North Shore Fall! If you want in, book now

Our Fall availability is filling fast!

Bluefin Bay - Fall on the North ShoreFall on Minnesota’s North Shore is one of the most breathtaking seasons and best times to visit. The star of the show is, of course, the vibrant fall color along Minnesota’s North Shore, including the Sawtooth Mountains and Superior National Forest.

Waves of red, orange and yellow extend as far as the eye can see Lusten in the Fallfrom the rocky ridges overlooking Lake Superior. In contrast are  the pine green forest and blue hues of Lake Superior herself.

Fall enthusiasts contend there are actual two fall peaks on the North Shore. First to turn are the inland maples,  followed by the yellow and golds of the aspen and birch along Hwy 61/North Shore Scenic Drive. So in a good year, calendar contestfall colors lasts for weeks! Lucky for us.

At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we enjoy helping guests experience the North Shore on foot, by pedal, canoe, kayak, or car.

For those who prefer to hit the trails to experience the changing leaves up close and personal — our guided fall hikes are fantastic. Prefer to go solo? No problem. We can you point you to the best (and less-populated trails) and the best color during your visit. The cool days are perfect for hiking in your favorite sweatshirt, and best when followed by a campfire and smores’ from the Bluefin Bay beach.

If you prefer to explore by bike, you can choose from the Gitchi Gami paved trail along the shoreline or off-road biking trails that offer adventure and an up-close-and-personal leaf peeping experience. Wilderness canoeing and inland kayaking are exceptional ways to see the colors from a different vantage point – the water. Join a guided excursion or head out on your own and paddle at your own pace.

In the fall, the North Shore feels a bit more laid back and relaxed — and that’s why we love it! But this year, we’re seeing different travel patterns and more people favoring driving vacations. Our fall is booking in fast.

Book now for fall travel through October

So, if you’re planning to join us at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts for a fall getaway, we encourage you to plan and book ahead. Fall bookings are already strong and availability for Sept. is limited.

Here’s a tip: If you don’t see your ideal dates or unit style available online, consider midweek travel as there is likely to be more availability and the fall colors are just as great midweek. 😉 If you have the flexibility due to remote work and/or the kids are distance learning vs the classroom, midweek travel could be a great option. Our reservationists can help at 1-800-258-3346.

Fall dining — also good to plan ahead

Planning your dining in advance may also help with your travel experience. If you would like indoor dining reservations at the Bluefin Grille, we encourage you to book in advance of your stay. We seat by reservation only for limited indoor seating at the Grille due to Covid-19 restrictions. View our online menu or book your reservation here.

Tip #2: Pack your jacket (and maybe your gloves), as well as your patience. The weather can be a bit more unpredictable for outdoor dining in the fall than summer, especially with Lake Superior breezes. We continue to offer takeout, outdoor dining on several patios and picnic tables, as well as limited indoor dining at both the Bluefin Grille and Coho Cafe & Bakery. Visit our dining pages here to learn more.

Tip #3: Many of our unit styles have full kitchens, so consider booking one of these and cooking and eating in your condo or townhome. All Temperance Landing log homes have full kitchens, as well as two bedroom townhomes at Surfside, and most one and three bedrooms at Bluefin Bay. If you’re unsure, ask a reservationist for help at 1-800-258-3346.

Sign up for activities and fall color tours in advance 

Because the fall will be busier this year, we encourage you to register in advance for our complimentary guest activities. Whether it’s a guided fall color hike, or you want to join a wilderness canoeing or inland kayaking adventure, it’s best to sign up in advance to ensure your spot. Check out our full schedule of activities and pre-register here.

We look forward to welcoming you to Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts this fall and hope these tips will help you plan a safe and fun experience.

Now, Fall is almost here. So enjoy this fall video for a little inspiration!

 

When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

fat bike in winterThe Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts and the Lutsen-Tofte area provide the best winter outdoor recreation opportunities in Minnesota. Cross-country Skiing, Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Ice Skating are favorite activities this time of year.

