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Summer Vacation

Minneapolis
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18 posts
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Summer Vacation

My wife and I and our 4 and 7 year old kids are planning to spend a week in the Bemidji area at the end of July. We are planning on staying at Kohl's Resort on Turtle Lake. Has anyone been there?

We are also looking for things to do in the area with a 4 and 7 year old.

Can you recommend restaurants that have both kid's meals and an interesting beer list for Dad?

Finally, what is the best way to get there from the Twin Cities? How long will it take (Kohl's Resort is about 12 miles north of Bemidji)

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox
Historic Sites, Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Lake Bemidji State Park
State Parks, Bodies of Water
Sculpture Walk
Historic Walking Areas
Minnesota
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118 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Summer Vacation

We usually go up 94 to Clearwater exit (hwy 24) and take that over to 10 and take 10 north/west to 71 north in Wadena, take that up to Bemidji.

It usually takes us about 4 hours from Plymouth. We are usually leaving after work and hit some traffic.

Fun stops on the way: Treasure City in Royalton and the St. Urho statue in Menagha.

I am not sure about the restaurant request. I know there is both a Green Mill and a Ground Round in Bemidji. You could check out their websites for beer selections. I am sure there are other places too.

I'm sure if you stop at a rest area you will be bombarded with informational brouchures about what to do in the area. Your resort probably has info and maybe coupons as well.

Plymouth, Minnesota
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538 posts
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2. Re: Summer Vacation

I pretty much agree with Coconut Girl, except that from Plymouth I'd take 94 to Clearwater to 10 to 371 through Brainerd to highway 2. This route is shorter and faster but unfortunately leaves St. Urho and Treasure Island off the route.

But instead you get the water tower painted like a fishing bobber in Pequot Lakes and the charming town of Nisswa.

I've only been to Kohls many years ago and in the winter, so I can't help much there.

It's a toss up.

Or you could just stay in Plymouth, which is evidently home to both myself and Coconut Girl. We have such tourist attractions as uh . . . umm . . . . well . . . uh . .. the world's largest ball of . .. no, that's somewhere else. .

Minnesota
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644 posts
10 reviews
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3. Re: Summer Vacation

Last July we visited Itasca State Park (south of Bemidji). We have 6 & 3 year olds, and they enjoyed it too. It would be great if you could bring bikes and swimming suits, lunch, etc., you could spend the whole day there. Also there is a petting zoo / water slide place near Walker (20 miles?) that my sister in law says was okay for her kids. Bemidji has a bunch of the regular chain restaurants, Ground Round was mentioned and is super kid-friendly.

Can I be an honorary member of the Plymouth club? My hubby has worked there for 10 years..... :-)

Minnesota
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118 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Summer Vacation

The Plymouth Club--I love it! Amazing that Plymouth is as large as it is, yet it has no obvious "landmarks" or things to draw one in!

We usually go up the way we do because we have friends that live about 20 miles west of Bemidji and that is where we are usually headed. We only go into Bemidji occasionally.

In addition to Itasca State park, add headwaters of the Mississippi! How cool to tell your kids that is where the river starts, especially if they see it (cross it) in the Twin Cites often. You could even talk about it before you go for more emphasis.

Another fun place to go in Bemidji: Cold Stone Creamery. Sure they are all over the Twin Cities but it's yummy and good and kids love it!

Bemidji
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5. Re: Summer Vacation

I highly recommend Kohl's Resort. They have newly built and/or renovated cabin that are immaculate each time I have stayed there. They have a nice indoor pool for those very few rainy day and great fishing on the lake. Downtown there are kiddy rides along the lake front by Paul and Babe. The downtown is well alive - don't miss the candy store! Ben Franklin is a must see - like a step back in time. If you like the arts - Bemidji has 4 art galleries and two stores that specialize in unique jewelry with the artisan always on hand at Kelsey's As You Like It who will custom a design for you.

Lake Bemidji State Park has many trails for hiking and biking and always a naturalist tour to help you a long. Bemidji is a great place to bring your family. It was a great vacation spot for the family for many years - and now we have actually moved here. Don't hesitate to bring the kids - and plan on a great time. Sorry - don't know much about beer - but we have two great community coffee shops and a tea shoppe. Did I mention Tutto Bene' Italian Dining? Don't settle for chain restaurants - Tutto Bene is worth eating at several times in a short stay - it has been a family favorite for casual and fine dining, and yes, kids are welcome and Dad can have a beer.

