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Brainerd Lakes Vacationland Blog

The Woods Jumped Up and Bit Angel!
Flatlanders Go: Angel & Deon Hartman

We spent the morning hiking in the wild and the woods are for sure alive. There is no better time to hike in the woods than in the morning. Whether you're hiking, camping, exploring, or just on a nature hike, mid summer can be a bit challenging. Read More.

The Brainerd Berry Picking Season is Here!!!
Flatlanders Go: Angel & Deon Hartman

We are in Nisswa Minnesota on a family friendly, outdoor outing to pick the best tasting organic strawberries. The Brainerd Lakes area picking some of the freshest, best tasting strawberries central Minnesota has to offer! Read More.

Gull Lake Burial Mounds in Brainerd, Minnesota
Flatlanders Go: Angel & Deon Hartman

If you do just a little research, you will find there are Native American Burial Mounds all over Minnesota. On the shores of Upper Gull Lake, by Brainerd, there are several. And they can be quite tough to find unless you know what you're looking for. Read More.

Safari North Zoo Brings You Up Close and Personal with Local Wildlife
Shelly Summer

The Safari North Wildlife Park is a surprise gem tucked into the woods of the Brainerd Lakes Area which is home to many local and exotic animals. Located just a few miles outside of Brainerd on State Highway 371, Safari North is just a quick drive for hours worth of fun. Read More.

How to Find Wild Lady Slipper Orchids in the Brainerd Lakes Area
Flatlanders Go: Angel & Deon Hartman

This is a journey through a tamarack swamp bog in the effort to find a 100 count wild Lady Slipper patch in Central Minnesota. It was a success! It was a fun hike in the middle of know where. These orchids can be found in swampy bog areas throughout Minnesota Read More.

5 Fabulous Summertime Art Projects
Shelly Summer

Things are heating up outside and colors are exploding all around us as nature blooms. While these are the best days to enjoy activities outside, you may still need some quiet indoors time. Or maybe just a project to create with all the fun nature finds from your last outdoor adventure. Explore these 5 Fabulous Summertime Art Time Projects for ideas for your next stay at home day with the kids. Read More.

Day Trips from Brainerd, MN - Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
Shelly Summer

The Como Park Zoo in Saint Paul, Minnesota is just an easy two hour drive south for a unique day of family fun. While you may think you’re coming for the animals, the Como Zoo is home to many family friendly activities such as Como Town Amusement Park, The soaring Eagle Zip Ride, and The Splash Park. Read More.

Arts in the Park
Annual Brainerd Fourth of July Event
Shelly Summer

The Fourth of July weekend vendor event, Arts in the Park, is held annually at Gregory Park in Brainerd, MN. Arts in the Park draws a crowd every year, attracting vendors and shoppers from across the Midwest. Read More.

Brainerd Splash Pad BBQ Fundraiser
Shelly Summer

The Gregory Park fundraiser was a positive community event and featured activities such as face painting, bags toss, a dunk tank, and raffle prizes donated by several Brainerd Lakes businesses.  Read More.

Brainerd Lakes Area Women's Expo
Shelly Summer

A women’s expo wouldn't normally be the type of thing to get my interest, but after attending the 2nd Annual Women’s Expo at the Craguns Resort Sports Centre on April 25th, I might be hooked. I had never attended a women’s expo before, or a women’s event of any kind, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was still surprised. Read More.

Brainerd Belly Dancing
Shelly Summer

Maybe you’ve heard of American Tribal Style® belly dancing, or maybe you’re just seeing it for the first time. You hear the heavy beat of the drums and see the troupe, barefoot and covered in jewels, and you can’t help but be mesmerized. Read More.

GLAPA – Performing Arts Theatre Season Lineup
Laura Hasse

Did you know the Lakes Area has a group dedicated to enriching the local culture through their support of the performing arts? The Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts, or GLAPA, formed in 1983 with the intent to bring Arts to the Lakes Area at a reasonable price. Since its inception, GLAPA has established a reputation of providing well-received, quality performances. Read More.

My Visit to the Charles A. Lindbergh Home
Laura Hasse

Charles Lindbergh–often called Lucky Lindy or The Lone Eagle due to his success at completing the first successful solo flight across the Atlantic in his airplane, The Spirit of St. Louis–spent the summers of his boyhood years at the home his father built on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Little Falls, MN. Read More.

Cuyuna Mountain Biking Trails
Sam Sherman

Looking for a place to ride your mountain bike where there is scenery, hills, and different levels of difficulty? Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail is the place to be! It is very beautiful and there are so many things to see along the trails. Read More.

