Grand Rapids, Minnesota is a hidden gem in the north woods, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re an avid angler, a history buff, or a lover of the arts, Grand Rapids has something for everyone.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top things to do in Grand Rapids MN, and explore why it’s a destination that should be on every traveler’s radar.
I had the pleasure of spending a weekend in Grand Rapids and I can tell you it’s a whole other world. Set in North Central MN, it’s got everything you’d want in an escape.
You’ll find the Chippewa National Forest, great food, fun museums filled with contemporary art, outdoor activities and many more area attractions.
Scenic State Park
Scenic State Park is located in Grand Rapids Minnesota and is one of the most popular outdoor attractions in the area. The park is home to a variety of wildlife and has miles of trails and water activities to explore.
The park has a number of camping sites, and visitors can also enjoy canoeing, fishing, and boating during their stay. I highly recommend stopping by for a hike.
The Blandin Dam is located in downtown Grand Rapids and is a popular attraction for visitors. The Dam is responsible for providing power to the surrounding area and is a great place to explore and learn about the history of the area.
Visitors can take a walk along the top of the Dam or explore the area around the Mississippi River. The Dam is also a great spot for fishing, with a variety of species that can be found in the area.
Judy Garland Museum
The Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a must-see for fans of the iconic star. Located in her hometown, the museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the life and legacy of Judy Garland.
This is the location where the ruby red slippers were stolen and also Judy Garlands Birthplace. You can tour the home.
The museum includes a variety of exhibits, such as photographs, costumes, and awards, as well as interactive activities for kids.
The museum also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including special screenings and performances.
Childrens Discovery Museums
The Children’s Discovery Museum in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a great place for families to explore and learn.
The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits and activities for kids, such as science experiments, art projects, and hands-on activities.
The museum also has a theatre and classrooms, where kids can participate in educational programs and classes. The museum also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including performances, workshops, and festivals.
Story Art & Museum
The Story Art & Museum in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a unique attraction that offers visitors a chance to explore the region’s culture and history.
The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits, such as a working printing press, a puppet theater, and an interactive storytelling room.
The museum also hosts a variety of special events, such as workshops, storyteller performances, and musicals. The museum also has a gift shop and café, making it a great place to spend a day with the family.
Reif Performing Arts Center
The Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility.
The Center features a modern theatre, classrooms and rehearsal spaces, and a grand lobby for receptions and special events. It is home to a variety of performances, from dance and music recitals to theatrical productions.
The Center is also home to the Grand Rapids Symphony and hosts a variety of educational programs, such as music classes, storytelling workshops, and art classes.
The Center also features a gift shop, making it a great place to find unique and memorable souvenirs from your visit.
Thunder Alley XL and Big Thunder mini Golf
Thunder Alley XL and Big Thunder mini Golf are two of the most popular attractions in Grand Rapids Minnesota. Thunder Alley XL is a state-of-the-art bowling center and is perfect for family fun or a night out with friends.
Big Thunder mini Golf offers a unique and challenging 18-hole course that is sure to be a hit with the family. Both attractions offer a variety of food and drink options as well as interactive and arcade games.
Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or a family activity, Thunder Alley XL and Big Thunder mini Golf are sure to provide an unforgettable experience.
Love Mini Golf? Make sure to check out all the best spots to play: 24 Best Mini Golf in Minnesota | Fun any time of year!
Itasca County Historical Society
The Itasca County Historical Society is an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of Itasca County, Minnesota.
The Society offers a variety of programs, exhibits, and events that explore the area’s rich history. The Society also houses a variety of artifacts and documents, such as historical photographs, maps, and documents.
The Society offers a number of educational programs, including lectures, workshops, and special events. The Society also offers a research library, making it a great resource for those interested in learning more about the history of Itasca County.
Forest History Center
The Forest History Center in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a unique attraction that explores the history of forestry in the region.
The Center offers interactive exhibits, such as a logging camp, a lumberjack camp, and a forest fire lookout tower. Visitors can also tour the Center’s historic buildings and take part in a variety of educational activities and workshops.
The Center also has a gift shop and café, making it a great place to shop for souvenirs and take a break from exploring the Center’s attractions.
Rapids Brewing Company
Rapids Brewing Company is a popular destination in Grand Rapids Minnesota. The brewery offers a variety of craft beers, including IPAs, Pale Ales, Stouts, and more.
The brewery also has a full kitchen, serving up classic pub fare such as burgers, wings, and sandwiches. The brewery also has live music and entertainment on the weekends, making it a great place to spend an evening with friends.
Rapids Brewing Company is a unique spot for craft beer enthusiasts and those looking for a place to enjoy a night out in Grand Rapids Minnesota.
