Planning Your Minnesota Vacation this Summer

What’s that glow? If you squint a little, you can definitely make it out. Ahhhh… it’s the light at the end of the dark and unpredictable winter tunnel. Kids are entering their last trimester of school, the birds are singing, and new life seems to be infused into everything around you. It feels like there’s non-stop service to summer, and oh the weight of excitement that that one word carries. Summer vacation. 

You’re feeling a little antsy and you need to do something, plan something, look forward to something. Boy, do we have a solution for you! Introducing our Adventure Planning 101 Manual that will walk you through the execution of the ultimate fun family vacation, Minnesota style. Why Minnesota? Allow us to explain.

Minnesota doesn’t just have a plethora of lakes (they say 10,000 but it’s even more if you can believe it) it also has an abundance of opportunities for fun and unique experiences that make for an amazing family retreat. In this how-to, you’ll learn why Minnesota is the place to be this summer, where you must place the pin on your framed map in the hallway this year, and what you need to pack and prepare to make it the best trip ever!

In 2023, AFAR named Minnesota one of the “Best Places to Travel in 2023” And that’s not all! National Geographic added it to their list of “25 Essential Drives for a U.S Road Trip” and Outside Magazine voted the North Star State one of “The 36 Best Places to Visit in the U.S. for Adventure” alongside destinations like Puerto Rico, the Catskill Mountains and Hawaii. Why is Minnesota considered a summer ‘must visit’ for so many? Besides being welcomed with open arms by all the Minnesota niceness, The Gopher State is a summer wonderland of boating, swimming, sunning, and fishing on those lakes previously mentioned. Yes, you’re going to have a muggy day or two that will turn your hair into a frizzy frenzy, but an extra deep conditioning treatment is worth it for the breezy evenings by the lake roasting marshmallows over the fire. Simply put, Minnesota has it all and we’ll eagerly await your inevitable agreement.

When you start preparing for the BVE (best vacation ever) you need to understand that the most effective way to enjoy all of Minnesota’s wonders is to spend your precious time away at one of the gorgeous lake resorts in Minnesota. Trust us on this one. And if you’re thinking about Googling “best lake resorts in Minnesota” don’t waste your time. You know all the swimming, boating, fishing, and sunning we were just talking about? The Red Door Resort on Lake Mille Lacs has it! Relaxation? So much! Comfortable and convenient accommodations? Yep! Fun activities for the whole family? A ton! Helpful, friendly staff? We could go on and on. The bottom line is that choosing The Red Door Resort for your family escape is the first step in planning the summer vacation of a lifetime.

These getaways are memory-making experiences that you hope your kids will tell their kids about and so on and so on down the line, however, there is an affliction that can develop on family trips called Too Much Togetherness-itis. Of all the resorts in Minnesota with cabins, The Red Door Resort has the cure for this condition with an array of lodging options to choose from. From a cabin that sleeps 7 with a full living room, dining area, and kitchen, to the Motel Family Suite that boasts 2,000 square feet of space for you to get lost in when you just can’t spend another minute with your brother, we guarantee that you’ll make a swift recovery.

The next step in this ‘how-to rock the Minnesota vacation’ guide is the three-letter phrase that throws most vacation-going humans in a tizzy. What. To. Pack. Here’s a basic packing list that will get you started:

What to pack for summer vacation:

Sunny day basics




Sun hat






One pair of pants (mosquitos😒)


Lightweight jacket (chilly mornings or evenings by the fire)







To do

Electronics (probably won’t need, but just in case of a rainy day)







Dental floss


Shower necessities


Makeup (you’ll have that sun-kissed glow so don’t worry about bringing it all)


Body lotion



Just as the activities on your itinerary set the tone for your trip, so do the snacks you bring. Here are some of our favorites. These can be enjoyed in your cabin, at the lake, or on a fishing outing!



Trail mix


Veggies and dip/hummus

Beef jerky



Beef sticks


Guacamole and chips

Peanut butter and pretzels

Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate (duh!)

Juice boxes

Bottled water

And there you have it. We hope this tutorial has been helpful for you! A Minnesota summer family vacation is a time to truly cherish. The moments when everyone in your clan is content to splash around in the lake, tell stories around the fire, or play the license plate game in the car are sadly fleeting. The more prepared you can be, the more at ease you’ll feel, and the more present you’ll be to capture all the beautiful moments (and not-so-beautiful ones – there will be some of those too!) But even as your kids grow and the same activities don’t impress them like they used to, you’ll still find that twinkle in their eye… if you look hard enough. When they see that you’ve remembered their favorite snack or when they’re snuggled into that cozy bed in a cabin that you rented, that sparkle is there, along with the tender memories finding a place among their collection of treasured family vacations.



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