving menu will be available for takeout and delivery (delivery only available for guests of Bluefin Bay Resorts). Bluefin Grille will be open the rest of the weekend from 3-8 pm.
Activities on Thanksgiving Day
Due to the recent guidelines announced in Minnesota, our guided excursions are now becoming self-guided excursions. What does this mean? We’ll have someone at the Activities Desk all weekend to help you plan out your adventures. We can tell you where to go if you’re looking for snow, the best locations for a scenic afternoon drive and information on conditions.
On Friday after Thanksgiving, we’ll be hosting a medallion hunt. The hunt will begin at 8am, with clues posted every two hours. Clues will be posted in the Guest Services building and can also be found in the stories section of our Instagram and Facebook pages. The winner will a receive a $100 gift card.
#WinterIsComing – Bluefin Bay Activities
Winter is coming! Are you ready for it? Here on the North Shore we had a few early snowfalls that had us dreaming about winter weeks ago. We’ve already begun hanging holiday lights and preparing the ice rink. But because things are a bit different this year, we wanted to write a blog post on what you can expect at Bluefin Bay for winter activities. As a reminder, all of these activities are included in your stay at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.
Rentals & Guided Tours
The Bluefin Bay Activities Department has all of the tools to help you make the most out of this winter.
Guided Tours – If you are new to cross country skiing or snowshoeing, you can join one of our guided tours. Our activities crew will provide you with all of the equipment plus basic instruction and feedback.
Cross Country Skiing
Rentals – If you’d rather go out on your own, you can take advantage of our complimentary rental program.
Hockey & Figure Skates
Hockey Sticks & Pucks
New Activities This Winter
At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we are continuously coming up with fresh activities and events to inspire our guests. These activities will be new this year:
Guided Wood Burning Class
Wood burning isn’t just for fireplaces. This activity takes you through everything you need to know about this unique craft. We will be using hot irons to burn fun designs into round slices of wood. Whether you want a fun souvenir, or a gift for a someone we will provide the tools and teaching to get you up and running.
Guided Painting Class
In this class we will be painting a 3” by 4” canvas. We will focus on a simple North Shore landscape. Don’t worry if you’ve never painted before, we’re going to teach you all the tips and tricks you need to succeed.
We know how much our guests enjoy live music so we are working on a way to comfortably and safely have live music outdoors this winter. Stay tuned for more information.
Due to the safety guidelines and logistics on transporting guests, we’ve decided not to offer shuttles to Lutsen Mountains this year. Instead, we are recommending that guests drive to the mountain and use their car as a home base.
Missing our Girls Gone North!
As many of you know, this upcoming weekend would have been Bluefin Bay’s 13th (!) annual Girls Gone North event. We are bummed to not be able to host this event that is so close to our hearts this year. We wanted to take some time to look back to previous Girls Gone North events. You can see an amusing slideshow of photos from previous years here.
Girls Gone North Weekends are a treasured time for gals to get away and enjoy themselves. We always say that what happens on the North Shore, stays on the North Shore! Our goal at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is to plan enough activities for the ladies to be as busy as they want to be.
We usually feature a mix of these events:
Hiking. There’s always a couple hiking options throughout the weekend to make sure we get outside to see the beauty of the area. November is an interesting month on the North Shore – we’ve had snow, rain, sunshine, November gales, you name it! There are typically a couple resort guided hikes and then we incorporate a “girls only” hike as well. Together we’ve explored Carlton Peak, Sugarloaf Cove, Oberg Mountain, Caribou Falls, Cascade State Park and more!
Indoor Activities. Last year we tried a new event – Silk Scarf Dyeing Workshops – and we had a blast! We’ve also mixed in other indoor events like our Fitness Fashion Show (2016), Paint & Sip (2017), Girls Only Happy Hour (2018) and more. It’s always fun to try something new with friends.
Yoga. Morning Yoga has always been a restorative and refreshing part of the weekend.
Wine Tasting. When the North Shore Winery opened in 2016, we knew it needed to be incorporated into our fun weekend plans! We have had wine tastings there (resort shuttle included!) every year since. The staff at the Winery are phenomenal and are happy to give us a tour and teach us about the wine making process while we’re there.
Spa Treatments. The Waves of Superior Spa has been generous in giving our Girls Gone North weekend participants discounts on spa treatments and extended hours upon request.
