Pet friendly? We love our four-legged guests!

Walking dog on trail near pet friendly bluefin bay lodgingAt Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we appreciate all our guests – including the four-legged ones!

If your family vacation isn’t complete without the family pet, you’ll be happy to know your four-pawed pals are welcome at Bluefin Bay and Surfside on Lake Superior – and in a variety of room styles. We offer pet friendly guestrooms, suites, and one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos and townhomes. Oh, and yes,  Fido just might get a treat (or many) when he visits. 😉

We’ve recently seen an increase of travelers with pets. This is due in part to the accessibility of the North Shore of Lake Superior with its cobblestone beaches, plentiful shoreline, lakeside paths, and the spectacular Superior Hiking Trail. (Not to mention how fun it is for Fido to jump and play in Lake Superior!) Also, this summer and fall more people are taking driving vacations and staying longer, which also means pet friendly lodging is in high demand.

Here are some tips and reminders to help you plan a great pet-friendly vacation at Bluefin Bay resorts:

  1. When booking your lodging, be sure to let us know Fido is on his way so we can roll out the ruff carpet! First, review the Pet Friendly unit styles available at Bluefin Bay and Surfside, and choose one on the Pet Friendly list. Then, when making your reservation, specify in the comments field online or when speaking with a reservationist that you would like a pet friendly room.

Pet friendly rooms are not guaranteed, but rather based on availability, and will be confirmed in your email confirmation. When you get your email confirmation, be sure to verify if a pet friendly room has been reserved for you.

Bluefin Bay Pet Policy & Pet Friendly Unit Styles

Surfside Per Policy & Pet Friendly Units

2. Peruse our Pet Friendly policy before your trip. Please note, that pets must be kenneled and quiet when left unattended in your unit. Plus, a maximum of 2 pets per unit are allowed and there is a pet fee of an additional $25 per night, not to exceed $100 per stay.

3. Bring the right supplies so Fido enjoys vacation, too.! These could include a foldable kennel or traveling crateto keep your pet contained if you plan to leave during the day, as well as plenty of food, food and water dishes, a pet bed or blanket, poop bags, a leash, and a bucket and towel for washing and drying dirty pet feet.

Heading to the North Shore on vacation doesn’t mean you have to leave your favorite furry friends behind, it just means you need to plan ahead to be certain they have a great vacation, too. This is a time when “know before you go” really applies.

We hope to see you and Fido soon.

You can’t beat this perspective for fall color!

Gondola at Lutsen Mountains. Bluefin Bay Fall Color Report

Without question, one of the most expansive and spectacular views for fall color on the North Shore is the aerial view from the Summit Express Gondola at Lutsen Mountains.

As you ride the gondola over the cascading Poplar River and just above the tree line to the top of Moose Mountain, you’ll experience fall color as far and wide as the eye can see. Not to mention, you’ll have a pretty spectacular and expansive view of Fall color from Oberg MountainsLake Superior’s rugged coastline!

Riding the Summit Express Gondola at Lutsen Mountains is one of the North Shore’s most popular fall attractions. Once at the top, you can enjoy mountaintop hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and, well, lots of fresh air.

The mountaintop Summit Chalet offers lunch, snacks and beverages — in addition to the gorgeous views. Both limited indoor seating and outside deck seating are available.

Fall hours for the Summit Express Gondola are daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but weather dependent. We strongly encourage Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts guests to call in advance to learn more about the fall schedule and Covid protocols. To make a reservation in advance, call 1-800-360-7222.

Ticket prices range from $25 for adults to $17 for children; children under 5 are free with a paying adult. And, if you want to experience the fall color of the Sawtooth Mountains both from the air and the ground, you can save $4 per ticket by riding the Gondola up the mountain and hiking the Superior Hiking Trail down.

You can learn more on the Lutsen Mountains website here.

 

Experience fall foliage on our new kayak tour

Inland Kayaking on Caribou LakeIf you haven’t yet experienced North Shore fall colors from a canoe or kayak, you’re in for a real treat. This fall we’re offering a new guided activity and fun way to explore our gorgeous fall colors from the water.

The Fall Kayak Tour begins at Bluefin Bay Guest Services and then takes the scenic route (by car) through the maples of the Superior National Forest where colors include vibrant oranges, Fall Colors on the North Shorereds and yellows. Then, we continue our adventure to a remote lake within the Superior National Forest where we’ll leisurely paddle in a wilderness setting.

