End of Summer Road Trip Ideas - Visit Grand Rapids Skip to content
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    end of summer road trip

    End of Summer Road Trip Ideas

    End of Summer Road Trip to Grand Rapids

    end of summer

    Summer isn’t over yet; it’s only the second week of August. There is still time to take a last minute summer road trip with loved one’s. Grand Rapids is an northern Minnesota destination that is perfect for a summer road trip. There are some last minute openings still available at Grand Rapids area resorts, vacation rentals, hotels and motels. Check out the Grand Rapids Last Minute Openings and get your overnight lodging booked. Grand Rapids is an outdoor recreation mecca of the north with over 2,000 miles of trails and over 1,400 lakes in the area. Grand Rapids also offers a historic downtown with boutique style shops, craft brewery, a wine bar and charming coffee shops. You will also find an abundance of public art, art and historic attractions, and live theater performances and live music. Grand Rapids, Minnesota is the perfect place for an end of summer road trip to reconnect with loved ones, recharge and relax in Minnesota’s nature.

    Outdoor Recreation Mecca of the North

    Top Summer Trails

    Grand Rapids, Minnesota is surrounded by public forest land; over 1 million acres to be exact. The Chippewa National Forest, UPM Blandin Forest, Rajala Forest Land, and George Washington State Forest make up these public acres. Whatever type of outdoor recreation you enjoy, you will be able to do it here. There are biking, hiking, hunting, ATV, snowmobile and cross country ski trails. Here are a couple of trails we recommend:


    Tioga Recreation Area for mountain biking. Enjoy 25 miles of single track trails that are beginner to double black diamond level. Trails for the entire family. Two lakes surround the trails: Tioga & Pokegama that are great for swimming, fishing, paddling and boating.


    Suomi Trail located 18 miles north of Grand Rapids is a wonderful 20+ mile trail that has hills and curves that wrap around several small lakes. The Legion Trail offers great hiking and single track mountain bike trails that is located in the city limits of Grand Rapids. It is a 7 mile loop that has a couple of overlooks to Hale Lake. A good place to access is at the Reif Center.


    UPM Blandin ATV Trail is located 9 miles south of Grand Rapids on Hwy 169. It connects with the Rabey Line ATV Trail that takes riders into Hill City, Minnesota where riders will find restaurants, gas stations, a grocery store, and places to overnight lodge. This trail goes through mixed hardwood and pine forests, over tamarack bog boardwalks, and several picnic areas to pull over for a shelter break.


    Then the Mesabi Trail is a 100+ mile paved bicycle trail that is perfect for the entire family. A great place for EV bicycles. The Grand Rapids to Keewatin, Minnesota section is full of hills and curves that go through old mine areas, over a swinging bog bridge, and through mixed hardwoods and pine forests.

    Minnesota Art & History

    End of summer Road Trip


    Grand Rapids, Minnesota has become a regional hub for art & culture. The public art that is located throughout the downtown has been provided by the Grand Rapids Arts and Culture Commission and the Grand Rapids ArtsMacRostie Art Center is a place where you can view and purchase local and Minnesota art. They are located downtown across from the historic and open to the public Old Central School. The Reif Performance Center offers over 50 performances each season in their two theaters that seat a total of 900 people. The Reif Center brings Broadway style theater to Grand Rapids. All seats are perfect to get an up close and personal live theater experience.


    The Old Central School is a Romesque Style architecture building that was built in 1894. The school is now a commerce site for business and art suites for several artists. You can take a self guided tour of Downtown Public Art and Historic Sites HERE. This interactive map will guide you to and from each site. At the bottom of each art and historic site, you will click navigate here which will bring up a Google Map directions that you can get from your mobile device. There are historic area attractions that you can purchase admission to tour the Judy Garland Museum and Children’s Discovery Center which share a building that has children’s interactive exhibits, and the largest exhibit of Judy Garland memorabilia displays. Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids. The Forest History Center is another great historic site that includes a 1900’s reinacted logging camp where interpreters in period costumes lead visitors in the logging camp retelling the story of what life would have been like in the early 1900’s winter. There are over 200 acres in the Forest History Center with trails that lead to the Mississippi River.

    Local Places to Eat & Drink

    end of summer road trip

    For a small town, Grand Rapids has a wide variety of places to eat & drink. There are the local favorites like Sammy’s Pizza, ZorbazForest Lake Restaurant, and Timberlake Lodge Restaurants. The eclectic coffee houses like Brewed Awakening and NoPo. Then the boat in favorites like Pickled Loon Saloon, Pokegama Grill and Otis’s Restaurant. And then there are place to sample local brew and Minnesota wines. Unwined Up North serves Minnesota craft beer and Minnesota wines. Rapids Brewing Company brews on site and then utilizes their brewery grains to create unique cuisine menu items. Klockow Brewing Co brews onsite and hosts a variety of food trucks and offers weekly live music. Click HERE to find a full list of places to eat and drink in the greater Grand Rapids area.

    Cozy Places To Stay

    loon point 3 logo

    For an end of the summer road trip, you will find lots of cozy places to stay. From in town and conveniently located to shops, breweries and trails you will find Hotels, Motels, a Bed and Breakfast, and Vacation Rentals. You will also find Minnesota Lake Resorts, Vacation Lake Rentals, and campgrounds. We suggest by starting with Last Minute Openings and then check out our STAY page that has our full listings of short-term overnight lodging establishments. There is such a wide variety that we are sure there is an overnight lodging property to meet everyone’s needs.