At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we like to celebrate all things Halloween on MEA weekend! And Halloween is one of our FAVORITE holidays. Creative costumes, scary movies, tasty treats – what’s not to love?
We begin with our annual pumpkin carving contest for guests. There are over $300 in prizes and three different age categories. 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 Saturday, October 23rd after 4pm. See official rules here: Pumpkin Carving Contest
Next, we like to set the tone for the weekend with a Halloween themed movie. We’ll be playing Halloweentown (what else!?) in the Tofte Room, across from the playground at Bluefin Bay.
Then on Saturday morning, we begin the medallion hunt! Find the Bluefin Bay medallion and win a $100 gift card! The hunt begins at 8 a.m. and clues will be released every two hours after that. Saturday evening we are hosting a picnic style event outside on the BBQ patio from 5-8 p.m. The picnic will feature live music, bonfire pits, BBQ and a bar (cash or room charge only).
And there’s plenty more to do other than our Halloween festivities. We’ll have guided hikes, kids adventure club, fall color kayak tours, live music, wilderness canoeing and more! All activities are complimentary for guests of Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing.See the full schedule here. Plus, Grand Marais will again be hosting its annual Moose Madness Festival.
Book Early for Storm Season
Fall is here! And with it comes one of the most entertaining seasons on Lake Superior. Storm Season, also known as the Gales of November, begins in late October and lasts through mid-December. The low-pressure systems that pass over Lake Superior result in strong winds which have the potential to produce massive waves, like the ones in this video.
And if you are reading this post, then you know that no place brings you closer to Lake Superior than the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Our lodging facilities at Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing provide a panoramic view of the Great Lake. We also have seating areas, pools and restaurants that offer stunning views of dazzling Lake Superior.
Combine Lake Superior’s wildest season with our resorts’ spectacular views and you have a match made by Mother Nature herself. Throw in wood burning fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, complimentary activities plus delicious on-site dining options and you have the perfect late fall vacation. To make it even sweeter, we offer a third night free when you stay anytime between October 24 and November 30th (excluding Thanksgiving weekend). Be sure to book soon as this time is filling up quickly and when nature puts on a show, you want a front row seat.
Local Craft Classes
There’s something about the Autumn season that awakens the artist in all of us. The colorful leaves all around and the chill in the air bring out our creative side. At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we embrace that inspiration with local craft classes.
The classes below are completely free for guests staying at Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing. Space is limited so be sure to reserve your spot by clicking on the links below. No artistic experience is necessary for any of these classes and all supplies are provided.
Classes at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. The Carolina Snowflake is simple to make and useful as a Christmas tree top ornament or a decorative wall hanging. Jane specializes in basketry utilizing a variety of materials such as birch bark, red osier dogwood and rattan reed.
This workshop is from 12:30 – 4 pm and you can drop in any time! No sign-up necessary. Learn how to dye your own silk scarf and take it home with you! The workshop includes a brief introduction to the dyeing method. You’ll then pick your colors and design, and go to work.
Fall Color FAQs
It may seem a bit early to be thinking about the vibrant red, pumpkin orange and lively yellow leaves that will soon be spread across our shoreline. Fall is notorious for being one of the best seasons to visit the North Shore of Lake Superior and because of that, lodging at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts tends to fill up quickly. If you’re hoping to visit us for this glorious season, read over the FAQs below and book your stay as soon as you can!
Fall Color FAQs
When is the best time to see the Fall Colors? Each year varies but typically the best time is mid-September through mid-October. September is when the maple trees change which brings the brilliant reds and oranges. Towards October is when the birch and aspen trees change, highlighting the forest in golden yellows.
What are the best hikes to see Fall Colors? Some of our favorite local hikes include Oberg Mountain, Lake Agnes and Carlton Peak. See the full list here.
What activities are happening at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts in the Fall? Resort activities including guided hikes, bike and hike tours, fall color kayaking, wilderness canoeing, kids adventure club, art activities, campfire & s’mores and more. Check out our activities calendar here.
Are there any specials or discounts? During peak fall colors, the best discount is our internet savings offer, which you can receive for booking your stay online. We begin our Gales 3 for 2 Special after MEA weekend on October 22nd, which offers 3 nights for the price of 2.
2022 Calendar Contest Deadline Extended!
The 27th Annual (!!) Bluefin Bay Calendar Contest is underway and we have just extended the deadline to August 31st, 2021!
2021 Grand Prize Winner by Jonathan Mortenson
Do you have any awe-inspiring photos from a recent trip to Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing? We are looking for photos of all 3 resorts plus the surrounding North Shore area. We select one photo for each month of the year, which means we need photos of all 4 seasons. Each participant may enter up to eight photos in the contest.
There will be a total of 12 contest winners. 11 monthly winners will receive a $200 gift certificate to be used toward dining or lodging at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. 1 Grand Prize winner will receive a $1000 gift certificate to be used toward dining or lodging at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts plus their photo will be on the cover of the calendar. Note: Grand Prize cannot be won by the same contestant more than once every three years.
To participate, read the rules here and then submit your photos. By entry in this contest, all entrants grant permission to the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts to use entered images in various media as determined by the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.
“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”
― Abraham Lincoln
5 Hikes for Kids in the Lutsen-Tofte Area
“Where can I take my kids for a hike?”
This is a question we frequently receive at the Bluefin Bay Guest Services desk, so we thought it might be helpful to construct a list of the 5 best hiking trails for kids in the Lutsen/Tofte area.
What constitutes a great trek for kids, you ask? The formula we utilized is equal parts easy, safe terrain + fun stuff to look at = great hike for kids.
