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Why Grand Rapids Is A Great Place To Visit

“Escape and breath the fresh air of a new place.” blog article by Lillyanna Smith (University of WI, Stout Student)

In the uncertain times we are living in, there is a feeling of relief when you can get away to nature. I’ve been to a lot of places, but can easily say that Grand Rapids, MN has a special kind of beauty and bliss. As a person who LOVES the outdoors, exploring antique shops and always down for a good brew, Grand Rapids is the perfect destination to get out and relax in comfort. Because I was traveling during a pandemic: I had my mask, hand sanitizer, and made sure to keep my social distance.


Tioga Recreation Area

Driving to Grand Rapids it is a peaceful drive. Leaving a busy city, there is a sense of calmness as you drive down a road lined with trees. During my visit to Grand Rapids I stopped at Tioga Recreation Area. I didn’t get a chance to rent a bike from Ardent Bicycles to ride the trails but, I get a chance to walk around the edge of the lake to see the old mine pit. During fall, the leaves are incredible and reflect the colors of the trees onto the water.

Trails To Ride On

Another perk of visiting Grand Rapids is the 200 miles of ATV trails. I was fortune enough to get a ride on a side by side from Grand Rapids all the way down to Hill City for lunch at Harry’s Bar. During the ride we stopped at Cook Lake to get out stretch and check out the view. The trails offer a unique mixture of spots to park and relax and stops to get a little wild in a bigger area of land. My favorite part of the ride was a little section of the forest that has curvy turns and trimmed trees to go under. It feels as a little safari in the sense of being deep into the woods

Gunn Park

Lastly, Gunn park was one of my favorite stops.  Gunn park has a bright blue lake during fall. A perk to this park is the ramp to the water is wheel chair accessible and easy to get to so that anyone can enjoy the view of the lake. If we weren’t going to Timberwolf Inn in Marcell for lunch, Gunn Park would have  been the perfect place for a picnic. They have a large shelter with two built in grills for cooking.


UnWinded Up North

Just as the cup says in the photo, ” There’s a chance this is wine” and the chance was 100% true. I stopped into Unwinded Up North to try their hot spiced apple wine. After looking at the menu, I had to pair my wine with a charcuterie board. It came with two meats, two cheeses and two accompaniments. But, WOW. The freshness and knowing that a lot of things are sourced locally really stood out.

Klockow  Brewing & Rapids Brewing

A big thing in Grand Rapids is craft beer. Rapids Brewing and Klockow offer a large assortment of brews. Both locations offer cozy seating with a modern look. Rapids Brewing has a menu of a variety of foods and Klockow brings in food trucks from around the area. Both places are known for hosting some really awesome musicians. Check out the Grand Rapids Events Calendar to view live music options.


One of my favorite things is antique shopping. Growing up this was something my grandpa and always did together. As, I’ve grown up I have grown to appreciate time and the value of things.  In the Central Square Mall there is a  shop called Clara’s Cupboard. Some of my favorite things I have bought from there are a pair of pearl earrings and a cowboy shot glass that reminds me of my grandpa. They do offer new items as well. I also purchased a Up North Minnesota mask. Some of the other shops I have enjoyed going through are Gems to Rustic Relics and Pluemer’s Antiques where they have sells high quality vintage items including a sweet collection of records.

Until Next Time Grand Rapids

A few days of bliss and relaxation and I felt refreshed. With all the craziness of this pandemic, I was able to re-center myself safely. I am already ready for my next trip to Grand Rapids to experience what the other seasons offer.


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