If you’re planning a getaway to the Gull Lake area this year, outdoor and watersports activities may take center stage, but don’t forget about the many shopping opportunities! Quaint downtown areas of Nisswa, Brainerd, Baxter, Crosslake, and others boast unique retail shops filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered.
These Central Minnesota lake towns are booming with cozy cafes and coffee shops, antique stores, bakeries and chocolatiers, and many specialty retailers offering locally sourced and crafted goods that will make the perfect gifts and souvenirs. These are just a few of the many options of things to do in Gull Lake!
When in downtown Nisswa, it’s impossible to miss the tee-pee-shaped storefront of Northern Gifts & Sweets, where they’re all about Minnesota. From the locally made gifts and sweets to the Minnesota-themed souvenirs and home décor items, the shop carries a large selection of teas, candy, treats, and gift items. Some popular brands include U.G.L.Y. Cheesecake, Canoe Paddle Kettle Corn, and Northern Soda. Located by the turtle racetrack, the unique shop is known for its fudge, taffy, ornaments, jewelry, Minnesota-made signs, engraved tumblers, and locally crafted fishing and hunting brag boards.
Turtle Town Books & Gifts is a truly unique stop in Nisswa. Not only do they offer thousands of books, games, gifts, and toys, their goal is to offer the highest level of knowledgeable, friendly, and personal service. Owners Doug and Mary, along with their canine companion Rainy, are often in the store to greet shoppers. They are devoted to matching customers with the great book, puzzle, game, or gift that will provide hours of entertainment. Because half of the store is devoted to children, they are a great destination for gift buying and vacationing visitors. They choose their games and toys carefully for quality and value, and their puzzle lines are the best. They feature storytimes in the summer that are guaranteed to create great memories.
Goody’s Gourmet Treats is a place where families can enjoy time together while having a delicious treat. Instantly feel like a kid again in this fun-filled, family atmosphere packed with gourmet treats and gifts for every age. This must-stop experience is a great place to shop for the next family board game or a made-in-Minnesota treat. Located in the historic Northern Pacific train district in beautiful Brainerd, the train yard is still active, creating the opportunity to see working trains daily. The shop’s vintage circus theme is fitting for the era of the building, as well as the smell and taste of fresh homemade popcorn and desserts. Goody’s is home to the Midwest’s finest ice cream and cheesecake made right in the Brainerd Lakes area.
The Olde Open Window has been a hallmark of downtown Brainerd for the last 11 years. Visitors to the store are immediately engulfed in the shop’s vision: “Inspiration for Your Home, Body, and Soul.” Local, one-of-a-kind items for the home include candles, jewelry, handbags, knick-knacks, and antiques. The cozy, relaxing atmosphere is a mix of old, new, and locally handcrafted items. Vintage-inspired clothing, accessories, and primitives abound among a selection of 1803 Soy Candles & Melts and soothing Black Crow Candles. The shop is known for its array of seasonal items and unique gifts, graced by the presence of the boutique’s two mascot kitties, Benny and Junior.
COMING SOON BRAINERD SHOPPING EVENT
To further celebrate the amazing shopping in the Brainerd Lakes area, locals and visitors alike will enjoy the inaugural Spring Fling in downtown Brainerd on May 7 and 8, 2021. This will be a fun weekend filled with shopping, dining, activities, music, and more!
Hosted by Destination Downtown Brainerd, local businesses will offer great discounts and promotions, as well as a limited number of VIP bags. Shoppers will have a chance to win prizes simply by completing a Spring Fling Passport, which will be available at participating businesses the weekend of the event. Adding ambiance to the event, Lakes Jazz Authority will perform Saturday, May 8 from noon to 2 p.m.
Shopping is just one of the many things to enjoy while in Minnesota. The team at Gull Lake Beach Resorts is here to make sure you have amazing accommodations to match the fun. Contact us today to learn more about our property options and to begin planning your trip!
Gull Lake area is brewing up good times and great memories for your next visit! But did you know the area is also brewing up home-grown spirits to add to your vacation enjoyment?
