Gull Lake, Minnesota is a gorgeous and welcoming place to enjoy year-round, but there’s something particularly appealing about a summer getaway this direction. Whether you’re one for outdoor adventure or you’re craving a relaxing and restorative vacation, Gull Lake has something wonderful waiting for you. From the lush terrain mazed with hiking trails to the clear waters that beckon boats, swimmers, and anglers alike, there’s something for everyone to enjoy under the summer sun. When you’re ready to pack a suitcase and make your way to Gull Lake, the following is your summer guide to making the most of the fun that awaits! Consider this a starting point to a one-of-a-kind summer in Gull Lake adventure that will certainly have you planning a return trip before you’ve even finished this first adventure.
Activities to Enjoy During Your Summer Getaway
Making the most of a summer adventure to Gull Lake, Minnesota often means focusing some fun on the water! Gull lake is a sprawling place to explore and discover something new and a great way to do just that at your very own pace is with a rental boat. Fortunately, those looking forward to time on the waves will find there plenty of options whether you’re up for renting a pontoon, kayak, canoe, fishing boat or something in between. Both Lake Fun Rentals in Nisswa and Your Boat Club Gull Lake in Lake Shore are great places to start your search when you’re ready to leave the land in distance and enjoy every second of your watery adventure. For the ultimate convenience, simply rent one of our vessels and it will be docked near your cabin. The Gull Lake Beach Resorts fleet features a variety of pontoon and fishing boats to meet any party’s needs.
Of course, if you’re a traveler who prefers a guided on-the-water experience with some flavor and fun to match, booking a cruise while you’re visiting in the summer is definitely the way to go! Gull Lake Cruises is a premier provider of sightseeing and dinner cruises in this area and is wonderful place to book an experience you won’t soon forget. Headquartered at 11000 Craguns Drive in Brainerd, Gull Lake Cruises is open daily from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm. Travelers who book a cruise through this company will enjoy options that make for a customized experience on the waves. Your Gull Lake escape will start with boarding a luxury yacht where you’ll find two levels and two separate onboard bars to enjoy while you sail. Day and evening dining and sightseeing cruises can be booked through Gull Lake Cruises whether you’re looking to make it a group event or prefer a private experience. The yacht’s spacious observation deck provides a place to take in unobstructed and undeniably scenic views of the surrounding landscape from a vantage point on the water. With Gull Lake Cruises, your sightseeing is taken to a new level of excellence with every trip.
Add Some Adrenaline into the Mix
For those who prefer adrenaline-pumping fun built into their summer Gull Lake getaway, spending time at Brainerd Zip Line Tour is a must. Located at 9898 County Road 77 SW in Nisswa near the Mount Ski Gull Area, Brainerd Zip Line Tour is a tantalizing place to defy gravity and take your adventure to new heights. Touted as the very best way to see the Brainerd Lakes region, a zip line tour here promises to be an unforgettable adventure from start to finish. This 2.5-hour guided experience takes visitors across not one, but seven zip lines as well as a 50-foot free fall jump and a suspended sky bridge to top it all off. The views are impeccable, and the challenge is well-worth the effort just to get that bird’s eye view of the terrain. In fact, the zip line park boasts 15 miles worth of views from its elevated Mount Ski Gull vantage point. Those who visit Brainerd Zip Line Tour need to be at least 10 years old, weight 70-250 pounds and be wearing closed-toe shoes to enjoy the fun. A reservation is required in advance, and you’ll need to sign a wavier before you head off on your adventure!
Hike or Bike Your Way to Adventure
If you’re the type of traveler that prefers time on the ground rather than an elevated view, hiking or biking your way through a summer Gull Lake stay is sure to inspire. There are a variety of trails that wind through this region that are just right for trekking or cycling alike. The Paul Bunyan Access Trail is a great place to start your adventure if you want to customize your day on the route according to skill level and pace. Fritz Loven Park in nearby Lake Shore is a particularly appealing hiking destination while the Gull Lake Recreation Area hosts a multitude of trail access points in tandem with playgrounds, flower beds and lush scenery to enjoy.
Find Your Fishing Stride on Gull Lake
For avid anglers excited to get out on the water and cast a line, Gull Lake is a gorgeous and lucrative place to wait for a bite. Many anglers come here with plans to make it a solo adventure on the water, but chartered fishing experiences are just as easy to access when you’re in town over the summer. Boggs Fishing Adventures in Lake Shore, Walleydan’s Guide Service in Nisswa and Todd Andrist in Brainerd are all great places to start when you’re looking for a guided fishing experience where gear is included in the booking cost. No matter which company you select, anglers will find that the waters of Gull Lake are stocked with a variety of exciting species including pan fish, walleye, and northern pike just to name a few.
