At- A-Glance: Exploring Grand Rapids – Fun and Food
In the land of a 1,000 lakes and lush northern forests, nothing can surpass this area’s natural beauty for a memorable riding destination. Visitors to the Grand Rapids area have come for generations to enjoy the many recreational activities. This includes golf, boating, fishing, and a multitude of other opportunities including biking. In exploring Grand Rapids, you’ll find the southern gateway to the Mesabi Trail and the Chippewa National Forest roads and trails that will create memories that will last a lifetime.
Where to Bike
Explore and enjoy the beauty of the lakes and forests in and around the Grand Rapids area. A part of Northeast Minnesota, Grand Rapids is rapidly developing into some of the finest bike trails in the state. Both the Itasca County Bike Trail and the Mesabi Trail begins at the fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, with the county trail heading north for five miles to Prairie Lake. The Mesabi Trail ventures east, through 25 communities, currently covering 115 miles of well-mapped and maintained paved trails.
For road riding folk, choose from the many scenic loops. Many follow sections of the Mississippi River Trail and meander through parts of the Chippewa National Forest.
For the mountain bikers, there are miles of varying terrain through state forests and on old logging roads. If you’re looking for a challenge, then there are several challenging terrain parks in the area such as the Tioga Bike Park.
Area Bike Shops and Clubs
Itasca Trail Sports | 316 N.E. 4th St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744 | 844-373-7815
Where to Play
From the Macrostic Art Center, the Forest History Center, and Children’s Museum, families will be delighted when not exploring the trails. For the “Wizard of Oz” fans out there, find out more about her childhood in the Judy Garland Museum.
Some of Grand Rapids’ attractions:
Pla-Mor Roller Rink – classic roller rink | 1422 US-168, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 | 218-326-2909
Reif Performing Arts Center – theatre, dance, and more entertainment | 720 N.W. Conifer Drive, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 | 218-327-5780
Judy Garland Museum – Judy Garland’s history and “The Wizard of Oz” items are here – even the carriage from the movie to take a picture with | 2727 Pokegama Ave. South, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 | 218-327-9276
Old Central School – built in the late 1800’s and is now on the list of National Historical places | 10 N.W. 5th St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744
For more information and activities click here
Where to Eat
From the Brewed Awakenings Coffeehouse to dining at the Forest Lake Restaurant, the Grand Rapids Area also offers several interesting and charming cafes and ice cream shops.
Here are a few of Grand Rapids’ dining options:
Toivos – delicious food, happy hour, and bingo nights | Breakfast Menu | Lunch and Dinner Menu | 1212 N.W. 4th St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744 | 218-999-5550
The Cedars Dining Room – housed in the Sawmill Inn, a family owned restaurant that reflects the culture and cuisine of the area | Menu | Highway 169 South, 2301 South Pokegama Ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744 | 800-235-6455
Dottie’s Hometown Cafe & Benos – great home-cooked tasting food, especially for breakfast | 324 N.E. 4th St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744 | 218-327-1400
For a full list of options click here
Where to Sleep
Along with most hotels, many coffee shops and restaurants have Wi-Fi available. Additionally, the public library is another good option. The Grand Rapids Library is located at 111 Library Street N.E., Grand Rapids, MN 49503 and can be contacted by phone by calling 616-988-5400.
See the Grand Rapids Tourism Bureau for more detailed information.