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Oh, sweet summertime. It seems to creep up on families every year. And just like that, it’s over in a blink of an eye. If you’re looking for an all-year resort that is fun regardless of the season, read on!
Grand View Lodge is one of the best resorts in Brainerd, Minnesota, some call it “the Disneyworld of the North”, and it has earned this name for a reason. There is almost a cult following among Minnesotans when it comes to visiting Grand View Lodge and there are no signs of it slowing down as this amazing Brainerd resort keeps expanding with more to offer to its visitors.
So what makes Grand View Lodge one of the best resorts in Brainerd?
Located in Nisswa/Brainerd, Minnesota Grand View Lodge has been a family resort for over one hundred years. Minnesota families and many from out of state often make a stay at Grand View Lodge a family tradition, using the lodge as a place to reunite with family every year. Over the years it morphed from a small hotel to host families dropping their children off at summer camp to an oasis of lake life, relaxation, and fun summer activities for the entire family.
Constant Expansion at Grand View Lodge
Over the years, the Grand View Lodge has continued to expand due to its growing popularity as one of the best resorts in Brainerd, Minnesota. Grand View Lodge is always looking to create fun and exciting new things for families to do while enjoying their vacation together.
They have recently built a new recreation center for families, called Northpark, a brand new 1,200 foot wedding chapel a new 60-room boutique hotel and Vacation Rental Ownership opportunities with Fairway Pines and the Garden Cottages. Keep reading to find out why exactly this resort is so loved by its guests.
What’s new at Grand View Lodge?
NorthPark Recreation Center
Opened in March 2019, the NorthPark is an over 3,700 square foot recreation center complete with indoor and outdoor pools, slides, swimming lanes, a huge fitness center, a yoga studio, a redesigned kids club, and a small boutique.
The indoor pool area at Grand View Lodge boasts 25-yard swim lanes, plus an area for families to enjoy swimming and sliding on the new water slide. There are also two indoor hot tubs- one for families and one for adults- so everyone at this Brainerd resort can enjoy their stay. The outdoor pool area has an 8,000-gallon hot tub that is open year-round, day or night so guests can enjoy themselves no matter the weather. The outdoor pool is also available to families who want to splash around in the warm Minnesota sun.
One of the biggest draws to NorthPark is its new gym and Wellbeats studio with group fitness classes. Here you can work off all those yummy meals you have been indulging in with a spin class, yoga, circuit training, kettlebell workout, HIIT workouts, TKO, Zumba, and more through a virtual instructor ready to teach you at the push of a button. There is also a fitness room where you can work out on your own with weight machines, cardio machines, or free weights, all while watching your children having fun at the indoor pool and slide through the floor to ceiling windows.
Sometimes kids need time just to be kids, and parents need a little downtime for their vacation to actually feel like a vacation. That’s why the new Kids Club Headquarters in NorthPark is available to families with bigger and better amenities for the kids to enjoy. It is for kids ages 3 to 11 and is designed to have age-appropriate activities, games, and some outdoor play.
Some other amenities that have opened this summer are:
- Wieners and Wings Food Truck
- Tiki Bar
- Basketball and Tennis Courts
- Ice Skating Rinks (in the winter months)
Vacation Rental Home Ownership
Grand View Lodge has opened up two new options for Vacation Rental Ownership, which is great for families who find themselves continuing to come back year after year to visit Grand View Lodge. Fairway Pines Vacation Homes are near The Pines Golf Course. There are two- and four-bedroom options each with an open-concept kitchen, living room, and dining room area. The wrap-around porch gives you a great place to enjoy a barbecue, your morning coffee, or read a book wrapped in a blanket under the stars.
Garden Cottages are another vacation rental option that features a smaller studio size or a larger option of 3 to 4 bedrooms. The studio Garden Cottages come with 2 king beds, walk-in showers, and a gas fireplace. The 3-4 bedroom homes are open floor plans with a great room, a dining room, and a large kitchen. It has a gas fireplace, and some homes have a lower level with a game room.
Grand View Lodge has seen so much growth over the years that they decided to open another luxury hotel option, the North Hotel. This 60-room boutique hotel is meant for an ultimate luxury hotel experience when staying at the Grand View Lodge and is perfect for business travelers. The hotel is styled with the same rustic charm as the rest of Grand View Lodge but offers an upscale experience for meetings, events, and lodging.
