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Activities in MN July 3-8

Ardsley, New York...
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Activities in MN July 3-8

Plans I had for the Minneapolis area July 3-8 just fell through. I'm unfamiliar with this area or places nearby, and I'm looking for suggestions. I can rent a car, but I need places to stay and things to see and do. I like outdoor activities rather than shopping or city stuff - I love to walk, hike, bike, and kayak (I would need to rent, since I'm flying in). I'm a good distance driver, so I am willing to travel outside the city to someplace with outdoor activities. Resorts seem to be booked up (and very pricey) and I'm running out of options. Please send suggestions - thanks! :)

St. Paul, MN
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1. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

If you would be willing to rent a car and make the 3-ish hour drive north to Duluth, I think you might really enjoy it. You could watch a ship or two come into port, enjoy the beautiful scenery, take a stroll on the lakewalk in Canal Park, check out some local shops and restaurants, and take a tour of the Glensheen Estate.(very interesting) I also really enjoy the Lake Superior Zoo, it's small, but a nice place to kill a couple hours.

I've never been to Duluth during the Fourth, but i'm sure there is a nice fireworks display over the lake or something.

You could also venture north of Duluth along the north shore of Lake Superior for many state parks with hiking trails as well as Split Rock Lighthouse and Gooseberry Falls.

It is my opinion that Duluth and the rest of the north shore offer an out of state traveler the best Minnesota vacation.

Ardsley, New York...
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2. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

Duluth sounds great, and I've heard great things about the north shore of Lake Superior. I'd love to rent a cabin or small apartment (sleeps 1-2) with kitchen in that area. Any suggestions for a place or rental agency that could help me find some place for that time period?

St. Paul, MN
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3. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

I have only stayed at hotels when in Duluth, so I can't be of much help with this. Hopefully someone else with more knowledge of area rentals or resorts can reply. I checked Bluefin Bay Resort in Tofte, MN for you, but they only have a queen guestroom without a kitchen available for the dates you listed. Many resorts will probably already be booked for those dates.

If all else fails, I can recommend a few nice hotels that I have stayed in.

If you decide to go to Duluth/North Shore, you will love it...enjoy your trip!

minneapolis
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4. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

The north shore is fabulous, for avid outdoorspeople especially. This lodging guide might help...

If you want to venture even farther north, Ely is even wilder, probably less crowded. But I hear they put on a hometown family-style 4th of July celebration. The best stargazing ever is in the Boundary Waters.

Ardsley, New York...
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5. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

Thanks Bonnie C. - can you please retry posting the lodging guide? I can't see a link in your post. Thanks! :)

Are the Boundary Waters a reasonable distance from Duluth? I have no idea of distance or location in MN! :)

Ardsley, New York...
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6. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

Thanks for messages so far, everyone! Due to your recommendations, I'm narrowing it down to the north shore of Lake Superior near Duluth (I have to be back in Minneapolis by 9 AM on Sunday), and I'm now looking for accommodations for July 3-8 (Tuesday - Sunday). Ideal would be:

- 1 BR with internal bath (no outhouses)

- full furnished kitchen

- nearby outdoor activities (walk, hike, rental kayak/bike)

- reasonable distance (20-30 min or less) from food shopping and cell phone access

- parking for 1 car

- $150/nite or $750/week (leaving Sunday) or under

I'm open to working with rental agents, since many places are already booked. Please post suggestions - thanks so much! :)

minneapolis
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7. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

Sorry, forgot the link - here you go:

http://www.northshorevisitor.com/

It's about 2+ hours from Duluth to Ely, which is a great base camp while visiting the BWCA. If you can't spend a couple days there, I would forego that trip until later.

Personally, I would spend the time traveling up the shoreline to Grand Portage and back (possibly Thunder Bay if you want to travel that far and bring your passport - the falls & fort are magnificant). It's about 3 hours 1-way from Duluth to Grand Marais, but some of the most beautiful & popular areas in MN. Visit as many state parks as possible (2-3 a day is doable), spend a night or 2 in Grand Marais or at Sweetgrass Cove in Grand Portage. They'd possibly have vacancy during the week - it's my FAVORITE North Shore lodging - guest loft, jacuzzi, sauna, right on the shoreline, massage or healing therapy - Rick is an awesome host.

Edited: 14 June 2012, 14:58
Burnsville, MN
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8. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

However, as this is the week of the holiday, I would recommend checking quickly because there might not be that many vacancies even at this time. I would suggest that if you can't start your drive by noon on July 3rd, to stay around the Cities that night and drive up on the 4th. There's an awful lot of people on the road going north before holidays, Fridays, etc. Also, if you need to be back in the Cities by 9:00 a.m. Sunday, there's at least a 2.5 hour drive from Duluth, further up north, so you'd be looking at getting up very early on Sunday unless you chose to stay further south.

Ardsley, New York...
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9. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

Thanks for the suggestions, all! I wonder, given the holiday, whether I'm better off staying in the cities. Are there outdoor things to do within the twin cities, such as walks, bike rental places, etc.? I'm more open to a regular hotel room in the city, where there's bound to be places to eat nearby, and perhaps traffic would not be a problem then?

Minneapolis...
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10. Re: Activities in MN July 3-8

Due to the flooding in Duluth last week, you may want to stay in the Minneapolis area. There are plenty of outdoor things to do. We have a bunch of lakes in the city and many walking/biking paths. minneapolisparks.org/grandrounds/dist_cl.htm If you stay in the Bloomington area it's easy to access downtown Mpls via the light rail.

You might also want to check out southern MN. There are a lot of nice little towns along Highway 61 that are easily day trips (Red Wing, Lake City, etc) You could also check out some of the state parks. Afton, William O'Brien, Nerstrand-Big Woods, Frontenac - are all options for day trips www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/index.html