Pastoral Scenes and Comfort in Minnesota's Scenic Northwoods
Golfers walking past the massive sand footprint at The Legend at Giants Ridge’s third-hole fairway might conclude it was left behind by some reclusive yeti from the surrounding wilderness. Fabulous though it might sound, one could be forgiven for thinking this region in the Minnesota Northwoods might be inhabited by mystic spirits, with its untamed forest and spectacular aurora borealis in the nighttime skies. Bordered by bucolic Sabin Lake to the east and state forests to the west, The Lodge at Giants Ridge invites visitors to discover northern Minnesota's otherworldly charms through its pleasantly rustic quarters and year-round outdoor activities.
The Legend is not the only championship golf course on the hotel grounds. Its neighbor course, The Quarry, was recently named the 16th Greatest Public Course in America by Golf Digest, which described it as “a combination of Pebble Beach, Pine Valley, Merion, and Tobacco Road, with a bit of architectural Tabasco sauce sprinkled in for the occasional jolt.” The property also contains an outdoor pool, tennis and volleyball courts, and a private beach along the lakeshore.
Spacious Mesabi one-bedroom condos combine a cozy living area, a private bedroom, and a fully equipped kitchenette. A king bed sits amid the bedroom's blond-wood furnishings, and up to two additional guests or one baby orca can stretch out on the living room’s double futon.
Cooks at the onsite Timbers Restaurant craft sirloin steaks, fettuccine alfredo, and house-made pizzas, and golfers enjoy ending their round with tangy beef skewers or fresh walleye at Sticks Lounge. This Getaway also includes a 50% discount on all spa services at La Ridge, The Lodge’s Aveda spa and salon, where you can unwind with one-hour massages and facials.
Northern Minnesota: Mining History amid Beautiful Woodlands
More than 1,500 miles of canoe routes wind through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness northeast of the resort, named one of America's Best Adventures by National Geographic. If you'd prefer to stick to dry land, explore the countless hiking and biking trails that explore Superior National Forest’s old-growth boreal ecosystems. Throughout the summer, strawberries, blueberries, and thimbleberries hang on trailside bushes and vines, waiting to be picked.
Visitors can also learn about Minnesota's mining history about 30 minutes north of The Lodge at Soudan Underground Mine State Park, home to the area's oldest iron ore mine. A 5-mile trail through the conifer forests takes visitors to the Soudan Iron Formation, a glacially polished iron outcrop with colorful bands of hematite, jasper, and chert.
About an hour's drive south in Duluth lies Glensheen, a 39-room mansion whose original 1908 interior remains largely intact, offering an intimate glimpse into early 20th-century midwestern life. Down the shoreline, belly-flopping river otters and black-crowned night herons entertain at the Great Lakes Aquarium, where visitors can also witness part of a "murder" (a group of magpies) at the Critter Corner exhibit.
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