Set on the banks of Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota, High Banks Resort is a nice spot to fish, hike, or simply enjoy the great outdoors all year long. There's a spacious marina with dockside fueling stations and plenty of space for visitors to tie up their own boats or rafts made out of foam noodles; it's also possible to rent boats from the resort. In the summer and fall, it's popular to troll the sparkling waters for perch and walleye.
Owners Rick and Kim Leonhardt, who purchased the property in 2004, emphasize what they call the “little extras” in each guest's stay. They keep furnished log cabins tidy, warm, and stocked with all the comforts of home, including kitchen supplies, freshly laundered linens, and handmade quilts. The lodge contains a bar area with a pool table and stone fireplace, plus a restaurant that serves home-cooked meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Tucked away in a grove of towering red and white pine trees, the Character Challenge Course pits teams of patrons against a series of obstacles, fostering confidence, teamwork, and communication skills. A collection of low-ropes activities challenges teams with trust falls, games, and role-playing exercises while remaining a short distance from the ground. High-ropes challenges, meanwhile, soar to heights of up to 35 feet, and include cloud-scraping ladders, wobbly bridges, and the Leap of Faith, in which patrons must scale a 25-foot pole and then leap to a trapeze bar five feet away before lowering themselves earthward. To further facilitate team unity, groups gather after completing each obstacle to discuss how the course's mental and physical trials can be applied to daily struggles in cooperating with others at work or while opening a pickle jar.
Your Boat Club helps people enjoy the benefits of boat ownership without hassles such as towing, cleaning, and repairs. The club maintains a fleet of more than 70 boats, including leisurely pontoons, fishing boats up to 18 feet long, and runabouts with powerful engines that contain up to 300 tiny horses. Members need only make online reservations for one of these vessels, arrive at their dock of choice, and speed away with a fully fueled and clean boat. Seven different lakes set the stage for these aquatic excursions, giving members—based on the membership level they choose—many boating options. On any given day, Your Boat Club's vessels tow water skis across White Bear Lake and ferry anglers into Lake Minnetonka, where largemouth bass, bluegill, and goldfish crackers swim through 14,528 acres of water.
Nestled in the scenic Brainerd Lakes vacation area, Wildwedge Golf & Mini Golf challenges golfers of all ages and skill levels with a verdant, evergreen-lined nine-hole course. Before teeing off, sharpen your strokes on Wildwedge's expansive driving range, fortified with artificial turf. Once you've greased your swing, traverse the lush, well-kept greens, towing clubs in a convenient pull cart along well-manicured fairways overlooking placid ponds brimming with gumbo. With holes that range from 75 to 170 yards, players can hone their iron and short games or practice yelling "fore" to startle fellow golfers. Wildwedge's newly built clubhouse offers breezy patio space to unwind with a beer, and mini golf and a new maze (not included with this Groupon) entertain youngsters.
MN Surf Co. is intent on converting Minnesota's richest natural resource—water—into pure adrenaline. The company has two locations in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and both stock a wide variety of vessels and apparel to make days on the water exciting, stylish, and safe. First-timers can get their feet wet by renting a paddleboard, wake surfer, wakeboard, or kayak for up to seven days. MN Surf Co. also sells boards, plus wetsuits and tees suited for the beach.