Travel to northern Minnesota to view the spectacular fall colors. Travel across scenic byways while exploring the famous Iron Range area, Lake Itasca (headwaters of the Mississippi River), the International Wolf Center, North American Bear Center, and more.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 – Saturday, October 3, 2020
Tour starts at the Comfort Inn & Suites lobby, 7007 Grover St, Omaha
$836 double / $1,071 single
Price includes transportation, lodging, attraction admissions, and ten meals
Tour registration deadline August 25, 2020 – payment due August 25, 2020
Highlights: Walleye dinner at Great Bear Restaurant - Lake Itasca wildlife cruise - Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway - Soudan Underground Iron Mine tour - International Wolf Center - North American Bear Center - North Shore Lake Superior scenic drive - Betty’s Pies
DAY 1: Tuesday, September 29, 2020
We begin our journey north to the forests and lakes of northern Minnesota. We will arrive at our hotel property in Baxter, Minnesota, at 5:00 pm. It is a short drive to the Great Bear Restaurant where we will enjoy a traditional walleye fish dinner. The restaurant décor resembles a typical log cabin lodge.
DAY 2: Wednesday, September 30, 2020
This morning we travel to Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the Mississippi River. We will arrive around noon and have lunch at the historic Douglas Lodge Restaurant. Today’s lunch will feature the lodge’s famous standard classic of wild rice hot dish and tater tot hot dish. After lunch, we will board a boat for a scenic fall tour of Lake Itasca. Our guide will talk about the wildlife and history of the area. This afternoon we leave Lake Itasca and take a scenic drive toward Bemidji, Minnesota. Upon arrival, we will stop for photos at the famous statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Tonight’s hotel is located right on the lake and provides beautiful scenic views. Dinner tonight is on your own and at your leisure at the hotel’s Green Mill Restaurant.
DAY 3: Thursday, October 1, 2020
Today we explore the scenic byways and roads of northern Minnesota. During the fall, the woods are adorned with the brilliant colors of red sugar maples, bronze oak trees, and glowing gold aspen and birch. We travel the Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway, a spectacular, winding byway with its many pristine lakes, forests, rolling hills, and other unique features. We will make a brief stop at the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center where there is a variety of interpretive displays and exhibits about the surrounding area. This afternoon, we travel to an underground iron mine for a guided tour. Experience the life of the miner as you travel by cage 1/2 mile underground. Once underground, you will ride the rails 3/4 mile to the last and deepest mined area. You will learn firsthand why this mine was named the “Cadillac of Mines” and gain insight into the working conditions of the miners and their mining methods. We finish the day by checking into the Comfort Inn in Mountain Iron, Minnesota. Dinner tonight is at a local family restaurant in nearby community of Virginia, Minnesota.
DAY 4: Friday, October 2, 2020
This morning we get a little closer to Minnesota wildlife by visiting the International Wolf Center and the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota. The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their pack behavior, and the human role in their future. Visitors can view “ambassador wolves” in natural surroundings through large windows and can learn about wolves through a variety of exhibits and programs. The North American Bear Center is the only educational facility of its kind–it helps people learn from bears themselves about bear behavior, ecology, and their relations with humans. Part of the tour experience is to get a close look at the bears in the huge outdoor enclosure. After a box lunch at the Bear Center, we will begin our journey back to Nebraska. Our route will include the beautiful fall scenery of the north shore of Lake Superior. We will take a short break at Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors. Since 1956 this bakery and restaurant has been making amazing home style pies that have become legendary in Minnesota. We next continue traveling south along Lake Superior until we reach Duluth. We then travel west back to the community of Baxter for our overnight accommodations.
DAY 5: Saturday, October 3, 2020
Today we travel back to Omaha and arrive back around 5:30 pm.