A a reminder, all Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts’ guided adventures are complimentary to guests. We provide all of the gear, as well as expert instruction. So, whether you’re an experienced kayaker or you’ve always wanted to learn, our guides will facilitate a fun and safe experience for all. By the way, this is a great outing for families.

Here are a few tips to make the experience fun and enjoyable:

  • Be sure to dress in layers for the unpredictable fall weather and bring your phone/camera as we’re likely to see some wildlife on this adventure!
  • Some procedures with our guided activities have changed due to Covid-19 safety protocols. First, our recreational kayaks are two-person tandem kayaks and guests participating must be paired with one other person from their family group. Unfortunately, as a safety precaution, we can’t pair anyone with someone outside their friend/family group.
  • We’re asking guests to drive separately to the trailhead again so we don’t mix family/friend groups in our resort shuttles. If requested, we will have shuttle space for  one family group of up to four people. Masks are always required when riding the shuttle.

We do encourage advance sign-up for our resort guided activities — including the Fall Kayak Tour — as we have limited space in most of our activities. Learn more and sign up here.

We’re excited to bring you fall color by car and kayak, and hope to see you this Fall!

P.S. If you haven’t made your reservation for fall travel yet, hop on it. We are booking fast! Traveling this fall does require pre-planning. Learn more here.

To see the full schedule of Fall resort activities, click here and type in your travel dates.

 

North Shore Fall! If you want in, book now

Our Fall availability is filling fast!

Bluefin Bay - Fall on the North ShoreFall on Minnesota’s North Shore is one of the most breathtaking seasons and best times to visit. The star of the show is, of course, the vibrant fall color along Minnesota’s North Shore, including the Sawtooth Mountains and Superior National Forest.

Waves of red, orange and yellow extend as far as the eye can see Lusten in the Fallfrom the rocky ridges overlooking Lake Superior. In contrast are  the pine green forest and blue hues of Lake Superior herself.

Fall enthusiasts contend there are actual two fall peaks on the North Shore. First to turn are the inland maples,  followed by the yellow and golds of the aspen and birch along Hwy 61/North Shore Scenic Drive. So in a good year, calendar contestfall colors lasts for weeks! Lucky for us.

At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we enjoy helping guests experience the North Shore on foot, by pedal, canoe, kayak, or car.

For those who prefer to hit the trails to experience the changing leaves up close and personal — our guided fall hikes are fantastic. Prefer to go solo? No problem. We can you point you to the best (and less-populated trails) and the best color during your visit. The cool days are perfect for hiking in your favorite sweatshirt, and best when followed by a campfire and smores’ from the Bluefin Bay beach.

If you prefer to explore by bike, you can choose from the Gitchi Gami paved trail along the shoreline or off-road biking trails that offer adventure and an up-close-and-personal leaf peeping experience. Wilderness canoeing and inland kayaking are exceptional ways to see the colors from a different vantage point – the water. Join a guided excursion or head out on your own and paddle at your own pace.

In the fall, the North Shore feels a bit more laid back and relaxed — and that’s why we love it! But this year, we’re seeing different travel patterns and more people favoring driving vacations. Our fall is booking in fast.

Book now for fall travel through October

So, if you’re planning to join us at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts for a fall getaway, we encourage you to plan and book ahead. Fall bookings are already strong and availability for Sept. is limited.

Here’s a tip: If you don’t see your ideal dates or unit style available online, consider midweek travel as there is likely to be more availability and the fall colors are just as great midweek. 😉 If you have the flexibility due to remote work and/or the kids are distance learning vs the classroom, midweek travel could be a great option. Our reservationists can help at 1-800-258-3346.

Fall dining — also good to plan ahead

Planning your dining in advance may also help with your travel experience. If you would like indoor dining reservations at the Bluefin Grille, we encourage you to book in advance of your stay. We seat by reservation only for limited indoor seating at the Grille due to Covid-19 restrictions. View our online menu or book your reservation here.

Tip #2: Pack your jacket (and maybe your gloves), as well as your patience. The weather can be a bit more unpredictable for outdoor dining in the fall than summer, especially with Lake Superior breezes. We continue to offer takeout, outdoor dining on several patios and picnic tables, as well as limited indoor dining at both the Bluefin Grille and Coho Cafe & Bakery. Visit our dining pages here to learn more.

