It has been a spectacular waterfall season on the North Shore so far and it keeps getting better! The spring season started off rather dry to the point where we were under fire danger warnings for a little while. Around mid-April, the weather turned and we had a full week of rain. The steady rain melted all remaining snow and got the rivers to really begin to run. Since then, the inland lakes have also opened up which adds even more water. The waterfalls are now flowing at their full glory and we expect they will continue to be spectacular through May.
The unique geologic formations along the North Shore allow visitors to witness breathtaking waterfalls ranging from the highest in Minnesota – the 120-foot High Falls at Grand Portage State Park (pictured above) — to raging falls right in Bluefin Bay’s back yard. If you’ve never experienced our spring waterfalls, it’s truly a sight to be seen, heard and felt. Check out our favorite waterfalls videos below or see our waterfalls page for more information on our favorite hikes.
Earth Day Clean-up
As Earth Day approaches and the spring snow melts, one can’t help but feel the need to spruce things up a bit. While it’s nice to get things pretty for the upcoming season, it’s also rewarding to give back to the community.
One event that the crew at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts looks forward to every year is our annual highway clean-up! Bluefin Bay has been apart of the Adopt a Highway program since 1990. That means that every year for the last 31 years, Bluefin Bay staff have taken time to clean the section of highway that runs through the town of Tofte.
This year was no exception. The crew had a great time and we rewarded ourselves with pizza from Coho Café afterwards.
No Solar Storm? No Problem!
The Northern Lights have been active in Cook County lately and we have seen beautiful photos from people who were lucky enough to witness them! Experiencing the Northern Lights is a bucket list item for most people and for good reason, they are truly sensational. However, it should be mentioned that they can be quite difficult to predict and they don’t always appear even when they are forecasted. While you can do as much as possible to prepare, you still may miss them.
The good news is that there is still plenty of natural beauty to be found above. Cook County has some of the darkest skies in the country, allowing for incredible viewing of the stars, planets and galaxy. Last year, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (located just 20 miles from Bluefin) was designated a dark sky sanctuary by the International Dark Sky Association. It is one of only 13 such sanctuaries around the world.
Bluefin Bay is also an ideal location to watch the moon rise out of Lake Superior. If you have ever witnessed a full moon shine out across on a large body of water, you know how spectacular it can be. The peninsula that the Bluefin Grille sits on offers an expansive view of the eastern sky where the moonrise occurs. Moon phases are also much easier to plan a trip around, as you know where and when they will occur.
So remember – even if you miss the solar storm, you can still be awed by the visibility of the solar system at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.
Holiday Break at Bluefin Bay
The holiday break is a popular time to stay at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Because of that, we wanted to make it easy for our guests to find all of the information they need on dining, activities, etc. so we have compiled it all here for you! If you are visiting us this week, know that we are grateful you are choosing to spend this time with us and we look forward to welcoming you.
Bluefin Grille will be closed on Christmas Eve and open on Christmas Day for takeout from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. That means that Bluefin Grille will be serving breakfast on Christmas Day (!) for the first time since before the pandemic. Following Christmas, Bluefin Grille will be open for takeout December 26 – December 31st from 2 – 9 p.m.
Coho will be closed on Christmas Day and open on Christmas Eve from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Following Christmas, Coho Café will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
We’ll be having a Gingerbread House Making Contest for Christmas! Kits will be available for pickup on December 24th, while supplies last. Turn in your houses by 12:30pm on December 26th to be entered to win. First place receives a $50 gift card! Note that we do have limited quantities so first come, first served and only one kit per family please.
Our Activities Crew was able to bring back guided excursions last week, limited to 3 households. This means that we have some tours available, but they fill up quickly! Check out the available tours here.
We will also have available:
Ice Rinks (and ice skates) at Bluefin Bay and Surfside
Cross Country Skis – As of now, the trails are not groomed but that may change with the latest snowfall so check in with the activities staff when you arrive if this is something you are looking to do
Waves of Superior Spa
The Spa is open for massage appointments! Give them a call at 218-663-6888 to check availability.
The Winter Fishwrapper is Here!
