Create Your Grand Rapids Trip Itinerary
Whatever time of year you come to Grand Rapids is a GREAT season. Right now we are technically in Spring, but Mother Nature is slowly releasing winter snow and ice from the ground and lakes. We are including information on things to do in the spring, but please realize that our lakes, rivers and trails will be opening late this spring. Be aware of trail closures before you head north. Things that are fun anytime of the year is our: Night Life, Performances at The Reif Center, Judy Garland Museum and Children’s Discovery Museum, Forest History Center, Itasca County Historical Museum, Bowling, Mann’s Theater, getting a Spa, Shopping and Dining!
Directions: Select the amount of time you have in Grand Rapids, and we will share the things to do in the Grand Rapids, MN area in that amount of time.
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Scenic State Park
State Park Self-Guided
Contact: Jordan Schaefer
56956 Scenic State Hwy 7
Bigfork, MN 56628
With its pristine lakes, virgin pines, swimming beach, and wilderness-like setting, Scenic State Park is well deserving of its name. Here, visitors can hike the Chase Point Trail for hypnotic views of Coon and Sandwick Lakes and listen to the wind whistle through the giant pines. The park's overnight facilities include campsites (boat-in, drive-in, backpack), and a cabin. The historic lodge houses interpretive displays.
In the land of 10,000 lakes we have a great variety of fishing lakes for you to take advantage of. Whether you are looking for Walleye, Crappie, Northern, Bass or Pan Fish there is a lake for you.
Get the latest fishing information here
To hire a Professional Fishing Guide
MN Fishing Connections
Northern Drift Outfitters
Parks and Forests
In the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area there are lots of Minnesota's nature to explore. From the Chippewa National Forest, George Washington State Forest, and two scenic byways - Great River Road and Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway (the oldest scenic byway in the state of Minnesota). You will find great places to camp, bike, hike, and ATV within these designated parks and forests.
Get more information here
Grand Rapids Visitors Center
Grand Rapids Visitor Center
Phone: (218) 326-6619
Address: 1 NW 3rd St,
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
The Grand Rapids Visitors Center is run by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. They provided a 24 hour section that can be accessed to visitors, and a manned area that is open year-round with seasonal hours.
Grand Rapids is a great place to come to bike. There are over 5.2 miles of biking trails in the City of Grand Rapids and over 40 miles biking trails in Itasca County. At the Itasca County Fairgrounds parking lot, you can access the Mesabi Trail. This is an over 100 mile paved trail that is perfect to bike; the trail starts in Grand Rapids and goes to Ely, Minnesota. In construction is Tioga Recreation Area. Currently there is 6 miles completed, and the final 24 miles to be completed by Fall of 2019. Additional trails to consider are: Legion, Mt Itasca, and Forest History Center.
Edge of The Wilderness Scenic Byway
A beautiful drive in the spring. The Scenic Byway connects Grand Rapids and Effie, Minnesota on a 47 mile scenic drive that takes you through stunning landscapes of rolling hills and curves, around bogs, and many lake lookouts. You will find many trail access points to hike, mountain bike and fat tire bike.
For more information: Click Here
Hawkins Mine Pit Overlook
The top of Central Ave and 1st Street borders the stunning view of the Hawkins Mine Pit, the very mine that established Nashwauk as the first mining community to develop in Itasca County. Crowning Central Avenue sits the Hawkins Mine Overlook. The City of Nashwauk recently replaced the entire Overlook with an ADA compatible structure that allows everyone to enjoy the beautiful views.
Location: 47°22'49.67"N latitude and 93°10'8.81"W longitude
For more information:
City of Nashwauk
301 Central Avenue
Nashwauk, MN 55769
Itasca County Historical Society & Museum
This area attraction has a FREE museum that highlights life throughout the year's in the Grand Rapids and Itasca County area. There new exhibits are: Picture Grace and Itasca Youth Camps. Additional exhibits are: Judy Garland exhibit, Now and Then exhibit, and model trains. Step back in time and discover what life was once like. Fun for all ages! They have an on-sight gift shop to purchase one of a kind memento from your time in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
|Mon-Fri: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sat: 10:00am - 4:00pm
First Friday Art Walk
For more information on First Friday Art Walk click here for our calendar of events
On the first Friday of every month Grand Rapids Arts and local businesses host First Friday. With artists in many of the downtown shops you get to experience creativity at its best.
The Visitor’s Guide Download
Looking for even more events and idea's for your next vacation, or free day? Look no further..
Our free Visitor's Guide contains an easy-to-read guide of the unique adventures in and near Grand Rapids, including some of the following:
- Recreational opportunities for all seasons
- Art & Cultural events
- and much more!