If you’re ready to try something new and amp up the thrill factor on your winter adventures you’re in luck! Here are a few winter experiences you won’t want to miss on your next North Shore vacation:

  • WILDERNESS ADVENTURE: This complimentary guided resort activity depends on weather, snow & ice conditions. If we decide to hike, we will put on some ice trekkers to grip on slippery sections and enjoy one of our local loops on the Superior Hiking Trail. This could be Cascade River, Temperance River, Oberg Mountain, Carlton Peak, or many more! When the snow is super deep and fluffy we will take out the snowshoes and float on top!
  • ICE CLIMBING & WINTER RIVER ADVENTURES: Our friends at the Grand Marais based Spirit Guiding Adventures will help you experience the excitement and wonder of Winter on Minnesota’s North Shore. Participate in the exciting sport of ice climbing on some of Minnesota’s best natural waterfalls all while being led by highly experienced, inspiring guides. They also offer Winter River Adventures where you’ll enjoy a guided tour on one of the many frozen North Shore rivers. This trip is a unique blend of back-country snow travel and optional low-angle ice climbing. For more information, trip details and costs visit their website here.
  • FAT TIRE BIKING: Fat tire biking is gaining in popularity as more people discover the joys of riding on snowy roads and trails in the winter. Cook County is expanding trails each year and experimenting with multi-use trails combining groomed skate skiing and fat bike trails to expand the network for biking enthusiasts. Our next-door neighbors at Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte offer full-day fat tire bike rentals so you can try out this fun sport. They’ll also provide you with maps, directions, and tips to help you have a great experience.
  • BACKCOUNTRY CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Are you ready to head off the groomed ski trails and explore the endless miles of wilderness that surround this beautiful area? You might want to try backcountry skiing! With a little extra preparation and information, you’ll be ready to head off the beaten path into fresh powder for a winter experience like no other. Sawtooth Outfitters, located across from Bluefin Bay Guest Services building, rents backcountry skis and will provide you with maps and tips for your one of a kind experience. Our resort activities staff are also a great resource of information for first-time backcountry skiers.

And so the adventure begins…

Take a front row seat for Nature’s Best Show

Bluefin Bay Fall Colors Report: Summer 95%, 5% Fall

Oberg Mountain Loop Sept. 1

Fall color peaking out in the tops of some maples on Sept. 1 (about 4-0% color).

Labor Day marks a transition for many. Kids go back to school. Parents get back in a more structured routine, the most colorful time of year is at our doorstep, the mosquitoes take a hiatus, and many folks plan their Fall getaways!

We love this time of year on Minnesota’s breathtaking North Shore where Fall puts on a show like no other season, and no other place. While some of us try to hang on to the last days of summer — enjoying the final days of guided kayaking and wilderness canoeing — others can’t wait for jacket temps and the Fall show. The star of the show: our breathtaking bright orange Maples and the yellow gold Poplar and Birch — all set against the back drop of our majestic pines and Lake Superior herself.

Check Out Our Fall Colors Report Weekly

At the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we’ve decided to provide our very own weekly Fall Colors Report for guests and blog readers alike. So whether you get to the shore in person or not, each week in our “I Love Bluefin” blog we’ll showcase a favorite Fall hike complete with photos and videos. We’ll show and tell you our estimate on how much color we have and when we think it will peak. We’ll also share the Department of Natural Resources (DNR’s) Fall Color map so you can check the official Fall Color report for the whole state. (But trust us, it doesn’t get any better than this!)

Fall colors typically peak in Northern Minnesota and along the North Shore between mid September and early October. But our beautiful shoreline and  Superior National forest provides spectacular color for 3-4 weeks. Last year, we had color for more than a month!

Oberg Mountain Loop: A Fav Fall Hike (Guest Fav too!)
95% Summer, 5% Fall – September 1, 2017

This past Labor Day Weekend, our marketing director Lori Schaefer hiked one of our all-time favorite Fall hikes – the Oberg Mountain Loop. This is the trail to hike during the early Maple colors of Fall. We love watching the progression of Autumn as the weeks go by from Oberg. It is one of our most poplar hikes. Trust us, this Maple-filled hillside and Birch-filled forest will surpass ALL of your expectations.

The Oberg Loop hike is about 2.5 miles and is ranked easy to moderate with some steep climbs. The best part, it includes a total of seven spectacular overlooks.

This link to our photo gallery shows the Fall color on Sept. 2, 2017 as Lori made her way up the switchbacks of Oberg Trail, through the Birch and Polar forest and around the mountain. Those seven overlooks provide some pretty breathtaking vistas — and there is nothing like it in Fall peak.

As of Sept. 1, we’re reporting about 95% lush green summer with about a 5% turn ratio. But give it a week or so and things will really start to pop. View the DNR Fall Color Map here. It’s updated every Thursday throughout the Fall season.

Plan your Fall getaway now at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts on Minnesota’s breathtaking North Shore. We might be bragging, but we do Fall best!

Oberg Mountain Loop

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