Here on the North Shore, we received a few early snowfalls that had us dreaming about winter back in October! Now we can finally say winter is here. Lutsen Mountains ski area is open, lakes are freezing over and we’ve got some lasting snow a few miles inland from Lake Superior. Pretty soon our ice rink will be up and running and we’ll have snowshoes and cross country skis available for guest use. We like to help you plan your winter vacations by publishing our semi-annual newsletter – The Fishwrapper. It’s a great way to get inspired and this year, it will help you plan for any changes on the North Shore.
See Mother Nature Dance – Cross the Northern Lights off your Bucket List
Tips for a Healthy and Safe Winter Getaway
What to Expect at Lutsen Mountains this Winter
A New Ownership Duo for Our Beloved Resorts – Meet the New Owners!
Favorite Socially Distanced Activities
Grab a warm cup of coffee, snuggle up and enjoy!
Winter Activities Update
A couple of weeks ago we did a blog post on what to expect for winter activities at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. With the new guidelines from the state of Minnesota, some of the activities have evolved a bit so we wanted to provide an update. Rest assured, there will still be PLENTY to do this winter and our activities team is really looking forward to being your local guide to the North Shore. We have the inside scoop so don’t hesitate to stop by and ask about trail conditions, where to go to see a moose or how the skiing is at Lutsen Mountains. In fact, we encourage you to try and stump the crew with a really difficult question about the area ?
Rather than physically being present with you, we have decided to create adventure packs for our guests so that you can go on self-guided excursions. In this way, we can still “guide” you on your hike, we just won’t actually be there with you. The packs will be available around December 10th and will include things like laminated trail maps and trail activities. What do we mean by trail activities? Think bonfire hike materials, forest ecology information, animal track bingo, winter tree identification information. Basically any of the fun, interesting tidbits we typically provide on guided hikes, we’ll give to you!
Use of Equipment
The convenient part of these guidelines being during the winter season is that we are already set up in a self-serve way with all of our equipment. Snowshoes, Cross Country Skis and Ice Skates have always been available to our guests during the winter, and that will be true again this year. We do need a bit more snow before we’ll begin making these items available so think snow! We are hoping the ice rink will be ready in a couple weeks as long as the weather remains cold.
If you read our last blog post, you know we had added two new craft activities that we were excited about. We went back to the drawing board and we’ll be introducing activities that you can do on your own or as a family. This will include medallion hunts (we had the first one on Thanksgiving weekend!), scavenger hunts and other family challenges. If you have ideas on these, let us know! We are always open to hearing guests’ suggestions. If the guidelines continue longer than currently forecasted, we’ll look in to more virtual activities like zoom yoga and online craft classes.
If you have any questions about our new activities or have any ideas for us, please give us a call at 218-663-7860. And remember – there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
#WinterIsComing – Bluefin Bay Activities
Winter is coming! Are you ready for it? Here on the North Shore we had a few early snowfalls that had us dreaming about winter weeks ago. We’ve already begun hanging holiday lights and preparing the ice rink. But because things are a bit different this year, we wanted to write a blog post on what you can expect at Bluefin Bay for winter activities. As a reminder, all of these activities are included in your stay at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.
Rentals & Guided Tours
The Bluefin Bay Activities Department has all of the tools to help you make the most out of this winter.
Guided Tours – If you are new to cross country skiing or snowshoeing, you can join one of our guided tours. Our activities crew will provide you with all of the equipment plus basic instruction and feedback.
Cross Country Skiing
Rentals – If you’d rather go out on your own, you can take advantage of our complimentary rental program.
Hockey & Figure Skates
Hockey Sticks & Pucks
New Activities This Winter
At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we are continuously coming up with fresh activities and events to inspire our guests. These activities will be new this year:
Guided Wood Burning Class
Wood burning isn’t just for fireplaces. This activity takes you through everything you need to know about this unique craft. We will be using hot irons to burn fun designs into round slices of wood. Whether you want a fun souvenir, or a gift for a someone we will provide the tools and teaching to get you up and running.
Guided Painting Class
In this class we will be painting a 3” by 4” canvas. We will focus on a simple North Shore landscape. Don’t worry if you’ve never painted before, we’re going to teach you all the tips and tricks you need to succeed.
