When it’s time to unwind and let go of stress that builds in the hustle and bustle of the daily routine, planning a pristine getaway to scenic Minnesota is the key to turning it all around—especially if your final destination happens to be the Gull Lake region of the state! This inviting and endlessly appealing locale is loved by travelers from near and far for just as many reasons as there are travel interests. Gull Lake is a great place for outdoor adventurers looking for dynamic terrain to explore, but it’s also built for those who can envision themselves shopping and dining their way through a restorative stay as well.
It’s fair to say that Gull Lake and the surrounding communities are year-round destinations that have something in store for everyone no matter what time of year you happen to have time off from the daily grind. With thousands of feet of lakeshore available to explore, outdoor recreation opportunities in abundance and a plethora of in-town entertainment, there’s no shortage of options for fun. Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or in the company of family and friends, a Gull Lake getaway is simple to customize according to travel preference and style. This is thanks to the area’s diverse terrain and activity lineup that’s built for a personalized adventure every step of the way. When you’re fortunate enough to have time to travel to Gull Lake in winter or spring, consider this your ultimate guide to a trip that’s fun from start to finish!
Winter Seasonal Highlights
When the snow falls in the Gull Lake region of Minnesota, the wintry world opens up with possibilities for fun for travelers, visitors, and locals alike. In fact, many travelers who have a passion for outdoor adventure prefer to venture this way in the winter when temperatures drop and they’re invited to bundle up and hit the slopes, trails, and crystalized terrain. Yes, the temperatures fall drastically in Minnesota in the winter, but if you’re brave enough to bundle up and face it, then you’ll find adventure around nearly every corner.
If skiing your way through winter is just your style, then time spent at Mount Ski Gull is bound to thrill. This beloved ski park is the perfect place to put your slope-side skills to the test or learn to ski for the very first time! Equipped with great lifts and runs for all skill levels, visitors will find there’s every reason to spend more than one day exploring and enjoying the surroundings. On-site rentals mean you don’t have to worry about packing all that winter gear if you’re hoping to travel light. Mount Ski Gull is a great place to experience the best of winter in this region with ease. Other winter fun activities are readily available to be enjoyed at Mount Ski Gull as well. Visitors can make the most of snowboarding options while they’re here or hit the tubing slides if you happen to be visiting with little ones in tow.
Ice fishing is another popular wintertime activity for visitors to enjoy in the Gull Lake area of Minnesota. The drastic drop in temperatures helps the area waterways quickly freeze to a point where it’s safe to head out with a line and pole and put your luck to the test. In fact, Gull Lake hosts the annual Ice Fishing Extravaganza because the biting is so good this time of year. This fun and charitable event is a great time to try ice fishing for the first time or watch the experts at work for a good cause.
The many trails that come to life for hiking in the summer throughout the Gull Lake area are not off-limits to travelers in the winter. These trails actually transform into ideal snowshoeing routes for those looking to take to the great outdoors in a unique style at their very own pace. Rent a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails with the entire family in tow and don’t forget to bring your camera with you. This leisurely activity can be great when paired with opportunities for photo sessions that highlight the beauty of your wintery surroundings.
For those that are looking for more traditional Minnesota wintertime fun, both ice skating and ice hockey are popular options this time of year. Gull Lake hosts both indoor and outdoor arenas where you can join in on a hockey game that’s underway or try out some new moves on figure skates.
Cozy up in a Warm and Savory Stop
When there’s a winter chill in the air and you’re visiting Gull Lake, there’s nothing better than finding those cozy coffee shops and restaurants to warm up in. Fortunately, there are many options to choose from when you head this way! Adirondack Coffee in Nisswa is a fan favorite when you’re looking for a warm and refreshing caffeine kick served up in charming surroundings. StoneHouse Coffee & Roastery in Nisswa also promises to elevate the latte and espresso experience to a new level of excellence after an afternoon of outdoor winter fun. For those looking to pair their cup of Joe with an all-day breakfast option, heading over to The Iron Waffle Coffee Company in Nisswa is always a great option. Zorbaz in Lakeshore or The Lobby Café in East Gull Lake have much to offer in the way of warm beverages and breakfast goodies as well!
Indoor Fun for Everyone
While outdoor fun is easy to find in the winter in Gull Lake, those who prefer an indoor approach to a blustery adventure will find what they’re looking for too. If you happen to be a history buff, you’ll find that this region is packed with stops that dive deep into the area’s past and stories. From time at the Crow Wing County Historical Society and Museum to the Paul Bunyan Land and Old Farm Museum, visitor can spend time stepping into the past while learning what has grown the Gull Lakes region into the modern marvel it is today.
