The Best of Winter Has Arrived!

winter waves and sunset at bluefin bayMarch 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.
  • MARCH WEEKENDS AT MIDWEEK RATES: Stay three nights or more and receive weekends in March at midweek rates. Valid Dates: March 4-22, 2020.
  • 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…

Rolling Out the White Carpet for Winter Fun!

Winter Oberg Loop HikeAt 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-country skiing: 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.
  • North Shore Winery Shuttles: If trying a new wine is more your idea of adventure, hop on a complimentary shuttle and head to North Shore Winery for a tasting & Shuttles available daily when the winery is open.
  • Live music at the Bluefin Grille on Mondays and Fridays from 8-10 pm.

Learn more and see our full schedule on the Activities & Events calendar.

Ready to Give Cross-Country Skiing a Try?

sugarbush trails - guided cross-country trip at bluefin bayCross-country skiing is a low-impact full-body workout and a fun way to get outside and enjoy winter at its best. Not to mention, the scenery and stillness of the woods is something you can only find while out on one of the local trails along Minnesota’s North Shore.

But, what if you’ve never been cross-country skiing? Or, what if it’s been a very long time since you had skis strapped to the bottom of your feet?

Go For It. Give Cross-Country Skiing a Try!

When you’re a guest at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts our activities guides are here to help whether you are brand new to the sport, a beginner with minimal experience, or a more advanced skier looking for new trails and challenges.

Are you a new or beginner skier?  We guarantee that with a little patience and practice you will have found a new favorite winter activity! We offer complimentary guided ski trips several days a week throughout the winter season. In addition to a guided trip and transportation to and from the ski trails, we’ll outfit you with all the gear you need. Our experienced activities staff will assist you in finding the correctly sized skis, poles, and boots. The right equipment can make all the difference and will help ensure a successful ski outing.

Classic and Skate Skiing. What Are They and How are They Different?

There are two main types of cross-country skiing utilizing different types of skis: classic and skate. Classic is the more traditional form of cross-country skiing and is the one that beginners usually learn first. Skate skiing is a bit more complex and utilizes the flat, wide groomed area on a trail. A v-shaped skating motion, when mastered, is a fast and exciting way to zoom around a trail system.

We provide equipment and tours for classic skiing only. Classic skiing is best done on groomed trails with two tracks – one for each ski. A forward lunging and sliding motion, combined with an alternating push off from your poles will propel you along the tracks. Our advice? Be patient! Because you will wobble, you may fall, and you will get tired. But, we are here to help you take it slow and discover the joys of cross-country skiing. Have kids? We have equipment for them too! In addition, kids are quick learners and the sooner you introduce them the sooner cross-country skiing can become a life long sport. Their favorite part is usually zooming down a hill and ‘accidentally’ falling into a pile of fresh snow.

Our guided tours take place on the local Sugarbush and Norpine trail systems. Both combine spectacular scenery with varied terrain and provide trails for beginners to experts. These are part of the more than 400 kilometers of groomed trails in Cook County. You will pretty much never run out of trails to explore!

Welcome to your new favorite winter sport!

 

 

 

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:

  • Visit our Activity Calendar and join us on a complimentary guided adventure!
  • Guests can check out complimentary cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice trekkers, and ice skates.
  • Carve out the fresh powder at Lutsen Mountains, or glide along freshly groomed cross-country ski trails.
  • Fuel your days with warm drinks (or drinks that warm you up!) and cozy meals from the Coho Cafe & Bakery, and the Bluefin Grille.
  • 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

Winter guided hikes at bluefin bay family of resortsIt’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.

 

 

The Holidays Are Happy at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts!

WINTER AT BLUEFIN BAYThe winter holidays are upon us! During this time of year, we like to reflect on the months that have gone by, the memories made, and the adventures that were had. Thank you to all of our wonderful guests who choose Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts as your getaway destination.

The holiday season is special and magical here on Minnesota’s North Shore. If you will be joining us over the holiday time between Christmas and New Year’s (or if you are thinking of planning a last-minute getaway!) here are a few resources to help plan your trip.

ACTIVITIES:

  • We have a wide variety of complimentary activities offered year-round. From winter hiking, and cross-country ski trips, to yoga and kids adventures, there is something for everyone this holiday season. Visit the online activity calendar to see a complete list and to help plan your stay.
  • Complimentary Equipment Rental! Cross-Country Skis, Snowshoes, Ice Skates, Hockey sticks and nets, ice grippers, and more can all be rented for free during your stay with us.
  • Cross-Country skiing has been great this season with most trails open. Join us on one of our guided resort ski trips or we can provide you with a map if you prefer to head out on your own. The Sugarbush Trails have their most popular trails groomed and open. Visit their website for up to date trail conditions.
  • Lutsen Mountains is now open daily for the ski season! Early snow and perfect temps for making snow have given them a fantastic base for December skiing. Visit their website for up to date conditions and trail maps. Book a Ski & Stay Package for the best deal. We offer FREE daily shuttles to and from the base of the mountain!
  • Celebrate the season with even more local activities and events! Live entertainment, art exhibition, brewery tours, great shopping and more will keep you busy and entertained this holiday season. Check out the Visit Cook County Events Calendar for a full list of happenings!

