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.

calendar contest

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!

Norpine Fat Bike Classic: January 23-31, 2021

What’s that? An event is happening? Could it be? It’s true! Thanks to our local biking organization, Superior Cycling Association, the Norpine Fat Bike Classic will be safely happening on the North Shore between January 23-31, 2021.

Norpine Fat Bike Classic

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!

 

The Best of Winter Has Arrived!

winter waves and sunset at bluefin bayMarch is here. Think long sunny days and star-filled nights. Rising temperatures and rolling Lake Superior waves. Crisp, clean snow and unbeatable outdoor adventure. Winter is at its peak up on the North Shore – and just in time for a Spring Break getaway. We have the best snow in the state. 400+ kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails. Premier downhill skiing at Lutsen Mountains. Snowshoeing adventures. Outdoor and indoor hot tub & pools. Waves of Superior Spa. And some of the best deals of the year!

Make plans now to get outside and embrace winter at its best! Take advantage of these amazing March Offers for your much-needed Spring Break or late-winter getaway:

  • WINTER 4 FOR 3 SPECIAL: Stay four nights and receive one of those nights completely FREE! Valid now – March 22.
  • MARCH WEEKENDS AT MIDWEEK RATES: Stay three nights or more and receive weekends in March at midweek rates. Valid Dates: March 4-22, 2020.
  • SKI AND STAY PACKAGES: March skiing is epic at Lutsen Mountains! For those who love to downhill ski and stay at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, you’ll want to book a Ski & Stay Package for the best deal. We offer FREE daily shuttles to and from the base of the mountain, frustration-free equipment rental at our neighboring Sawtooth Outfitters, and a variety of Can’t-be-beat Ski & Stay Packages.

Lake Superior sets the stage. We’ll take care of the rest…

Plan an Unforgettable Spring Break on Minnesota’s North Shore

snowshoe hiking at oberg mountainPlan a Spring Break getaway the whole family will love! 3 Reasons this year’s spring break will be sweeter at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts on the shores of Lake Superior…

Unlimited Family Fun!

Does your family like to get out and enjoy every snowy adventure you can? For the winter adventure seekers, the snow and trail conditions will be top-notch through April. In addition, the longer days and warmer temps help you enjoy more of your favorite activities. Spend your days skiing & snowboarding at Lutsen Mountains, or cross-country skiing the local Sugarbush or Norpine Trails. Continue the outdoor fun with some epic winter hiking or snowshoeing. Our experienced activities staff offer lots of complimentary guided adventures for the whole family. From cross-country ski tours to snowshoe hikes along a frozen river. No experience necessary – take advantage of this perfect opportunity to try something new as a family! In addition, all gear including snowshoes, and cross-country ski packages are complimentary. Plus, check out free ice skates, hockey sticks, and nets for use on the Bluefin Bay or Surfside ice rinks. Visit the Activites Calendar for a full list of complimentary guided trips and activities.

Cozy Family Memories!

Do you love to snuggle in, get cozy, and spend precious quality time with your family?  You’re in luck! It all starts with our beautiful accommodations. Whether you select a stunning lakeside suite or a multi-bedroom condo or townhome you’ll get a front-row seat to one of nature’s greatest shows…Lake Superior!  Enjoy the indoor or outdoor (heated!) pool at Bluefin Bay, hot tubs, and sauna. Unplug and unwind as you put together a puzzle, play games, read books, or just enjoy a fire and the stunning views of the big lake. After a day of outdoor adventure or a day of indoor fun, Bluefin Bay is the place to be. Many accommodations have full kitchens, plus we offer two on-site restaurants to maximize your dining options: Coho Cafe & Bakery and the Bluefin Grille.

Great Deals and Special Offers!

Spring Break will be even sweeter when you take advantage of these Great Deals and Packages! 

