Nearly everyone loves a vacation, but what do you do when you want to take your pet along? Pets are like family for many people, so many families hope to plan a vacation that includes their furry friends. Listed below are some of the best pet-friendly places in Minnesota to vacation with your entire family, including the dog. Some are near to the Twin Cities and some are far away, but all welcome pets.
Cozy Bay Resort
23684 County Road 4
Nisswa, MN 56468
Cozy Bay Resort is located on Lake Edward in the Brainerd area and offers cabins and camping accommodations. Each of the cabins have kitchens and the majority of the campsites have electricity and water. Lake Edward is known for bass, walleye, sunfish and crappie, and Cozy Bay Resort rents paddle boats and kayaks for those who wish to head out on the water. Additionally, there is an enclosed swimming area for children. The resort is pet friendly, though all pets must be approved ahead of time. There is a $5 nightly fee for each pet and pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
Grand View Lodge
23521 Nokomis Ave.
Nisswa, MN 56468
Located on Gull Lake, Grand View Resort offers lodging in cabins, cottages, suites and villas. The resort has a limited number of pet-friendly accommodations, so be sure to inquire about pet needs when making your reservation. The resort includes a golf course, spa, restaurant and plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Those who visit Gull Lake often catch walleye, trout and bass, and Grand View Lodge has boats available for rent. An indoor pool and water slide will keep children entertained, while a fitness center and miles of hiking trails might entertain the fitness-savvy vacationer.
Hungry Jack Lodge
372 Hungry Jack Road
Grand Marais, MN 55604
For a more remote vacation, consider traveling up to the Boundary Water Canoe Area near the Canadian border. Hungry Jack Lodge is located on the Gunflint Trail north of Grand Marais. The resort, which was built in 1919, sits on Loon Lake and offers both cabin and campground accommodations. The resort rents boats, pontoons and canoes during the summer and snowmobiles during the winter. Fishing guides are also available during the summer. Pets are welcome in both the campgrounds and cabins for an additional fee, which amounts to $7 per day in the campground and $30 per day or $180 per week in cabins. Pets in cabins cannot be left unattended, are not allowed on furniture and must be kept on a leash.
Loon Lake Lodge
65 Look Lake Road
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Loon Lake Lodge is also located in the Boundary Water Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. The resort, which sits on the Gunflint Trail, is comprised of eight individual cabins. The cabins each feature a view of Loon Lake and can accommodate anywhere from two to six people. Each cabin has a full kitchen, grill and free wireless internet. The resort offers free kayaks, canoes and paddle boats, while pontoons and fishing boats are available for rent. There is a hiking trail within walking distance of the property, and there are more than 20 hiking trails along the Gunflint Trail. Pets are welcome at Loon Lake Lodge as long as they are not left alone in the cabins. An additional fee of $15 per day or $90 per week is charged for pets.
Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area
19825 Park Blvd.
Jordan, MN 55352
Perhaps you are looking for a day trip close to the Twin Cities. If so, consider checking out the Minnesota Valley State Recreation area. The main feature of the state park is a trail that runs alongside the Minnesota River, beginning in Shakopee and ending in Belle Plaine. The park itself is made up of more than 4,299 acres of wetlands and forest floodplains. Birdwatching is a popular activity in the area and wildlife includes waterfowl, mink, deer, fox, raccoons and muskrats. Pets in the park must be on leashes and owners are asked to clean up after their animals.
Kristyn Gansen is a freelance writer covering all things Minneapolis. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.