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.

Fall Color View 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.

Britton Peak Hike Fall Colors

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!

 

Fall Color Report: September 22 – Oberg Mountain

We are kicking off Fall Color reporting with our favorite destination for this time of year, Oberg Mountain. We tagged along with the Activities Crew as they ventured out on their tour on Saturday and boy are we glad we did! As of today, the DNR is currently reporting our region to be in the 25-50% range.

Oberg Mountain Fall Colors

It’s always a challenge to predict the peak colors on the North Shore. As many of you probably know, it happens in two distinct phases. First, the maples come ablaze with bright red and brilliant orange leaves. Secondly, the aspen and birch present their golden glory. Some argue there is a third phase when the tamarack trees begin to change, which usually occurs in late October or even early November.

Fall Color hiking

We are very much in that first peak now and Oberg was a fantastic spot to view the colors. The maple trees are beautiful both from the ground and from the overlooks. The birch and aspen have just begun changing and have a little ways to go. The good news is that we don’t have any storms predicted in the forecast, which should help the leaves to hang on a bit longer this year.

If you are coming to stay with us this Fall, be sure to check the activities schedule in advance. We have guided hikes, bike & hikes, fall color kayaking and wilderness canoeing. All of these activities are designed to get our guests outside exploring the most colorful season on the North Shore.

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!

 

The Gales Special Starts Now!

Witnessing the gales on Lake Superior is one of the iconic experiences on Minnesota’s North Shore. Late October, November, and December are the best times to see the biggest wave show as the cold, dry air from the north meets the moist, warm air from the Gulf.

Don’t miss our special lodging offer! When nature puts on a show, you want a front-row seat and there is no better place to watch the gales roll in than from the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Stay three nights at any of our resorts (Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing) on the Gales Special, and one of those nights of Lake Superior splendor is our treat!  This great offer is valid now through December 24, 2019.

In addition to nature’s show, enjoy fun indoor and outdoor activities during your stay. Sign-up for a complimentary resort activity like a variety of guided hikes, yoga, winery shuttles, and a Saturday Kids Club. Enjoy resort amenities like indoor and an outdoor (heated!) pool, nightly bonfires with s’mores, board games and movie rentals. Once the snow flies we also offer complimentary rentals of snowshoes, cross-country skis, ice trekkers for hiking, ice skates, and hockey equipment.

Upcoming resort events:

November 1-2: Fall Food & Wine Lover’s Weekend

November 8-10: Girls Gone North Weekend

November 28: Thanksgiving Buffet at the Bluefin Grille

 

 

Fall Color Report: October 8 – The Bluefin Bay Properties

The beautiful autumn golds have taken over the landscape along the Lake Superior shoreline. Blue skies and the dark blue lake are the perfect contrast against yellows, golds, and the dark green evergreens. We’re at 85-100% fall color in all areas of the North Shore. Many leaves are still hanging on the trees but they will be dropping in the next couple of weeks.

Today we toured around the Bluefin Bay Family of Resort properties to capture the fall views. This time of year, you will never miss a wave OR fall colors from any of the resort properties!

Bluefin bay in ocotberBLUEFIN BAY

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.

 

 

 

surfside on lake superior in fallSURFSIDE ON LAKE SUPERIOR

Whether on a romantic getaway, a relaxing retreat, or a family adventure, Surfside on Lake Superior provides the ultimate North Shore vacation experience. Dramatic angles, vaulted pine ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, vast expanses of glass, in-suite fireplaces, double whirlpool tubs, glass and tile showers, and multiple balconies and patios are all right here waiting for you.

 

 

 

temperance landing on lake superior in fallTEMPERANCE LANDING ON LAKE SUPERIOR

There is perhaps nothing as warm and inviting as a log home for an 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. Temperance Landing 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 namesake from nearby Temperance River State Park.

 

Fall Color Report: September 23rd Leveaux Mountain Hike

Leveaux Mountain Hike in late SeptemberBluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report: 50-80% Fall Colors. We’re reporting about 50%  fall colors by Lake Superior with 80% a few miles inland. 