  • March Weekends at Midweek Rates: Stay three nights or more and receive weekends in March at midweek rates (that’s 20-40% off the regular rates)! Valid March 4-22.
  • Ski & Stay Packages: For those who love to downhill ski at Lutsen Mountains and stay at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, you’ll want to book a Ski & Stay Package for the best deal. Plus – FREE daily shuttles to and from the base of the mountain!
  • Extended Stay Special: With this progressive savings deal, the longer you stay at any of our Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, the more you save! Stays of four nights receive 10% off, five nights 15% off, six nights 20% off and seven nights receive 25% off.

Special Winter Offers for Extraordinary Winter Adventures

Winter guided hikes at bluefin bay family of resortsIt’s time to decompress from the busy holiday season, make plans for the new decade, and embrace all that winter can provide. After all, Cozy evenings by the fire, bright blue skies, crisp snow-filled days, and time enjoying winter adventures is what these winter months are all about.

Make the most of your winter getaway with our special offers and packages available in January and February:

JANUARY 3 for 2 SPECIAL:  Valid Dates: Jan. 1 – Jan. 31, 2020.  Enjoy winter at its absolute best! Stay three nights at any of our Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts and receive one of those nights completely FREE!

WINTER 4 for 3 SPECIAL: Valid Dates: Feb. 1-March 22, 2020. Stay four nights and receive one of those nights completely FREE!

WINTER ADVENTURE SPECIAL: NEW WINTER OFFER! Valid Feb. 2-March 5, 2020. This winter, we’re offering our popular 3-2 special midweek for those who want to head north to ski, skate, board, sled, swim, climb, dance, explore, shop. Stay three nights midweek (Sunday-Thursday) and receive one of those nights completely FREE — in peak winter!

WINTER MIDWEEK 25: Valid Feb. 2-March 5, 2020. Stay two nights midweek (Sunday-Thursday) and receive 25% off. Yep, that’s 25% off our winter rates during peak winter!

SKI & STAY PACKAGES: Enjoy Lakeside Views & Slope-Side Access! For those who love to downhill ski at Lutsen Mountains and stay at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, you’ll want to book a Ski & Stay Package for the best deal.

 

 

The Holidays Are Happy at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts!

WINTER AT BLUEFIN BAYThe winter holidays are upon us! During this time of year, we like to reflect on the months that have gone by, the memories made, and the adventures that were had. Thank you to all of our wonderful guests who choose Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts as your getaway destination.

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 (or if you are thinking of planning a last-minute getaway!) here are a few resources to help plan your trip.

ACTIVITIES:

  • We have a wide variety of complimentary activities offered year-round. From winter hiking, and cross-country ski trips, to yoga and kids adventures, there is something for everyone this holiday season. Visit the online activity calendar to see a complete list and to help plan your stay.
  • Complimentary Equipment Rental! Cross-Country Skis, Snowshoes, Ice Skates, Hockey sticks and nets, ice grippers, and more can all be rented for free during your stay with us.
  • Cross-Country skiing has been great this season with most trails open. Join us on one of our guided resort ski trips or we can provide you with a map if you prefer to head out on your own. The Sugarbush Trails have their most popular trails groomed and open. Visit their website for up to date trail conditions.
  • Lutsen Mountains is now open daily for the ski season! Early snow and perfect temps for making snow have given them a fantastic base for December skiing. Visit their website for up to date conditions and trail maps. Book a Ski & Stay Package for the best deal. We offer FREE daily shuttles to and from the base of the mountain!
  • Celebrate the season with even more local activities and events! Live entertainment, art exhibition, brewery tours, great shopping and more will keep you busy and entertained this holiday season. Check out the Visit Cook County Events Calendar for a full list of happenings!

DINING: 

Bluefin Grille:

  • Closed on Christmas Eve
  • OPEN Christmas Day for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner with Holiday Specials.
  • OPEN New Year’s Eve with Dinner Specials.
  • Click here for a full list of holiday hours

Coho Cafe & Bakery:

  • OPEN Christmas Eve 8 am – 8 pm
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • Click here for a full list of holiday hours

Escape, Save, and Shop!

