7 PERFECT DAYS IN PARK RAPIDS, MN
If you are looking for some suggestions for a perfect 7 days in Park Rapids, continue reading. If you are staying in another area of Minnesota, there are certainly some similar things to do in that area as well.
Monday - Relax. Remember what lake life is all about - reconnecting with friends and family and unplugging a bit. Throw a line in the water and enjoy a beverage of your choice. Maybe grill out some food - the smell of good food on the grill always helps me relax.
Tuesday - Trip to Itasca Headwaters of the Mississippi. Stop at Emmaville along the way for an amazing breakfast or at least a takeout caramel or cinnamon rolls. Once at Itasca, take a walk across the rocks or wade in the water. If you have kids, one of them will surely insist on walking across the rocks and, perhaps, fall into the water. Enjoy it - it’s inevitable. Get a great piece of pie at the Itasca Lodge - don’t hold back - make sure you ask for it ‘a la mode’ (French for “make it taste good”).
Wednesday - Join the Revel Brewing 5k Race . the most casual walk/run/stroll 5k ever created. I believe their tag line is “walk, hop, or run a 5k”. Anytime on Wednesday - largest turnout is between 5-7 (My preferred times). Participation is free and gets you a half-price brew (Yeti Stout is my favorite). 10 Wednesdays of signing up gets you a t-shirt and bragging right. They have great pizzas - but only cook 2 at a time - so can get backed up when busy. Pro Tip - Order pizza in advance. It should be ready when you finish your 5Pro tip #2 - wait until after; and you’ll have more time to sample all their beers.
Thursday - Paddleboard or canoe ride. We have a lot of kids at our resort and this is always a hit. (ok – sometimes they’re reluctant at first - but they always have fun at the end). Remember, kids are not required to have fun on the water. Practice your stroke and dream about that first or next trip to the Boundary Waters. After that dream, appreciate that you are canoeing with amenities really nearby and minimal portaging. That evening - grab food at the Good Life Cafe. I love the walleye tacos and the Falefse - but you can’t go wrong. All their food is amazing. Options are - takeout for dinner on the boat/at the beach OR eat in and enjoy their great beer/cocktail menu.
Friday - Go for a long walk, get some exercise and work for your dinner tonight. Summerhill Adventures Back 40 - visit the tiny goats and play human sized foosball! Tiny goats are always amazing. Save your appetite for big portions at Companeros. I love the fajita bowl with their signature Especial Grande Margarita. Try to save room for great ice cream at the Dorset House next door. Fail miserably to save room, but get ice cream anyway.
Saturday - Boat cruise. Grab your favorite beverage, some snacks and some friends/family - drive super slow along the lakeside. Wave at everyone you see - inspect the lakeshore. “Oooh - looks like a new dock.” “I like that chair!” “Nifty canoe.” Being nosy is perfectly acceptable if you’re on a boat. Just don’t stay too long or get too close to anyone’s dock. If it happens - throw on a big smile and compliment their property - “Great cabin and family you got there, you betcha!”
Sunday - Grab a little spiritual time. Our particular flavorite is the 10:30 am Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church in Nevis - but take an hour of quiet family time to count your blessings and settle your mind. Kids enjoy the homemade donuts and fellowship afterwards. We’ve been known to occasionally leverage a little church of the woods, aka “prayers as we walk as a family”. But let’s keep that on the DL (down low) from Fr. Tony.