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.
Explore the North Shore by foot, kayak & more
New safety protocols to help keep you safe & healthy
Spring has finally sprung, summer is on its way, and this is the perfect time to explore our breathtaking North Shore by foot, bike and kayak! We’ve heard from many guests who have “cabin fever” and can’t wait to get out and enjoy the North Shore trails and open spaces.
We get it, and want to help you adventure safely. Here’s some helpful information about how to enjoy your favorite resort activities safely this spring and summer. Our aim is help you explore the North Shore safely — whether that’s venturing out on your own or joining one of our guided activities.
Guided Activities: Hiking in May; Biking, Kayaking, Yoga & More by June
Hiking: We’re offering a range of “socially distanced” guided hikes in May, with more in June and beyond. The waterfalls are gushing and it’s a great time to hike — though hiking boots may be required. Check our Activities Calendar for scheduled hikes.
Guests who join resort guided hikes should know a few things about our safety protocols. We’ll be asking guests to drive to the trailheads, rather than taking the Bluefin Bay shuttle, if possible. We’ll have room in the shuttle for up to one family group of four people. This will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis and participants riding in a Bluefin Bay shuttle van will be required to wear masks. You can bring your own or we’ll provide them.
Biking: We’ll be starting guided biking tours on area trails in June. In addition, we’ll offer our popular Temperance River Bike and Hike — a 2.1-mile ride along the Gitchi Gami State Trail, combined with a short hike along the Temperance River, and back to the resort. Check our Activities Calendar for specific bike excursions, dates and times. Social distancing protocols are in effect.
Again this year, we’ll be offering both inland kayaking and Lake Superior kayaking adventures. We’ll also be offering our popular Wilderness Canoeing activity on the Poplar River. Since our canoes and inland kayaks are two-person tandems, we’ll require that you tandem only with another person from your family group. We’ll also observe the more than 6 feet — or one moose apart — social distancing rule both while getting fitted and while out on the water.
Yoga: Who couldn’t use a little yoga these days for stress release? We’ll be offering more yoga classes than usual this spring and summer, and we’ve moved them to the Surfside ballroom to allow for more social distancing between participants. Check our Activities Calendar for more details.
Kid’s Adventure Club: Our planned kids’ adventures encourage curiosity, exploration and fun. This program offers a variety of activities from nature walks, to field games, to agate hunting on the beach. We invite parents to join in on the fun. Social distancing will be practiced during these activities. Parents are encouraged to join the fun.
Not comfortable in a group just yet – adventure on your own!
Our staff will be available to recommend areas to explore on your own and to supply maps and directions should you prefer to go solo. Bikes and tennis racquets will be available for checkout with our safety protocol in effect.
We look forward to helping you get out and enjoy the Lake and the North Shore this spring and summer.
The Best of Winter Has Arrived!
March 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.
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
Plan 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.
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.
Rolling Out the White Carpet for Winter Fun!
At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, our complimentary rental equipment, knowledgeable Guest Services team, and area attractions create the perfect trifecta to help you enjoy a customized winter adventure. Here’s an overview of our most popular winter activities.
Cross-countryskiing: With more than 400 km of Nordic ski trails in Cook County, you’ll never run out of places to explore. Check out complimentary cross-country ski equipment and explore the area trails at your leisure or join one of our free guided ski excursions.
Snowshoeing: Winter hiking is at its best up here. Explore the great North Woods with our complimentary snowshoes. Ask for a trail map at Guest Services or join one of our free guided snowshoe hikes.
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding: Bluefin Bay offers complimentary shuttles to Lutsen Mountains Lutsen Mountains is the biggest & best ski resort in the Midwest. Check out our Ski & Stay Packages to get the best deal on ski and snowboard vacations.
Ice skating rinks at Bluefin Bay and Surfside are a hit with families and friends alike. Check out a pair of complimentary ice skates at Guest Services. We also offer hockey nets, sticks and pucks to sign out. End your skating time at one of our evening bonfires complete with s’mores…of course!
Nightly campfire and s’mores at Bluefin Bay and Pick up your complimentary s’mores packet at Guest Services.
Creative Kids Club– Join us as we get crafty building birdhouses and decorating them with a variety of craft supplies! Parents are encouraged to join in on the fun!
