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Why Grand Rapids is a Grand Place to Live!

The one thing that Grand Rapids has that is so unlike any other place is the amount of lakes, trails, outdoor recreation and natural beauty. The motto It’s in Minnesota Nature is 100% true. I have lived in Washington, Wisconsin and now Minnesota and can say the short time I have lived in Grand Rapids, I have experienced the true beauty of living up north.

Grand Rapids Gems

I have created a top 8 list of my favorite places things to do in and around Grand Rapids.

1. Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway Drive

This day trip with my boss was the first time I was able to see surrounding towns around Grand Rapids besides the few trip I took moving things up here. I have now driven the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway a few times. No matter the season it is a beautiful drive of twist and turns and with different stops to get out and explore. Now you can follow along with a virtual tour of Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway. Click HERE to view the interactive map.

Photo taken at Little American Falls

Photo taken during Fall Colors Tour

Soumi Hills








2. The Breweries and The Wine Bar!

Grand Rapids has AWESOME craft breweries. Klockow and Rapids Brewing both have a variety of craft beers. Even during Covid they still make it a fun place to sit out by a fire, enjoy some music and a beer. They both offer safe social distancing indoors! For anyone that enjoys wine, there is a wine bar called UnWinded Up North. They always are featuring new wines and is a great place to play trivia on Tuesdays and wine tastings on Fridays. Both can be done in UnWinded or on Facebook live.

Photo taken at Rapids Brewing Photo taken by Jordan Weis

Photo taken at Klockow

Photo taken at UnWinded Up North









3. Side by Side Riding on the Trails

One of the perks of moving up here is getting out on the trails. One day we took a side by side ride from Grand Rapids to Hill city. The trails are super fun to ride. They are well maintained and have rest areas to stop and relax.

Side by Side ride to Hill City








4. Mt. Itasca

This has become one of my favorite spots to spend this winter. The tubing hills are fast and the tow rope pulls you up the hill. They also have skiing and snowboarding.

Tubing at Mt. Itasca








5. Tioga Recreation

This place is fun to adventure all year round. During the fall the reflection of the leaves along the pit is breath taking. This winter, I am excited to try fat biking at Tioga. Ardent Bicycles offers tours and is perfect for beginners like me.

Tioga Recreation Area during the fall

Trails at Tioga Recreation Area








6. Exploring and Shopping Downtown Grand Rapids

Downtown Grand Rapids has a variety of locally owned stores, antique shops and the Central Square Mall for shopping. I was able to find some unique items to furnish my new place. Besides shopping the Itasca County Historical Society is an educational site to learn about the history of Itasca County. Of course while exploring downtown we had to get a picture at the Paul Bunyan’s Chair.

Paul Bunyan Chair with Finn!








7. Soooooo Many Good Places to Eat

I love trying new food and since moving up here I have done that. Sushi is one of my favorite meals and Fuji is a great place in town. One my favorite spots on the water that you can pontoon up to is Pickled Loon and of course  my weekly coffee stop is at Brewed Awakenings. Lastly, I never  mind a drive to Marcell for a meal at the Timberwolf Inn. They have the best french onion soup and cream cheese wontons.

French Onion Soup form Timberwolf Inn

Sushi form Fuji

Wings from Pickled Loon








8. The Art & History of Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is rich in art and history. Many of the buildings are original or renovated. Visit Grand Rapids has a virtual tour of the murals, sculptures and buildings around the city. My favorite art spot is the metal canoe by the Mississippi and my favorite historic spot is The Old Central School. I love working this building and getting visitors who share stories of going to school in The Old Central School.

Metal Canoe by the Mississippi

Old Central School








If you are thinking of moving to Grand Rapids, MN check out Thrive Up North to learn more about the opportunities and adventures you can have up north.




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