Winter is Here! There are so many simple joys to experience at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts that make winter a magical season to visit. And we put everything you need to know in one place. Listed below are your Winter Trip Planning Resources.
Things to Do
What does a winter vacation look like for you? For some, it means reading a good mystery novel next to a crackling fireplace. For others, it means learning how to cross county ski in a forest blanketed with snow.
This year, we have expanded our activities program to offer more of the guided tours and adventures that our guests love.
Complimentary activities include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, craft classes taught by local artists, ice skating, shuttles to the local winery and more. Additionally, we have two ice skating rinks – one at Bluefin Bay and one at Surfside. PLUS don’t forget about Waves of Superior Spa, the outdoor pool and hot tub (for guests of Bluefin Bay) and the indoor pool at Surfside (for guests of Surfside and Temperance Landing).
Between Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing, we have many cozy lodging options to choose from. If you’re unsure of where to begin, check out this playlist on our YouTube page which features lodging tours of all of our unit styles. You’ll find many of our units feature whirlpool tubs, wood-burning fireplace and views of stunning Lake Superior.
If you have visited Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts this Fall then you have likely encountered some of the wonderful people we have working in our Activities Department. We added three new staff members to our team to be able to offer more programming this winter than ever before.
Pictured from left to right are Keanan, Kayleigh, Jessica and Sean.
Sean Henkenius, also known as “Showtime Sean”, is our enthusiastic Activities Coordinator. Sean came to Tofte from Farmington, NM or the Great Southwest as he refers to it. He has a bachelor’s degree in Adventure Education from Prescott College plus a Master’s degree in Recreation Administration from Southern Illinois University. He has super creative ideas for the direction of the Activities Department and we are lucky to have him!
Jessica comes from North Branch, MN and has a contagious passion for North Shore recreation. She is also a registered yoga teacher and leads many of our classes at the resort. Kayleigh is from Yorba Linda, CA and has a degree in Forestry with an emphasis in Forest Health. She has been working in outdoor education for more than four years and offers a wealth of knowledge. Keanan is originally from Towanda, IL and has loved the outdoors for as long as he can remember. He has a degree in Outdoor Recreation but even better, he is an Eagle Scout! Lastly we have Jon aka “Nature Man” from Albert Lea, MN. Jon is an expert in maintaining our seasonal equipment to ensure guests get quality gear to check out. Jon is also a professional musician and you can find him playing his signature harp guitar along the North Shore.
We hope you will get a chance to meet this fantastic crew sometime this winter!
2022 Calendar Contest Deadline Extended!
The 27th Annual (!!) Bluefin Bay Calendar Contest is underway and we have just extended the deadline to August 31st, 2021!
2021 Grand Prize Winner by Jonathan Mortenson
Do you have any awe-inspiring photos from a recent trip to Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing? We are looking for photos of all 3 resorts plus the surrounding North Shore area. We select one photo for each month of the year, which means we need photos of all 4 seasons. Each participant may enter up to eight photos in the contest.
There will be a total of 12 contest winners. 11 monthly winners will receive a $200 gift certificate to be used toward dining or lodging at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. 1 Grand Prize winner will receive a $1000 gift certificate to be used toward dining or lodging at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts plus their photo will be on the cover of the calendar. Note: Grand Prize cannot be won by the same contestant more than once every three years.
To participate, read the rules here and then submit your photos. By entry in this contest, all entrants grant permission to the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts to use entered images in various media as determined by the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.
“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”
― Abraham Lincoln
5 Hikes for Kids in the Lutsen-Tofte Area
“Where can I take my kids for a hike?”
This is a question we frequently receive at the Bluefin Bay Guest Services desk, so we thought it might be helpful to construct a list of the 5 best hiking trails for kids in the Lutsen/Tofte area.
What constitutes a great trek for kids, you ask? The formula we utilized is equal parts easy, safe terrain + fun stuff to look at = great hike for kids.
Caribou Falls– This hike is just over a mile long and is an out and back. There is a bit of a steep climb toward the end but the waterfall you get to see is worth it. Pro Tip: This is also a great spot for swimming!
Temperance River – Temperance River State Park is a super cool place to explore. The trail winds along the river for quite a while and you can go as far as you want. Important: You do need to be careful with younger kids as there are some steep overlooks!
Leveaux Mountain – This is a bit of a longer hike at 3.2 miles. Leveaux Mountain shares a parking lot with the popular Oberg Mountain, but Leveaux is less busy and has fewer overlooks. The woods are fun to explore and there is one awesome overlook at the top. Pro Tip: This hike is lined with Maple Trees toward the top and is beautiful in the fall!
Lake Agnes – Enjoy a leisurely trek to beautiful Lake Agnes. This section of the Superior Hiking Trail will take you through a variety of different forests (Maple, Cedar, Birch) and offers an opportunity for swimming when you arrive. Pro Tip: Take the spur trail to White Sky Rock. You won’t regret it!
Cascade River State Park – Cascade is one of the most popular State Parks in Minnesota and for good reason! The park is located where the river flows into Lake Superior and features beautiful waterfalls the whole way down. Pro Tip: If you are in the mood for something super quick, you only need to hike about a quarter of a mile to see the first (and largest) waterfall!
