We traveled to Minnesota (from Texas via Duluth Int'l Airport) to hike portions of the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). We booked thru a web-site that provided "lodge to lodge" hiking. I requested their best property near Lutsen for a portion of our trip. They booked us in the Lutsen Resort in a lakeview room. The package included breakfast, a box lunch and a shuttle each day to the SHT. The Lutsen Resort is right on Lake Superior. There is a black sand/stone beach and people were actually swimming in the cold waters. The cars in the parking lot were almost all from Minnesota. It seems people from Minnesota come to the Lutsen for their own vacations. Also, two weddings were scheduled on the Saturday we were there --- nice set-up for weddings and guests. The hotel and its rooms are old (rustic?). The "lakeview" rooms overlook the lake but you need to keep your windows open (no A/C and not really needed). So, facing the lake you don't hear the highway traffic but you hear the people outside the hotel and any delivery trucks etc,. (one delivered at 4:30 in the morning). The people at the Lutsen were outstanding. The front desk and especially the activity staff (the ones driving you to the SHT) were great.
Here is a sample day: The prepaid breakfast included the buffet or anything on the menu. The buffet was good, but not great, and had a nice selection of items. However, the items from the menu were super. I had Blueberry pancakes one day and omelets another -- along with other sides. Then, you decide what segment of the SHT you will hike. You drive to the end of your hike and drop your car. The shuttle then takes you to the beginning of your hike and drops you off. The shuttle is free even if you do not have a package plan. Also, at check-in, you pre-select your box lunch. Box lunches were sandwiches (turkey, ham), chips, cookies, fruit and bottle of water. The SHT is very similar to the AT --- well marked and runs from Duluth up to Canada. It is NOT along the Lake but is primarily several miles from the Lake and you only see the Lake when at the higher elevations. However, it is very nice with rivers and even small gorges.
Our room at the Lutsen was small and had 2 Q beds but a small bathroom and not much walking area around the beds. There was an indoor pool and whirlpool. It seemed like a place that has return guests year after year. I would like to rate them a 5 but the rooms just aren't worthy of that rating.
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