The North Shore is on pace to break snow totals for the 2022-2023 season. Because of this, if you love to ski at Lutsen Mountains or cross-country ski the almost endless trail systems in Cook County, it’s been an epic start to the season. In fact, we even offer guided cross-country ski tours with complimentary equipment rentals to our guests. If skiing isn’t your thing, or to add in some active recovery days, we also provide an awesome variety of complimentary adventures and activities for our guests.
Complimentary Winter Activities & Adventures
Snowshoe or Winter Hikes. Hop in a shuttle and head to a local trail system for a guided hike through the winter forests of the North Shore.
We offer many different hiking experiences each week: Temperance River, Leveaux Mountain, Oberg Mountain, Carlton Peak, Cascade River State Park, Lookout Mountain, Lake Agnes, Sugarloaf Cove, Tower Overlook (new this year!), Dyer’s Creek, Section 13 Cliffs, High Falls and Shovel Point at Tettegouche State Park, George Crosby Manitou State Park, and there’s even a Bonfire Hike complete with s’mores!
Each hike is unique and offers a special experience in the surrounding wilderness. In addition, a variety of distances and difficulties provides options for everyone from families and beginners to experienced hikers. When the trails are nice and packed we’ll winter hike and provide ice trekkers if needed. When the snow is deep and fresh we’ll equip everyone with snowshoes!
Yoga. If you want to continue with your regular yoga practice while on vacation or just want to give it a try, then you won’t want to miss this class! During class, a yoga instructor will lead you through coordinated movement and breath to flow from pose to pose. All skill levels and ages 12+ are welcome.
Craft Classes. Feeling creative? Give your body a rest from the outdoor adventures and sign-up for one of our craft classes. For instance, try an Introduction to Wood Burning or Paint a Mini Canvas class. Roll up your sleeves and get crafty with us, we’ll have all the supplies you need!
Ice Skating. Our outdoor ice rinks (lit at night) provide the opportunity to skate without even leaving the resort. We also offer free hockey and figure skate rentals, plus hockey sticks, nets and pucks.
Nightly Bonfire & S’mores. Unwind each night with a bonfire and s’mores. While here, view the beautiful night sky and gather with loved ones to plan the next day’s adventures.
✅ Check out all the winter hikes, skiing, yoga and craft classes offered this season HERE.
Celebrate the Dark Skies of Cook County!
Cook County is famous for its dark skies and epic star gazing. In fact, The BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness) is one of only 15 certified International Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world. And, of course, this means we must celebrate! Our friends at Visit Cook County are hosting the 5th Dark Sky Festival on December 8-10. Check out the full schedule of events here.
A few highlights of the festival: Friday, December 9: • 7:30 p.m. Star Party! Located at Voyageur Brewing Company – Experience telescope viewing with the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium team from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Saturday, December 10: • 11 a.m – 2 p.m. Build Your Own Lunar Lander with NASA! Studio 21, Grand Marais – Join Andrea Jones and Staci Tiedeken from the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to learn about lunar exploration with NASA and build your own lunar lander! • 4 p.m.Building on Apollo and Preparing for Artemis with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter – Studio 21, Grand Marais • 7:30 p.m. Screening of New Documentary & Exhibit Opening of “Northern Nights, Starry Skies” – Heritage Center at Grand Portage National Monument • 9:30 p.m. Night Sky Walk & Telescope Viewing at Pincushion Mountain Trailhead, Grand Marais
In addition to these pretty cool dark sky experiences, sign-up for a Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts complimentary activity during your stay. Join us on a guided hike at Tettegouche State Park, Sugarloaf Cove, or a bonfire hike complete with s’mores. Ice skate (complimentary skate rental!) under the stars at one of our rinks, or check out a set of cross-country skis and hit the local trails. We also offer a free shuttle service to Lutsen Mountains for those who love to alpine ski and snowboard.
Come experience the wonders of the dark skies and take advantage of some great lodging offers too: Snowfall Sale:20% off new reservations of two or more nights at Bluefin Bay and Surfside Gales Special: Stay three nights and receive one of those night FREE (midweek night free)
Embrace the Spirit of Hygge!
Hygge (pronounced “HOO-gah”) is a Danish word for enjoying life’s simple pleasures. In the winter along Minnesota’s North Shore, we fully embrace and encourage this lifestyle. During this time, we seek out cozy spaces, outdoor adventures with lots of fresh air, and meaningful moments spent with family and friends. In addition, hygge promotes emotional and physical wellbeing and gives us a sense of togetherness and contentment. This feeling can happen whether we are doing something simple and ordinary or having an extraordinary winter adventure.
Here at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we’ll help you get into the spirit of hygge. Imagine a day spent enjoying winter fun:
After a full day of winter fun, curl up with a good book or jovial conversation with loved ones around a warm fire, soak in the indoor or outdoor hot tubs, or book a hot stone massage at the Waves of Superior Spa.
Cook County is celebrating its 4th annual Hygge Festival February 7 – 16. You’ll find events to celebrate the ‘cozy season’ all along the North Shore from Tofte to Grand Portage. Live music, night skiing, dog sled tours, special dinners, artsy events, and more have been scheduled to help you embrace life’s simple pleasures.
The Winter Fishwrapper Newsletter Is Here!
Winter is special here on Minnesota’s North Shore and we like to wrap up the upcoming season’s favorite adventures, special events, and new resort activities in a semiannual newsletter. It’s a great way to get inspired and plan your next Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts getaway. The Fishwrapper is also the perfect place for us to share stories featuring the unique vibe, people and landscape that make Cook County an exceptional place to vacation and live.
Don’t miss the great story by one of our favorite local photographers, Tom Spence. He has a special gift (and unparalleled patience) for capturing images of the local wildlife and offers a few tips plus locations for spotting moose…Thanks, Tom!
Outdoor winter adventures are front and center throughout the newsletter. Discover one of our new guided activities, staff favorites, or relive fond memories of your past Up North winter experiences.
Get to know the ‘locals’ from near and far! In this newsletter, we wanted to share how Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts and Cook County is meeting the labor shortage head-on. We’re thinking outside the box with a Puerto Rico recruitment effort and local culinary program to provide well-trained and long-term employees.
The Slopes Are Calling!
It’s time to start embracing winter weather – it looks like it’s here to stay. We sure are getting excited about all of the winter adventures to come! Our friends at Lutsen Mountains have been jumping for joy as the recent nightly temps have stayed low and we’ve had a couple snowfalls during the past week. This will help them provide us all with a nice long ski and snowboard season.
Lutsen Mountains is planning to open this weekend, November 17 & 18, with 1 lift in operation and 3 runs. They will also be open on Thanksgiving weekend and project to have 3 mountains and 12-15 runs open. After a day of relaxation and lots of good food on November 22nd, you’ll love some time spent on the slopes! Stay up to date with conditions on the Lutsen Mountains website. Check out their new live cam where you can see the current conditions. It’s a great way to spend some time daydreaming about your next North Shore winter vacation!
Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is the perfect home base for your skiing and snowboarding venture with our Ski and Stay Packages. This season’s ski & stay packages are not quite ready yet but they will be up soon! Until then you can purchase tickets from the mountain ticket office or online. Our front desk and reservation staff are always available to help with any questions you may have regarding purchasing tickets. We also offer complimentary shuttles to and from the ski hill, allowing you to experience the convenience of slope-side lodging while enjoying our unmatched seaside location and views.