Our Minnesota Summer Home in an RV
We spend each summer with Minnesota being a home base. My parents wanted to entice us to bring the grand kids around more and had RV Hookups installed on their 4 acres. It’s the perfect mix of quality family time and space when we want it.
So after leaving Glacier National Park we headed on over to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Where people are “Minnesota Nice”, you can find natural beauty, and you won’t want to leave… until the cold comes!
Back in Bemidji – Paul Bunyan’s Home
Our favorite time of the year is picking up Nevaeh on her last day of school. She lives with her mom in the school year and then with us in the summer. It’s never enough time but was one of the reasons we started RVing and working remote. It’s given us incredible flexibility of our time to focus on quality.
When we take trips across the country and have a hard deadline we aim to arrive a day early in case there are some mishaps. So with time to kill, we met up with my old roommate from college at Bemidji State and hung out for a bit.
We ended up Boondocking for the night at the Bemidji Walmart. Such a beautiful lake town. It’s always nice when you get a nice sunset view from a parking lot. If you haven’t checked out our video on Sleeping at Walmart with an RV check it out.
Going to School
It was fun to go back to school for an hour or so. We got to join in and hang out with the class. We got to enjoy school lunch.
And even play on the Playground!
We like to burn off energy before we take long drives with the kids so we headed to Diamond Point Park which is right next to Bemidji State (where I went to college). They have nice equipment for kids of all ages to play. It’s right on the lake which makes it a great spot to kick back and relax for a bit.
Bemidji is a fantastic resort city. It gives people the North Woods experience that I haven’t found anywhere else.
Arctic Cat Tour
Minnesota is a major part of Snowmobiling. Two of the biggest names in the industry; Arctic Cat and Polaris are from up North. I rode Arctic Cat Snowmobiles as a kid so it was really exciting to bring the Toy Hauler and get a tour.
We aren’t allowed to take photos or video on the tour but it’s a MUST SEE. The way they’re able to pump out such quality machines at such a rate is mind blowing.
Yes, a bear does poop in the woods…
Twins Game at Target Field
It’s been way too long since I’ve been to a Minnesota Twins game. I grew up in the Era with Kirby Puckett, when he would “Touch em all”. The company my dad works for is owned by a massive company called Pentair. Pentair does all the water filtration at Target Field.
It was a busy weekend that most people were going camping for fun but since I camp full time we took an opportunity to have the company box seats relatively to ourselves.
What an incredible city. Out of our travels we keep getting drawn back here. It has a larger trail system than any major city in the USA.
Part of the benefit of traveling is going to different activities/events like zoos, science museums, and other cultural centers.
Travelers Tip: The first Tuesday of every month, Target (from MPLS) pays the fee for admission at the Science Museum of Minnesota!
The Como Zoo is FREE and runs on donations. It’s a fantastic way to spend the day.
Paul Bunyan Trail
I was really excited about recently getting involved in biking. So while I was back home, my dad and I planned a trip up the Paul Bunyan Trail from Brainerd to Bemidji (roughly 120 miles).
He went and bought a bike and we started training by riding around the country in the town I grew up in.
We headed out from Brainerd on a beautiful day to ride. Logistically, we drove my dad’s van to my brother’s house in Brainerd. They happened to be going to Bemidji for a concert that night so they took 2 vehicles and left the van up there for us to have when we completed our mission.
The trail was so smooth and I expected that it wouldn’t stay like this, but to my delight it was smooth and scenic the entire ride.
The first day we ended up staying at a hotel in Pine River, MN. It’s a very small town but had a nice restaurant across from our hotel where we were able to scarf down some food and relax our muscles.
Many people know that Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 lakes. In reality there are much more than that. This trail has no shortage of beautiful glacier carved lakes for you to stop and soak in the scenery.
We stopped in Hackensack where Paul Bunyan’s Girlfriend Lucette was from. There’s a huge statue on one of the lakes that we pedaled by. We also stopped in and ate at Viddles and Joe which is a local place that offers great food and a good ole Minnesota Nice atmosphere. It was fun listening to the locals shoot the breeze with their accents.
Once we got further up north we started crossing the Mississippi River a number of times. It sure is a lot smaller and cleaner than it is down near MPLS. In fact the headwaters where the river starts is near our final destination.
WE MADE IT!!! Lake Bemidji is not only gorgeous, but it’s a fantastic fishing lake. I went to college at Bemidji State many years ago so it was wonderful to have this gem as a reward at the end of our goal.
Biking in MPLS with the WeeRide
Minneapolis, Minnesota has more biking and hiking trails than any other major city in the United States. You could easily spend a week exploring the different trails in and around the city.
Since we bike A LOT during our travels, Danielle scoured the internet for the best kid bike seat. She stumbled on the WeeRide which not only got incredible online reviews, but was affordably priced. So we headed out on the Chain of Lakes Trail in MPLS to put it to the test.
The chain of lakes trail is the perfect scenic trail if you have a few hours. You can extend it in the Grand Round Scenic Byway. The WeeRide blew our minds. It’s not only safe, but the biggest benefit is that you get to interact with your child. If they’re behind you, you don’t get the joy of watching them react to the scenery and people on the ride. It was an absolute blast! We love the WeeRide that we purchased so much, that I reached out to the company and now are able to offer 10% off for anyone who purchases it. Just give them the promo code “Shorelooksnice”.
Snowmobile Grass Drags
Every August in Princeton Minnesota, Snowmobile racers and fans come together for an incredible racing weekend at the Outlaw Grass Drags.
It’s a great way for RVers to come together and watch one of the wildest racing spectacles. Snowmobiling in the summer!
It’s not just snowmobiles that are racing, 4 wheelers test their speed on the track.
At night, the party comes alive and the racers and fans come together to celebrate a wonderful midwest night in farm country.
It’s also a rare opportunity to rub elbows with some of the best snowmobile racers in the world.
And then celebrate by watching fireworks from your RV!
Life Around My Hometown
One of the big joys of RVing for us has been to visit family for extended periods of time. While I owned a business and when I was an executive in Orange County, CA it was tough for me to get away from running the business. When I would get away, it wasn’t enough time to connect like we should have.
Now that’s changed. My parents installed RV Hookups on their property in Princeton, MN and we get the best of both worlds. We get to visit and spend quality time with them, but whenever we want we can just walk 20 yards to our home. Not a bad view from our living room.
Living in Southern California for almost a decade has made us fully appreciate thunderstorms. They’re exciting!
When you stay in the land of over 10,000 lakes, you gotta go swimming often! Big Lake has a nice swimming beach that we like to visit. The Princeton Splash Park is a great place for young kids to come and enjoy running around in the water on a hot day.
My best friend’s parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The Analog Drifters came and played for their party. The best part was the after party where we were able to sit back and listen to them at the campfire!
What a great Minnesota night!
She wanted to be a bigger Youtube star and I told her to “Break a Leg”… She took me literally.
With the grandkids coming my parents got an above ground pool for us all to splash around in.
What’s a summer without an outdoor concert?
We love visiting Goodfellas (seriously the food is amazing). One of the things traveling full time has taught me is that Meat Raffles are a Minnesota thing. We happened to be WINNERS this night!
The K-Bob Cafe was recently listed as one of the top 10 secret gem restaurants in Minnesota. If you’re anywhere near Princeton, come in and enjoy some incredible food! My brother Adam worked here in high school.
If you’ve never been to Minnesota, it should be on your bucket list. Obviously, I’m biased because I grew up here and have family here, but after traveling around I’ve realized that it doesn’t get much better than the summers in Minnesota.