Caribou Falls– This hike is just over a mile long and is an out and back. There is a bit of a steep climb toward the end but the waterfall you get to see is worth it. Pro Tip: This is also a great spot for swimming!
Temperance River – Temperance River State Park is a super cool place to explore. The trail winds along the river for quite a while and you can go as far as you want. Important: You do need to be careful with younger kids as there are some steep overlooks!
Leveaux Mountain – This is a bit of a longer hike at 3.2 miles. Leveaux Mountain shares a parking lot with the popular Oberg Mountain, but Leveaux is less busy and has fewer overlooks. The woods are fun to explore and there is one awesome overlook at the top. Pro Tip: This hike is lined with Maple Trees toward the top and is beautiful in the fall!
Lake Agnes – Enjoy a leisurely trek to beautiful Lake Agnes. This section of the Superior Hiking Trail will take you through a variety of different forests (Maple, Cedar, Birch) and offers an opportunity for swimming when you arrive. Pro Tip: Take the spur trail to White Sky Rock. You won’t regret it!
Cascade River State Park – Cascade is one of the most popular State Parks in Minnesota and for good reason! The park is located where the river flows into Lake Superior and features beautiful waterfalls the whole way down. Pro Tip: If you are in the mood for something super quick, you only need to hike about a quarter of a mile to see the first (and largest) waterfall!
Discover a Hidden Gem at Sugarloaf Cove
There are many hidden gems scattered along the North Shore of Lake Superior but Sugarloaf Cove stands out as a favorite. Sugarloaf Cove is a 34-acre site located about 10 miles south of Bluefin Bay. Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association was created in 1992 to inspire the preservation and restoration or the North Shore’s unique environment. For a $5 parking fee, you can enjoy lively hiking trails, access to educational programs and breathtaking views of the cozy Lake Superior cove.
Sugarloaf Cove has a fascinating history. From 1943-1971 the area was used by Consolidated Papers, Inc. as a site to store pulpwood logs during the winter. In the summer months, tugboats hauled the logs across Lake Superior to Ashland, Wisconsin. The paper company utilized at least 14 buildings on the site and a root cellar, metal mooring rings and boom logs can all be seen today as remaining reminders of the logging history at Sugarloaf Cove.
This summer, they plan to host drop-in educational programs. Bird banding demonstrations have long been a beloved activity of many Bluefin guests. Occurring every Thursday morning, a Sugarloaf naturalist will band birds in order to monitor the populations of song birds that nest and travel through the area. The demonstration begins early and you can stop by any time to learn more about the banding process and its important in understand the lifespan, movement and productivity of song birds. This program, among others, is a way for Sugarloaf Cove to educate the public about the local environment.
To learn more about the programming, hiking trails and offerings at Sugarloaf Cove, click here.
4th of July Festivities
The 4th of July is nearly here! As we celebrate our nation’s independence here on the North Shore, we also celebrate all things summer – the Big Lake and its cool breezes, the endless miles of trails to explore by foot or by bicycle, kayak and canoe excursions, golfing, fishing, outdoor dining, bonfires on the beach complete with s’mores, and time spent with friends and family making memories! If you are joining us for 4th of July weekend you will certainly be able to make some memories as we have a full line-up of fun activities!
We often hear from our guests wondering about what activities there are for kiddos to do while staying at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. And we have good news! Here at Bluefin Bay, we have entertainment for all ages.
Complimentary, kid-friendly activities:
Guided Hikes – A handful of our guided hikes are designed to be easier so younger kids can join. Sugarloaf Cove and Caribou Falls are a couple favorites!
Outdoor movie nights – Note that this activity is for older kiddos as it doesn’t start until 8:30 pm and Bluefin Bay staff will not be supervising the kids.
Kids adventure club – Activities can range from a nature walk to field games! Kids of all ages are welcome.
Wilderness Canoeing – A perfect way to immerse your children in nature. This activity is for kids ages 5 and up.
Inland Kayaking – Inland kayaking is perfect for families and beginners who are not quite ready to venture onto the big lake. Kids ages 7 and up can participate, accompanied by an adult.
Campfires – Need we say s’more?
>>> Be sure to check our calendar of events for these activities to see if they are occurring during your stay and to sign-up.
Available equipment for kids:
Kid’s Bikes & Burley Trailers
Kelty Child Carrier Backpacks
Bocce Ball Sets, Soccer Ball (Soccer Fields at Surfside and Bluefin Bay), Pickleball sets, Ladder Toss, KanJam, Cornhole
Jump ropes, Frisbees, sidewalk chalk
Board Games and Playing Cards
We also have pack n plays and booster seats! Just ask your reservationist or leave a note when making your reservation online.
New Summer Activities
We often hear from our returning guests that they cherish the memories they’ve made at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. This is one of our favorite comments because it means that we are providing our guests with experiences that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to partake in. In that spirit, we have expanded our activities program this year to include new adventures and more of the excursions that you all have raved about. All activities listed below are included in your stay at Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing.
Introduction to Mountain Biking will consist of riding a new single-track mountain biking trail called “The High Climber”. Although this particular trail is marked as easy, it is a rigorous activity. We will provide instruction, but you can expect there to be some hard peddling, rolling over some rock gardens, and sweeping berms. A fall or two is common and part of the fun! This activity will be available on Sundays and Thursdays throughout the summer.
Our other new activity, Outdoor Movies, is a bit more laid back. We will be showing a family friendly movie Friday evenings on a large inflatable screen outside on the lawn at Surfside Resort. No sign up necessary. We’ll bring the popcorn!