Things to Do in Brainerd MN | Cragun’s Resort

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(AP Photo/Brainerd Dispatch, Kelly Humphrey)

(AP Photo/Brainerd Dispatch, Kelly Humphrey)

Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake is located in the center of the recreational paradise known as the Brainerd Lakes Area. Just two hours north of the Twin Cities, the Brainerd area is famous as one of the most bountiful vacation destinations in the Midwest. When you leave Cragun’s Resort property, there are lots of fun things to do in Brainerd MN like mini golf, gaming casinos, historical sites, unique shopping and much more…


Auto Racing

Just minutes from Cragun’s is Brainerd International Raceway (BIR). BIR is the premier racing facility in the Midwest, featuring a world-class quarter mile drag strip and a three mile championship road course.



Grand Casino in Mille Lacs is less than 60 minutes away and features Las Vegas-style action with 24 hours of gaming fun, restaurants, children’s arcade and Kid’s Quest. Northern Lights Casino in Walker is about an hour away.



Family Fun

Nearby Brainerd offers many fun family attractions to add a little togetherness and excitement to your get-together. There are go-cart tracks, mini golf courses, bumper boats, batting cages, Paul Bunyanland rides at This Old Farm Village and more.


Historic Sites/Museums

The colorful history of the Brainerd Lakes Area is preserved in interesting fashion at many area sites and museums. The Crow Wing County Historical Society and Museum in Brainerd traces the memories of Indians, logging and mining in the area. Minnesota’s Military Museum is just south of Brainerd at Camp Ripley, and offers a glimpse into the tradition of our armed services. Other interactive museums and historical parks in the area include the Crosslake Historical Society’s Historic Log Village and Museum, the Croft Mine Historical Park in Crosby, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Paul BunyanLand at This Old Farm Pioneer Village just south of Brainerd.


Horseback Riding

There are four horseback riding stables within five minutes to a half-hour of Cragun’s. The Legacy Stables and Spirit Horse Center are located in Brainerd. Outback Trail Rides and the Benvelle Equestrian Academy in Pequot Lakes offer many riding options. The Pine River Riding Stable and the Little Pine Livery Company in Crosslake are a bit father away.


Hunting Preserves

Game farms and hunting preserves are a growing trend in the region and feature bird hunts, tower shoots and sporting clays. Some even feature deer hunts. Two hunt clubs are located just north of Cragun’s in Pequot Lakes: Hunt’s Point Sportsmans Club and Wild Acres.



Pillsbury State Forest, MN’s oldest, is virtually right next door to Cragun’s. Cuyuna State Recreational Area is 15-20 minutes away in Crosby. And Crow Wing State Park is just south of Brainerd. The Northland Arboretum is located right in Brainerd.



Mount Ski Gull

Enjoy the Brainerd Lakes Ski Area, located only 8 miles from Cragun’s! Ski Gull has a 290 foot vertical drop, 13 runs, 3 tow ropes, triple chair lift and snow-making equipment. It’s safe and friendly for beginning skiers, with rental boots, poles, skis and”Bunny Hill” instruction. There is also snowtubing at Ski Gull’s Ricochet Alley, a great place to plan a family activity, group adventure, child’s birthday, boy/girl scouting outing or a school trip. Snowtubing requires no special skill or equipment, only warm clothes and a passion for thrills. They supply the snow, tubes, lift with handle grips and lights for tubing at night. You supply the laughs, screams and endless fun! Cragun’s offers discounted tickets to guests.


Scenic Byways

Enjoying nature is one of the best things to do in Brainerd MN. The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway traverses 54 miles of scenic and historic areas around the roads of Pequot Lakes, Crosslake and Pine River. The byway is brimming with Paul Bunyan lore and located just 15-20 minutes away.


Scuba Diving

Did you know that scuba diving is one of the fun things to do in Brainerd MN. The Cuyuna State Recreational Area in Crosby has beautiful deep water lakes that were formed during the mining era. It’s a great spot for fresh water diving.



Nearby towns of Brainerd, Baxter, Nisswa and Pequot Lakes offer many unique and attractive shopping choices. You’ll find quaint stores selling art, crafts, stylish furniture with a northwoods flair to distinctive clothing and toy stores and more.



Biking and hiking trails dot the surrounding area, including the famous Paul BunyanTrail, Cuyuna Bike Trails, hiking trails in adjacent Pillsbury State Forest, and Northland Arboretum nature trails in Brainerd and the Upgaard Wildlife Management Area in Crosslake.


Water Parks

Indoor water parks provide wet and wild fun for all ages. Three Bear Water Park at the Holiday Inn Express, is just minutes away.

Here are some ideas for even more fun things to do in Brainerd MN!