DINING: 

Bluefin Grille:

  • Closed on Christmas Eve
  • OPEN Christmas Day for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner with Holiday Specials.
  • OPEN New Year’s Eve with Dinner Specials.
  • Click here for a full list of holiday hours

Coho Cafe & Bakery:

  • OPEN Christmas Eve 8 am – 8 pm
  • Closed Christmas Day
  • Click here for a full list of holiday hours

The Winter Fishwrapper Newsletter is Here!

fishwrapper imageThe snow is here to stay! We’re already out enjoying the outdoor adventures and festive events that make Minnesota’s North Shore the perfect winter and holiday destination. We like to wrap up the upcoming season’s favorite adventures, special events, and new resort activities in a semiannual newsletter called The Fishwrapper. It’s a great way to get inspired to plan your next Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts getaway.

Check out the Winter 2019-2020 Fishwrapper here! 

This season’s highlights…

  • The live music scene is strong on Minnesota’s North Shore. From Monday & Friday evenings at the Bluefin Grille to national acts taking the stage at Papa Charlie’s. You can find a live show any night of the week all along the North Shore. Enjoy music ranging from acoustic to bluegrass to jazz to Americana to rock n’ roll to country.
  • NEW activities! Learn about our new complimentary mini-craft classes in December and January. Taught by local professionals, learn the arts of basket making, pin-loom weaving, canvas stenciling, and linocut printmaking.
  • In addition, this newsletter is full of winter adventure ideas, new guided activities, great offers and packages, plus highlights of our wonderful staff that you will meet during your stay.

Grab a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate, snuggle up, and enjoy reading through this season’s Fishwrapper newsletter!

 

 

Escape, Save, and Shop!

Thanksgiving week is here! The winter holidays are upon us and that means it’s time to start holiday planning. Why not begin by planning a special tradition with family and friends at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts? We’re making it easy this year by extending our most popular special over the pre-Christmas holiday weekend! That’s right, stay three nights Dec. 20-24 and you’ll receive one of those nights FREE (midweek night is free). This Gales Special offer is available anytime in December through the 24th. Escape the holiday hustle and bustle with a getaway to the North Shore!

It’s also time to start your holiday shopping. This holiday, give a gift that will keep on giving long after it is unwrapped. Gift cards can be purchased in any dollar amount and used for lodging, restaurants, gift shops and the Waves of Superior Spa. Gift cards are mailed within a few days of placing your order and each card comes in special packaging with a place for a personal message.

 

The Ski Season Has Begun!

Lutsen Mountains Father and Son on Chair LiftIt’s official! The Lutsen Mountains ski season has begun. This past weekend marked the beginning of the 2019-2020 season with continued weekend only hours through December 8th. After that, they will be open daily starting on December 13th. Up here in Cook County, we had some nice early season snow and ideal temps for snowmaking. It looks like it is going to be an excellent winter for skiing on Minnesota’s North Shore!

Stay up to date with conditions on the Lutsen Mountains website. Check out their live cam to see the current conditions. Not to mention it’s a great way to spend some time daydreaming about your next North Shore winter vacation! New this year, Lutsen Mountains has added a radio frequency RFID ticketing system which will offer greater convenience for skiers and new lodging packaging opportunities.

Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is the perfect home base for your skiing and snowboarding adventure! Take advantage of our Ski and Stay Packages for the best deals. 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.

See you on the slopes!

March Trail Report: Big Snow and Big Fun!

Lutsen Mountains March 2019March is here with the North Shore seeing the most snow in the state, longer days, and higher temps are almost here. It’s time to get outside!  With this in mind, here’s an update on the area trail conditions and resources for planning your late-winter getaway:

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: The local Sugarbush Trails have a nice deep base of snow. As a result, all 65 kilometers are groomed and open!  With direct access to Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, you can easily explore this beautiful area.

Visit the Sugarbush Trail Association website for weekly updated trail reports and maps. As a guest, you can take advantage of complimentary cross-country ski rentals and Guided Ski Tours on the Onion River Road trail.

New this year are guided trips on the Norpine Trails. These beautiful trails are located in the Lusten area and wind through beautiful pine and hardwood forests. The Norpine Trail groomers are reporting excellent conditions and tons of snow!

Cook County has 400 kilometers of cross-country ski trails making it the largest network of trails in North America. The overall trail base ranges from 12-27 inches creating some of the greatest groomed trails we’ve had in years. Check out the Visit Cook County website to discover all the wonderful trail systems to be explored in our area.

DOWNHILL SKIING: A long and snowy season has made for some epic ski and snowboard days. Because of this, Lutsen Mountains has a snow base of 48-80 inches on all primary runs. In addition, there is enough of a base to be open through mid-April and weekends into May! With 4 mountains and 95 runs, everyone will enjoy skiing or snowboarding at the Midwest’s only mountain ski area.

We provide free shuttles to the base of the mountain and you’ll love the Ski and Stay Packages for the best deals.

HIKING & SNOWSHOEING: Winter hiking is a favorite activity here on the North Shore and trails are in great condition right now. Just after a snowfall, strap on a pair of snowshoes (complimentary rentals) to trek through the deeper snow. Many trails that you enjoy in the summer are packed and accessible during the winter!  A pair of winter boots or ice grips are all you need to experience a walk through the snowy woods. Let our activities staff show you the way on a guided hike, snowshoe or river hiking adventure! Visit our Resort Activities & Events page for details on our guided adventures.

SNOWMOBILING: Explore the Lake Superior shoreline plus inland woods and lakes on the endless miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Local snowmobile clubs are reporting excellent conditions on the trails and many riders are reporting the best riding they’ve had in years. The Cook County Snowmobile Club has updated trail conditions and maps for the local trails. Or, visit the North Shore Visitor website for info on snowmobile trails all along Highway 61.

See you on the trails!

 

MN DNR snow depth map