Thanksgiving week is here! The winter holidays are upon us and that means it’s time to start holiday planning. Why not begin by planning a special tradition with family and friends at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts? We’re making it easy this year by extending our most popular special over the pre-Christmas holiday weekend! That’s right, stay three nights Dec. 20-24 and you’ll receive one of those nights FREE (midweek night is free). This Gales Special offer is available anytime in December through the 24th. Escape the holiday hustle and bustle with a getaway to the North Shore!

It’s also time to start your holiday shopping. This holiday, give a gift that will keep on giving long after it is unwrapped. Gift cards can be purchased in any dollar amount and used for lodging, restaurants, gift shops and the Waves of Superior Spa. Gift cards are mailed within a few days of placing your order and each card comes in special packaging with a place for a personal message.

 

November is Here. Save and Celebrate!

Gales of NovemberThe days have gotten shorter, the temps have started to drop and the holiday season is almost upon us. It’s that time of year when we add those extra layers, snuggle in with loved ones and make plans to gather with friends and family.

November is a great month to witness the Gales of November on Lake Superior. 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.

Gales Special!

When you stay three nights or more during Quiet Time at any of our resorts — Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing — we offer a Gales Special with one night FREE — our treat! Offer is valid Now – Dec. 24, 2019
Stay four nights over Thanksgiving Weekend to receive one night FREE. 

Thanksgiving at Bluefin GrilleThanksgiving at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts!

We invite you to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday with us! Cozy upscale accommodations, outdoor adventures (including skiing at Lutsen Mountains!), and plenty of time to relax and watch the gales roll in on Lake Superior.

In addition, let us do the work in the kitchen as you enjoy a festive Thanksgiving Buffet at the Bluefin Grille on Thursday, Nov 28!

View menu highlights, details, and reservation info here. 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Relax and Recharge With a Hike!

Guided Hiking at Leveaux on superior hiking trail

Have you heard about the Japanese practice called Forest Bathing? Basically, it’s the act of being in nature with an awareness of the sights, sounds, and smells that are all around us in order to benefit our well-being. In other words, we allow ourselves the time to unplug, relax, and recharge in nature. Interested in learning more about this ancient practice? This article is a nice starting point.

Here among the forests of Minnesota’s North Shore we have almost unlimited opportunities to immerse ourselves in nature. Hiking is the #1 favorite activity of our guests! Because of this, the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts activities department strives to make access to our incredible surrounding forests easy, inspiring, and fun. We offer many complimentary guided hiking opportunities year-round.  In addition, all of our hikes include a shuttle to and from the hiking destination and are led by an experienced guide.

We’ve listed just a few of our favorite late-summer hikes:

  • OBERG MOUNTAIN HIKE: If we had a signature hike this would probably be it! There is something about this beautiful little mountain that keeps people coming back time and time again. This gorgeous trail travels in a loop atop the mountain and follows the ridgeline offering panoramic views and several overlooks of Lake Superior, Oberg Lake, and The Sawtooth Mountains.
  • LOWER FALLS: New this year, this hike takes place in the heart of the beautiful George H Crosby Manitou State Park. Once on the hike, you’ll quickly realize that this is a hidden gem here on the North Shore. Most of the hike is on the Superior Hiking Trail where we’ll make a stop at a trail shelter to talk about the natural history of this wilderness paradise.
  • LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN: Enjoy the incredible views of Lake Superior and the eastern view of the Sawtooth Mountain range from Lookout Mountain in Cascade State Park! 
  • CARIBOU FALLS: A pleasant walk along the Caribou River leads to one of the most breath-taking waterfalls on the North Shore! The Caribou Falls hike begins at one of our favorite Minnesota State Waysides and also provides access to the Superior Hiking Trail.

Visit the resort activity schedule for more hikes and other fun outdoor adventures to enjoy during your getaway.

Remember… ‘Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.’ ~John Muir