Reif Center Performances
During the summer, The Reif Center presents an Independent Film Series that is FREE! Mark your calendars to attend Grand Jam on July 13th at the Itasca Fairgrounds. The Reif Center plans to host an annual outdoor music concert in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area every year.
The Reif Center has regular performances from September to May each year. They bring in world renowned performances from all over the country. You will be amazed at the level of entertainment that they bring to northern Minnesota. Check out our annual Theater Deals where you can save on both the ticket price and the overnight lodging when you bundle together: https://www.visitgrandrapids.com/theater-deals/
Grand Rapids and the surrounding area offers a wide variety of eateries from charming bistros, to large banquet facilities, to the local place where all the locals go to eat. From family friendly restaurants to a special night out for two; from coffee shops to drive-ins, Grand Rapids offers menus to suit every appetite. Come experience the unique cuisine of Minnesota’s nature.
1336 Fairgrounds Rd,
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: (218) 326-6470
Itasca Fairgrounds is owned by Itasca County. It hosts many annual events and the annual Itasca County Fair that is the third week in August each year. The Fairgrounds and buildings can be rented for events. The Fairgrounds Park is 82.7 acres in size and is owned by Itasca County. The park consists of several large barns, multiple buildings, food courts, the Mesabi Trailhead Building, horse arenas, a large campground and a gravel race track.
Central School Marketplace
Historical Landmark and Shops
10 NW 5th St,
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: (218) 326-9607
The school is no longer, but inside remains charming boutique style shops and visitor information. Come inside and do a self-guided tour. Make sure to head up to the 3rd floor to view local art and talk with the artist in residency.
Paddle Sport Store Rentals, Trips, and Sales
Go Local, friendly, knowledgeable paddle shop offering stand-up paddle boards (SUPs), kayaks, canoes and paddling accessories to buy or rent. We also offer fun ½ day and day trips on the Mississippi river and day trips to a couple cool local lakes!
We carry: Northstar and We-no-nah Canoes. Delta, Jackson, Wilderness Systems, Perception and Current Design Kayaks. Pau Hana, Boardworks, Tahoe, C4Waterman, Lattitude 44, Glide and Loon Paddle Co. Stand-up Paddle Boards (SUPs).
Hours Sept 1-15
Hours After Sept 15
Our Vision: Passing on our passion for being outdoors, on the water, with family and friends.
Our Mission: To provide knowledgeable, friendly service and products that help you find your personal
paddle style. #LetsGoPaddleogle Map
Summer is a beautiful time of year to come to Grand Rapids. You will find a wide selection of lodging properties to choose from. Economical Motels, conveniently located Hotels, a quaint Bed & Breakfast on Pokegama Lake, and Minnesota Family Resorts and Lake Homes located on crystal clear lakes. You will also find Resorts that offer camping as well as stand alone Campgrounds You will find lodging properties with a variety of on-site or nearby amenities.
Click to view all of Grand Rapids lodging properties here!
Manns Cinema 8
113 SE 21st St
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Tuesdays Adult Senior Child
All day $5.00 $5.00 $5.00
$8.00 General Admission
$6.50 Matinee (shows before 6 pm)
$6.50 Senior Admission (ages 60 and over)
$6.50 Child Admission (ages 11 and under)
Note: Additional $2.50 charge for 3D movies
Judy Garland And Children’s Museum
|Restored childhood home of Judy Garland where the star spent her first four years. Judy’s home has been restored to look just as it did when the child star lived there with her parents and two older sisters. See the staircase landing where Judy and her sisters provided entertainment for neighborhood friends with their earliest performances. The grounds features a memorial flower garden and gazebo. The adjacent museum gallery showcases a wide variety of artifacts from Judy’s musical and theatrical career, personal awards and effects, movie memorabilia and the carriage used in the Wizard of Oz. An extensive gift shop is filled with Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland items.
A place for children to discover, play, and learn. Our museum features many hands-on exhibits: Lake Life! complete with working stage, fishing boat and dock, as well as an obstacle coarse swamp and tree fort!, Riverview Water Table, Treesa~ the talking tree, KEVA Engineering Planks, Monthly scavenger hunts, River Town which hosts: a Doctors office, Fire Department, Animal Clinic, Bakery, Music Department, dress-up room, and much more. We also have a tot park and maze for younger guests. Don't forget to stop and dig for some dinosaurs! On your way out check out the museum store for children’s gifts.
Included in your admission is access to three attractions Judy Garland's Birth home and Gallery, and an exhibit of over 200 classic fairy tale dolls donated by artist Faith Wick, and the Children's Discovery Museum.
Admission is $10 per person anyone ages 2 and up. AAA and Military Discount- $9. Memberships are available
May 16th - September 30th, 10am - 5pm Daily
October 1st - May 15th, Fridays and Saturdays 10am - 5pm
Groups of 20 or more can schedule tours on any day.
