Brainerd Minnesota tourist attractions and vacations in the Brainerd lakes area offer family fun and wonderful memories in one of our most beautiful Minnesota vacation spots.
Brainerd is at the heart of what is known as the "Brainerd Lakes Area." The entire area includes five counties and about 500 lakes. When we talk about "going up to the lake" this is often our destination and where many of our family cabins are located. Since Brainerd Minnesota vacation spots are just a two hour drive from the Twin Cities, you can well imagine the traffic on the roads leading north on weekends.
There are lots of choices of places to stay in and around Brainerd including a couple of lovely bed & breakfast inns.
Read reviews of lodging in the area by checking out the best Brainerd Hotel Deals
Several of Minnesota's most charming bed & breakfast inns are near Brainerd:
Kavanaugh's Resort is a a four season, family owned, resort on Sylvan Lake near Brainerd. Amenities include an indoor pool and spa, a heated outdoor pool with large patio area, a fitness room and game room. The lake features two sandy beaches with paddleboats and kayaks available. The kids will love the children's playground and volleyball court. The campfire area is a wonderful way to end the day.
Madden's Resort on Gull Lake Fish with 'Walleye Dan', relax on the Gull Lake beaches, swim in the lake or the swimming pools, boat or attend Waterski School. Other attractions include golf courses, tennis courts, bentgrass croquet and lawn bowling lawns, shuffleboard, horseshoes, volleyball, badminton, basketball and bike rentals. Pamper yourself in the Spalon Montage spa.
Cragun's Resort Golf the three Legacy Courses, swim, fish and enjoy the indoor sports center. Enjoy outstanding dining in the Lodge Dining Room, the Legacy Grille, the Hungry Gull, the Pool Side and the Hungry Gull Snack Bar. Schedule a catered event, a family reunion or a wedding at Cragun's. Relax in the Gull Lake Spa that includes a Kids' Spa for the younger set.
There are many more lodging options for Brainerd Minnesota vacations. The links below take you to Brainerd hotels, resorts, bed and breakfast inns, private vacation rentals and the current best deals and vacation packages.
Things to Do in Brainerd: Brainerd Minnesota Vacations: Recreation on the lakes like swimming, boating and fishing is what attracts most visitors to Brainerd Minnesota vacations. Fifteen-mile long Gull Lake is the hub where you will find many of the Brainerd area's favorite resorts and restaurants. Choose a resort or hotels in the Brainerd area with these Brainerd Hotel Deals.
You will also find the Paul Bunyan theme throughout the area. Hike or bike the Paul Bunyan State Trail and take the kids for a day at Paul Bunyan Land located 6 miles east of Brainerd.
With 32 courses, Brainerd offers Minnesota's best golfing. Golf Digest rated Brainerd "one of the world's top 50 golf destinations."
The kids will find lots to do in Brainerd including mini golf, go-karts, waterparks and free public beaches. Read reviews and get vacation ideas from others who love the Brainerd Lakes area when planning your Brainerd vacation.
Crow Wing State Park is just nine miles south of Brainerd. This peaceful Minnesota state park is often more quiet than other state parks as visitors seem to be focused on other area attractions. Enjoy the peace and quiet!
Take some time to visit the Crow Wing Museum, housed in a 1917 jailhouse. You will see many artifacts related to the area's logging, railroad, mining and Native American history.
Also in Brainerd is the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame located inside the huge Gander Mountain building.
The lakes themselves are some of Brainerd's best Minnesota vacation spots. Just two of the more well known lakes in the Brainerd Lakes area include Lake Mille Lacs, the second largest lake in Minnesota and Gull Lake which is surrounded by popular area resorts and restaurants.
Explore the surrounding area with a copy of Little Minnesota: 100 Towns Around 100
Read reviews by others who share their favorite things to do in Brainerd.
Brainerd Restaurants: Some of the most recommended Brainerd Restaurants include Ivan's on The Bay which has a somewhat upscale menu but also offers sandwiches and other budget friendly menu items. Go to the 1950's style 371 Diner (north on highway 371) for the malts and to The Barn at 711 Washington St. for the pie.
Giants Ridge Ski Area is considered to be the finest Minnesota ski destination. You will find 35 downhill runs, Nordic ski trails, snow tubing, shoeshoeing and fat bike trails.