Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior

Tofte, Minnesota

Jun 1, 2002
Outside Magazine
Access and Resources

Summer rates for condos, not including meals, range from $69 to $475 a night, depending on the unit, number of people, and season.

I took my family to Minnesota's Bluefin Bay, ironically, to escape the Midwest. For a group of displaced East Coasters like us, life in the middle can be hard at times. Along with decent bagels and attitude, we miss being on the edge of a continent and looking out. From the deck of our townhouse at the Bluefin Bay, though, we could gaze across the 31,800-square-mile expanse of Lake Superior and leave the prairie far, far behind.
A collection of 70 blue clapboard split-level buildings stacked around a rocky cove, Bluefin Bay recalls the Norse fishing villages that lined Superior's northern coast a century ago. The airy suites and full-kitchened condominiums have vaulted ceilings and natural wood beams, fireplaces (to take the edge off breezy summer evenings), and stunning lake views that practically pour in through huge picture windows.
Guests are welcome to use the resort's boats free of charge, and we spent days on the water, paddling over century-old shipwrecks with a certified sea-kayak guide and canoeing the coast on our own. Those willing to tear themselves away from the lake can explore Bluefin's other backyard: Superior National Forest, a pristine 2.1-million-acre wilderness crisscrossed by more than 400 miles of birch-lined hiking and mountain-biking trails. Your kids will undoubtedly beg for a trip to the luge-course-like Alpine Slide, just up the road at Lutsen Mountains ski area.
At night, should you choose not to use the barbecues outside, take the crew out for mesquite chicken sandwiches at Breakers Bar and Grill, a walk along the lake from the condos. Or take advantage of the on-site kid programs and enjoy a candlelit dinner for two at the Bluefin Restaurant. The ambience and sound of crashing waves will get you in the mood to fire up the double Jacuzzi in your room. But first, stroll under the moon in the chilly night air, which will firmly remind you, lest you forget, that you're in northern Minnesota.

Filed To: Minnesota