If you're looking for a vacation that's all about golfing, Brainerd, Minnesota will fit your needs to a tee. Regularly ranking as one of North America's top golfing destinations, this pleasant city in central Minnesota has more than just greens to keep visitors occupied. Surrounded by sparkling lakes, outdoor opportunity is just a quick drive away, while a handful of historic sites are ideally suited for some rainy summer afternoon.
Poke around the city's historic jailhouse, now the Crow Wing County Historical Museum, then tow the children along to the Paul Bunyan Nature Learning Center for a bit of hands-on educational entertainment. Your young, and the young at heart, might want to consider one of the elaborate miniature golf courses in Brainerd with more time to spare.
It's hard to escape the shadow of tall-tale hero, Paul Bunyan, here in his reputed stomping grounds. Find assorted memorabilia (some could argue they're historic artifacts) on display at This Old Farm, east of town. In Mille Lacs, not far from Brainerd, there is a further selection of museums, including the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and the Mille Lacs Lake Museum. Charles Lindbergh, who first flew solo across the Atlantic, spent his boyhood summers on a farm in Little Falls, a few miles south of Brainerd. Take a day to explore the Charles A. Lindbergh House, the Lindbergh History Center and other local sights of interest.
While you're around town, don't pass by the opportunity spend some time on the water, joining anglers casting off for walleye. Those just looking for some time to commune with nature can head for Mille Lacs Kathio State Park and tackle hiking trails in summer, cross-country ski routes in winter.
Give your golf swing a rest with a stroll along trails in Northland Arboretum, or along part of the 100-mile Paul Bunyan State Trail, linking Brainerd with Bemidji to the north. And yee-haw, if that's not excitement enough, sign up for a day of horseback riding in the Pillsbury State Forest.
Brainerd is 120 miles north of the Twin Cities and 100 miles south of Bemidji.