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For some travelers that can’t wait to take to the roads and skies in search of amazing vacation destinations each year, there’s nothing better than the time set aside to explore mountain slopes and ski their way through a stay when the fresh powder falls. For others, a spring getaway to a desert destination complete with red rocks and sprawling canyons is the ideal captivating moment to be enjoyed. However, for those who have time to explore and discover something new in the summer or fall, there’s no better place to find yourself than stunning Gull Lake, Minnesota.  

This inviting and exciting vacation destination is just as well suited for the solo traveler and a romantic getaway as it is a family-focused adventure that visitors of all ages will love. It’s a place that’s long been loved for the fact that it’s as scenic as it is welcoming, making it a great option for those looking to pair outdoor adventure with time to simply settle in, relax, and savor the view.  

Gull Lake encompasses nearly 15 square miles, making it one of Minnesota’s premier lake destinations for the visitor who loves to enjoy on-the-water fun and explore the many communities that sit along the shoreline. While Gull Lake beckons to those with a passion for time in the great outdoors, its intriguing natural beauty also makes it a perfect place to admire from a beach chair or the comfort of a luxurious rental home deck. No matter what Gull Lake travel plans entail, there are a few stops, attractions, and activities that you’ll be want to sure to include when you’re putting the finishing touches on your plans this summer or fall in Gull Lake. Finding time to do them all is a great way to elevate your stay from good to unforgettable!

Activities in Gull Lake

Things to Do While You’re Here: From Boating and Fishing to Time on the Greens

With so much water just waiting to be explored, a trip this summer or fall in Gull Lake simply wouldn’t be complete without some well-spent time on the waves. While swimming is a popular activity to enjoy from any of the beautiful and inviting beaches this lake hosts, boating is just as appealing! Not to worry, you don’t have to own your own boat to make the most of the on-the-water fun. 

For many travelers with their sights set on Gull Lake for their summer or fall getaway, time here is best spent casting a line and waiting for something exciting to bite! Avid anglers have always found Gull Lake to be a particularly appealing vacation destination thanks to the water’s teeming population of largemouth bass, bluegill, white sucker, black crappie, and walleye. In fact, trophy walleye are regularly caught in these waters, some coming in between 8 and 10 pounds!  

While experienced anglers will inevitably enjoy their time out fishing on Gull Lake, those without as much experience can still get in on the fun with ease. There are several fishing charter companies in the area that are happy to help newcomers make the most of their time and experience. Many of these companies cater to all skill levels and offer up family-friendly excursions too. Among the options, Blong’s Brainerd Guide Service stands out as a fan favorite thanks to their flexible scheduling, customized service, and options to enjoy fishing charters that include all of the gear and equipment you might need for a great day! They’ve been a staple for full-service fishing charters in the area for more than 25 years, giving their guests the confidence they deserve when heading out to learn a new skill and potentially, a lifelong hobby! If getting to a departure point isn’t an easy task, the team at Blong’s Brainerd Guide Service is happy to offer pick-up services as well. What could be more convenient? 

While on-the-water moments feel essential when booking a summer or fall stay around Gull Lake, those that have a true heart for time on the greens won’t want to miss out on booking a tree time at The Pines Golf Course while they’re in town. This inviting and scenic course is located at 23521 Nokomis Avenue in Nisswa and is open daily from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. This lush course offers golfers a chance to enjoy a rich, forested landscape that is home to 27 holes. In addition to tantalizing fairways, The Pines offers up a chance to make the most of multiple putting greens, a practice area, and an impressive driving range too. When golfers are done playing outdoors, they can make their way into the clubhouse and enjoy a savory bite at Freddy’s Sports Grill or browse the products stocked up in the award-winning pro shop. 

Fall in Gull Lake

Get into Nature

Natural beauty and wonder are on full display everywhere one looks when visiting Gull Lake. During the summer and fall months, captivating colors, wildlife, and amazing vistas are certainly easy to encounter. If you and your traveling crew are the types that appreciate as much time as possible in the great outdoors, heading over to the Gull Lake Recreation Area is a must. Situated near Brainerd, the Gull Lake Recreation Area is a great place to bring the kids as it hosts fun playgrounds, but it’s also home to a wide variety of hiking trails that can be customized to fit skill levels and time preferences. These trails loop through lush surroundings and waterways where you can take time to spot a plethora of bird species if you have your binoculars on hand. As far as wildlife goes, this recreation area is home to bald eagles, river otters, white-tail deer, and loons. 