Tip #3: Many of our unit styles have full kitchens, so consider booking one of these and cooking and eating in your condo or townhome. All Temperance Landing log homes have full kitchens, as well as two bedroom townhomes at Surfside, and most one and three bedrooms at Bluefin Bay. If you’re unsure, ask a reservationist for help at 1-800-258-3346.

Sign up for activities and fall color tours in advance 

Because the fall will be busier this year, we encourage you to register in advance for our complimentary guest activities. Whether it’s a guided fall color hike, or you want to join a wilderness canoeing or inland kayaking adventure, it’s best to sign up in advance to ensure your spot. Check out our full schedule of activities and pre-register here.

We look forward to welcoming you to Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts this fall and hope these tips will help you plan a safe and fun experience.

Now, Fall is almost here. So enjoy this fall video for a little inspiration!

 

A typical summer day at Bluefin Bay Resorts

Lake Superior Summer - Bluefin BayWe’re well into summer at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts and we’ve had a string of beautiful weather weeks on the North Shore. These are the days we savor, especially this year!

Guests are enjoying warm days and cool evenings, the quiet beauty of the Superior National Forest and gentle summer breezes off Lake Superior. Families are spending time together enjoying the hiking and biking trails, and some are learning to kayak for the first time. Almost everyone is enjoying our expansive water views and quality time with those they love.

We are privileged to provide up close and personal access to the North Shore’s natural beauty, and to provide our special brand of warm and friendly hospitality. We delight in helping you escape the stresses of life in 2020, and in helping you create very special vacation memories. It’s a privilege we never take for granted.

So, for those of you who can’t be with us on the North Shore this year — and for those who want more of our beautiful lakeside resorts — here’s a virtual taste of summer at Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing on Lake Superior.

We created this video so you’ll never we miss a wave, even if you can’t travel right now. Please know you’re with us in spirit, and we hope you are staying safe and healthy.

Enjoy our video snipped from a typical summer day at Bluefin Bay Resorts shot last week.

[Subscribe to the Bluefin Bay Resorts YouTube Channel to get our latest videos here.]

 

 

Outdoor patio at the Grille is fully open

Bluefin Grille Outdoor Dining - New PatioOne of the many business “pivots” required when Covid-19 entered our lives this past spring, was planning how to provide safe dining options for our guests.

The resort team put their heads together and designed and created a new outdoor patio on the parking lot side at the Bluefin Grille.

The new outdoor patio had a soft open in mid-June without its overhead awnings to provide shade from the hot sun and enough staff to fully operate it. It quickly became a space for guests to enjoy a cocktail and/or wait for indoor dining reservations.

We’re happy to report that the patio awnings have arrived and the new patio is fully open for outdoor dining on a first-come, first served basis. No reservations are available for the Bluefin Grille’s outdoor patio, but indoor seating at the Grille is still on a reservation-only basis. Reservations for indoor seating are being taken at Open Table.

The Bluefin Grille (now open daily from noon to 10 p.m.) and Coho Café & Bakery (open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) offer outdoor dining options, takeout, and limited indoor seating.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to accommodate a full resort and provide dining options for our guests.

Enjoy this gallery of outdoor patio shots to give you a feel for the space.

Will you hit the Jackpot? Check out this new mountain bike trail in Lutsen

Jackpot flow mountain biking trail tofteThe North Shore is blessed with its biking trails — from the paved Gitchi Gami Bike Trail running parallel to all three Bluefin Bay Resorts and for 29 miles along the shoreline, to the adventure and thrill of off-road experiences ranging from white knuckled single track to winding backcountry roads. Oh, and fat tire biking in the winter!

But have you hit the Jackpot?

Last Fall, a new single-track bike trail in Lutsen called the Jackpot Connector Trail made its debut. The Jackpot Connector runs between Britton Peak trails in Tofte to Onion River Road and on to Lutsen Mountains. The 18-mile trail offers adventure and an outstanding ride for every skill level from beginners to advanced riders.

Riders will experience a variety of terrain as they climb over and around the Sawtooth Mountains. Entry level riders can ride certain sections of the trail, and expert riders will enjoy big climbs and some of the technical features. The ride includes several scenic overlooks and it’s a wilderness ride that’s not easily replicated anywhere in the Midwest.

