Lake Superior Art Glass

Combine Outdoor Adventures with the Arts in Northeast Minnesota

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Art glass along Lake Superior / Lisa McClintick

Combine Outdoor Adventures with the Arts in Northeast Minnesota

By Minnesota Arrowhead Committee

Can’t decide between traveling for outdoor activities or artistic endeavors? In northeast Minnesota, you don’t have to choose, because many communities combine the best of both worlds.

Ely Folk School Class

Ely Folk School / Ely Folk School

Overlooking massive Lake Vermilion in Tower, the Bois Forte Heritage Center and Cultural Museum (a.k.a. “Legend House") keeps Ojibwe history alive through carefully curated exhibits that tell enriching and enlightening stories. Next to Fortune Bay Casino, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday and will give you a new perspective on one of northeast Minnesota’s most popular vacation destinations.

Ely firmly holds a place as one of the northland’s most creative communities. Its welcoming main street is home to numerous locally owned businesses featuring the work of area artists. It is also home to the Ely Folk School, where you can learn a variety of Northwoods skills and crafts, such as how to track animals or lace snowshoes. Classes, demonstrations and events take place year-round.

Mountain bikers on Redhead Mountain

Mountain bikers on Redhead Mountain in the Iron Range  / Minnesota Discovery Center

You can dig into the history of one of Minnesota’s most storied regions at the Museum of the Iron Range, Minnesota Discovery Center. Open Tuesday through Saturday during the winter months, the museum highlights the geology, mining and immigration history of this unique area with exhibits, activities and classes.

The center also serves as the Redhead Mountain Bike Park Trailhead, where you can explore a variety of terrain on snowshoes or a fat tire bike. The park is open seven days a week, and access is free. The surrounding area also boasts hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails and numerous cross-country ski trails.

Reif Performing Arts Center stage

Reif Performing Arts Center, Grand Rapids / Reif Performing Arts Center

Home to a ballet troupe, a symphony orchestra and numerous theater companies and art museums, Duluth may be the cultural capital of the north. Enrich your winter explorations by integrating performances and exhibitions into your itinerary and participate in hands-on activities at Lake Superior Glass or the Duluth Folk School.

You can add quality entertainment to your Northwoods escape this winter by attending a live music or theater event at the Reif Performing Arts Center. Check the website for upcoming performances and time your visit accordingly. This touch of Broadway in the thriving community of Grand Rapids is a great complement to the community’s other winter activities, which include snowmobiling, ice fishing and shopping.

Minnesota Arrowhead Committee

Minnesota Arrowhead Committee is a coalition of travel/tourism and commerce organizations working together to promote the Arrowhead region of northeast Minnesota as a vacation destination.