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Minnesota Destinations: Grand Rapids

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Travel: Enjoy the Mississippi Showboat and Judy Garland Days in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids has been a favorite Minnesota vacation destination for more than 100 years. The area's renowned fishing lakes and beautiful forests provide the perfect backdrop for a family vacation, reunion, business trip, meeting and convention, or a couple's getaway. Located in Northeast Minnesota, just three hours - 180 miles north of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, Grand Rapids is close enough to be convenient, but just far enough away to provide you with a real escape.


When most people think of Minnesota, the state motto "Land of 10,000 Lakes" comes to mind. There are actually more miles of shoreline in Minnesota than there are in the coastal state of California!

Grand Rapids is located right in the heart of Minnesota's Lake Country with nearly 100 lakes located in Itasca County. Yes, you read that right - 100 lakes! With so much shoreline, opportunities to enjoy water sports are unending.

For the most part, Minnesota's crystal clear lakes are graced with sandy bottoms ideal for swimming. Virtually every resort in the Grand Rapids area is located on a lake where guests are invited to enjoy access to well-placed swimming beaches with docks and even swim rafts and water toys.

Soft, sandy lake bottoms with gradual slopes into deeper water are ideal spots for youngsters to play in the shallows while Mom and Dad relax onshore. Swim rafts and diving platforms may be located a brief swim from the beach for those who enjoy splashing in the deeper waters.

Mississippi Melodie Showboat

Relive the excitement of days past when the showboat came rounding the bend of the Mississippi River to bring entertainment to the towns on its shores. Our colorfully costumed performers entertain you with song, dance and comedy. This is truly entertainment for the entire family - no matter what the age. It's loved by children and seniors alike. Your family will love sitting outdoors in our comfortable stadium seating on the banks of the river. The show is new each year, so make this an annual event for you and your family.

Performances are the last three weekends in July. All performances are held at 9 p.m. at the Showboat landing. Beverages and snacks are available at outdoor performances. Tickets are sold at Reed's Drug and at the gate for general admission seating.

Judy Garland Festival

Date(s): July12-14, 2013

2727 Pokegema Avenue South

Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Phone: (218) 327-9276

As the birthplace of Judy Garland, Grand Rapids hosts an annual Judy Garland Festival. Tour landmarks, visit the Gallery at Minnesota Discovery Center, attend a private screening of "Wizard of Oz," hear the story of the restoration of Baby Gumm's home and attend the Fan Appreciation Dinner.

For more great ideas on vacations and daytrips in Minnesota, see our entire magazine at