Fall Color Drives

Imagine driving through a tunnel of orange, red, and yellow leaves on a dirt road in the middle of the forest. There’s nothing quite like it. Below are a few of our favorite Fall Color Drives.

Fall Color Tours

Caution: Always take a paper map with you when driving through the woods in our area. Cell phone service is non-existent on most of these roads. Many of these roads are used as snowmobile trails in the winter, so do not drive on them once snow has fallen.

  1. 1. Honeymoon Trail – Start at the Caribou Trail (County Road 4) just north of Lutsen off Highway 61. Wind past Caribou Lake and take Forest Road 164 (Honeymoon Trail) to the left.
    When you come to the Sawbill Trail (County Road 2), turn left and return to Highway 61 at Tofte.
  2. 2. 6 Hundred Road & Temperance River Road – Start at the Sawbill Trail (County Road 2) and head north about 5 miles. Take a left at the 6 Hundred Road. Here you will find the stunningly beautiful Heartbreak Hill. Continue through the forest and take a left at Temperance River Road.
  3. 3. Gunflint Trail – The Gunflint Trail is a paved, scenic byway that winds 58 miles into the wilderness. The route begins in Grand Marais, where you’ll take Highway 61 through the town and then take a left onto the Gunflint Trail. You can take the Gunflint Trail as far as you want. Drive slowly as many moose call the Gunflint Trail home.
  4. 4. Grand Portage – As soon as the colors begin changing down by Lake Superior, we recommend a drive to Grand Portage. This stretch of the highway is beautiful, truly showcasing Lake Superior on one side and the Sawtooth Mountains on the other. Grand Portage State Park is home to High Falls, the tallest waterfall in Minnesota. The trail to the waterfall is paved and accessible and would make for a great spot to stretch your legs before getting back into the car.

September Events

September is a stunning month on the North Shore. Best of all, there is a great line-up of events during the month of September.

Here are a few of our favorites:
W Huss - Calendar Contest 2019

September 9-10 | Superior Fall Trail Races – These are 100-mile, 50-mile, and marathon distance running events on the Superior Hiking Trail. They’re fun to run. What’s even more fun is to spectate while drinking a beer!

September 9-10 | Radio Waves Music Festival – Hosted by our local radio station, WTIP, this music festival takes place at the Recreation Area in Grand Marais. Bring a blanket or camp chairs!

September 22-24 | Unplugged Music Festival – Unplugged is North House Folk School’s annual hoopla in downtown Grand Marais. The event features music performances, an artisan craft fair and an online auction. Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is a proud sponsor of this event.

September 23-October 2 | Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour – The Fall Studio Tour ranges from Schroeder to Hovland and gives visitors a chance to peek inside artists’ studios as well as chat with them about their work. It’s a unique opportunity to see the artist process, in the place that inspired it!

 

Explore State Parks

The Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts offers easy access to four spectacular state parks featuring waterfalls, rivers, and pristine forests: TettegoucheTemperance River, Cascade River, and George Crosby Manitou. These state treasures can be explored year-round and offer limitless opportunities for adventure seekers—from hiking, biking and fishing to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and wildlife viewing. Each has its own personality and unique areas to explore.

Palisade Head

In addition to the parks in Bluefin Bay’s backyard, we encourage stops at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and Gooseberry Falls State Park. Both are located on Scenic Highway 61 on the drive north to the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.

 

North Shore Summer Events

If you’ve stayed at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts before, you know that our guests can be as busy as they’d like to be. Throughout the summer, we have a full line-up of excursions and activitiesLutsen 99er Mountain Bike Race planned each day. Even better, the North Shore area has exciting, major events planned for throughout the summer. We have compiled a list of area events taking place so you can plan your Lake Superior vacation accordingly.

North Shore Summer Events:

Introducing…our New Kids Program!

At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we are always seeking ways to improve our guest’s experience. In fact, we send every guest a post-stay survey that asks the question, “How can we improve?” AKid with Rock Lake Superior suggestion that we heard continually was to expand the activities we offer for younger kids.