As you stroll through the grounds of the Joyce Estate imagine the roaring twenties, the time of prohibition and women's suffrage. Imagine how unusual it was in its day, an isolated 4,500 acre resort with 40 buildings including its own golf course, private telephone line and airplane hanger. Heir to the Joyce Family fortune originating in part from lumber taken from northern Minnesota via the Itasca Lumber Company, David Joyce of Chicago built the estate from 1917-1935. Due to excellent railway connections from Minneapolis and Chicago, and its scenic beauty, the Grand Rapids area became nationally known as a major resort area. The Joyce Family used it until 1972. Through its heritage and interpretive programs the Chippewa National Forest manages this site which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center
Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway, Add new copy: Take the afternoon to drive and enjoy the 47-mile Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway that meanders from Grand Rapids, MN north to Effie, MN on Minnesota’s State Highway 38. The region is studded with lakes and thick with aspen, birch, pine and maple trees that pop with color in the fall season. The road winds around 36 lakes, and through state and national forest. The Chippewa National Forest is home to the largest population of bald eagles in the continental United States. Keep your eyes on the sky to see them soaring above the byway. White tailed deer also are known to graze in the fresh grasses along the side of the road. This location includes a visitor's center, gift shop, restrooms and interpretive center with over 50 wildlife mounts on site.
|Wed-Sat: 8:00am – 4:00pm|
Places To Workout
1200 SE 4th Ave
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: (218) 326-4446
CENTER Mind/Body Fitness
320 SE 21st St
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Itasca County Family YMCA
400 River Rd
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
1200 S Pokegama Ave, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Thunder Alley XL
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
|Open Bowling Hours|
|Monday: 3:30pm - 9:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
Friday: 11:00am - Midnight
Saturday: 10:30am - Midnight
Sunday: 10:30am - 9:00pm
Public Art Tour
Grand Rapids Public Art is a mapped walking tour of sculptures, murals, mosaics, and other artwork in downtown Grand Rapids.
There are 14 locations with art work displayed click here to see the map and description of the art work.
Located at: Cedar Street Bigfork MN
A life-size copper-colored statue of a logger stands on a log that appears to be afloat on the grass.
Bovey “Prohibition Speakeasy” & Underground Escape Tunnel
Get more information on the Bovey “Prohibition Speakeasy” & Underground Escape Tunnel here.
The Reenactment of an underground Prohibition Speakeasy Bar & escape tunnel, as filmed in the Gems of Itasca Bovey Edition, is great place to take a step back in time, and experience yesteryear. The Underground attraction is OPEN to the public year round with the added appeal of the Huge Antique Mall& Full service Cafe within! The speakeasy room is available to lease for your next event or party.
Enjoy strolling through our historic downtown business district for the best shops & boutiques, as well as the other antique, vintage and gift shops around Grand Rapids, MN.
MacRostie Art Center
|Mon - Sat: 10:00am to 5:00pm
If you are looking to view some truly amazing Minnesota art, check out this free gallery that is open to the public. You can check out their art suitcase and create some of your own art while out in Minnesota's nature together.
Forest History Center
1900's Logging Camp in the Northwoods
Use your power of imagination to experience life as it was in 1900 at the Forest History Center. Walk back in time to Northwoods #1, an authentically recreated white pine logging camp complete with cook shack, bunkhouse, blacksmith shop, office wanigan, filer’s shack and horse barn. Stop and visit with the cook, clerk, bull cook, blacksmith and other lumberjacks who may be in camp. Try your hand at sawing and pet the Percheron draft horses.
Wander down to the 1901 Mississippi River Wanigan, drop in on the 1934 Forest Service patrolman and get a bird’s eye view of the forests from atop the 100-foot fire tower. Explore the visitor center’s interactive exhibits and browse the gift shop featuring items unique to northern Minnesota. Stroll the nearly 5 miles of accessible trails that wind throughout the beautiful forests and along the river’s edge. Call ahead for the special nature programs.
Visitor Center open with nature and logging camp tours available:
Winter Admission Pricing (September-June 8) :
$4 Adults; $3 Seniors, students and military personnel; $2.50 children age 6-17; Free for children under age 5
The Lost Forty is a 40 acre track of tall white pine that was never cut. A great place to fat tire bike, cross country ski and snowshoe to experience 200 year old trees. Worth the drive!
Alvwood, Minnesota (between Marcell and Bigfork, Minnesota)
The Lost Forty is a 200 acre track of land that was never logged. The pine trees in this forest are over 200 years old. They are so large that it will take an entire family to connect arms together to fit around. Come discover this magical primitive area. There are porta restroom facilities and picnic areas at this location.