While hitting the trails on foot is sure to inspire enthusiastic hikers, for those with more of a love for exploring on two wheels, biking in this area of Minnesota is just as popular and exciting! The Gull Lake area in general is home to a wide variety of tantalizing bike trails that can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace or as a challenge to existing cycling skills. No matter how you plan on getting out and about, you won’t have to worry about finding the right bike to meet your needs as there are plenty of options when it comes to rental companies. Adventure to Go in Nisswa is a great place to start, while Up North Bike Rentals and Lake Fun Rentals have just as comprehensive a quality inventory waiting to be enjoyed. 

While there are a seemingly endless number of bike trails to choose from, a few stand out from the rest. Those looking forward to a more leisurely ride will want to try the East Gull Lake Trails. For a more extensive adventure, hit up the Paul Bunyan Trail which spans 120 miles in total connecting several cities—but can easily be broken up into sections and traversed in preferred parts. As an added benefit, it’s a paved pathway so you’ll be sure to enjoy a smooth ride no matter how far you go! 

Family Fun Activities

Gull Lake is particularly appealing for summer and fall family getaways thanks to the abundance of options for fun it provides paired with beautiful scenery and surroundings. Of course, it also offers up some adrenaline-pumping adventures where families excited to be far from the daily grind can jump into heart-pounding fun! Among the options available, the Nisswa Family Fun Waterpark often finds its way to the top of the preferred family-focused vacation activities in Gull Lake. Located at 4871 Co Rd 77, this waterpark is a great place to cool off and have a great time on a hot summer’s day. When you’re looking for a thrill, you’re sure to find it here. Nisswa Family Fun Waterpark hosts a variety of seamless waterslides, and high-drop rides, and pools that cater to everyone’s idea of a great time.  

Moving from water to sky, families can head over to the Brainerd Zipline Tour when they find that they’re in the mood for a sky-high perspective on the terrain paired with plenty of fun! Located within the greater Mount Ski Gull area, Brainerd Zipline Tour offers guests a 2.5-hour guided zipline experience where you can not only explore 7-different ziplines alongside a knowledgeable expert but also walk over a thrilling suspended sky bridge and make the most of a 50-foot free-fall jump if you’re feeling the need for even more of an adrenaline rush. 

Bars and Cafes

While the plethora of activities and attractions to be found in the Gull Lake region of Minnesota is bound to please, all of that fun also deserves to come with some savory moments to be enjoyed! Fortunately for those headed this way, there are plenty of options to choose from in the way of cafes and bars that please the palate.  

If you know that you’re going to need to fuel up for a day of outdoor adventure ahead, starting your day off at The Iron Waffle Coffee Company in Nisswa is a must. This popular breakfast and lunch stop is open from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. daily and is the perfect place to settle into cozy surroundings and order up everything from waffles and bacon to a breakfast sandwich and bagel. Of course, no stop here is really complete without pairing your breakfast with a hot cup of coffee. The menu at The Iron Waffle Coffee Company has no shortage of selections when it comes to cappuccinos, Americanos, lattes, and espressos. 

After you’ve been out and about around Gull Lake all day, there’s nothing better than ending your adventures on a sweet note at Sherwood Forest. This inviting gastropub and bar is located at 8789 Interlachen Road and welcomes guests to take a seat inside a space that’s designed to reflect the cozy atmosphere of a forested lodge. While visitors are free to order up dishes that showcase everything from steak to seafood, many are drawn to this 100-year-old destination in search of savory wine, beer, or cocktail selections! Gather around a table with family and friends and cheers to a one-of-a-kind getaway that promises to be unforgettable. 

Places to Stay Around Gull Lake

From the fun stops to the flavorful moments, a trip to Gull Lake, Minnesota is often an experience that has first-time visitors longing to return time and again with good reason. With so much to see and explore, the only way to elevate this amazing experience further is to know that you’re booked into beautiful, conveniently located, and luxurious accommodations that keep you as close to the fun as possible. That’s exactly what travelers can expect who book a lakeside vacation rental with Gull Lake Beach Resorts this summer or fall. Our rentals are designed with spacious open concept living in mind and offer up large windows so guests can make the most of the waterfront view even when they’re indoors. From full kitchens and fireplaces to fire pits, dock access, and delightful outdoor seating areas, rentals booked through Gull Lake Beach Resorts pair the beauty of nature with the modern comforts and luxuries guests deserve. 

Reach out today to learn more about our many property options and to begin planning your fall or summer in Gull Lake getaway!