Pastoral Scenes and Comfort in Minnesota's Scenic Northwoods
There’s a massive footprint left in the sand along the third-hole fairway at The Legend at Giants Ridge. It’d almost be reasonable to imagine that the print was left by a passing yeti, as the course is surrounded by the untamed forest of the Minnesota Northwoods, an otherworldly wilderness where you can see the bright aurora borealis among the stars in the sky every night. The Lodge at Giants Ridge is also bordered by bucolic Sabin Lake to the east and state forests to the west, and the lodge has a pleasant, rustic atmosphere set up for outdoor activities.
The Legend is not the only championship golf course on the hotel grounds. Its neighbor course, The Quarry, was recently ranked 16th on a list of the Greatest Public Course in America put out 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 have a cozy living area, a private bedroom, and a fully equipped kitchenette. There’s a king bed situated amid the bedroom's blond-wood furnishings, and up to two additional guests or one baby orca can stretch out on the double futon in the living room.
Cooks at the onsite Timbers Restaurant craft sirloin steaks, fettuccine alfredo, and housemade pizzas, and golfers enjoy ending their round with tangy beef skewers or fresh walleye at Sticks Lounge. This Getaway also includes two Aveda relaxation massages at La Ridge, the lodge’s Aveda spa and salon.
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, there are countless hiking and biking trails that wind through 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.
This part of Minnesota was historically a center for mining. You can learn more about it by traveling about 30 minutes north of the lodge to Soudan Underground Mine State Park, home to the area's oldest iron-ore mine. There’s a 5-mile trail through the conifer forests that leads 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 you’ll find Glensheen, a 39-room mansion whose original 1908 interior remains largely intact, offering an intimate glimpse into Midwestern life in the early 20th century. Down the shoreline, there are belly-flopping river otters and night herons 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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