Today we are thrilled to introduce our new Summer Kids Program. This program will be offered complimentary for all guests of Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing from Memorial Day Weekend through mid-August. The kids’ program will take place Tuesdays-Saturdays and will be split into two age groups: 6-8 year-olds (mornings) & 9-12 year-olds (afternoons).

Each day will have a different theme and our Activities Department has some fun, creative ideas to keep your kiddos entertained.

Here is the schedule:

  • Tuesdays will be Crafts & Field Sports Day
  • Kids playing on the shorelineWednesdays will rotate between Plant Day and Rock Day
  • Thursdays will rotate between Fish Day and Fire Day
  • Fridays will be Animals Day
  • Saturdays will rotate between Camping 101 and Voyageur 101

The best news? If you already have your summer trip booked, you can sign-up for the Kids Program starting today! If you haven’t booked your summer vacation yet, be sure to book soon!

If you have any questions about the program, please reach out to our Activities Department by calling 218-663-7860, ext. 2306 or by emailing activities@bluefinbay.com.

Waterfall Season FAQs

You’ve probably heard us talking about what a fabulous snow year it is on the North Shore so far this year. And it’s true – we have excellent snow conditions which have been so fun for winter adventures.

BUT do you know what else happens as a result of plentiful snow? A spectacular waterfall season! As the hundreds of thousands of acres of melted snow finds its way to Lake Superior, it creates quite the show.

High Falls at Grand Portage

Waterfall Season Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to visit?

Peak waterfall season can vary a little based on how early of a Spring we have. Typically the best dates to see the waterfalls really roar are mid-April to mid-May.

What are some of the best waterfall hikes?

Here are some of our favorites:

  • High Falls at Grand Portage State Park – This is the waterfall pictured above. It’s a bit of a drive from the resort but totally worthwhile. This is the tallest waterfall in Minnesota!
  • Temperance River State Park – This river is featured in the video below. It’s an incredible gorge and practically in our backyard.
  • Cascade River State Park – This is an easy hike with incredible waterfalls.
  • Cross River in Schroeder – You don’t even need to get out of the car!
  • Caribou Falls – A great hike along the Caribou River leads to the base of a 40-foot waterfall.

For more information on waterfall hikes in the area, click here.

Are there any deals or discounts?

Our Spring Fever Special runs from April 11-May 26th and offers 3 nights for the price of 2!

From the smaller pop-up falls on the side of Highway 61 to the tallest waterfall in Minnesota, our area is perfect for exploring this incredible season! 

Hygge Season

Hygge (pronounced “HOO-gah”) is a Danish word for enjoying life’s simple pleasures. At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, this concept is woven into everything we do. We love cozy spaces with stunning Lake Superior views and embracing outdoor adventures with lots of fresh air. Hygge promotes emotional and physical wellbeing and gives us a sense of togetherness and contentment. wine and feet up by the fireplace. hygge

Here are some ways to get into the Hygge spirit on your next trip:

  • Visit our Activity Calendar and join us on a complimentary guided adventure
  • Curl up with a good book or jovial conversation with loved ones around a warm fire
  • Guests can check out complimentary cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice trekkers, and ice skates
  • Enjoy a hot sauna or a soak in the hot tub
  • Soak by yourself in a whirlpool tub
  • Enjoy a cozy meal from the Coho Café & Bakery or the Bluefin Grille (delivery is available for resort guests)

Hygge Events

The Hygge Festival takes place throughout the county and runs from February 5-14th. The event features live music (including Campfire Music at Bluefin Bay!), art events and more.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with us! See the Bluefin Grille’s Valentine’s Day menu here and then make your reservation.

The Sugarbush Trail Association will be hosting a Candlelit Ski and Snowshoe event on February 19th from 6 – 8 p.m. This charming night time activity really showcases the romance of a snow covered forest.