Signature Events. Always the highlight of the weekend, we have enjoyed some impressive signature events! From motivational workshops to skin care seminars to wine pairings, the signature event is always engaging and entertaining. And we are always open to new ideas if you have something you think would be fun.
Even though we can’t be together this year, we’ll be thinking of you all! If you can come visit us in November, we’ll be offering a 3rd night free for the rest of the month. Cheers to Girls Gone North 2021!
Beware the Gales of November
November has arrived! And with it, Storm Season. While November is a quieter time of year on the North Shore in terms of visitors, it is Lake Superior’s loudest season.
In late Fall, low-pressure systems pass over Lake Superior which result in stronger winds. The winds, sometimes called “Nor’easters” can reach up to 50 miles per hour, with gusts up to 100 miles per hour. These wind patterns can result in large waves on our Great Lake, known as the Gales of November. The highest recorded wave on Lake Superior is 28.8 feet, although unofficial wave heights are believed to have exceeded 40 feet.
Thanks to Gordon Lightfoot, many have heard of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. But Lake Superior has claimed hundreds of ships into her cool depths. Another notable shipwreck event occurred on November 28th, 1905 when the Mataafa Storm caused 29 vessels to sink or be seriously damaged. One of those vessels was the 478-foot iron ore carrier William Edenborn, which was towing the 436-foot barge Madeira. The large waves caused the towline to part around 3 a.m. and the unpowered Madeira crashed into the shoreline. Around the same time, the Edenborn was whooshed into the mouth of the Split Rock River. The carrier was split in two. Luckily, the Edna G. provided life saving services to both crews and only 2 seamen lost their lives. That storm led to the construction of Split Rock Lighthouse, which was completed in 1910.
And if you have not had the opportunity to discover this memorable season for yourself, consider visiting us this year! Stay 3 nights and take advantage of our Gales of November offer for a free night on us.
Salt and HEPA – A Dining Update from Bluefin Grille + Coho Café
We recognize that dining options are an important part of your decision to stay with us. There have been a few small changes at the Bluefin Grille and Coho Café &
Bakery that we wanted to share with you this week. Please know that this information is current as of October 28th, 2020 but is subject to change. You can check out the dining page on our website for the most current information.
We look forward to having you dine with us this winter! We’ve purchased HEPA air purifiers for both the Bluefin Grille and Coho Café and are also installing ionization technology in the existing ventilation systems, both of which will improve air quality and safety. Tables inside both restaurants have been appropriately spaced according to capacity and social distancing guidelines. If you are planning to dine at Bluefin Grille, please make a reservation in advance. This can be done by calling us at 218-663-6200 or via Open Table. You can also order online for takeout.
New Menus for Coho Café and Bluefin Grille
Both restaurants have switched over to new menus. Check them out!
Coho Café has adjusted to Winter Hours. This means the restaurant will be open from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. We thank you for understanding.
Thanksgiving at Bluefin Grille
The holidays will be a bit different this year! We just published our Thanksgiving Day menu. Reservations for Thanksgiving dinner will be available from 12-6pm and can be made online via Open Table or by calling us at 218-663-6200. Be sure to make your reservations early as we do expect it to fill up.
We hope this information helps you know what to expect when planning your stay at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this new service level and work to keep everyone safe and healthy!
A Season of Contrasts
The closing of MEA weekend always brings about a feeling of a new season on the North Shore. It represents a quieter time with stormy, sometimes tumultuous weather. There is a cold chill in the air as we all recognize winter knocking on our door. It is also a time when we lower our nightly lodging rates and begin our Gales 3 for 2 offer. When you stay three nights or more at any of our resorts – Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing – receive one of those nights (midweek night) completely free!
We hear from many of our return guests that it’s their favorite time of year to visit Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. They appreciate the peaceful, calm feeling around the area. These days, that sense of tranquility is more attractive than ever before.
In contrast to the serene atmosphere around the resort, the Great Lake tends to kick things up a notch this time of year. In late Fall, low-pressure systems pass over Lake Superior which result in stronger winds. Sometimes they can reach up to 50 miles per hour, with gusts up to 100 miles per hour. These wind patterns can result in large waves on our Great Lake, known as the Gales of November. The Gales are notorious and they are truly a sight to be seen, heard and felt. Combine fewer crowds with lower rates plus the potential for a dramatic display on Lake Superior and you have one exceptional season.