Focus on the Family Fun
When your summer getaway to Gull Lake happens to be in the company of the entire family, having some family-friendly stops to add to the itinerary is essential. Luckily, Gull Lake and the surrounding communities are packed with places to enjoy when you’re traveling with adventurers of all ages and interests. Consider heading over to Northland Kart Kountry Family Fun Park when go-karting sounds like just your family’s style. This stop is a great place to let everyone get behind the wheel and engage in a little friendly competition on the track. Northland Kart Kountry even has lower-powered junior karts to help younger kids get in on the fun safely. When you’ve had your fill of excitement on the track, this stop also hosts a 23-foot climbing wall with five different routes to choose as you make your way towards the top. Between the basketball trampoline area and the 18-hole mini golf course, you’ll find it easy to linger at Northland Kart Kountry and possibly return a time or two during your stay!
On a mild weather day, mini golf options can be expanded at places like Pirates Cove near Gull Lake. Pirates Cove Adventure Golf is located at 17992 MN-371 in Brainerd and provides guests with two 18-hole courses of fun in a pirate-themed space that’s sure to delight. The course comes complete with waterfalls and caves dotting the terrain and is a great place to bring golf enthusiasts of all ages. This stop is a budget-friendly choice as well if you’re traveling with little ones because all kids three and under play for free!
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind way to enjoy the weather and Minnesota views with the family, head over to Pine River Stables at least once during your visit and enjoy some time on the trails. Located at 2301 40th Avenue SW in Pine River, these stables are open daily from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. Here, visitors will have access to over 240 acres of lush terrain where they can learn to ride or simply enjoy the adventure if they’re experienced. The stables are home to over 130 trained horses and on-site staff are equipped to give lessons, introduce riding equipment, and guide you and your crew on a one-of-a-kind excursion via horseback. Trail rides here offer up a chance to enjoy wildlife spotting along the way. Commonly spotted creatures include everything from deer and otters to porcupines and more.
Attractions to Check Out
For those summer travelers who are looking to cool off beyond the waters of Gull Lake, making time for a trip to the Nisswa Family Fun Waterpark is always a good choice. Situated at 4871 Co Road 77, this stop is open daily between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm in the summer. From the many rides and attractions to the waterslides and splash pools, time here is a chill experience that’s always well-spent. This is a popular summer stop for many visitors so be sure to show up early to get the best poolside spots and to make the most of the fun.
If you’re a summer adventurer who’s looking for moments during your getaway to really connect with nature, making time for a visit to Pillsbury State Forest will be a highlight of your stay. The terrain here is truly inspiring, and the protected landscape is home to a wide variety of thriving creatures and habitats too. The forest was first designated protected land in 1900 and continues to capture the minds and imaginations of visitors year after year. Settled into the heart of Cass County, Pillsbury State Forest is a great place to hike, bird watch, or bring a camera and capture the view if photography is your passion.
When you’re a Gull Lake summer visitor with a passion for the past, history comes to life with a visit to the Crow Wing County Historical Society. Located at 320 Laurel Street in Brainerd, this museum is a must for anyone looking to learn more about the Gull Lakes region’s rich past. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm and hosts a wide variety of exhibits and displays that tell the story of this area in a unique way. Historical pamphlets, books, records, photographs, and videos are available to browse when you’re looking to bring the past to life in vivid style.
Restaurants to Savor During Your Stay
Taking time to unwind, relax, and plan for moments of fun in Gull Lake during the summer is easy to do. However, it’s bound to lead to an appetite that needs attending at one point or another. Fortunately, those who can’t wait to savor a stay will find that Gull Lake is packed with flavorful stops to check out when cravings come calling. When your adventures have you longing for a relaxed place where you can order up everything from pizza and Mexican dishes to traditional Minnesota favorites, a stop at Zorbaz is sure to please. Found at 8105 Lost Lake Road in Lake Shore, this restaurant is open daily from 11:00 am until 2:00 am. It’s a versatile eatery with plenty of options to enjoy as well as friendly service and a colorful setting to settle into. Whether you go with a burrito and a beer or a slice of pepperoni and a Coca-Cola, your tastebuds will certainly thank you for the experience.
When lakeside steakhouse dining is more your style, Ernie’s on Gull is a great choice. Located at 10424 Squaw Point Road in Brainerd, Ernie’s on Gull provides dining service to guests daily in the summer months between 11:00 am and 11:00 pm. This casual steakhouse is a great place to enjoy a sensational sirloin when hunger strikes but is just as suited for the guest who is longing for a handcrafted cocktail they can sip on the patio. Live musical performances are hosted here throughout the summer, giving visitors a chance to pair their plate with some exciting entertainment.
Book Your Stay Today
There’s never been a better time to book your Gull Lake getaway and when you’re ready to turn travel plans into a reality, the property professionals at Gull Lake Beach Resorts are here to help. Reach out today to learn more about our many luxurious rental options across the Gull Lake region and how we can help you start planning your trip. We’ll make sure you’re settled into a home away from home that meets your getaway plans perfectly. We can’t wait to see you in Minnesota soon!
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!
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.
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!