Burntside Lodge: With its historic cabins, towering pines and island-dotted lake, Burntside can feel like a rustic paradise — until you enter its dining room. Then the “rustic” part of that label falls to the wayside. White tablecloths drape the tables. An extensive wine list tempts. Lake fish comes drizzled in an exquisite sauce and surrounded by delicately handled vegetables. Diners might think they are in the city, if not for the rosy hues of the sun setting over Burntside Lake outside the windows. Seasonal, locally sourced produce informs the menu, making for sophisticated meals in North Woods splendor (1-218-365-3894;

Mr. Roberts Resort: There’s no place like home for Sarah Master. The former Barbette chef has returned to her hometown of Pengilly to co-own — and run the restaurant at — Mr. Roberts Resort, a sweet lakeside perch with a smattering of cabins and RV hookups. Diners can expect to get “Midwestern food in a modern style,” which is how Master described the resort menu to Star Tribune Taste Editor Lee Dean. On the menu: meatloaf stuffed with mac-and-cheese, venison stroganoff with peas and mushrooms and lamb bacon BLT (1-218-215-2015;

Naniboujou Lodge: Guest rooms at this historic, family-run gem on the shore of Lake Superior may be simple, but the dining room more than makes up for it. The majestic stunner — painted with the designs of Cree Indians in bright colors and bookended with oversized stone fireplaces — offers a feast for the eyes (and stomach). Sunday brunch is a favorite. Hike to the famous Devil’s Kettle waterfall, across Hwy. 61 in Judge C.R. Magney State Park, and work up an appetite for a wild rice burger or maple-glazed salmon. No alcohol is served (1-218-387-2688;


Family Reunions

Cragun’s Resort: A designated coordinator will help arrange reunions at this classic Gull Lake spot in Brainerd. The resort has two reunion houses. One has six bedrooms, each with two queen beds. The other has four one-bedroom and two two-bedroom sleeping areas, each with its own private entrance and bathroom. Because many family reunions are years in the making, Cragun’s will book and hold rooms for your group up to three years in advance (1-800-272-4867;

Fin ‘n’ Feather: Near Bemidji, this resort on Lake Andrusia has a “reunion cabin” with eight bedrooms and two new cabins with four bedrooms. When it’s time for a little friendly competition, the entire clan can head to the baseball diamond or volleyball court. The resort also has an expansive playground, a heated pool and hot tub, a game room and a water trampoline off a sandy beach (1-800-776-3466;

Lutsen Resort: The staff at this North Shore stalwart will help you arrange activities for your reunion, including a beach barbecue with a campfire and kayaking on Lake Superior with a guide. The wide range of lodging options — single rooms, expansive cabins, three-bedroom townhouses — lets families hang under one roof or go separate ways come bedtime. Entertainment options are also vast, including a heated pool, hiking and a trip down the alpine slide at nearby Lutsen Mountains (1-888-817-1147;



Gunflint Lodge: Nowhere else can you canoe into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with a guide one day, fly atop white pines during a two-hour zip-line course the next, take a berry-picking day hike another, and each night hear the howling of a wolf pack that lives nearby. Gunflint Lodge occupies a pristine patch of lakeshore north of Grand Marais, near the end of the Gunflint Trail. That location makes it a prime spot for outdoor fun (1-218-388-2294;

Pehrson Lodge: Calling all sailors — or wannabes. This family getaway in Cook, Minn., adds a surprise to its host of outdoor offerings: a fleet of high-performance sailboats, including a 38-foot A-scow and a Nacra catamaran, plus Sunfish sailboats for beginners. Staffers take guests out on the boats and offer instruction free of charge. Guests can also water-ski behind the resort’s 340-horsepower competition ski boat; every Sunday the activity is offered free to guests. Other ways to get out on the clear Vermilion waters: kayak, canoe and windsurfer (1-218-666-5478;