NEW! Craft Mini-Courses: We are excited to offer new mini-courses onsite as part of our resort winter Activities program! The courses are completely free and will introduce guests to the element of Northern craft. In February and March, we’ll be offering an Intro to Alcohol Ink Painting Class.
NEW!Fiber by the Fireplace: Join us at the Bluefin Bay guest services lobby for a relaxed evening with like-minded fiber artists! Bring a project you are working on and gather around the fire with a local fiber artist to share stories, work on projects, and soak up creative inspiration from others. All levels and abilities are encouraged to bring your fiber projects like knitting, crochet, needlepoint, etc. If you do not have a project to bring you can still join and learn the art of Kumihimo – a Japanese form of braiding! Our visiting local artist will also bring needles and hooks to use, plus yarn for sale if needed.
Yoga: Offered on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and all levels encouraged to attend.
Celebrate the month of love with a winter vacation to Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. We promise that as you get closer to the lake, you’ll get closer to each other. In addition, take advantage of great packages and upcoming specials this winter.
NEW: NORTH SHORE SWEETHEART DEAL! Offer valid Feb. 1-Feb. 13, 2020. Stay 3 nights and one is FREE + Complimentary Champagne and a coupon for a free wine tasting at North Shore Winery in Lutsen! If you and your sweetie are looking for a North Shore romantic getaway that avoids the crowds on Valentine’s Day/President’s Day holiday weekend, this sweet deal is for you!
Romantic Retreat Package: Two or more nights in a Grand Superior Master Suite or any other room style. Breakfast for two on two separate mornings at either the Bluefin Grille or Coho Cafe & Bakery. Dinner for two at the Bluefin Grille with breathtaking Lake Superior views (value up to $80). Your getaway should be as unique as your love and you can personalize your package with distinctive add-ons. See the complete package details for more information.
North Shore Honeymoon Package: Two or more nights in a Grand Superior Master Suite or any other room style. Breakfast for two on two separate mornings at either the Bluefin Grille, Waves of Superior Cafe, or Coho Café (up to $25 each day). Dinner for two at the Bluefin Grille with breathtaking views (value up to $80). Rose petals scattered in your room upon arrival. Commemorative photo frame. North Shore Winery tour and tasting
Treat your Valentine to Dinner at the Bluefin Grille or Coho Cafe!
In addition to the full menus, Bluefin Grille and Coho Cafe will be offering these evening Sweetheart Specials on Friday, February 14th and on Saturday, February 15th.
Entrees: Pappardelle Pasta with Maine Lobster and Shrimp • Steak Oscar • Grilled Swordfish
Desserts: Gluten-Free White and Dark Chocolate Cake • Warm Vanilla Raspberry Bundt Cake a la Mode
If you’re a lover of the Great Lakes, you may know that most are at near-record high water levels. Lake Superior entered this past summer 0.8 inches above the record high set in 1950 for that time of year, and 14 inches above its 100-year average. On January 1st of this new year, the Big Lake is 13 inches above its normal level. 4 inches higher than 1 year ago!
Due to these record high water levels in Lake Superior, and the increase in the frequency of major fall and winter storms (three of what are considered “500 year storms” in the past two years), Bluefin Bay decided to be proactive and add additional shoreline protective measures to the significant other work done over the past two years. This work was completed just in time for the Gales of November this past year.
Did you know?
Just a 1-inch rise in Lake Superior is equal to an additional 551 billion gallons of water. Wait, what!? Now, times that by 4 (the amount the lake is up right now compared to 1 year ago). That’s a lot of extra water!
One of our favorite fun facts? This mighty lake holds as much water as all Great Lakes combined plus 3 additional Lake Eries. Wow! Check out a list of other mind-boggling facts in this Lake Superior Magazine article.
For those who want to dig a little deeper into ‘Lake Stats’, you can visit the US Army Corps of Engineers Weekly Great Lakes Water Level Update. Here, they detail the past week’s weather and lake level conditions for all the Great Lakes. In addition, this report provides monthly forecasts, alerts, and a chart of all lakes with several interesting stats for comparison.
A recent article published by the Duluth News Tribune discusses storm warnings for 2020, potential impacts if the lake level continues to rise, and what is being done to understand and manage the current condition of the Great Lakes water levels.
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.
Special Winter Offers for Extraordinary Winter Adventures
It’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.