It goes without saying that it’s been a tricky 12 months for wedding and event planners. Because of all of the confusion of this past year, we wanted to post an update on what the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is currently planning in regards to events. In everything we do, the health and safety of our resort guests, staff and the community remains our top priority.
We’ll start by saying that our hearts go out to all of the couples that are navigating this pandemic while trying to plan their very special day. We have been doing our best to offer clear and consistent communication to our already booked wedding couples, but we know that it hasn’t been easy for you.
Moving forward, we’ll be hosting events for 40 people or less. Our ceremony locations include Tofte Cove or the Beach Patio near Bluefin Grille. There are two choices for your reception dinner: the Shore Room at Bluefin Grille (up to 16 people) or the Superior Room upstairs at Bluefin Grille (up to 40 people). For more information on prices and menus, click here.
Lastly, as a result of higher than usual occupancy across the Bluefin Bay Resorts, we recommend that you contact our Guest Services department to check for lodging availability before inquiring about event and wedding services.
Biking the North Shore
One of the perks with staying at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is that we have bikes available for guest use as part of our complimentary activities program. We also have easy access to the Gitchi-Gami State Trail, which is a paved biking path that you can ride all the way from Lutsen to Temperance River State Park. We are excited to announce that this year we purchased 20 brand new bikes to add to our fleet! They are called the Specialized Roll-Sport Low Entry and they are perfect for easy cruising while you gaze at Lake Superior.
The other exciting news is that we have had a warmer than usual spring on the North Shore (and we are loving every minute of it)! So we already have the road bikes available for guest use, which means you can get out and enjoy the sunshine on two wheels. This is probably the first time we’ve ever had bikes available before April! It will be another month or two before we get the mountain bikes out.
We’ll begin our bike & hike tours on April 10th if you want to join us! These tours are complimentary for guests. We start by riding the 2.1 mile section of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail to Temperance River State Park. We then hike along the Temperance River for a little ways and check out the amazing waterfalls. It’s one of our favorite excursions!
Remember to ride responsibly, wear your helmet and we’ll see you on the trails!
No Solar Storm? No Problem!
The Northern Lights have been active in Cook County lately and we have seen beautiful photos from people who were lucky enough to witness them! Experiencing the Northern Lights is a bucket list item for most people and for good reason, they are truly sensational. However, it should be mentioned that they can be quite difficult to predict and they don’t always appear even when they are forecasted. While you can do as much as possible to prepare, you still may miss them.
The good news is that there is still plenty of natural beauty to be found above. Cook County has some of the darkest skies in the country, allowing for incredible viewing of the stars, planets and galaxy. Last year, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (located just 20 miles from Bluefin) was designated a dark sky sanctuary by the International Dark Sky Association. It is one of only 13 such sanctuaries around the world.
Bluefin Bay is also an ideal location to watch the moon rise out of Lake Superior. If you have ever witnessed a full moon shine out across on a large body of water, you know how spectacular it can be. The peninsula that the Bluefin Grille sits on offers an expansive view of the eastern sky where the moonrise occurs. Moon phases are also much easier to plan a trip around, as you know where and when they will occur.
So remember – even if you miss the solar storm, you can still be awed by the visibility of the solar system at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.
St. Patrick’s Day Medallion Hunt
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts! Today we will be hosting a medallion hunt for our guests. Will it be your lucky day? The prize is a $100 gift card!
Here are the official rules.
The medallion will be hidden on the grounds at Bluefin Bay, Surfside OR Temperance Landing. Guests searching for the medallion must stay on Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts properties.
The medallion will be in plain reach. Under no circumstances should guests climb, dig, or swim to find the medallion.
Participants must be a registered guest of one of Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts three properties.
Clues will be given at 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm in the Bluefin Bay Guest Services Building and on Bluefin Bay’s social media platforms.
Once found guests must return the medallion immediately to the front desk in the Guest Services building located at Bluefin Bay Resort.
First person to touch the medallion will be declared the winner. Any contention will result in the forfeiture of the prize.
Prize will be a $100 gift card to Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.
Here is the first clue.
Thank you for participating! I do not want to keep you waiting. Search on all three of the resort grounds. You may have to search like hounds. I am sure to be in plain sight. Be sure to go now while you have first light.
Outdoor Pool Tour + FAQs
The outdoor pool at Bluefin Bay is one of our most popular amenities in the winter. We thought it would be fun to do a little tour for those that may be thinking about staying at Bluefin Bay for the first time. Before we do that, we want to touch base on a couple frequently asked questions about the outdoor pool.
Question: Can any guests use the outdoor pool?
Answer: The outdoor pool is available to guests staying at the Bluefin Bay property. Guests of Surfside and Temperance Landing must use the indoor pool at Surfside.
Question: Are there capacity limitations at the outdoor pool?
Answer: Yes, due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are capacity limitations. Currently 8 people are allowed to use the pool and 4 are allowed to use the hot tub at one time. We also ask that you limit your time in the outdoor pool area to 30 minutes.
Question: Are there reservations available for time slots?