The lobby invites you in with a large grand fireplace and a new espresso and cocktail breakfast spot called Brew. The large luxury sectionals, ottomans, and leather chairs give guests a wonderful place to relax or work after their travels or days out exploring the resort.
The guest rooms have a more modern design with large flat-screen televisions, a Keurig, and gorgeous bathrooms with walk-in showers. It is a wonderful option for couples or for those looking to have a quiet reprieve from the hustle of the daily activities of the rest of the resort.
Grand View Lodge is loved by families all over the country and is recognized as one of the best resorts in the Minnesota area. Just this year they have been recognized as:
- Best of MN, Best Dinner with a View WCCO-TV CBS Minnesota
- Top 7 Destination Spas outside the Twin Cities Mpls. St. Paul Magazine
- 16 Incredible Midwest Vacations U.S. News
- Best Resort/Lodge Minnesota Meetings & Events Magazine
- Best Outdoor Venue MN Bride Magazine
- Best MN Destination Venue MN Bride Magazine
- 15 Best Resorts in Minnesota The Crazy Tourist
Accommodations at Grand View Lodge
There are thirteen different types of accommodations available at the Grand View Lodge. No matter whether you are making it a couples getaway or a family reunion with every single person on both sides, they have plenty of room to accommodate your needs.
All of the decor and furnishings speak to the classic Minnesota Northwoods experience. Gorgeous woodwork, a huge stone fireplace, and a view of the lake below will greet you as you enter the main lodge. The other 12 accommodations have the same air of Minnesota-style that make you feel like you’re in the secluded woods, but that also offer the modern amenities that you love.
Read more details about the accommodations available at Grand View Lodge here.
Dining at Grand View Lodge
Unlike other resorts in Brainerd, Minnesota the Grand View Lodge offers several different dining options for their guests. You will have no problem finding delicious food that suits everyone’s needs and tastebuds with the six different restaurants and pubs that Grand View Lodge has to offer.
Read more details about the dining options available at Grand View Lodge here.
Activities at Grand View Lodge
The Grand View Lodge is open year-round and offers over 65 activities that are available at any time of the year. However, summer and fall offer guests an experience that is unlike any other. The Grand View Lodge gives off an all-American feel during your summer holiday, offering classic experiences that are best enjoyed on the lake with good food, drinks, and laughs paired along with it. With changing leaves in the fall, you can still do a lot of the summer activities but can enjoy cooler air and beautiful surroundings.
Kids will find plenty of things to do outdoors, so they won’t even think twice about spending the entire day swimming, biking, and playing. It is the perfect way to get your kids outside in the beautiful Minnesota nature while having fun as a whole family. And with some new, fun activities coming this summer families will be able to spend their time enjoying each other and making awesome memories.
The Grand View Lodge’s NorthPark recreation center recently opened this summer and will be open for year-round fun. The almost 4,000 square-foot pool area has indoor waterslides, hot tubs, outdoor pools, fitness centers, and more. Here is what you will be able to experience during your stay:
- indoor pool with waterslide
- 25-yard swim lanes in the indoor pool
- outdoor pool
- indoor and outdoor hot tubs
- fitness center: treadmills, spin bikes, ellipticals, free weights
- Wellbeats™ fitness instruction
- yoga studio
- tennis and pickleball courts
- basketball hoops
- sand volleyball courts
- chip-n-putt golf course
- outdoor playground area
- ice skating rinks
- food truck (summer season)
Other Summer Activities at Grand View Lodge
Even though your family might want to spend all of their time at the brand new NorthPark, there are plenty of other activities offered around the resort. Grand View Lodge sits on the Brainerd Lakes area, allowing guests to enjoy several different water activities and nature-exploration opportunities during their stay. Here are the activities available during your summer holiday at Grand View Lodge.