Our recommendation is to know a bit about the sections of this trail in advance of venturing out. In that spirit, we’re sharing this great video where you can actually see and experience sections of the trail for yourself.

The Jackpot Connector Bike Trail was built thanks to the hard work of the Superior Cycling Association (SCA). In this video co-produced by SCA and Visit Cook County, Tim Kennedy, SCA President, provides a great overview of what to expect.  See video here.

In truth, you haven’t really experienced the North Shore until you’ve done it from atop two wheels. Powered by pedals, the rugged Lake Superior coastline and jagged mountaintops take on a whole new meaning. It’s an intimate experience and a trip unlike any other. And, it’s the perfect outdoor activity during these crazy and challenging times.

Road and mountain bike rentals are included as part of your stay at any of our Bluefin Bay Resorts, and the area offers bike trails for both that meet all skill and ambition levels. Read more here on our biking page, or join a guided bike tour as part of our complimentary resort activities. Visit Cook County also has trail maps and more biking information here.

If you venture out on the Jackpot, share your adventure with us. We’d love to see your photos or video.

Happy pedaling!

 

Temperance Landing summer – A bit quieter pace

Temperance Landing SummerWhat a beautiful summer morning at Temperance Landing! This morning’s walk around the property was a reminder that — of the three Bluefin Bay resorts in the family — Temperance Landing has a bit slower, more laid-back and quieter pace.

The rocky beach at Temperance Landing is the perfect place to enjoy morning coffee. Perch yourself on a big rock and take in Lake Superior’s expansive beauty. This morning Temperance was sunny and serene. The Temperance Landing Summer Beachbirds were chirping good morning as gentle Lake Superior  waves lapped softly at the shoreline under the warm July sun.

Temperance Landing joined the Bluefin Bay Family in 2006. The property is nestled on the edge of Lake Superior and set against the backdrop of the Sawtooth Mountains in Schroeder, MN. And, yes, it gets its name from nearby Temperance River State Park.

Luxury log homes on Lake Superior

Temperance Landing ResortIf you don’t know Temperance, you’re in for a treat. Our Temperance Landing three-story log homes boast two-and-half-story vaulted ceilings, Ponderosa Pine log walls, a grand ledgerock stone fireplace, a whirlpool tub, granite and tile shower, a grand porch overlooking the lake, and incredible Lake Superior views!

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom log homes are warm and inviting, and a great way to escape from our hectic — and maybe somewhat crazy right now — lives.

The sheer size and character of these log homes, as well as the breathtaking location, make them feel more like a solo rental you might find on VRBO. But, guests at Temperance Landing also get the benefits of the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts amenities, including access to the Surfside pool, hot tub, sauna and fitness area, plus complimentary outdoor equipment and guest activities. (That’s if you can break away from your perch on the rock enjoying your coffee by the big lake!)

Families, groups of friends and couples’ groups love Temperance Landing as it comfortably sleeps 6-8 people. There is plenty of quiet space, as well as “hang-out together” space. In fact, each couple can have their own floor! The full kitchen, dining area and grand porch overlooking the lake also make it great for entertaining.

Off the beaten path in Temperance Landing’s backyard

For guests who want to avoid people and explore the quieter, off the beaten path version of the North Shore, Temperance Landing is perfect. The resort is steps from the Gitchi Gami Bike Trail where you can hop on the trail and go (by bike or foot) all the way to Bluefin Bay (about 3 miles) and beyond.

A lovely walk or ride along the Gitchi Gami takes you to Temperance River State Park — which is less than a mile from the resort. Be sure to leave time to hike along the Temperance River and explore this great state park. [Note: This one does get a little crowded in the summer.]

Father Baraga’s Cross is another gem off the beaten path that is less than .25 mile from Temperance Landing. From Temperance, walk to Baraga Cross Road and then meander the .25 mile to the breathtaking Lake Superior shoreline where you can explore. A giant granite cross commemorates missionary Frederic Baraga’s safe passage across an angry Lake Superior in 1846. Read more here.

Check out this photo gallery of Temperance Landing & Father Baraga’s Cross.

 

No paddle? No problem!

Explore the North Shore from the water with a guided tour

Bluefin Bay Family of ResortsSo you’ve never worn a spray skirt, done a sweep stroke or dropped a rudder. Guess what? It doesn’t matter! With our complimentary kayaking tours, everyone – from absolute beginners to advanced paddlers – can have a great time exploring the greatest of lakes.

