Each year the holiday of Thanksgiving reminds us to give thanks. We take time to remember what we are grateful for and we acknowledge how important that practice of gratitude is. At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we have a lot to be thankful for. We are grateful for our dedicated employees and our owner partners for the trust and energy they give to the resorts. We are thankful for all of our vendors and contractors that help us to provide excellent service. We are grateful for the little slice of heaven that is the North Shore of Lake Superior and our community here. And every year, we are especially grateful for our loyal, return guests. We are also grateful for our new visitors this year and we thank you for trusting us with your vacation experience. We are grateful to all those that choose us as their home away from home ❤❤❤
If you happen to be visiting us this weekend, we wanted to give you the scoop on dining and activities.
Dining on Thanksgiving Day
We will have two dining options available to you on Thanksgiving.
Coho Café will be open for takeout from 8am-3pm. You can see the breakfast & lunch menu here. You can order online here.
Bluefin Grille will be open with a Thanksgiving Menu available from 12-8pm. We do ask that you pre-order your Thanksgiving meals by calling the Grille at 218-663-6200. The Thanksgiving menu will be available for takeout and delivery (delivery only available for guests of Bluefin Bay Resorts). Bluefin Grille will be open the rest of the weekend from 3-8 pm.
Activities on Thanksgiving Day
Due to the recent guidelines announced in Minnesota, our guided excursions are now becoming self-guided excursions. What does this mean? We’ll have someone at the Activities Desk all weekend to help you plan out your adventures. We can tell you where to go if you’re looking for snow, the best locations for a scenic afternoon drive and information on conditions.
On Friday after Thanksgiving, we’ll be hosting a medallion hunt. The hunt will begin at 8am, with clues posted every two hours. Clues will be posted in the Guest Services building and can also be found in the stories section of our Instagram and Facebook pages. The winner will a receive a $100 gift card.
Beware the Gales of November
November has arrived! And with it, Storm Season. While November is a quieter time of year on the North Shore in terms of visitors, it is Lake Superior’s loudest season.
In late Fall, low-pressure systems pass over Lake Superior which result in stronger winds. The winds, sometimes called “Nor’easters” can reach up to 50 miles per hour, with gusts up to 100 miles per hour. These wind patterns can result in large waves on our Great Lake, known as the Gales of November. The highest recorded wave on Lake Superior is 28.8 feet, although unofficial wave heights are believed to have exceeded 40 feet.
Thanks to Gordon Lightfoot, many have heard of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. But Lake Superior has claimed hundreds of ships into her cool depths. Another notable shipwreck event occurred on November 28th, 1905 when the Mataafa Storm caused 29 vessels to sink or be seriously damaged. One of those vessels was the 478-foot iron ore carrier William Edenborn, which was towing the 436-foot barge Madeira. The large waves caused the towline to part around 3 a.m. and the unpowered Madeira crashed into the shoreline. Around the same time, the Edenborn was whooshed into the mouth of the Split Rock River. The carrier was split in two. Luckily, the Edna G. provided life saving services to both crews and only 2 seamen lost their lives. That storm led to the construction of Split Rock Lighthouse, which was completed in 1910.
And if you have not had the opportunity to discover this memorable season for yourself, consider visiting us this year! Stay 3 nights and take advantage of our Gales of November offer for a free night on us.
A Season of Contrasts
The closing of MEA weekend always brings about a feeling of a new season on the North Shore. It represents a quieter time with stormy, sometimes tumultuous weather. There is a cold chill in the air as we all recognize winter knocking on our door. It is also a time when we lower our nightly lodging rates and begin our Gales 3 for 2 offer. When you stay three nights or more at any of our resorts – Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing – receive one of those nights (midweek night) completely free!
We hear from many of our return guests that it’s their favorite time of year to visit Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. They appreciate the peaceful, calm feeling around the area. These days, that sense of tranquility is more attractive than ever before.
In contrast to the serene atmosphere around the resort, the Great Lake tends to kick things up a notch this time of year. In late Fall, low-pressure systems pass over Lake Superior which result in stronger winds. Sometimes they can reach up to 50 miles per hour, with gusts up to 100 miles per hour. These wind patterns can result in large waves on our Great Lake, known as the Gales of November. The Gales are notorious and they are truly a sight to be seen, heard and felt. Combine fewer crowds with lower rates plus the potential for a dramatic display on Lake Superior and you have one exceptional season.
Trick or Treat Yo’ Self
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Creative costumes, scary movies, tasty treats – what’s not to love? We love it so much that we like to kick off the celebrations early on MEA weekend.
So if you are visiting us this weekend, get ready for a spook-tacular time! We will have a pumpkin carving contest for guests. But be warned – we take these kinds of things pretty seriously around here. There are over $300 in prizes. 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 Sunday October 18th.
Not coming up for MEA weekend? Join us for Halloweekend! We have a staff costume contest each year and we love when guests join in on the fun.