Discover a Hidden Gem at Sugarloaf Cove
There are many hidden gems scattered along the North Shore of Lake Superior but Sugarloaf Cove stands out as a favorite. Sugarloaf Cove is a 34-acre site located about 10 miles south of Bluefin Bay. Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association was created in 1992 to inspire the preservation and restoration or the North Shore’s unique environment. For a $5 parking fee, you can enjoy lively hiking trails, access to educational programs and breathtaking views of the cozy Lake Superior cove.
Sugarloaf Cove has a fascinating history. From 1943-1971 the area was used by Consolidated Papers, Inc. as a site to store pulpwood logs during the winter. In the summer months, tugboats hauled the logs across Lake Superior to Ashland, Wisconsin. The paper company utilized at least 14 buildings on the site and a root cellar, metal mooring rings and boom logs can all be seen today as remaining reminders of the logging history at Sugarloaf Cove.
This summer, they plan to host drop-in educational programs. Bird banding demonstrations have long been a beloved activity of many Bluefin guests. Occurring every Thursday morning, a Sugarloaf naturalist will band birds in order to monitor the populations of song birds that nest and travel through the area. The demonstration begins early and you can stop by any time to learn more about the banding process and its important in understand the lifespan, movement and productivity of song birds. This program, among others, is a way for Sugarloaf Cove to educate the public about the local environment.
To learn more about the programming, hiking trails and offerings at Sugarloaf Cove, click here.
4th of July Festivities
The 4th of July is nearly here! As we celebrate our nation’s independence here on the North Shore, we also celebrate all things summer – the Big Lake and its cool breezes, the endless miles of trails to explore by foot or by bicycle, kayak and canoe excursions, golfing, fishing, outdoor dining, bonfires on the beach complete with s’mores, and time spent with friends and family making memories! If you are joining us for 4th of July weekend you will certainly be able to make some memories as we have a full line-up of fun activities!
We often hear from our guests wondering about what activities there are for kiddos to do while staying at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. And we have good news! Here at Bluefin Bay, we have entertainment for all ages.
Complimentary, kid-friendly activities:
Guided Hikes – A handful of our guided hikes are designed to be easier so younger kids can join. Sugarloaf Cove and Caribou Falls are a couple favorites!
Outdoor movie nights – Note that this activity is for older kiddos as it doesn’t start until 8:30 pm and Bluefin Bay staff will not be supervising the kids.
Kids adventure club – Activities can range from a nature walk to field games! Kids of all ages are welcome.
Wilderness Canoeing – A perfect way to immerse your children in nature. This activity is for kids ages 5 and up.
Inland Kayaking – Inland kayaking is perfect for families and beginners who are not quite ready to venture onto the big lake. Kids ages 7 and up can participate, accompanied by an adult.
Campfires – Need we say s’more?
>>> Be sure to check our calendar of events for these activities to see if they are occurring during your stay and to sign-up.
Available equipment for kids:
Kid’s Bikes & Burley Trailers
Kelty Child Carrier Backpacks
Bocce Ball Sets, Soccer Ball (Soccer Fields at Surfside and Bluefin Bay), Pickleball sets, Ladder Toss, KanJam, Cornhole
Jump ropes, Frisbees, sidewalk chalk
Board Games and Playing Cards
We also have pack n plays and booster seats! Just ask your reservationist or leave a note when making your reservation online.
New Summer Activities
We often hear from our returning guests that they cherish the memories they’ve made at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. This is one of our favorite comments because it means that we are providing our guests with experiences that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to partake in. In that spirit, we have expanded our activities program this year to include new adventures and more of the excursions that you all have raved about. All activities listed below are included in your stay at Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing.
Introduction to Mountain Biking will consist of riding a new single-track mountain biking trail called “The High Climber”. Although this particular trail is marked as easy, it is a rigorous activity. We will provide instruction, but you can expect there to be some hard peddling, rolling over some rock gardens, and sweeping berms. A fall or two is common and part of the fun! This activity will be available on Sundays and Thursdays throughout the summer.
Our other new activity, Outdoor Movies, is a bit more laid back. We will be showing a family friendly movie Friday evenings on a large inflatable screen outside on the lawn at Surfside Resort. No sign up necessary. We’ll bring the popcorn!
It’s happening. Bright pops of green in the trees. Colorful wildflowers popping out of the ground. Wildlife sightings on the backroads. Summer on Lake Superior is more than a season, it’s a feeling.
Early Summer Offers
Don’t wait to start making the most of summer. If you can join us earlier in the season, you can take advantage of a couple offers we have available. If you are able to come up before May 27th, you can take advantage of our Spring Fever Special, which offers 3 nights for the price of 2. Then for the entire month of June, we are offering 4 nights for the price of 3.
Summer activities are now live on our website through July! And let me tell you, it’s going to be a FUN summer. We have brainstormed new adventures and added more of our already popular activities. From mountain biking to sea kayaking, it won’t be hard to find something to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Or, if you prefer a more relaxing vacation, sign up for a yoga class or a naturalist program. Live music by the bonfire, anyone? There are options for everyone.
Lodging Tours to Help You Plan
As you plan your trip, we wanted to remind you that we have tours of nearly every unit style at Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing. This way you can truly get an understanding of the layout and the feel of a unit before you book.
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.