Klockow Brewing Company
Klockow Brewing Company is a popular craft brewery located in Grand Rapids Minnesota. The brewery features a variety of craft beers, including IPAs, pale ales, stouts, and more.
The brewery also offers a full kitchen, offering classic pub foods such as burgers, wings, and sandwiches. The brewery has live music and entertainment on the weekends, making it a great spot for craft beer enthusiasts and those looking for a night out in Grand Rapids Minnesota.
Kayak on the Mississippi River
Kayaking on the Mississippi River in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a great way to explore the area and experience the natural beauty of the region.
The river is full of wildlife and offers stunning views of the area. Kayaking on the river is also a great way to spend time with family or friends, as there are plenty of places to stop and explore.
The Mississippi River also has plenty of rapids and waves to navigate, making it a great spot for experienced kayakers looking for a challenge.
And with a variety of kayak rental companies in the area, kayaking on the Mississippi River in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a great way to have fun and explore the outdoors.
If you don’t have a watercraft, no worries. You can rent one at Paddle Hoppers.
Grand Rapids Farmers Market
The Grand Rapids Farmers Market in Minnesota is a great place to find fresh and local produce, as well as a variety of handmade goods.
The market offers a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as meats, eggs, cheeses, and more. The market also has a variety of artisans, offering handmade items such as jewelry, pottery, and other crafts.
The market is also home to a variety of food vendors, offering a variety of snacks and meals to enjoy while shopping.
The Grand Rapids Farmers Market is a great place to find fresh produce, homemade goods, and delicious snacks, making it a great spot for a day out in Grand Rapids Minnesota.
Hawkins Mine Pit
The Hawkins Mine Pit in Nashwauk, Minnesota is a unique sight to behold. Located in the Mesabi Iron Range, the Hawkins Mine Pit is the deepest, largest, and oldest open-pit mining operation in the world.
It produced 25,000,000 tons of ore in its open pit. The mine has since closed and filled in creating a beautiful lake.
The pit is over 600 feet deep and spans over 1,000 acres. The pit offers a unique view into the mining industry, with a variety of mining equipment, buildings, and vehicles present in the area.
The Hawkins Mine Pit is a great place to explore and experience the area’s history.
Bovey Prohibition Speakeasy and Escape Tunnel
The Bovey Prohibition Speakeasy and Underground Escape Tunnel in Bovey, Minnesota is a unique attraction that offers visitors a chance to explore the area’s history and culture.
The speakeasy is a replica of a 1920’s-era hideout and features a variety of artifacts and memorabilia from the Prohibition Era.
The underground escape tunnel was used by bootleggers during the Prohibition Era to transport and store illegal alcohol. The tunnel is an amazing feat of engineering and offers visitors a glimpse into the past.
The Bovey Prohibition Speakeasy and Underground Escape Tunnel is a great place to explore and experience the history and culture of the area.
Tioga Recreation Area
The Tioga Recreation Area in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, the recreation area offers a variety of activities for visitors, such as camping, fishing, and boating.
The recreation area also has a variety of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The area is also home to a variety of wildlife, making it a great spot for wildlife viewing.
With its stunning views of the river and its abundance of outdoor activities, the Tioga Recreation Area is a great spot for outdoor adventurers looking for a unique experience in Grand Rapids Minnesota.
MT Itasca Winter Sports Center
The MT Itasca Winter Sports Center in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a great destination for winter sports enthusiasts. The Center offers a variety of activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tubing.
The Center also has a variety of trails for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, as well as a terrain park for snowboarders and freestyle skiers.
The Center also offers a variety of ski and snowboard rentals, making it a great spot for visitors who don’t have their own gear. With its variety of activities, trails, and rentals, the MT Itasca Winter Sports Center is a great spot for those looking to enjoy winter sports in Grand Rapids Minnesota.
The Great River Road
The Great River Road is a scenic byway that follows the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The road passes through 10 states, including Minnesota, and offers stunning views of the river and the area’s natural beauty.
Along the way, visitors can explore a variety of attractions, such as state parks, historic sites, and museums. The Great River Road is a great way to experience the beauty of the Mississippi River and explore the unique attractions in the area.
The Minnesota section spans 565 miles, 43 communities, 20 counties, three tribes.
Taconite Trail/Mesabi Trail
The Taconite Trail/Mesabi Trail is a 165-mile trail connecting Grand Rapids to Ely, Minnesota. The trail is perfect for biking, hiking, and snowmobiling, offering stunning views of the area’s natural beauty.
