The First City on the Mississippi River is a historically charming and beautiful city. Paul Bunyan and Babe his Blue Ox, the legendary lumberjack team, await your arrival on the shore of Lake Bemidji. Bemidji offers a relaxed, small town atmosphere with the amenities of the big city. Bemidji, the First City on the Mississippi River, is a historically charming, progressive northwoods city. The world’s third largest river crosses through Lake Bemidji soon after its’ birth at Itasca State Park, as it travels to the Gulf of Mexico.
History, legend and lore mingle with an abundance of bald eagles and waterways give the Bemidji area its unique character. 400 fishing lakes in a 25-mile radius invite anglers and provide a variety of recreational opportunities all year around. The natural rhythm of changing seasons draw bikers, hikers, skiers and snowmobiling enthusiasts to the area’s State and National Forests. Minnesota’s northwoods holds a treasure trove of natural beauty for those seeking peaceful refreshment.
By way of celebrating the logging industry, an 18 ft. statue of the legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan and Babe his Blue Ox were constructed at the waterfront for the 1937 Winter Carnival. This famous duo has posed with visitors for many memorable photographs ever since – earning Midwest Living magazine’s ‘‘Best in the Midwest” Roadside Attraction Award in 2003. Paul’s memorabilia, displayed in the adjacent Tourist Information Center, is sure to bring a grin.
Native American and Scandinavian cultures are woven together into the tapestry of Bemidji’s history. Several events and galleries showcase the community’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. A remarkable collection of sculpture and outdoor art throughout the downtown area offers a glimpse into the creativity this beautiful area inspires. The Paul Bunyan Playhouse hosts top performances throughout the summer. The renovated railroad depot is home to a state-of-the-art history museum.
Even though Bemidji is a regional retail and educational center, with the amenities of a large city, it still maintains a small-town atmosphere. The surrounding region abounds with interesting places and things to do. A few memorable places to visit are; the Continental Divide, the ‘Lost Forty’ forest of 350 year old trees, birding hot spots or the Forestedge Winery.