We will also be beginning a few new activities in the coming weeks. Firstly, we’re bringing back Bonfire Hikes starting on on October 24th. These hikes are usually about 2 miles round trip and are complete with a bonfire and s’mores! Perfect for family-friendly excursions. Secondly, we are introducing a brand new activity that we like to call Guided Wood Burning Class. In this activity, we’ll use hot irons to burn fun designs into round slices of wood. You can create a fun souvenir (think coaster or holiday ornament) or create a gift for someone else. Lastly, we’ll be starting Guided Painting Classes on October 19th. In this class we will be painting a 3” by 4” canvas and we’ll focus on a simple North Shore landscape.
There are plenty of reasons to come visit Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts in the coming weeks! And don’t forget, our Gales 3 for 2 special begins October 18th. Happy Halloween, everyone! Remember to eat, drink and be scary!
Fall Color Report: October 6 – Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts
For this week’s Fall Color report, we couldn’t resist telling you about the delightful scene at our different properties: Bluefin Bay, Surfside on Lake Superior and Temperance Landing on Lake Superior. The DNR’s Fall Color map shows that the North Shore area is past peak, but near the lake the leaves tend to hang around a bit longer than they do inland. It makes for a magnificent view from the guest rooms, pool areas and Bluefin Grille. The dark blue of Lake Superior is the perfect contrast against the yellows and golds. We also begin to see a bit more wave action in October on the big lake. Here are updates from all 3 of our resorts.
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.
Dramatic angles, vaulted pine ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, vast expanses of glass, in-suite fireplaces, double whirlpool tubs, glass and tile showers, and more balconies and patios than any other resort on Minnesota’s North Shore – are all right here waiting for you.
There is perhaps nothing as warm and inviting as a log home for 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.
This will be our last Fall Color report for 2020. We’ve received questions from guests wondering if the colors changed earlier this year than usual. The answer is yes! You can view maps from previous years on the DNR’s fall color page on their website, which we found to be very interesting!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fall Colors AND Rushing Rivers!
Bluefin 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…
Fall Color Report: Happy October From Lookout Mountain!
Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report:
1+ miles inland: 50-75% Fall Colors. 30-40% Fall Colors along Lake Superior.
October is here! We decided to celebrate with a morning hike to Lookout Mountain in Cascade River State Park to check out the fall colors. After a couple of cold nights this past week most of the area is now in prime fall color viewing. We are still only at 30-40% fall colors closer to Lake Superior but the farther inland maples and aspen are showing their best bright orange, red and golden colors!
For today’s hike, we started off on the same route that our complimentary guided Cascade River Hiking Trip goes on – winding along the beautiful Cascade River with stops at a series of stair-stepping waterfalls which give this river its name. If you are looking for a little longer hike with the addition of some breathtaking overlooks we suggest trying the trail to Lookout Mountain. This out-and-back 3.5-mile trek along the Superior Hiking Trail through cedar, birch, aspen, and maple forests ends at an overlook with breathtaking views of the Sawtooth Mountain Range in full color. Plus, you’ll get great views of Lake Superior and the shoreline that leads up toward Grand Marais. This overlook is the perfect spot to stop for a snack and some Instagram-worthy photos!
This week’s Lookout Mountain trail fall photo gallery…
Fall Color Report: Sunset Hike to Oberg Mountain
Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report:
1+ miles inland: 15-20% Fall Colors 80-85% Summer Colors. We are still reporting little to no color change along Lake Superior with only 0-5% Fall Colors.
A favorite hike of guests and resort staff is the nearby Oberg Mountain Loop hike. This gorgeous trail travels in a loop atop the mountain and follows the ridgeline offering panoramic views from several overlooks of Lake Superior, Oberg Lake, and The Sawtooth Mountains. These spectacular overlooks make it a favorite fall color tour hike and at only 2.75 miles you can easily fit it into a day filled with other adventures. If you want to add even more of a wow factor to this hike we suggest heading up about an hour before sunset so you can catch the sun setting from one of the western overlooks. This is exactly what we did yesterday and it did not disappoint. There is something extra special about viewing a sunrise or sunset from atop a mountain!
As we drove the 1+ miles up to the parking area at the base of Oberg Mountain we traveled through a mostly green forest. Once on the trail, the first quarter mile was also predominately green and lush but heading farther up we started spotting some bright orange maple trees dotting the landscape. On the south side of the mountain that overlooks Lake Superior, there is very little color change with just a few trees that decided to turn early. Stops at the overlooks that face farther inland showed a whole different landscape. Green trees were spotted directly below with the view slowly changing to beautiful shades of orange looking farther inland. The setting sun really turned up the volume on the already vibrant orange colors!
After you complete the loop atop the mountain we recommend one more stop at the west facing overlook to watch the sunset. You won’t regret it and you’ll have just enough time to hike back down to the parking area before dark sets in.
This week’s Oberg Mountain Sunset hike photo gallery…