For the whole family
- Bonfires and s’mores in the evenings
- Lawn games like chess, checkers, bocce, and more
- Pontoon cruises
- Biking ( bike rentals are complimentary)
- Beach volleyball
- Banana tubing
- Horseback riding
- Waterfront pool
- Lake swimming
- Arcade game room
For the adults
- Outdoor yoga by the lake
- Wine tastings
- Beer tastings
- Traveling Art Pub
- Live music
- Wellbeats Fitness Classes
- Glacial Waters Spa
One of the most unique aspects of the Grand View Lodge is its fun and amazingly wonderful Kid’s Club. Although families come to spend time together while on vacation, some times moms and dads (and all the adults) need a bit of downtime from all the fun summer activities that Grand View Lodge has to offer.
That’s why Kid’s Club is available for children ages 3 to 11. Kids can spend all day at the Kid’s Club with activities like games, arts and crafts, movies and exploring nature outside. If you just want a night out, that is also available with the Kid’s Night Out.
The kids club is open 9-3 pm most days and 6-9 pm for kids night out which often includes s’mores that any child will surely love.
Glacier Waters Spa
One of the big draws to Grand View Lodge for the female crowd is Glacier Waters Spa located in the center of the resort, among cascading waters sparkling in the sun. While the spa isn’t expansive, it makes up for that with its wide selection of treatments, many of which are impossible to find somewhere else. All the therapists are very well trained and will impress with their skills on par with your favorite masseuse back home (which is tough to do most of the time). If you want a deep tissue, ask for Chad, he will make sure you get the right pressure even for the most demanding clients.
If you’re looking for a unique experience, don’t hesitate to try out any of the Vichy treatments. While massage with water does not seem like anything special at a glance, everyone who has ever undergone this treatment will tell you that it has the kind of effect on your body that a massage can never accomplish. You will leave the room incredibly loose and relaxed physically, but more importantly, absolutely refreshed mentally.
When you first walk into the Vichy massage room, you will be greeted by a tile walled chamber with hoses over the ceiling and all over the walls. Don’t let that spook you. What is about to commence is the most memorable massage experience of your life. For almost an hour, you have water pressure pointed to specific parts of your body, almost sending you into an otherworldly experience, both mentally and physically.
Just when you feel like you’re about to levitate off the massage bed, the therapist comes over with a big hose and literally massages you with water press size of a fist. The whole experience is very gentle, yet it creates an incredible mental and physical stimulation environment that your body needs to truly relax.
As the name so aptly points out, this one is the most indulgent treatment Grand View Lodge offers. Lasting close to 3 hours and consisting of every type of pampering experience one might want at a spa, the Indulgence is definitely a one of a kind experience.
If you cannot choose between getting a massage, a wrap, an exfoliation, a facial or a head massage, this is the treatment for you, as it incorporates all of the above mentioned into one amazing experience complete with a 20-minute bath soak with candlelight.
Mom and Daughter Spa Experience
One of my most fond memories from Grand View Lodge is having a girls’ spa time with my 7-year-old daughter, for whom it was the first spa experience (however not the first massage experience). She was giddy with excitement as we entered the spa, asking about rules and what to expect and basking in the joy of “being a big girl, like mom”.
We were taken to a couples massage room where side by side we were given our own treatments. It was so cute to overhear her converse with her massage therapist about pressure or preferences. It was a special experience from beginning to end and she talked about it for days after asking when the next time we could have girls’ spa day was going to be.
Summer Concert Series
Summer is also a time for live music at the Grand View Lodge. Each summer they offer a few different live music concerts available to guests or for those who just want to enjoy music on the lake. This summer their concert offerings include:
- Arch Allies– Thursday, June 27: 7:00pm-10:00pm
- Mick Sterling– Thursday, July 18: 6:00pm-10:00pm
- Fabulous Armadillos and Collective Unconscious– Thursday, August 1: 7:45pm -10:00pm
Take your lake life one step further by renting waterfront activities for your family to enjoy. You can rent pontoon boats, motorized boats, kayaks, paddleboards, and jet skis to take out for a few hours or for the entire day.
The Grand View Lodge is known as one of the best resorts in Brainerd, Minnesota because of the plethora of activities available to guests as well as the opportunity to simply slow down and make some memories. A stay at Grand View Lodge allows families to have the best of both worlds- modern amenities and fun mixed with the quiet solitude of the Minnesota woods. Your summer won’t ever be the same after a stay at the Grand View Lodge- maybe you’ll start making it a family tradition, too.
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