Giants Ridge Ski Resort offers the best deals midweek or on Friday nights with lift tickets ranging from $24 to $48 (kids under 6 free) and $20 to $32 for snowboard and ski packages. Nordic trail passes run $8 to $13. (1-800-688-7669; www.giantsridge.com). Tubing is half off Friday nights through February, or $15 for two hours on Saturday or Sunday. Central reservations (1-866-410-0865) can help you plan the best package and place to stay among four on-site properties and six area hotels within 20 miles, some offering ski shuttles.
Limited runs are open now, weekends only. The ski resort will be open throughout the week beginning Dec. 22.
Ski-in and ski-out options are available from the Lodge at Giants Ridge's 67 suites with kitchenettes, plus a pool and Aveda spa. Rates start at $149 midweek (1-218-865-7170; www.lodgeatgiantsridge. com). Villas at Giants Ridge sits along Wynne Lake with rates starting at $140 midweek (1-800-843-7434; www.villasatgiantsridge .com). The Giants Ridge resort's Residence Club luxury home sleeps 8 and starts at $550/night. If you're on a tight budget, its sports dorm units, which sleep four, may be available for $70 a night, per room (1-800-688-7669; www.giantsridge.com/lodging).
Timbers Restaurant at the Lodge at Giants Ridge serves ale-battered walleye wraps, mango chicken salad, flatbread pizzas and deli sandwiches such as a grilled cheese layered with apple slices and bacon (1-218-865-7170; www.lodgeatgiantsridge.com).
Vi's Pizza in downtown Biwabik has deservedly earned loyal fans with homemade sausage and tasty thin-crust pizza that's been made from scratch for three generations (1-218-865-4164).
For more information, contact the Iron Range Tourism Bureau, 1-800-777-8497; www.ironrange.org.
LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK