Cook County Blog

Visit Cook County – Top 5 Fun Summer Activities

Posted by Kjersti Vick on Jun 6, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Our Top 5 Fun Summer Activities

Although we love Cook County all year round, there’s something inherently special about summer up north. Its sunny and warm (but not too warm, thanks Lake Superior!). It’s peaceful, but there are lots of things to do. We have hundreds of thousands of visitors in Cook County every summer, but somehow, there’s room for everyone to breathe. Everyone can do their own thing and find fun summer activities to experience and enjoy.

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Topics: Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, Services, Summer, Art, History & Culture, Grand Portage, Kids & Family, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder, Outdoors, Events

Finding that perfect training ground

Posted by Molly O'Neill on May 10, 2018 4:42:43 PM

Cook County Minnesota is the ultimate training ground for any outdoor fitness enthusiast at all levelsThe varied terrain, limited traffic, and spectacular scenery make working out a reward not only for the body but also the mind. 

There are at least a bazillion, with a B, great resources on the internet for planning the perfect training schedule. However, after viewing several great blogs and websites on cycling and running, I was quickly completely overwhelmed with too much information. Ultimately,  I found clarity in going back to basics.

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Topics: summer, Spring, Events

Waterfall Wednesday - Waterfall season weekly updates

Posted by Kjersti Vick on Apr 18, 2018 3:02:32 PM


Similar to peak fall colors, the exact peak of waterfall flowage can be difficult to predict. However, the lake and rivers break-up every spring after several days of warm weather and can last at peak flow for several weeks. We're checking in at some of our favorite waterfalls this spring to check-in on their spring breakup status. 


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Topics: Spring, waterfalls

A Spring Break Destination for Those Who Think Differently.

Posted by Kjersti Vick on Feb 23, 2018 3:52:00 PM

Spring break. Every student’s rallying cry – and every teacher’s earned respite. Sometime between New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, spring break daydreams begin. You’re probably thinking about the perfect spring break destination. When you picture it, what do you see?

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Topics: Winter, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder, Grand Marais, Grand Portage, Gunflint Trail, Events

Escape the Super Bowl madness - head NORTH!

Posted by Kjersti Vick on Feb 1, 2018 10:13:53 AM

Super Bowl fever has caught on in the Twin Cities, and while it is an excellent boost to the local economy, it sure is a headache for many Twin Cities residents. So why not escape the madness, and head north to the real #boldnorth.

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Topics: winter sports, Winter, skiing, Lodging

Make the Most of Your Winter Vacation | Visit Cook County

Posted by Kjersti Vick on Jan 24, 2018 3:06:42 PM

Cook County, Minnesota is the ultimate winter vacation destination. There’s simply no better place to embark on a winter adventure. Things are quieter up here in winter, which means it’s the perfect time to explore. You’ll feel like you have the trails to yourself. Fewer lines at your favorite restaurants, the nation’s darkest skies and the most beautiful show of northern lights make regular appearances.

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Topics: Winter, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder, Grand Marais, Grand Portage, Gunflint Trail, Events

The Top 8 Tips to See the Northern Lights in Minnesota

Posted by Kjersti Vick on Dec 18, 2017 4:39:52 PM
For many, catching a glimpse of this stunning natural phenomenon is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s a chance to experience the mystical, feel connected with something almost otherworldly and experience natural beauty at its utmost perfection. There is simply no comparison to seeing the northern lights with your own eyes.
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Topics: Kids & Family, Outdoors, Winter

How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest

Posted by Kjersti Vick on Nov 28, 2017 10:32:00 AM

How to harvest the perfect Christmas tree in the Superior National Forest

Have you ever harvested your own Christmas tree from the forest? If you are someone who likes to choose your own adventure and drink hot chocolate from a thermos while wearing a festive flannel - Christmas tree hunting is for you! For as little as $5 you can embark on a memory filled adventure out into the forest to find the perfect Balsam fir tree.

What you’ll need to make your outing successful:

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Topics: Art, History & Culture, Kids & Family, Outdoors, Winter

Finding your inner warmth - Hygge Season

Posted by Kjersti Vick on Nov 16, 2017 12:37:00 PM

Finding your inner warmth - Hygge Season

The Thrillist recently ranked Minnesota #1 in its list of every state, ranked by how miserable its winters are. Please, not to name names, but I think we can think of several worse places. With almost 6 million Minnesota proud residents, we know it’s not all bad. Sure, reading the thermometer on a frigid below zero morning can be disheartening, but temps ain’t nothing but a number. With our guidance, the proper attire, and a good attitude - winter might even become your favorite time of the year.

  1. Layers are a Minnesotan’s best friend. While cotton is great for keeping you cool in the summer months, there are only four words you need to know to survive winter: merino wool base layers. Wearing the right kind of garment underneath your outerwear will keep you nice and toasty no matter the wind-chill.
  2.  Sun’s out, you’re out. Staying inside day after day is a surefire way to sour even the most optimistic soul on winter. Even though the thermometer reads well below zero, getting out for a daily dose of Vitamin D is critical. Going for a ski, snowshoe, hike, snowmobile ride, or ice fishing will do wonders for your mental well-being even if it is just for a short bit. So layer up and get out!
  3.  Get out at night. It’s easy to lose motivation once the sun goes down, but don’t let the cold stop you. Catch some live music. Do a little stargazing (and maybe even northern lights?!) and if an opportunity for a moonlight ski arises – do it! Gliding through the sparkling boreal forest is a bucket list must.
  4. Hygge like there is no tomorrow. Hygge is the ritual of embracing life’s simple pleasures. Feeling relaxed, cozy and surrounded by the warmth of family, friends and fire. So go ahead, have a second cup of hot chocolate today, you’ve earned it!

You've heard our suggestions for finding warmth, what are yours? How do YOU find warmth in winter? Connect with us on Social Media

Instagram: @donorthmn   or #donorthmn

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Topics: News, Winter

Northern Lights Viewing Routes

Posted by Kjersti Vick on Nov 12, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Catching a glimpse of the northern lights is at the top of many "bucket lists" but many folks do not know where to begin looking for them. With the help of local photographer, Bryan Hansel, we have identified several locations that are perfect for viewing the auroras. 

Please note: These maps are intended for reference only. Please pick up an official road map for offline navigation. Locations identified can be done individually or as a driving route. Not all roadways accessible year-round or maintained regularly. Proceed with caution during winter months and observe all road signs or closures. Visit Cook County is not responsible for lost or stranded drivers.  Safety is at the discretion of the driver

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Topics: Grand Marais, Grand Portage, Gunflint Trail, Lutsen Tofte Schroeder, northern lights