No paddle or paddling experience, no problem! We’ve got you covered.

Sea Kayaking on Lake Superior

KayakingUnder the watchful eye of our certified guides, kayak tours typically head northeast along the rocky shoreline, paddling past waterfalls and over sea cliffs, dipping into caves and witnessing lots of wildlife.

More inland sea than lake, wind can sometimes be a factor on Lake Superior. When this happens, our guides play it safe and take guests to explore one of our many gorgeous inland lakes. Whether out on the BIG Lake or inland, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Regardless of paddling experience, all physically capable guests ages 12 and older are welcome to join in the adventure. While we provide all necessary equipment, including the very safe and stable tandem kayaks, we do recommend wearing a swimsuit under the wetsuit and shoes that can get wet (take it from us – paddling barefoot is not a good idea).

Tours hit the water three to four times daily throughout the summer and can be booked here on our online Resort Activities Calendar to ensure your spot.

Inland Kayaking on Caribou LakeRecreational Inland Kayaking on Caribou Lake

This is the second year we’ve offered inland kayaking on beautiful Caribou Lake in Lutsen. In this guided adventure, we’ll recreational kayak for two hours on this peaceful, scenic lake. As we paddle along the shore, you’ll want to look for wildlife like beavers, loons, and ducks.

Inland kayaking is perfect for families and beginners or those who want to kayak, but don’t want to risk falling into Lake Superior’s chilly waters. This guided trip is kid-friendly for children ages 7 and up. We offer basic kayak stroke instruction, which makes it perfect for beginners.

Wilderness Canoeing Close to Home

Wilderness Canoeing ExperienceOur Wilderness Canoeing Experience on the Poplar River has become a guest and staff favorite. Guests meet at Bluefin Bay Guest Services and then drive or take the shuttle (one family group only) to the Poplar River in Lutsen. We then hike about a quarter of a mile to the canoes, and paddle two miles along the beautiful Poplar River.

No past canoe experience is needed and children as young as five can participate. The trip is leisurely, scenic, and within the whole family’s capabilities. This is definitely a family-friendly activity.

For those who love to stay at Bluefin Bay Resorts, but have always wondered what a Boundary Waters Canoe experience would be like, this 2.5 hour trip gives you a flavor for the BWCA but is shorter and closer to home. Because our Wilderness Canoe Experience is so popular, it fills quickly.

Check our Resort Activities Calendar for dates and times for all on the water adventures. All guided activities are complimentary and can fill quickly in the summer, so it’s best to register in advance via the online link.

Please note that all of our activities are operated under NEW health and safety protocols. Please check the online activity listing for social distancing and other rules prior to your visit. Read more on our Stay Safe page here.

Happy paddling!

Check out these fun videos:

Sea Kayaking on Lake Superior

Wilderness Canoeing Experience

Stay Safe: Wear your mask & help us stay open

wear your mask-protect yourself & othersWe want you to travel safely and stay well during the Covid-pandemic. The health and safety of our resort guests, our staff and the community at large is our top priority.

While visiting the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we ask guests to: 1) Be proactive about personal hygiene (frequent hand washing, etc.), 2) Wear a mask or face covering, and 3) Practice social distancing. Remember, for physical distancing the CDC recommends a safe social distance of six feet or more — or one moose apart.

One Moose Apart - Covid Social DistancingWe appreciate the new “Wear your mask” campaign created by the State of Minnesota as part of its Stay Safe MN initiative. You’ll see these signs on our buildings and badges on our website and in social media as a friendly reminder.

The “Stay Six Feet or One Moose Apart” campaign was created by Visit Cook County as a reminder to stay at least six feet or one moose apart in physical distance.

These two creative campaigns help us spread the message of how to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, and you’ll see these signs in and around the resorts during your stay with us. We’re getting lots of comments from guests who like the fun and friendly reminders.

Visit the Bluefin Bay Resorts Stay Safe page for updates on health and safety protocols and resort services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Please remember, if you or anyone in your party is sick with any Covid-like symptoms we ask that you reschedule your trip and we’ll provide a full refund or apply it to a future stay.

Thank you for protecting yourself and others, and for helping us stay open during these challenging times. We appreciate you!