Summer adventures are right around the corner, and what better way to get away than to one of Minnesota’s premier chain of lakes – the Gull Lake Chain? This beautiful Minnesota destination offers a variety of activities and attractions for locals and visitors alike.
The Brainerd Lakes Area (Gull Lake Chain) is located just over two hours north of the Twin Cities, making it the perfect cabin week away after what might be the longest winter ever. Trust me, you’ve earned the trip.
As someone who both lives in the BLA & has had the opportunity to participate in a few local staycations here’s how I’d spend three days in the Brainerd Lakes area.
For this trip, grab your family and friends and book your stay at Love Lake Manor from my friends over at Woods to Water. This four-bedroom, four-bath house sleeps nine and is a great choice for larger groups who are looking for a desired location, on the water, full of amenities, but also near local attractions.
This lake home has two primary bedrooms, one on the main floor and one upstairs, so perfect for a multi-generational trip. Each floor comes with something to enjoy, from the bar/movie room in the basement, the wall of windows and fireplace on the main floor, and the shower of all showers upstairs there is plenty of space and something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking to spend the week on the lake or do some exploring this itinerary will guide you through the best of the area around Love Lake Manor.
Start your day with a relaxing morning enjoying the lake. Enjoy the scenic views from the living room, and take a walk down to the lake and sip your coffee on the dock.
Rent a boat, paddleboard, or kayak and explore the lake. Gull Lake is known as a popular recreation lake in the area, and Love Lake is a smaller lake located on the chain making it the perfect lake for paddle activities!
After a day on the water, head to Ernie’s for some burgers and drinks. This lakeside restaurant is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. We visited in the spring, but I’ve heard from many friends that this patio is the spot in the summer to check out!
Go grab coffee at Stonehouse Coffee in Brainerd – you need to get a Strawberry Rhubarb Scone.
Take a hike or snowshoe at The Northland Arboretum. Northland boasts nearly 20 kilometers (12 miles) of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing with nearly 5 kilometers lighted for evening skiing. The trails are designed to accommodate all ages and skill levels and are considered among the best in Minnesota.
Note: Arboretum trails are open sun-up to sundown every day of the year. Gate Fee of $5 per adult and $1 per child 15 & under.
Woodlore Cider is a fun stop if your group isn’t big beer drinkers, this cider is made from fruit, so it’s not as heavy and sticky as many other ciders. Rainy day? Sit inside around the fireplace with a flight to sample a few different ciders. Summer day? Head outside and enjoy my personal favorite Pear Ginger. If you happen to go soon, check out their new Honey Lavender cider and report back to me because it’s on my list to check out!
Roundhouse is a local brewery with a huge patio with a stage, head over and grab a local brew and listen to some great music! Even better, each week they have a new $4 beer of the week. For that price, I guess you’ll have to get two. In the area on a Thursday, stop by for trivia, they’d love to have you join!
End your day in the theater room watching a movie or in the one-of-a-kind bar playing games or catching the game on one of the three TVs in the basement. The basement at Love Lake Manor is truly one of a kind.
Spend the day in Downtown Nisswa – Stroll down Main Street and browse the unique shops and boutiques. Grab lunch at Big Axe Brewing Co. and sit outside and people-watch. Before heading back to the lake house, grab a little dessert at The Chocolate Ox.
Local tips: Don’t miss out on the iconic turtle races that take place every Wednesday during the summer months.
Or cook a new recipe in the kitchen at Love Lake Manor and end your evening around the bonfire in the backyard and watch the sun fade over the lake.
Ready to book your stay at Love Lake Manor? Book here. This stay was hosted by Woods to Water + Love Lake Manor but all opinions in this blog belong to Taylor. [Want to see more pictures and video from Taylor’s stay at Love Lake Manor? Be sure to follow her on Instagram and Tiktok.]
Looking for more Woods to Water stays? Be sure to also check out Clark Lake Cabin and Loonstar Lodge, also both located in the Brainerd Lakes Area. You can read my full blogs on both properties on Taylor’s blog.