Visiting Grand Rapids? Here are Some Must-See Places

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities, or you’re just looking for a place in Northern Minnesota to visit, the Grand Rapids area has something for you. As a local resort in the Grand Rapids area, we know the lay of the land, and we’re always more than happy to shed some light on the things to do up here. From hidden gems to well-known attractions, there’s more than enough in Grand Rapids to fill your vacation up with things to do, places to see, and things to experience. Whether you’re staying with us at Sugar Lake Lodge or simply want to visit the Grand Rapids area, these are some of our must-see places and things to do. 

Explore the Great Outdoors

Whether you like to hike, run, bike, snowmobile, or cross-country ski, there’s plenty of places to get some exercise and fresh air in Northern Minnesota. We have no shortage of trails for you to explore; it’s a large part of the reason many people come back to this area again and again. You could spend weeks exploring the trails, forests, and lakes up here. Where should you go? We’ve previously made a mini guide of where to hike and bike in the Grand Rapids, MN area. Check it out here. 

Feeling lazy? Want something more accessible? Take a scenic drive throughout the area. You can follow the roads along the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway, the Avenue of Pines, and the Great River Road to admire the stunning natural beauty of the Minnesota Northwoods. 

Check Out Some Local History

If you’re the type of person who loves to know everything about the area in which you vacation, there’s plenty of history to explore in the Grand Rapids Area. These sites are not far from our resort at Sugar Lake: 

  • Forest History Center: Explore Minnesota’s logging and lumberjack history with interactive exhibits and historic buildings. 
  • Judy Garland Museum: see Judy’s birthplace and childhood home as well as check out a museum honoring her life and contributions to the film industry.  
  • Grand Rapids Historical Sites: from schoolhouses to hotels, and other historical buildings, there’s plenty to see in the downtown Grand Rapids Area. This is a handy map to help you see what’s located in the area. 

Take in Some Local Art

Feeling sophisticated? Just want to stare at something beautiful? There’s a lot of historical and modern art in the Grand Rapids area. You can visit: 

  • The MacRostie Art Center: take in a variety of exhibits that change regularly. You’ll see many art exhibits from local indigenous people and other artists. 
  • Reif Performing Arts Center: catch a live performance with a variety of shows and events that change throughout the year. 
  • Sculptures and City Sites: there’s a huge list of outdoor sculptures and other art exhibits. You can find a map of them here. 

Go Fishing

The Grand Rapids area offers plenty of lakes for guided or non-guided fishing trips. Our very own Sugar Lake is home to about 10 species of fish! Whether you prefer to fish solo, with friends, or in large groups, there are plenty of ways (and places) to cast a line in this area. 

See All That Grand Rapids Has to Offer

There are plenty of places to visit, shop, and sightsee in downtown Grand Rapids. Several popular retailers are located in and around the area. See some of our favorites here. 


Looking for a place to stay near Grand Rapids, MN? S Whether you’re looking for an active summer lake vacation, a memorable family reunion, or a relaxing and romantic getaway, Sugar Lake Lodge is the place to stay!