The trail runs along the Mesabi Iron Range, passing through a variety of towns and cities, including Hibbing, Biwabik, and Gilbert. Along the way, visitors can explore a variety of attractions, such as state parks, historic sites, and museums. The
Taconite Trail/Mesabi Trail is a great way to experience the beauty of the area and explore the unique attractions in the area.
Unwined Up North
UnWined Up North is a restaurant in Grand Rapids Minnesota that offers a unique dining experience. The restaurant features a great patio area, perfect for enjoying a meal with friends or family. The restaurant also has a variety of food and drink options, including craft beers, wines, and specialty cocktails.
The restaurant also has live music and entertainment on the weekends, making it a great spot for a night out in Grand Rapids Minnesota. With its great patio, variety of food and drinks, and live music, UnWined Up North is a great spot for a night out in Grand Rapids Minnesota.
Questions about Grand Rapids MN
What is Grand Rapids Minnesota known for?
Grand Rapids, Minnesota is known for its rich history, beautiful natural landscapes, thriving arts and cultural scene, delicious craft beer, unique shopping opportunities, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Does Grand Rapids get a lot of snow?
Yes, Grand Rapids, Minnesota experiences a significant amount of snowfall during the winter months. The city is located in northern Minnesota and has a cold, snowy climate, with average snowfall amounts ranging from 50-60 inches per year.
This can make it an ideal location for winter sports and activities, such as skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. However, it is also important to be prepared for the challenges and difficulties that come with winter weather, such as snow and ice covered roads, and extremely low temperatures.
How far is Grand Rapids Minnesota from the Canada Border?
The distance between Grand Rapids, Minnesota and Canada varies depending on the specific location in Canada you are referring to. However, Grand Rapids is located approximately 120 miles south of the Canadian border, near the border between Minnesota and Ontario.
To give a specific example, Grand Rapids is approximately 220 miles from Toronto, Ontario. The quickest way to get from Grand Rapids to the Canadian border would be to drive, as it is located a few hours drive from the border.
Where to stay near Grand Rapids
Scenic State Park
56956 Scenic Hwy, Bigfork, MN 56628 More Info
Scenic State Park in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a great destination for camping. The park has a variety of camping sites, ranging from primitive sites for tent camping to RV sites for larger groups. The park also has a number of amenities, such as showers, restrooms, and picnic areas.
This is where we stayed on our adventure and couldn’t get enough of it.
AmericInn By Wyndham Grand Rapids
1812 S Pokegama Ave, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 More Info
The AmericInn By Wyndham Grand Rapids is a great place to stay in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The hotel offers a variety of comfortable and spacious rooms, as well as a variety of amenities such as an indoor pool and hot tub, an on-site restaurant, and a fitness center.
The hotel also has a variety of conference and meeting rooms, making it a great spot for business travelers. The hotel is also conveniently located near a variety of attractions, such as the Judy Garland Museum, the Museum of Northern Minnesota, and the Reif Performing Arts Center.
With its comfortable rooms, amenities, and convenient location, the AmericInn By Wyndham Grand Rapids is a great place to stay in Grand Rapids Minnesota.
The Historic Gilbert Mansion
719 NW First Avenue, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 More Info
The Historic Gilbert Mansion in Grand Rapids Minnesota is a great bed and breakfast that offers guests a unique and memorable experience.
The Mansion was built in 1900 and has been restored to its original grandeur. The Mansion features a variety of amenities, such as a large porch, a heated pool, and a full-service spa.
The Mansion also offers a variety of luxurious guest rooms, each with its own unique style and character. Guests can also enjoy a variety of activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and more.
With its luxurious amenities and unique charm, the Historic Gilbert Mansion is a great bed and breakfast for those looking for a memorable experience in Grand Rapids Minnesota.
Sugar Lake Lodge
37584 Otis Ln, Cohasset, MN 55721 More Info
Sugar Lake Lodge is a great destination near Grand Rapids Minnesota. The Lodge offers a variety of accommodations, from cozy cabins to luxurious villas.
The Lodge also offers a variety of activities, such as fishing, kayaking, and hiking. Guests can also enjoy a variety of amenities, such as a pool, spa, and fitness center.
The Lodge also has a restaurant and bar, making it a great spot for a delicious meal or a night out. With its variety of activities, amenities, and accommodations, Sugar Lake Lodge is a great destination for those looking for a fun and relaxing experience near Grand Rapids Minnesota.
Get the best deal on your stay by clicking here.
Would I go back to Grand Rapids MN?
Yes, we had a blast. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Grand Rapids Minnesota. From outdoor activities to family fun, the area is full of unique attractions and activities to explore. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, Grand Rapids Minnesota has something for everyone.