The Brainerd Lakes Area is one of the most fascinating areas in Minnesota. Known, obviously, for its 460+ lakes, Brainerd is the place to visit if you are looking to get away from the stress of life. The Brainerd Lakes Area consists of the city of Brainerd plus 25 miles in any direction. Growing up in Brainerd, I have had so much time to explore the Lakes Area, but for a visitor? I would be surprised if they could pack it all into one vacation!
Tourism is how many citizens in the Brainerd Lakes Area earn a living. Tourists come to Brainerd for many reasons including our fantastic resorts. There are more than 57 resorts in the Brainerd Lakes Area, each providing a unique experience to the guests staying there. Many of the resorts have their own golf courses attached to them. There are 15 beautiful golf courses in Brainerd making it a desirable place for golfers to go on vacation. For the non-golf folk, there are many other things to do in the Lakes Area including the Brainerd International Raceway, the largest speedway in the U.S.! You can hear the revving of engines across nearby lakes and each racing night there is a beautiful fireworks display! For those who enjoy the quiet there is the Northland Arboretum. The Arboretum offers opportunities for bird watching, walking, and community gardens. For the kids there is Paul Bunyan Land! Brainerd proudly houses a 50 foot tall Paul Bunyan (based off the Minnesotan folktale) who talks and greets your youngsters by name! Enjoy rides, food, and history at Paul Bunyan Land. The Brainerd Lakes Area also offers the Paul Bunyan Trail, used for biking, hiking, rollerblading, snowmobiling, and anything else you can think of! The ride is very scenic and you’ll almost always pass a friendly neighbor out enjoying the day.
Brainerd has even caught some movie attention! The movie, Fargo, is set in a fictional version of Brainerd. Many books have also been written with Brainerd in mind, including almost the entire John Hassler collection. There is fun for every personality type in the Brainerd Lakes Area. The artsy folks can visit the Franklin Arts Center, home of the studios of many local artists. Sports lovers can attend a Lunkers baseball game at Mills Field, and fun-loving teens can enjoy an afternoon at Pirates Cove mini golf course! In July most of the Brainerd Lakes population (plus some visitors) gather together for the Fourth of July Celebration, the Largest in Minnesota! The entire week is filled with activities for everyone to enjoy. What better way to celebrate the nicest month of the year?
The Brainerd Lakes Area is home to kind, caring, and talented people, in fact, the new Miss Minnesota and the 1st runner up both hail from Brainerd! Citizens in the Lakes Area truly care about each other in the “Minnesota Nice” kind of way.
So no matter whom you are, what you like, or where you come from, there is so much in store for you in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Visit sometime, I guarantee you’ll love it!
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