We know how much our guests enjoy live music so we are working on a way to comfortably and safely have live music outdoors this winter. Stay tuned for more information.
Due to the safety guidelines and logistics on transporting guests, we’ve decided not to offer shuttles to Lutsen Mountains this year. Instead, we are recommending that guests drive to the mountain and use their car as a home base.
Missing our Girls Gone North!
As many of you know, this upcoming weekend would have been Bluefin Bay’s 13th (!) annual Girls Gone North event. We are bummed to not be able to host this event that is so close to our hearts this year. We wanted to take some time to look back to previous Girls Gone North events. You can see an amusing slideshow of photos from previous years here.
Girls Gone North Weekends are a treasured time for gals to get away and enjoy themselves. We always say that what happens on the North Shore, stays on the North Shore! Our goal at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is to plan enough activities for the ladies to be as busy as they want to be.
We usually feature a mix of these events:
Hiking. There’s always a couple hiking options throughout the weekend to make sure we get outside to see the beauty of the area. November is an interesting month on the North Shore – we’ve had snow, rain, sunshine, November gales, you name it! There are typically a couple resort guided hikes and then we incorporate a “girls only” hike as well. Together we’ve explored Carlton Peak, Sugarloaf Cove, Oberg Mountain, Caribou Falls, Cascade State Park and more!
Indoor Activities. Last year we tried a new event – Silk Scarf Dyeing Workshops – and we had a blast! We’ve also mixed in other indoor events like our Fitness Fashion Show (2016), Paint & Sip (2017), Girls Only Happy Hour (2018) and more. It’s always fun to try something new with friends.
Yoga. Morning Yoga has always been a restorative and refreshing part of the weekend.
Wine Tasting. When the North Shore Winery opened in 2016, we knew it needed to be incorporated into our fun weekend plans! We have had wine tastings there (resort shuttle included!) every year since. The staff at the Winery are phenomenal and are happy to give us a tour and teach us about the wine making process while we’re there.
Spa Treatments. The Waves of Superior Spa has been generous in giving our Girls Gone North weekend participants discounts on spa treatments and extended hours upon request.
Signature Events. Always the highlight of the weekend, we have enjoyed some impressive signature events! From motivational workshops to skin care seminars to wine pairings, the signature event is always engaging and entertaining. And we are always open to new ideas if you have something you think would be fun.
Even though we can’t be together this year, we’ll be thinking of you all! If you can come visit us in November, we’ll be offering a 3rd night free for the rest of the month. Cheers to Girls Gone North 2021!
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.
Welcome back spring deals
In a world that feels so uncertain, we’re all craving comfort in the familiar.
One thing that has not changed since Covid-19, is the beauty and majesty of Lake Superior. We’re fortunate to have this breathtaking BIG lake with endless views in our sights every day! It gives us peace of mind and we never take that for granted.
If you’re craving some time with Lake Superior herself, we’ve got the deals to welcome you back:
Spring Fever Special 3 for 2: This offer makes getting away for three nights a breeze. Stay three nights and receive one night completely FREE! This is our most popular special. But hurry, it’s only through May 31. Last minute getaway anyone? Book now
June Welcome Back Special: In June, we’re welcoming you back just as early summer hits the shore. Warmer days, lupines everywhere, the hiking and those smells! On the June Welcome Back 3-Night Special, you get 50% off your third night. Book now
June 4 for 3 Special:If you prefer to stay longer, this is the best deal. When you stay four nights, you’ll get one of those June summer nights totally FREE! What more incentive do you need. Book now
Stay with Peace of Mind
We all know things will look and feel different in a Covid-19 world – both for our staff and our guests. We appreciate your cooperation, patience and understanding as we navigate this new landscape together.
Please take a few moments to review our cleanliness and sanitation practices, safety procedures and resort service changes in response to Covid-19 on the Stay Safe 2020 tab on our website. We’ll update this page frequently as things change, so check back often.
We’re here to welcome you back safely, when you’re ready to enjoy the breathtaking views and miles upon miles of hiking, biking, nature trails and wide open spaces of the North Shore.