Enjoy!

Carlisle, United...
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1 post
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6. Re: Summer Vacation

We just stayed at Kohl's Resort. We highly anticipated fishing on the pontoon and swimming in the indoor pool. Knowing there was an indoor pool was the deciding factor to stay here. I brought two suits so I could swim as often as my nephew wanted. Unfortunately they removed the pontoon from the lake after they told us they would leave it in for us. One of the two 3 man motor boats was half under water and would have taken a large bucket brigade to make it usable and why would I use a boat that had water in it!? The discovery of the pool was a scene straight out of the movie "Vacation." Moss and unidentifiable green sludge. For some reason they didn't feel nature could take care of the leaves so they had to blow them into piles and burn them smoking us out of our cabin for the day and leaving our cars LAYERED with residue. We have a new pearl white car that was just destroyed and the damage beyond just cosmetic is still debatable. My sister was in her car with her babies getting ready to leave to get away from the fires and they lit a pile on fire right beside her car! This was AFTER we hunted them down and told them they were destroying our cars and we couldn't breath. We had to bring our own towels and had to use their laundry facilities to wash our own towels. One machine wasn't hooked up to hot water at all but we didn't know this until the load was already running and we had already paid for the load. They charge $1 to wash each load. The owners or manager whatever they call themselves live in the lodge but have no markings on any of the doors so we were always walking into their "home". Now this might seem that we are walking into the same doors in the same end of the building repeatedly but their personal rooms are scattered throughout the main building upstairs and down and none of them are marked or locked. I emailed them before we got there to find out if they had internet connections. They didn't know enough to answer my question. We found out they have wireless that requires a password but they weren't in the office to provide the password for almost 24 hours after we got there. We found out at that same time that they didn't have the pontoon boat available anymore so we wasted an entire day looking for them so we could go fishing only to discover we wouldn't be able to go anyway. Driving with fishing poles and gear 700 miles isn't any fun anyway so it was even more fun having to trip over it all the way home after wasting the time and energy to pack it. They supposedly have a furnished kitchen which is really the bare minimum. In order to cut a tomato I had to saw it and ended up just squishing the tomato because the knives were so dull. Didn't occur to me to pack a knife sharpener. There is no change in the laundry or arcade area so you have to either bring several rolls of quarters from home or travel to the gas station to get change because there is never anyone in the office to assist with things like that. It was the most unbelievable experience of my life and needless to say we will steer clear of this place forever! The cabins are nice and the area is beautiful it is very unfortunate the management is so incompetent.

little rock arkansas
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for Little Rock, Arkansas
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7. Re: Summer Vacation

Does anyone know anything about Rutger's resort on Lake Bemidji? We searched for a resort for a couple days in the Bemidji vicinity, got no replies in the Minnesota forum and ended up reserving this Rutger's place. After reading a description of Kohl's below (straight out of Chevy Chase) I am getting worried.

Plymouth, Minnesota
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538 posts
59 reviews
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8. Re: Summer Vacation

There are several different Ruttgers, and I've been to two--Bay Lake (near uh nothing) and Sugar Lake (near Grand Rapids) and both are very nice places, with exceptional resort golf courses. Kohls is in a different category.

Wichita, Kansas
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15 posts
101 reviews
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9. Re: Summer Vacation

I live in Bemidji, Ruttger's is on the north end of Lake Bemidji near the state Park. They have an indoor pool and they have cabins as well as a motel unit. I've never been there, but i've not heard anything bad except one time. The thing to keep in mind is that after Labor Day everything slows down until deer hunting season in November, so some services might not be availble then at alot of resorts.

Ruttgers Birchmont Lodge has a website. If you don't like it there, I would highly recommend the Hampton Inn on the south end of town, it's clean and has a breathtaking view of the lake and has it's own beach. It's also connected to Green Mill restaraunt which has awsome food.

As far as food, Try Cattails or Tutto Bene or the Peppercorn. Also, all the chain restaraunts are good.

Wichita, Kansas
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15 posts
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10. Re: Summer Vacation

Another nice resort on Lake Bemidji is Clear Vue

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