kids in hula-hoop contestLocal fun

Although you may never want to leave the Island, the area also provides a wealth of fun activities from theater to shopping from amusement rides to horseback rides from festivals to musical events.



Just a few of the happenings this summer in nearby Nevis:

  • Watch the oinkers run at the annual Pig Races July 11 at 1:05 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. And Muskie Days are back for 2021, July 23-24!.
  • The city-wide garage sale is scheduled for August 7. Check the Nevis website for 2021 dates for the thrilling water-ski shows.
  • Turn out to cheer on participants in the Northwoods Triathlon August 14.

You’ll also find casual eateries with carry-out and patio-dining options, groceries, a liquor store, laundromat, gas, propane, bait, fishing supplies, a mini golf course, coffee shop, gift shops and bike rentals. New to Nevis is a frisbee golf course on the west end of town at the intersection of Main St. and 7th Ave.

Churches in Nevis
Bethany Lutheran Church
Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church

The Restaurant Capital of the World and the busiest little town around, Dorset draws in visitors with its bevy of restaurants with patio dining/carry-out options, shops and tongue-in-cheek boosterism. Be sure to come hungry to the Taste of Dorset set for August 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Grab a hand-dipped ice cream cone at the General Store or find a treasure from one of the many shops. Need Internet access? Dorset is a Wi-Fi hotspot, so just ask a server or clerk for the access code.

Each year, Dorset chooses the town's mayor by drawing a name from a hat. At the 2019 Taste of Dorset, Loren Avenson won the mayorship in this rather unconventional election.

Churches in Dorset
First English Lutheran Church of Dorset

Park Rapids
Just 11 miles away, Park Rapids is the quintessential northwoods town. It’s bustling downtown boasts shops, a movie theater, restaurants, supermarkets, services such as a laundromat, boat and motor repair, hardware store and more. Check out the farmers' market every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. across from Thielen Motors.

On the shores of stunning Leech Lake, Walker is a true Up North resort town filled with restaurants, shops and the newly restored Chase on the Lake resort hotel with its great lakeview dining room and deck. Stroll down Main Street, take a tour of the lake, try your luck at Northern Lights Casino.

Detroit Lakes
A little farther afield is Detroit Lakes with its shops, restaurants, golf courses and the nationally recognized WE Fest slated for Aug. 5, 2021.

Heartland Trail
This 27-mile paved bike trail extends from Cass Lake through Walker to Park Rapids, passing through Nevis and Dorset. Bring your own bike or rent one in any of the trail’s towns.

Itasca State Park
Minnesota’s first – and loveliest – state park is just 30 minutes from Campers’ Paradise. Bike, hike, swim, fish, explore the history of early northwoods settlers and native people. Take a cruise on Lake Itasca or enjoy lunch at historic Douglas Lodge. No trip to Itasca would be complete without crossing the stepping-stone path at the Headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River, which begins its journey to the Gulf of Mexico at Lake Itasca.

Coborn’s Lake Itasca Tours
Take a two-hour, naturalist-narrated tour aboard the 141-passenger Chester Charles II on beautiful Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi. Tours are offered daily. Visit the web site for details and schedules.

Logging Camp
Learn about Minnesota’s logging history and treat yourself to a real lumberjack breakfast at the Rapid River Logging Camp.

Evergreen Gifts and Fun Park
Just north of Park Rapids on U.S. Hwy. 71 you'll find Evergreen Gifts and Fun Park, a fun-for-all-ages amusement park with mini golf, bumper boats, go carts, batting cages, super bounce, climbing mountain, escape rooms, laser maze, water wars, air jump, snack bar and gift shop. This year, the snack bar is closed, but feel free to bring a picnic.

Golf Courses
Check out the links in the Campers’ Paradise area including Bear’s Den, Blueberry Pines, Eagle View, Headwaters Golf Club and Tianna Country Club.

Horseback Riding
Explore the northwoods on horseback. Several stables in the area offer trail rides through the areas prairies and pines.

More resources for finding fun
Explore Minnesota
Forestedge Winery. The winery is open for outdoor table service and curbside service. Check the website before making your visit.
Jaspers Jubilee Theater. The theater offers a variety of entertainment throughout the summer.
Long Lake Theater. The theater presents family-friendly shows from "On Golden Pond" to "Church Basement Ladies" to "The Jungle Book."
Minnesota Folklore Theater. This year's productions include "Love Letters" and "Nunsense."
Northern Light Opera. Check their website for the 2021 production.