Enjoy a Winter Show
When the snow falls, there’s something fun about knowing you have tickets in hand for a fun show or two during a stay in the Gull Lakes area. That’s exactly what winter travelers will find when they make the most of seasonal performances at the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center in Brainerd. Located conveniently at 501 W. College Drive, this performing arts center hosts great local talent year-round, and winter is no exception to the rule. Whether you’re looking for comedy, musicals, or dance, this the place you’ll find it.
Spring Seasonal Highlights
While winter in Gull Lake is a great time for ski enthusiasts to bundle up and hit the slopes, spring sees that same snow melting away to reveal a wonderland of outdoor recreation for those who prefer a bit more of a warm weather approach to travel. As temperatures rise and flowers bloom across Gull Lake, visitors this time of year are treated to a true kaleidoscope of color, wildlife, and options for fun! Many families head this way in the spring to enjoy time outdoors without having to contend with summer travel crowds. It’s a great season to balance out indoor and outdoor activities that can be customized to ages of all kinds.
Gull Lake itself opens up in the spring, offering a great and pristine place to enjoy everything from swimming and boating to cruising alongside a guide. While the water is bound to still be a bit chilly, those who are built for the thrill can make the most of a dip in the waters this time of year. Many spring travelers prefer to rent their own boat and get out on the waves to explore at their own pace. Lake Fun Rentals in Nisswa is a convenient place to reserve your vessel to make the most of a day on the water this spring. Of course, if you’re more in the mood for a guided tour, the team at Loon Cruise in East Gull Lake is more than happy to answer the call. Gull Lake Cruises also provides customized on-the-water adventures that are designed to inspire, educate, and provide some sensational views too. Many guests are thrilled to find that Gull Lake is over 15 miles long, and starting in May, it becomes a haven for anglers from near and far. Whether you’re an expert at casting a line or you can’t wait to put your skills to work, these waters promise an abundance of opportunity when spring rolls around.
Hiking and biking are other popular activities to enjoy in the spring in and around the Gull Lake area. Those looking for a more leisurely approach to spring trekking will be interested in the relatively flat terrain found in the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd. When you’re on the hunt for the most scenic of routes that are fun for everyone, hit up the iconic Paul Bunyan Trail which covers more than 120 miles of land in total, but can easily be split up to match your preferences for a single day of adventure. Those with a passion for mountain-biking exploration will find a thrill waiting for them at the Cuyuna County State Recreation Area. Complete with lakes, old mine pits and challenging trails, it’s a great biking destination for those looking to elevate their cycling skills to the next level.
For those who are up for a bit of a unique adventure, there are options in this area to enjoy a horseback trail ride when spring in Gull Lake rolls around as well. If you’re in the mood to saddle up and savor the scenery on horseback, places like Pine River Riding Stable, Outback Trail Rides, and Spirit Horse Center Inc offer guided trail experiences for riders of all skill levels.
Family Fun Spring Experiences
The wonderful weather and seemingly endless lineup of activities makes Gull Lake and the surrounding communities perfect for a family adventure packed with fun in the springtime. When you’re here this time of year and looking to pair entertainment with education, head over to the Safari North Wildlife Park at least once. This wild stop offers up a chance to engage with animals on a new level and visitors can enjoy everything from riding camels and communing with parakeets to feeding giraffes during a visit. A stop here gives visitors a chance to encounter some incredible animals while simultaneously learning more about conservation efforts and animal behavior and habitats. There’s even a kids play area that’s open starting in May.
Another fun family stop in this area is Kart Kountry. If your family is the type that loves adrenaline-pumping fun and a bit of friendly competition too, this is the place to be. Here, visitors can make the most of time on a thrilling go-kart track complete with addition batting cages, onsite bungee bounces, and a virtual reality attraction to check out too.
For the family that can’t get enough of mini golf no matter where they roam, a spring trip to Gull Lake promises not to disappoint. Take time to enjoy a round or two at Whistling Wolf & Dark Moon Mini Golf or try Pirates’ Cove Adventure Golf in Brainerd for some swashbuckling-themed family fun.
When you’re ready to take things up a notch, time at the Brainerd International Raceway this spring is a must. There are events here hosted throughout the spring and summer ranging from superbike races and drag racing to BIR Performance Driving school options. Whether you’re excited to see the action or can’t wait to try your luck behind the wheel of a race car, a visit is most definitely worth your while.
Book Your Gull Lake Getaway Today
No matter what season it is that brings you to Gull Lake, the property professionals at Gull Lake Beach Resorts are here to help you find accommodations to top off the fun experience. Let us handle your details so you can focus on the adventure! Reach out today to learn more about our many rental property options around Gull Lake and how we can help you start planning your next trip. We can’t wait to see you in Minnesota soon!