When vacationing on Gull Lake, you may be looking for the perfect spot to kick back and relax with a beer in hand. A variety of area craft breweries are favorite hot spots for locals and visitors alike. Each with its own vibe and specialty, they share in the art of infusing chemistry and creativity to produce some seriously tasty concoctions. These are just a few of the many options…
Big Axe Brewing Company:Nisswa
Big Axe Brewing located in downtown Nisswa is a local brew pub that turns heads with incredible handcrafted beers and a full kitchen. The perfect place to catch up with friends or unwind at the end of a day on the lake, Big Axe offers a fun, relaxing environment where the food is tasty and the beer is cold.
In addition to the full-flavored, freshly crafted brews, Big Axe boasts house-made root beer and cream soda, too. Special release beers such as the Bourbon Bean Stout and Peanut Butter Stout frequently rotate on the menu. Patrons can even take a growler back to their vacation rental!
Enjoy delicious soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, plus a kids’ menu for the little ones to choose from. Enjoy your meal indoors or relax on the patio – and pups are welcome, as long as they are on a leash.
Jack Pine Brewery::Baxter
After 12 years of winning beer competitions, earning beer judging certifications, and lots and lots of homebrewing, in 2013 Patrick Sundberg opened a nanobrewery making 100 gallons of beer at a time. But you can’t keep a good brewer down, and in 2017, Jack Pine Brewery opened its new taproom to the Brainerd Lakes area.
Jack Pine’s goal is to craft a quality brew across a wide spectrum of flavors. From light to dark, malty to hoppy, and even an award-winning pepper beer to spice things up, there’s something for everyone. Beer novices and connoisseurs alike might be surprised with a well-made style outside their typical realm of favorites.
The brewery is pet friendly (on the patio), kid friendly (with games and sodas), and food friendly with a regular roundtable of food trucks that frequent the parking lot. Jack Pine also has space to rent for events and hosts lots of regular ones, too, including live music, yoga, painting, trivia and fundraisers.
Roundhouse Brewery: Nisswa
Nisswa’s Roundhouse Brewery crafts amazing beers in a unique setting. Starting with the highest quality ingredients and a passion for the pursuit of an exceptional pint, the pub aims to brew and distribute unsurpassed beer to the Brainerd Lakes area and beyond.
Roundhouse’s large taproom recently added “the Platform,” an elevated seating mezzanine that gives a bird’s eye view of the whole bar. Ample outdoor seating welcomes furry companions and is accented with umbrellas, patio lighting and fire pits. While Roundhouse doesn’t serve food, bring-your-own and deliveries are welcome.
What makes Roundhouse cutting edge? Well, it’s The Wreck Room, of course. This family-friendly axe-throwing space and rec lounge is open weekends and features an axe-throwing coach who doubles as a beertender! No experience is necessary to learn axe-throwing games and have a good time.
Cheers to Gull Lake Area
Worth noting, Brainerd is home to its own distillery, Five Rocks Distilling Co., creating vodka, gin whiskey and cocktail kits that reflect the spirit of Minnesota. Alternatively, Ya Sure Kombucha in Brainerd brews a variety of flavors of this healthy and delicious non-alcoholic drink.
Locally crafted beverages are just one of the many things to enjoy while in the Gull Lake area, in Minnesota. The team at Gull Lake Beach Resorts is here to make sure you have amazing accommodations to match the fun. Contact us today to learn more about our property options and to begin planning your trip!
February 3rd is the national #BookDirect day. This initiative is designed to educate guests about the advantages of “bypassing third-party channels to book directly with management companies and homeowners”. Here are the top 5 reasons to #BookDirect through Gull Lake Beach Resorts.
Did you know that Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway and TripAdvisor add hundreds of dollars of fees to your booking total? The best pricing will always be on our website GullLakeBeachResorts. We use dynamic pricing to price our units which considers the market and our own occupancy.
During non-peak travel times, managers and owners have special offers available: From events and activities to special rates to onsite services, with direct communication with managers and owners, you get insider knowledge and the best offers. Our current special is book 3 nights and you get the 4th night FREE now through May 23, 2021.
Working with Gull Lake Beach Resorts directly provides a custom vacation experience. We provide luxury packages and additional rentals through GullLakeBeachResorts that will deliver on a memorable trip.
Looking for help with your family’s special? We can work with you directly to help with any of your individual needs and give you these assurances before you commit to a booking.
Managers and owners have intimate knowledge about the destination: They can direct you the best rental for your needs and send you to the best activities, restaurants, and area service providers. When you book through GullLakeBeachResorts you have a direct line to me.
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