Best Winter Resort - 2011
Humble though it may be, tucked on the edge of the Iron Range beside Lake Superior, Lutsen is Minnesota's answer to Colorado's Aspen, Utah's Park City, Wyoming's Jackson Hole: a bona fide destination ski resort that offers plenty to do—even, in our case, when Minnesota's legendary winter weather turns from bracing to unbearable. If you make the trip north, 90 miles past Duluth to this diamond in the rough, historic Lutsen Lodge is where you want to stay. The old-school Minnesota landmark was founded by Swedish immigrant Charles Axel Nelson in 1885; the current pine-timbered lodge was finished in 1955, built on the ruins of two previous fires. An award-winning restaurant overlooking the lake has something for everyone, from romantic couples to picky-eating kids. The pool and wellness center (massages!) will help you stretch out. And there's a shuttle up to the lifts, so you don't have to jostle for tough-to-come-by parking. Tired of skiing? The lodge organizes snowshoe adventures, weekend nights feature pizza and movie parties for the kids, and if all else fails, you can always cruise 30 miles up Highway 61 and stake out a table at Sven and Ole's in Grand Marais.