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The weekday cruise costs $20 and $10 for kids under 12, and lunch is available on the boat. The boat's captain, Dana Kollars, is steeped in the history of the area, and it's interesting to see sights from the lake as opposed to the highway. Most tours leave from East Beaver Bay, some from Two Harbors.
There's a miniature golf course in front of the Country Inn -- it was the site of last summer's family tournament -- and several bait shops. Our favorite is Viking Bait and Tackle (1-218-834-2760).
Both Two Harbors and Grand Marais, about 90 minutes north, have concrete sea walls that let you take a walk with the lake all around you.
Another option, one of our discoveries from last summer, is to take Lake County Rd. 3 (which meets Hwy. 61 at Betty's Pies) on a 25-mile stretch that loops above Castle Danger (where there's a turnoff to get back to 61, if you want) and goes through the forest to Lax Lake Rd. (County 4).
Turn right at the stop sign to get back to the main highway.
If you turn left, Lax Lake Rd. hits County Rd. 5, which runs into Silver Bay and then back to the highway.)
We saw no more than a half-dozen cars on County Rd. 3, which alternates between blacktop and gravel.
Staff writer Howard Sinker can be contacted at email@example.com