Cragun's Resort is one of a few resorts on Gull Lake

Minnesota is known for being the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but I’ve been told it’s actually closer to 11,000+. Being from the dry desert of Utah, I was truly excited to see lakes around every corner and I was not disappointed. After quickly landing in Minneapolis, I was soon out of the city, past the Mall of America, and surrounded by lush green fields on my way to my resort on the lake.

My girlfriends and I chose to stay in the Gull Lake Resort area, which is near popular Brainerd, MN. It was just over a 2-hour drive from Minneapolis and because the region is so spectacular the drive was easy and beautiful.

Popular Brainerd, Minnesota resort is Cragun's

Once I arrived, I quickly checked into Cragun’s Resort and was excited to find that my room had an amazing view of the lake and marina. There was even a fireplace in my room in case we needed to chill in my room with a glass of wine at night or if a summer rainstorm blew through the resort, which it did.

Poolside deck overlooking Gull Lake at Cragun's Resort in Brainerd, MN

Driving up to Cragun’s Resort felt like I was arriving on the set of the movie Dirty Dancing. You are either looking at tall forests of trees, golf courses or the lake anywhere you look. The best part was the mile of sand beach that is unique to Cragun’s. I couldn’t believe that almost every room, cabin or villa on the property has a view of Gull Lake.

Appetizers at Irma's Kitchen at Cragun's

On my last night at Cragun’s Resort, I had the most fantastic dinner at Irma’s Kitchen, which has recently been remodeled. The new patio overlooked both the outdoor swimming pool and also had a great view of Gull Lake. It was the perfect setting for my friends and I to get together for dinner. We chose to select multiple items from the menu and share it. The food was amazing and so this was definitely the way to do it! Here is what we ordered from the Gull Lake restaurant’s menu:

  1. Irma’s 1983 Pot Roast Dinner
  2. Smoked Turkey Bacon Avocado Club
  3. MN Artisanal Cheeses & Charcuterie Board
  4. Avocado Toast Trio
  5. Pan Seared Wild Walleye
  6. 10 oz Filet Mignon

Drinks at Irma's Kitchen at Cragun's

One thing I will say for sure is that you MUST try the Blue Berry Mojito. It was the perfect cocktail for a girl’s night on the patio. I also tried the Irma’s Front Porch, which is similar to a Long Island and too strong for my Utah taste buds.

Golf lesson with Chris Foley at Cragun's Legacy Golf Courses

In preparation for a corporate golf tournament in a few weeks, I decided to take advantage of being on one of best 5-star Gull Lake Golf Courses in the country and take my first golf lesson. I took some time away from my group and headed over to the Legacy Golf Course. Being my first time on a course and my first lesson, I didn’t realize that I would need to bring anything with me. When I walked into the Clubhouse Pro Shop, I informed the gal at the desk that I was here for a golf lesson with the golf pro, Chris Foley. She made a comment about my golf clubs being outside, and I said, “I don’t have any golf clubs… do I need golf clubs?” She kind of chuckled and said: “Chris would take care of me.” They then put me into a cart and pointed me to the driving range where I found Chris waiting for me. As I pulled up, I advised him that I didn’t have any clubs and he laughed and said: “Usually people bring clubs when they take a lesson.” However, it was NOT an issue. Chris then spent the next 45-minutes training me on my golf swing. I walked away feeling like a pro and ready for my golf tournament in Vancouver in a few weeks.

Evening hours at Cragun's on Gull Lake in Brainerd, MN

Each night my friends and I would walk from the main resort at Cragun’s down to the beach where we would sit around one of the many fire pits, stocked with wood, and drink wine while we watched the sunlight disappear behind the horizon. Each night I would say to myself that I do not want to go home and get back to my reality, but of course, all good vacations must come to an end.

It was the perfect 2-night getaway from the city!

Safe Travels,
Amy McNeill
Guest Blogger
IG = @amyatravelguru