Summers are the most coveted time of the year and it is important that no opportunities are missed. So, we put together a list of Top 10 Things to do in the Brainerd Lakes Area this summer, it just so happens to be that most of these things are at Grand View Lodge.
1. Shrimp Taco(s) at Tanque Verde Cantina (former Loony’s Beach Hut).
Few places are better to soak up the sun and have a cold beverage with your feet in the sand than on the north shores of Gull Lake. We are excited about new menu items at our beachfront restaurant this year; our Pork Carnitas & Pulled Chicken Tacos, Burrito Loco with drunken beans, and Carne Asada Torta are crazy good. But the Shrimp Tacos with shaved cabbage, pico and chipotle cream are like food porn. Finish it off with our Watermelon Margarita and you will be crying for more.
2. Play the Preserve.
Take a tour of the beautiful Minnesota Northwoods while playing The Preserve, one of Grand View Lodge’s championship courses. This 18-hole mecca is located six miles north of Nisswa and has undergone nearly a million dollars worth of renovations in the last year. Tee boxes have been enlarged and improved, cart paths, a couple holes reworked, as well as making the pub and patio one of the best views in the area. After a round of golf, relax with your favorite beverage, an order of fish tacos off of the Preserve Pub menu and make bets on the people teeing off. Is it going straight, left or right? Winner makes a quarter or whatever your wager!
3. You Deserve a Massage.
While planning your summer out, don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Everyone deserves a good massage—but what about a GREAT massage? Our Glacial Waters Spa, ranked Top 15 spas in the U.S. by Spas of America, is the spot to relax and be pampered. Treat yourself to one of our 11 customizable treatments; massages, nail care, and hydrotherapy to name a few. No matter the service you’ll leave feeling like a princess (or prince, because let’sbe real, men need pampering too.)
4. This Back 9 is not on the Course.
It’s actually in the clubhouse. Freddy’s Grille, attached to The Pines Pro Shop, and has had a major face life in the off-season. Complete with new tables and stools in the bar area, a new menu, patio furniture and umbrellas, as well as the dining room that called ‘the Back 9. ’ New TV’s surround you to view your favorite sporting event as well as games such as Golden Tee, hand shuffleboard, and cribbage on every table. With a cold beverage in hand, surrounded by beautiful flowers, it is an amazing spot to watch golfers finish their round, or make the turn on #9 Woods.
5. Enjoy live music at the Summer Concert Series.
Grand View Lodge is adding to their list of events and hosting the 1st ever Summer Concert Series. Kicking off the ‘palooza’ was a Neil Diamond Tribute by the Martin Zellar Band on June 30th. About a month later, July 21st, will be The Fabulous Armadillos doing their Eagles Tribute. To close off the summer festivities, August 25th, Rumors & Dreams will be playing a Fleetwood Mac tribute. At each event, there will be fantastic food and cold beverages on site. Tickets are available at The Pines Pro Shop and online for $40+tax/show or $100+tax for all three. Don’t miss out on this perfect venue for great music on these Thursday evenings.
6. Enjoy some Pasta Carbonara at Cru!
Quickly becoming the best dining restaurant in the area, Cru Restaurant and Wine Bar has not let down on the flavor profiles. Many delectable dishes have been added this summer, but people keep coming back for our rendition on pasta carbonara. Al dente noodles sautéed with bacon and peas in a cream sauce topped with a fried egg and finished off with pecorino Romano. Our 2016 Best of Business Award for restaurant-bar by Twin Cities Business Magazine and Wine Spectator Award winner won’t fail you. Our chefs and wine experts will create an experience for your eyes and palate that you will never forget.
7. Family time at Italian Gardens.
If you are looking for a great spot to take the family for a hearty meal, the Italian Gardens is ideal for everyone. This charming building sits amongst a lush garden of glowing color and is known for its authentic homemade Italian and Sicilian fare. Serving delicious pasta dishes, salads, and soups, it is not only delicious but also easy on the checkbook. Hint: one of our personal favorites is the Butternut Squash Ravioli with roasted red peppers in a brown butter & pine nuts sauce topped with fresh sage. Crazy delish!
8. Brew Tour at the Northwoods Pub
The Brainerd Lakes Area is embracing the trend of locally brewed beer whole-heartedly. Our area already has five breweries but traveling to each one may be difficult. Instead, stop by our Northwoods Pub featuring only Minnesota brews on tap, including some local flavors as well. It is like a Minnesota Brewery Tour, but the beer comes to you! The taps are consistently changing highlighting the variety of our incredible ‘state of beer.’ And of course, we feature some of the Twin Cities and Duluth’s finest ales!
9. Indulge at the Chocolate Ox
No vacation is complete without satisfying your sweet tooth. Located next to our Historic Main Lodge, The Chocolate Ox can cure any craving. Twenty-eight flavors of ice cream, hundreds of hard and soft candy choices, and nearly every variation of chocolate in the book it is as close as you can get to a modern day Willie Wonka factory. In case you have satisfied your sweet tooth for the day or the kid’s bedtime is right around the corner, we also have board games, trivia games, and toys for both boys and girls alike. With so many options, choosing one will be your only problem. Of course, go for the fail-safe double scoop of Superman on a waffle cone, and you’re all set!
10. Zipline Mt. Ski Gull
New to the area this year, this is a fun adventure everyone needs to try. Zip down the ‘mount’ with seven different zips (a couple over a 1000’), a 50’ foot suspension bridge, tree platforms, and finish with a tandem jump. Various times are available throughout the day and you can cross this adventure off your list seven days a week. Plus you get to see some of the best views of Gull Lake from the tallest platform!
Fully embrace this Minnesota summer in the Brainerd Lakes Area and all the amazing things it has to offer. Grand View Lodge is inviting you to join us and take advantage of these 10 bucket list items for a summer you won’t forget. Creating memories is our specialty—keeping them is all yours.