We went on a hiking adventure to Leveuax Mountain to check out the fall colors. This hike provides panoramic views of the inland hills, Lake Superior, and southwest views of the Sawtooth Mountains. Because of this, we knew this hike would be perfect for viewing the color change difference between areas farther inland and areas closer to the shoreline of Lake Superior. The inland maples are just about at peak creating a stunning blanket of oranges and reds on the rolling hills. The birch trees have barely started to change color, and in some spots have yet to change color at all. Their yellows and golds will take over the landscape in the next couple of weeks. Closer to the lake, there is only about 50% color change but we should see a big change in the next week and a half.

The Leveaux Mountain Hike is one of our many complimentary guided hikes offered to resort guests. The distance of this hike is 3.4 miles and considered moderate in difficulty due to the length and a few short but steep climbs. The views are worth it! The trail follows a ridge through old-growth cedar and red pine forests rising 1,000 feet above the lake.

From the gallery below you can see how the trees went from mostly green toward the bottom of the trail, and areas closer to the lake, to mostly fall color as you look inland from the top. We felt like we were traveling through different ends of the autumn season in one hike!

 

 

 

Fall Color Report: September 16th – Color Tour AND Family Fun at Lutsen Mountains!

Gondola at Lutsen Mountains. Bluefin Bay Fall Color Report

Photo: Sept 15, 2019

Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report: 25% Fall Colors. We are reporting little color change by Lake Superior with more fall colors peeking through 1-2 miles inland. 

Experience more fall fun on Minnesota’s North Shore with a trip up to Lutsen Mountains. It’s less than a 10-minute drive from Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts and offers fun for the whole family!

Lutsen Mountains is located a couple of miles inland from Lake Superior. On our Fall Color Report adventure this past weekend we hiked along the trails winding through this area and spotted some beautiful Fall colors starting along the top of the ridgelines.

The Summit Express Gondola is one of our favorite ways to view the fall colors. You’ll travel above the treetops heading up 1,000 feet to the top of Moose Mountain with views of the autumn colors, Lake Superior, and the Sawtooth Mountains. Hop out at the Summit Chalet for breathtaking views, scenic overlooks, and hiking trails.

For those looking to add a long hike to their Lutsen Mountains experience, we recommend heading out on the Superior Hiking Trail starting from the end of the road that runs past the main ski area. This 4.5-mile hike winds across the Poplar River and around the back of Mystery and Moose Mountain through forests of cedar, brightly colored maple and aspen. In addition, this hike ends at the top of Moose Mountain where you can purchase a ticket and head back via the gondola – a sweet way to end a rewarding hiking adventure! The Summit Express Gondola is open daily through October 20.

The Alpine Slide is perfect for those looking for a few thrills during their fall color tour. One of the best parts of this activity is the chairlift ride to the top of Eagle Mountain. Sit back and enjoy a unique view of the fall beauty. Then, zip down a 1/2 mile track on your sled!  Your trip can be fast and thrilling or slow and easy. This one is a family favorite! The Alpine Slide is open weekends through October 20.

NEW Fall Activity – Fall Color Tour!

Fall Color ToursSeptember is here and it’s officially time to get excited about the upcoming fall color show along the North Shore! At the same time, we want to enjoy the late summer as long as possible.  We will NOT be breaking out the pumpkin spice quite yet. But, we do want to announce a new complimentary activity starting on September 21st:

Fall Color Tour – Leaves & Maple Syrup!

All things Fall! Hop into one of our vans as we take you on a backroads driving tour of the Lutsen-Tofte area blanketed in fall colors.

This fun tour starts with a drive up the beautiful Temperance River road. First, a stop at the upper falls to enjoy a short walk to the perfect photo op –  a river view with a beautiful colored hill in the backdrop. Then, it’s back to the van to head to the Six Hundred Road and eventually a stop at “Heartbreak Hill”. Another photo op of the canopy of leaves along this picturesque road. Our trip continues down the Six Hundred Road leading us to the famous Honeymoon Trail via the Sawbill Trail.  Enjoy a scenic stopping point at White Pine Lake with a fishing dock perfect for viewing the colors around this serene remote lake. Our next stop will be Wild Country Maple Syrup!  While here, we’ll tour the facility to see where they tap the trees, learn how the system works to transfer sap to the boiling room, and visit where they bottle the final product. In addition, enjoy a self-service store with a variety of products to sample and purchase!

On our final stretch, we’ll head down the Caribou Trail back to highway 61. A quick stop at the Poplar River Falls (another short walk) will give us one last waterfall and scenic view of the leaves.

