Welcome To Grand View Lodge

I have fond memories of going up north as a kid. Each summer, my family would spend a long weekend at one of the resorts around the Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota. Imagine swimming, boating, golfing, go-karting, antiquing, and quality family time.

But when my sisters and I left for college, we stopped making our annual trip. Life got busy, years passed, and memories faded. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that my family was finally planning a trip back this summer. All of my childhood memories came rushing back and I promptly started jotting down everything that I remembered loving while we were there. The first thing on my list: Pirates Cove. But more on that later.

For those of you note familiar, Brainerd Lakes is about 2 hours northwest of the Twin Cities. It’s a popular summer destination because of all the lakes. It has over 460 within a 25-mile radius. Isn’t that incredible? A lot of families have cabins there, but there are also a lot of lake resorts that were built in the 1940s that still hold a lot of charm. When we go up, it’s usually in the Brainerd, Baxter, and Nisswa areas, which surround Gull Lake, one of the biggest and most popular lakes in the area.

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Speaking of those lake resorts, there are quite a few to choose from. But do you want to know which one is my favorite? That’s easy: It’s Grand View Lodge.

Grand View Lodge Spa and Resort

Grand View Lodge is a resort on Gull Lake in Nisswa, Minnesota. Starting as a simple fishing lodge in 1916, today it has been built up to cater to about 200 guests in a variety of settings. You can stay in the main lodge, a cabin, a cottage, or a room at the new North hotel.

There are also seven restaurants, a spa, two golf courses, a conference center, a fitness center, and several pools on the resort. So there’s a lot to see and do, but what I love about Grand View – Even with all of that at your disposal, it still feels like you’re tucked away in a private corner of the woods.

I’ve stayed at Grand View at various times throughout the year – summer, fall, and winter – and I’ve found that no matter the season, it’s always a lovely place to be.

If I were to describe it with a few phrases I’d use charming, rustic, and summer camp. Haha, yes, summer camp! And I say that because once you get settled in, you’ll find there’s so much going on around the resort. Just check their activities page to get a quick idea of what I’m talking about.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve booked your stay, make sure to download the do North app. With it, you can easily see and signup for activities around the resort, make reservations, request housekeeping, and more.

In the past, I’ve mainly stayed in the lodge. But this time around we opted to stay in one of the cabins, which was nice because we were closer to the lake and had a private patio to hang out on. It was a perfect spot to enjoy a glass (or bottle) of rosé on a summer day.

The proximity to the lake made it convenient for bonfires on the beach and catching pretty sunsets. When you’re there, don’t forget to ask about the s’more packs. Grand View Lodge will supply!

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So what are some other things to do around the resort? Well, one afternoon, we rented a boat to journey around Gull Lake. You can pick up your boat rental right from the marina, which is easy breezy. However, I’d recommend booking the rental well before your stay. You can get fishing rods and bait if that’s something you’d like to do while you’re out on the lake as well.

Another thing to add to your to-do list: Try the various restaurants that they have around the resort. My favorites were Tanque Verde Catina and Crust Pizza.

The Catina is an open-air bar and grill right off the beach from Gull Lake. It’s the perfect spot to grab a drink and listen to live music on a hot day.

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Crust Pizza has a relaxing vibe with a backyard patio. And the pretty foliage upfront makes for a very warm welcome.

On The Rocks is also a great option. It’s conveniently located on the patio just outside of the main lodge. Bonus: It has a waterfall!

And a pretty view down to the lake.

Don’t forget about the adorable sweets shop, The Chocolate Ox, where you can grab candies, chocolate, and ice cream. Of course, I couldn’t resist.

Grand View Lodge offered me a spa service during my stay, which I was incredibly grateful for. It was perfect timing. I needed a massage after a stressful workweek. And I mean, look at how peaceful it looks from the outside! This is the spot for a much-needed relaxation session.

Here’s a bit more about my appointment:

After check-in, I was guided to the lockers/shower area. I promptly undressed, pulled on a cozy robe, and jumped into the sauna for a few minutes. There was a steam room available as well. Then, I headed over to the guest suite to wait for my appointment to begin. This is a semi-dark room with couches and chairs where guests can read a book or magazine while sipping on fruit-infused water. Yes, please!

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I did a hot stone massage, but they offer a variety of other massages, body exfoliation, mud wraps, hydrotherapy, nail care, and more!

And that’s not all! There’s SO much more you can do at Grand View Lodge. I’d recommend:

  • A walk or jog around the resort in the morning. If you’re up early enough, it will feel as though you have the place to yourself.
  • Heading to the main lodge in the morning to grab a complimentary cup of coffee and a newspaper.
  • Scheduling a horseback ride. How fun would it be to trot through the northern Minnesota woods?
  • Kayaking or paddle-boarding. You can get everything you need down by the marina. Plus, they are free to use for Grand View Lodge guests.
  • Checking out the event schedule each day. A few nights a week they have bingo, live music, beer/wine tastings, and art classes for you to choose from.
  • A break from the kiddos one day. Just schedule them for a day at Kids Club. They’ll be entertained with various activities while the adults have some fun.
  • Participating in some friendly competition. Get a group together for sand volleyball, tennis, or shuffleboard.
  • Heading to the pools, water slides, and parks around the resort. The kids will love it! And let’s be honest, the adults will love it too.
  • Commemorating your Grand View adventures with clothing or knick-knacks from the gift shop.

Things To Do In Brainerd, Minnesota

There is a ton of things to do at Grand View Lodge. You really wouldn’t need to leave. But if you want to explore the area a little more, here are a few places I’d recommend checking out:

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That’s a wrap on my Grand View Lodge post. If you’ve never been to the lakeside resort, I’d recommend adding it to your list. Summer is the most popular time to visit, of course. But you’ll be able to enjoy the resort in September/October as well. Imagine the rustic lodge with fall foliage as a backdrop. So pretty!

Let’s go places,


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Have you been to the Brainerd Lakes area? Share your favorite memories in the comment section below.

I have collaborated with Grand View Lodge for this post, but all opinions are mine.

All photos on this blog are mine. Feel free to share but please credit me with a link back to the blog. Much appreciated and thank you for your support!

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