Answer: We are not currently managing reservations for the pool areas. If you are wondering about availability, you can contact Guest Services (dial “0” from your in-room phone) and they can check the pool cameras and let you know if there are people there.
Here’s the tour!
Lodging Tour Mondays
From suites to condos to luxury log homes, we have plenty of lodging options to choose from at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Whether you’re traveling with your extended family or it’s just you and your pup, we have a unit that will suit you perfectly.
Can you believe that it’s already time to begin thinking about Spring Break? It’s true. This year it will be important to book early and plan ahead as much as possible. The good news is that the best days of winter are ahead of us! Late February and March are some of the sunniest, snowiest days on the North Shore and we are ready.
For the winter adventure seekers, the trail conditions will be in prime shape. Spend a day downhill skiing at Lutsen Mountains. Snowshoe the Superior Hiking Trail or the Onion River Canyon. Maybe try cross country skiing, if you’ve never done it. The added sunshine and warmer temps make Spring an optimal time to try out new winter activities. Remember, we have complimentary snowshoes and cross country skis available for guest use!
For those that could use a relaxing getaway, we’ve got you covered. At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, the indoors have just as much to offer as the outdoors. Enjoy expansive Lake Superior views from your unit, a cozy crackling fireplace, or a massage at Waves of Superior Spa.
And don’t forget about our guided tours, ice rinks, pool areas and restaurants! There is so much to do when you stay at Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing. You can be as busy as you want to be. We have extended stay offers to help you take advantage of it all so book your Spring Break trip today!
Tips for Viewing the Northern Lights
Witnessing the northern lights is a common bucket list item (and for good reason!). They truly are a sensational natural phenomenon. Luckily for us, the northern lights can be visible from Tofte due to our northern location and clear, dark skies. Because this activity is something you can do alone or with your loved ones from your car, it is ideal for this socially distanced winter.
The best time to spot the elusive show is during the winter on a clear night. There are helpful websites which track the levels of geomagnetic activity in different areas, known as KP levels. The KP levels are on a scale of 0-9 and give you an idea of where you can go to see the auroras. In order to see them in Tofte, you will be looking for a KP level of 4 or higher. The website we recommend checking is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Now you may be wondering where to go about seeing the northern lights. The easiest location would be right in front of the Bluefin Grille. The peninsula there extends out into Lake Superior offering a view of the northern sky (like shown in the photo). Be sure to bring a flashlight so you can navigate carefully! Another great spot is up the Sawbill Trail about three miles. There is a pull off area on the left side of the road which features an expansive view of the northern sky. Remember to face north (that one is important!) and to turn off any artificial lights nearby. Bundle up and good luck!
The Norpine Fat Bike Classic is a fat tire biking event and being that it takes place in the middle of January, it is not for the faint hearted. There are two distances to choose between: a shorter 14-mile course and a longer 20-mile course. It costs $50 to sign up and the registration fee includes a membership to the Norpine Trail Association, entry into a prize drawing (which includes a two night stay at Bluefin Bay!), a bag lunch and some swag.
What’s different this year? With Covid-19, the event has been reimagined. Rather than a one day event, bikers will be able to ride the course anytime between January 23rd-31st. Riders are expected to be prepared with necessary repair equipment as the ride will not have aide stations on the course. You can register here.
If you have a Fat Tire bike and can’t make it during those dates, fear not. There are fat tire biking trails in the area that you can ride on all winter. Check out this map to see where you can ride, and be sure to purchase a trail pass!
Know Before You Go: Grand Marais
If you’ve visited Bluefin Bay then you have likely made a trip to the quaint, nearby harbor town of Grand Marais. It’s about 25 miles north of Bluefin Bay on Highway 61. The town is known for its cute shops, art galleries, live music, yummy restaurants and the harbor itself.
A trip to Grand Marais looks a bit different in the winter and even more different during Covid-19, so we wanted to make sure to let you know what to expect. We’ll start by saying that most businesses are open and we definitely recommend you go.
Next, go hungry and plan to shop! There are many tasty restaurants in Grand Marais. Whether you are looking for tacos, a brewery, pizza and burgers or just a good cup of coffee, you will find great options for meals in town. There are also wonderful art galleries and gift shops in Grand Marais and most are open year-round. It’s important to support small businesses this year and Grand Marais has many.
Lastly, we would recommend that you plan some time to go see the lighthouse. The lighthouse in the Grand Marais harbor is absolutely iconic and it’s the perfect spot for a photo op. We recommend heading out just before sunset. Be careful though! It can get pretty icy in the winter. If the walk to the lighthouse isn’t safe, you can still see across the harbor from the coast guard parking lot.
Final note. If you are reading this blog post and Covid-19 is over, we have to tell you about one more thing. Grand Marais is home to two of the coolest institutions: North House Folk School and the Grand Marais Art Colony. Plan ahead and sign up for a class or just stop by and say hi. The folks here are some of the kindest, most creative people you will ever meet! Both places host fun events, too!
We hope you find this information helpful in planning your next trip to Grand Marais.