This new activity will be available 4 days a week starting September 21st through October 12th. This will be a popular activity – you may sign up online ahead of time.

Fall Food & Wine Lovers Weekend!

Guests at the Fall Food and Wine Lovers Weekend 2017The Fall Food & Wine Lovers Weekend is almost here! November 2nd & 3rd will include special events focusing on food and wine – and of course, it is all set against the backdrop of Lake Superior! Bluefin Bay has been hosting Food & Wine Lovers Events for more than 20 years and we’re delighted to partner with Mpls-St. Paul Magazine as our media partner for this long-standing event.

We’re excited to welcome our guest chef for this year’s Friday & Saturday night dinners: Executive Chef Keven Kvalsten from the FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar in Minneapolis. Read his full bio here.

Each course will be paired with wine by our friends at Johnson Brothers Wine Company making the evenings a real treat for those who love great food and wine.

Join us! We still have a few reservations left for both Friday and Saturday evenings. Call the Bluefin Grille at 218-663-6200 to make a reservation.

Chef Kvalsten has put together a wonderful menu for the 4-course dinner on Friday evening and the 5-course dinner on Saturday evening:

Friday, November 2nd at 7 pm:

  • Amuse Bouche: Smoked Whitefish
    • garlic toast, cucumber, dill, crème Fraiche
  • Pheasant Confit
    • great northern beans, frisee, bacon marmalade
  • Duck Breast
    • pickled blueberry, wheat berry, glace de canard
  • Sturgeon and Braised Elk Duo
    • wild mushroom, potato, charred scallion butter,
  • Farmers Cheesecake
    • strawberry-rhubarb compote, candied walnut, mint ice

Saturday, November 3rd at 6 pm:

  • Cheddar Gougère
    • smoked whitefish, mustard caviar, chive
  • Smoked Beet Borscht
    • brown butter, duck rillette, soft boiled egg, pea tendrils
    • toasted breadcrumb
  • Poached Walleye
    • saltine, tarragon, crispy potato, baby herbs
  • Bison Bone Marrow
    • beef short-rib, charred radicchio, arugula-walnut pesto
    • grilled onion, pickled fennel
  • Venison Loin
    • parsnip fondant, crispy cabbage, juniper sauce
    • lacquered carrots
  • Warm Chocolate Torte
    • lingonberry-mint preserve, wild rice-ice cream, burnt marshmallow
Chef Keven Kvalsten Fall 2018 Food & wine Lovers Chef

Chef Keven Kvalsten

 

Fall Colors AND Rushing Rivers!

Temperance River State Park Late FallBluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report:

Peak to Past Peak in most areas! 

Another fall color season is coming to an end. We’ve hit the halfway point in the month and most areas on the North Shore are at peak or are now past peak. Many of the hiking trails are lined with brightly colored leaves that produce that ‘autumnal crunch’ we all love. As is typical along Lake Superior, we are still experiencing nice color and leaves on a majority of trees.

Temperance River State Park is our next door neighbor, and we may be partial, but we think it is one of the best parks in the state. We decided to take a quick adventure there this morning and even caught glimpses of blue sky and that sun that has eluded us for most of this month. From Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, you can walk or bike here via the Gitchi-Gami State Bike Trail or there are parking areas right on Highway 61 making it a very accessible state park. Once there, you can choose to take a southerly trail that leads to a bridge overlooking the falls of the Temperance River. From this bridge, you can see it descend the last of its falls plus watch it flow right into the big lake. This is a favorite photo op spot for Instagram-worthy pics and is a great location for wedding images. We followed the short trail that leads to the beach on the lake and noticed some nice color still on the trees

From the parking area on Highway 61, you can also head north and travel inland along the Temperance River. Another bridge just a quarter mile along showcases the deep river gorge and the wild river that has really been flowing after the recent rains. We almost thought it was waterfall season! Be sure to follow the trail farther north to check out a few other wild curves in the river that offer a pretty good show as the water swirls and rushes along. We offer many complimentary guided hikes and bike & hike trips to this popular not-to-miss destination.

The colors are quickly going past peak but the bonus this year is that river and waterfall viewing should be added to your fall adventure itinerary!

A few photos from Temperance River State Park…