Animated people taking pictures, reading a map, and playing with children

Fantastically Familiar

It's a great time of year to get out and experience something new, or see something familiar with a new perspective. Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready—you're about to take a staycation.

That's right, you won't need plane tickets for this trip, no long lines or security checks. You don't even have to worry about your itinerary! That's because we've created a comprehensive insider's guide for getting away right here around the Brainerd Lakes. Who ever said adventure can't be close to home?

Below you'll find all our favorite local attractions. Food and drink, art and music, shopping, unwinding, exploring with the family—it has something for travelers of all sorts. You might be surprised at what you find, and you'll never be so proud to call this place home.

Enjoy your stay.

Staycation Inspiration

Baxter’s Bar & Grill (restaurant)
Why we love it: We are biased, we know, since Baxter’s is located adjacent to the hotel and feeds us all more than we eat at home. 
Why you’ll love it: The food is fresh and has a great kids menu! Plus, make sure to order the Blood Mary. You can thank us later.

Gull Lake (the outdoors are calling)
Why we love it: We live on the chain of lakes, but we're partial to Gull Lake. 
Why you’ll love it: From the clear and beautiful water to the countless lake activities, you won’t be disappointed. Fishing, water skiing, swimming, tubing, paddle boarding—you can do it all on Gull Lake. 

Fritz Loven Park (hidden gem)
Why we love it: Honestly, it’s just fun to say out loud. 
Why you’ll love it: Be ready for beauty! Enjoy quality trout fishing and cooking sites with grills along the river. You'll connect with nature and your friends and family!

Paul Bunyan Trail (looking for adventure)
Why we love it: It’s unique to our area and is a great trail to get some extra steps in. 
Why you’ll love it: There is a statue of Paul Bunyan—great for family selfies! Plus, the trail really is beautiful. 

Kart County (family fun)
Why we love it: It’s such a great place to take a family outing, there are activities for everyone!
Why you’ll love it: We don’t know anyone who has a bad time racing go-karts or taking out some sibling rivalry at bumper cars. Kart County has go-karts, bumper cars, and mini-golf, all the best ingredients for a fun night out. 

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