Why head all the way to Florida or California when you want a great beach vacation? Gull Lake is so much closer to home, and it offers great beaches and fun opportunities on the water for the whole family to enjoy. Little ones can build sandcastles while bigger kids splash in the water and try out new water sports. The whole family can have fun out on a boat, and you can catch up some fish for dinner. With such a large coastline to explore, Gull Lake offers some of the best beaches in Minnesota!
Spend a Day on the Shoreline
No matter which part of Gull Lake you stay at, you’ll find the beaches offer plenty of enjoyment. Adults can lounge and suntan while easily keeping an eye on the kids playing in the shallows. The lake is shallow for quite a way out from the shore, so swimming is gentle for everyone. It’s easy to keep kids entertained when they have sand to play in! Most visitors to Gull Lake are headed out in boats, so the beaches themselves are not usually crowded. Pack a picnic and keep everyone happy! You can also make use of the fire pits in summer months and cook up your daily catch, along with some marshmallows. Sing some campfire songs with the family and finish up the evening with a long romantic walk along the shoreline. Gull Lake’s beaches are the best!
Take a Drive Around
While it’s fine to stay put and enjoy the beach near your rental, you also have the option of doing a day trip and driving around the lake, checking out other beaches as you go. While some of the resort beaches are private, you’ll find that there are plenty of others to visit along the way. In particular, on the southeastern side of Gull Lake, you’ll find the Gull Lake Recreation Area, a public spot offering day use of the lake. Additionally, Pillsbury State Forest, on the lake’s western shore, is a popular scenic drive with many small lakes included (bring your fishing gear!).
Cruise Around on a Boat
If you’re bringing your own boat to Gull Lake, great! Please remember to observe all precautions regarding invasive aquatic species. If you don’t have a boat, or don’t feel like hassling with one, you can rent our premium tritoon, with enough room for everyone to stretch out and have a great time. Heading out on a boat offers you the opportunity to explore Gull Lake from a whole new angle, as well as swim in a variety of areas, both shallow and deep. You can also try your hand at fishing and see what you can catch up for dinner! Just remember that you do need a Minnesota fishing license, easily available for purchase online.
Try New Water Sports
A visit to Gull Lake is the perfect time to indulge in whatever water sport your family favors, as well as to try something new. Canoeing and kayaking are perennial favorites here, as well as motorized options like jet skis. But there’s no better way to make family memories than trying out a new (and challenging for some) sport! Why not learn to stand-up paddle on your lake vacation this year? Stand-up paddling is growing in popularity, and for good reason. It provides a great core workout, offers you a fun new way to view the lake and explore different areas, and it is super fun (and funny) when people fall off! Kids and grownups alike will appreciate the challenge and entertainment involved when you learn to stand-up paddle. Rentals and lessons are available in the Gull Lake area.
Beaches by Bike
A fun way to check out some new beaches, both in the upper reaches of Gull Lake and beyond, is by taking a ride on the Paul Bunyan Trail. The southern section of this trail runs from Brainerd to Backus, winding for 40 miles through many beautiful lake areas. Stop off on the shores of Long Lake, Lake Hubert, and the Pequot Lakes. Bring a picnic lunch or visit one of the many restaurants you’ll find in the nearby “trail towns.” The trail is a fabulous way to see scenery you’d miss if you were in a car and is a flat and easy ride for the whole family to enjoy. If bicycling isn’t your thing, you can also use the trail for walking, rollerblading, or even geocaching!
See the Water from Above
If you’ve had enough of beach time, how about flying high instead? Check out the Brainerd Zip Line Tour, a 2.5-hour experience that encompasses seven different zip lines, as well as an optional 50-foot freefall at the end! It’s a unique and exhilarating way to see the beautiful Brainerd Lakes region from above and will provide you with memories that will last for years to come.
Have fun on your next beach vacation to beautiful Gull Lake!