Paul Bunyan Trail Bridge Dedication
Laura Hasse

Twenty-five years ago, the Paul Bunyan Trail was a vision that few people had faith would come to realization. After years of hard work—fostering support, paving paths and constructing tunnels and crossings—this October another bridge has been crossed, literally, bringing the completion of a safe, recreational trail one large step further to completion. Read More.

Haunted Corn Maze
Laura Hasse

Imagine yourself walking along a path shortly after dusk when, out of nowhere, you notice there’s something up ahead. Through the darkness, you can’t quite make out what it is you’re seeing. Suddenly, a light begins flashing ahead, a bit to left of the path you’re following, rendering aide to help you make out the figure—it almost looks as if someone is crouched over in pain. Read More.

Brainerd/Baxter CANstruction Home Contest & Food Shelf Challenge

You are invited to bring a food and/or cash donation to the Edina Realty office for a food shelf challenge between Brainerd and Baxter city mayors. While both cities will be winners, the least successful Mayor will get to deliver all the donations to the food shelf. Read More.

Nisswa MN Shopping
Laura Hasse

Unique. When asked to summarize the shopping experience that Nisswa, MN offers, shoppers and shopkeepers alike overwhelmingly expressed a variation of this response. Kay Ulm, owner of The Painted Turtle, elaborated, “Business owners try hard to be unique and differentiate.” Read More.

Festival of Adventures and the Mud River Music Fest
Laura Hasse

Have you ever thought it would be fun to go back in time to experience life as our ancestors did? The Festival of Adventures in Aitkin, MN is a celebration of years that brings the past back to life. It is your chance to glimpse the ethnic heritage and lifestyles that existed in this area from the 1890s back through the 1790s. Read More.

Brainerd Blue Thunder Baseball
Laura Hasse

It’s the bottom of the 4th inning. The Blue Thunder are down by 3 runs, and they’re up to bat. They need to rally now. The batter, carrying the weight of this knowledge on his shoulders, steps up to the plate. He tightens his grip and stares down the pitcher. The pitcher winds up and throws a fastball. CRACK! The batter connects with the ball, sending it high in the air. Read More.

Owner Craig Goldberg on Lake Shore Classic Boats
Mary LaPorte

Craig Goldberg could tell you just by the sound of a engine whether or not it’s an antique wooden boat. Craig owns and operates Lake Shore Classic Boats in Lakeshore, MN. His business is restoring classic antique boats. Read More.

Come See What I Saw
Brainerd MN Chainsaw Art
Mary LaPorte

On my quest to find Brainerd’s best kept secrets I visited AJ Lutter at his gallery “Come See What I Saw” right off of Highway 371. Coming to this area isn’t just to relax and enjoy good weather, it’s also a great time to take day trips to the places you can only find in the north woods. Read More.

A Visit to the Minnesota School of Diving
Mary LaPorte

Bill Matthies opened a scuba store on Washington Street in 1959. His wife Evelyn painted colored divers that swam all over the white paneling. The store was small and business was slow, but that didn’t last for long. In 1960 he started teaching how to dive and his business took off from there. Read More.

Brainerd Welcomes the Franklin Arts Center
Mary LaPorte

Art is a chance to see and experience something new. It is an escape, a way to see another side and a chance to fall in love with something unique. It could be as complicated as a hand-made stain glass lamp, or as simple as a flower. Some see it as a picture capturing a moment in time, while others consider it a well planned marketing scheme, decoration of a home or a frame encasing a painting. Read More.

Loon Watcher Program
Mary LaPorte

I never really paid too much attention to birds in the past. They perch on my poplar trees every day and there is one who has taken residence under my deck. Driving around town you’ll see loon planters, chimes, paintings, and you can hear them if you listen. Read More.

A Day at Crow Wing State Park
Mary LaPorte

Crow Wing State Park is the perfect place to plan your next family vacation. There are over 18 miles of hiking trails and many things to do and see during your stay. The camp site is located just steps away from the Mississippi River. Read More.

Ideal MN Golf
Mary LaPorte

You could easily drive right past Ideal Golf on Highway 16, and never know you’ve driven past a treasure chest. This isn’t your typical pro shop full of new shiny clubs and bags still wrapped in plastic. Granted there are clubs, plenty of brand new ones, and golf bags ready to be used for the first time. But the main difference is the rooms stocked full of golf collectables, memorabilia, and golf antiques. Read More.

C. Elmer Anderson Memorial Highway Dedication 
Highway 371 Bypass Ceremony

The Grand Opening/Dedication ceremonies for the new Highway 371 Bypass took place Wednesday August 9, 2000. After the ceremony those in attendance were invited to be one of the first to drive this $13.5 million expansion of Highway 371. Read More.