Trick or Treat Yo’ Self
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Creative costumes, scary movies, tasty treats – what’s not to love? We love it so much that we like to kick off the celebrations early on MEA weekend.
So if you are visiting us this weekend, get ready for a spook-tacular time! We will have a pumpkin carving contest for guests. But be warned – we take these kinds of things pretty seriously around here. There are over $300 in prizes. You can pick up your pumpkin and carving tools at Guest Services beginning on Friday. We will be judging and presenting prizes to the winners on Sunday October 18th.
Not coming up for MEA weekend? Join us for Halloweekend! We have a staff costume contest each year and we love when guests join in on the fun.
We will also be beginning a few new activities in the coming weeks. Firstly, we’re bringing back Bonfire Hikes starting on on October 24th. These hikes are usually about 2 miles round trip and are complete with a bonfire and s’mores! Perfect for family-friendly excursions. Secondly, we are introducing a brand new activity that we like to call Guided Wood Burning Class. In this activity, we’ll use hot irons to burn fun designs into round slices of wood. You can create a fun souvenir (think coaster or holiday ornament) or create a gift for someone else. Lastly, we’ll be starting Guided Painting Classes on October 19th. In this class we will be painting a 3” by 4” canvas and we’ll focus on a simple North Shore landscape.
There are plenty of reasons to come visit Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts in the coming weeks! And don’t forget, our Gales 3 for 2 special begins October 18th. Happy Halloween, everyone! Remember to eat, drink and be scary!
Fall Color Report: October 6 – Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts
For this week’s Fall Color report, we couldn’t resist telling you about the delightful scene at our different properties: Bluefin Bay, Surfside on Lake Superior and Temperance Landing on Lake Superior. The DNR’s Fall Color map shows that the North Shore area is past peak, but near the lake the leaves tend to hang around a bit longer than they do inland. It makes for a magnificent view from the guest rooms, pool areas and Bluefin Grille. The dark blue of Lake Superior is the perfect contrast against the yellows and golds. We also begin to see a bit more wave action in October on the big lake. Here are updates from all 3 of our resorts.
Whether you select a stunning lakeside suite, multi-bedroom condo, or a guestroom overlooking the ancient Sawtooth Mountains, you’ll get a front row seat to one of nature’s greatest shows. At Bluefin Bay, we bring you closer to the lake, and to each other.
Dramatic angles, vaulted pine ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, vast expanses of glass, in-suite fireplaces, double whirlpool tubs, glass and tile showers, and more balconies and patios than any other resort on Minnesota’s North Shore – are all right here waiting for you.
There is perhaps nothing as warm and inviting as a log home for escape from our hectic, fast-paced lives. Place it on Lake Superior’s North Shore and you’ve got the perfect destination for family vacations, a couples’ retreat or friends’ getaway.
This will be our last Fall Color report for 2020. We’ve received questions from guests wondering if the colors changed earlier this year than usual. The answer is yes! You can view maps from previous years on the DNR’s fall color page on their website, which we found to be very interesting!
Fall Color Report: September 29 – Britton Peak
We are due for an update as the color has shifted quite a bit since last week’s Fall Color Report. We had some rain over the weekend and the maple canopy is beginning to come down. On a happier note, the Birch and Aspen trees are totally at peak right now. This means that the drive to the North Shore is breathtaking. It also means that any of the hiking trails closer to the lake are lit up with golden hues. Think Carlton Peak, Tettegouche State Park, Palisade Head, Lookout Mountain and today’s choice, Britton Peak.
This is the overlook from our hike at Britton Peak. Britton Peak is a swift vertical climb that offers sweeping views of Lake Superior and Carlton Peak. It’s perfect if you are looking for something quick and close to Bluefin Bay as it’s less than 3 miles away.
The perspective from the hiking trail is exquisite. The undergrowth is changing and the forest floor is covered in vibrant leaves. The little bit of rain also permeated the woods with the delicious scents of Fall.
It’s an extraordinary season on the North Shore. We all wish that Mother Nature would extend it, but it doesn’t look like that will happen this year. Stay tuned for next week – we’ll update you on the fall colors at the different properties that make up Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts!