Happy New Year — and happy new vacation options.
Grand View Lodge, a resort on Gull Lake in Nisswa, Minn., that dates to 1916, is best known for an array of cabins and old-style lodge rooms. But last summer, it opened North, a 60-room boutique hotel that adds a bit of resort chic to the old-style charm.
On the main Grand View property near the lodge, the new spot offers easy access to the resort's range of activities, from pontoon-boat rides and spa treatments to golf (grandviewlodge.com; 1-866-801-2951).
There's more proof that old stalwarts can find new ways to dazzle. Gunflint Lodge added a skating rink this season, bringing another chill option at the classic resort on the Gunflint Trail. Other winter activities include fat-tire biking, cross-country skiing, dogsledding, snowmobiling and lighted cross-country ski trails (gunflint.com; 1-800-328-3325).
On the North Shore, Lutsen Resort also has an ice rink, one with a view of Lake Superior. The classic getaway changed hands a few years ago, and the new owner updated the lakeside dining room with a wine cellar and has been renovating lodge rooms (lutsenresort.com; 1-800-258-8736).
North Shore visitors may get more ways to warm up after winter activities. New owners at the Mountain Inn at Lutsen plan to add a Turkish-style steam room and new sauna to its existing day spa. The rooms at this affordable spot have also been getting upgrades (mountaininnmn.com; 1-218-203-2809).
Closer to home, Stillwater's Water Street Inn got a new rooftop bar last summer.
And in Itasca State Park, near Park Rapids, Minn., lodging options were expanded when the park began renting Bert's Cabins, log cabins that previously had been privately owned. The park also has year-round suites near the visitor center, with easy access to ski and snowshoe trails (mndnr.gov/itasca; 1-218-699-7251).
Contact Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.