Nice Ice

During winters in Minnesota, it is a guarantee that you’ll come into contact with ice in one way or another. In some instances, it can be annoying. But in other ways, it can be awe inspiring. On the North Shore of Lake Superior, ice is something we marvel at. From frozen lakes to ice-covered waterfalls to the small ice sculptures that form on the shorelines of Lake Superior, we find ice to be a magical part of our winter seasons.

Lake Superior Ice

Ice forms on Lake Superior every single winter. Some years, like during last year’s mild winter, you can only find it on sheltered sections of the lake. The Grand Marais Harbor and the Duluth/Superior area are common spots where a glaze forms over the Great Lake. Other years, the entire lake freezes. That is rare and most recently occurred in 1996. Most commonly, ice will cover about 50-60% of Lake Superior’s surface. In 2019, when we saw the wolves on Lake Superior in front of Bluefin Bay, we were lucky to experience 95% coverage.

Lake Superior ice is notoriously fickle. No matter how cold the winter gets, the movement of the water underneath makes the ice on top unreliable (just ask the 26 ice fisherman that had to beWinter Bluefin Bay rescued by the coast guard in Duluth last winter). Because of the risks, ice formations are best enjoyed from the shoreline. The spray from waves will often cling onto trees and bushes creating fantastic icicle sculptures. Occasionally, when the wind and waves pick up after a period of stillness, crashed ice will form along the beaches.

Below you will find a list of our top 10 recommended locations for finding ice formations.

  1. Gooseberry Falls
  2. Tettegouche State park
  3. Split Rock Lighthouse
  4. Sugarloaf Cove
  5. Temperance River
  6. Bluefin Bay
  7. Tofte Cove
  8. Onion River
  9. Cascade River
  10. Grand Marais Harbor

Holiday Break at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts

The holiday season is special and magical here on Minnesota’s North Shore. If you will be joining us over the holiday time between Christmas and New Year’s, here are a few resources to help you plan your trip!Gingerbread Contest

Activities

Dining

Please note, if you will be dining at the Bluefin Grille during the holiday break, we strongly recommend making a reservation. Reservations can be made here.

HOLIDAY HOURS
Christmas Eve:
The Bluefin Grille will be closed.Hot Chocolate at Guest Services
Coho Café will be open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Christmas Day:
Coho Café will be closed.
Bluefin Grille will be open from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., with the bar open until 11 p.m. See the Christmas specials here.
New Years Eve:
Bluefin Grille will be open from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m., with the bar open until 11 p.m. See the New Year’s Eve specials here.

Best Selfie Spots

They say a photo is worth a thousand words and in this day and age, it’s probably worth even more! For that reason, we wanted to fill you in on the best photo opportunity locations at Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing.

Remember, some of the best photo ops are likely in your unit! The majority of our units have stunning Lake Superior views, wood-burning fireplaces, balconies – or all of the above! These are all fabulous spots to capture memories.

Couple Tofte Dock Bluefin Bay

For outdoor photos, we’ve created maps for each resort to make it even easier for you. The camera icon marks the best spots at each resort.

BLUEFIN BAYClick here for map

Bluefin Bay Resort is so photogenic – you can’t go wrong! We chose the following as our favorites: Tofte cove, the outdoor pool, the lake walk, the beach in front of Bluefin Grille, the rocky peninsula on the south side of the Bay and the historic Tofte dock. Also note that the ice rink at Bluefin Bay is super charming in the winter!

SURFSIDEClick here for map

Surfside Resort has an incredible shoreline that makes for beautiful photos. We suggest the shoreline on the far west side or the far east side of the resort, as that is where some of the best cliffs are. There is also a beautiful deck at Waves of Superior Spa that overlooks the resort.Romantic Couple at Surfside

TEMPERANCE LANDINGClick here for map

Temperance Landing has a unique pebble shoreline that is very photogenic. On top of that, the log cabins themselves are stunning in photos. We recommend taking photos on the rocky outcropping on the east side so you can get both the shoreline and the cabins in the background! The Finnish sauna also has a lot of character and would make for a great backdrop.

And remember! “There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” ― Abraham Lincoln