Brainerd is a city in Northwestern Minnesota. In a backdrop of gorgeous lakes, world-class recreation and natural beauty, the Brainerd Lakes Area offers attractions, shopping, dining and outdoor activities that make a Minnesota family vacation, conference or weekend getaway memorable.
- 1 Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BRD IATA). It offers a 6,500-ft paved runway with instrumental landing systems and navigational aids. Commercial air service is provided by Delta Air Lines, typically offering six daily arrivals/departures during the peak summer season, and 4 arrivals/departures daily during the off season. Charter services and maintenance facilities are also available for personal aircraft.
- East Gull Lake airstrip. Welcomes private aircraft, as does the Breezy Point airport.
Lakes Express provides a shuttle service between the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport and Brainerd.
Brainerd Taxi provides a service throughout the Brainerd Lakes Area.
At the east end of town you can see the lengthy brick-faced remains of the North Pacific Railway shop. The NPR was built from this area all the way out to the state of Washington in the 1870s.
There is something for every age and interest throughout the entire year. Cast a fishing line afloat from one of our 465 lakes. Rent recreational equipment so you can enjoy the water or trails. Join in a local neighborhood festival or event. Play more than 520 holes of golf on dozens of wonderful courses. Enjoy a colorful hike along the Paul Bunyan Trail — a 100-mile paved trail winding through lakes, rivers and forests. Glide through the winter’s powdery snow on a snowmobile or cross-country skis. Attend a theatrical or musical event. Enjoy food and drink atop a patio, overlooking the lake. Even rainy days bring plenty of options.
Or, take a day-trip to see a wide variety of attractions and recreational options from within our five-county region. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll find it in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
- Northwind Grille, 603 Laurel St, Brainerd, ☏ . Simple family restaurant with a big menu of classic American food. Think pancakes and omelettes for breakfast and burgers for dinner.
- Ernie's on Gull, 10424 Squaw Point Rd, East Gull Lake, ☏ . Big lakeside bar and restaurant serving hearty meat and potatoes since 1917. You can tie up at the dock and hangout on Ernie's patio, complete with its own outdoor bar and volley ball court.
- Sherwood Forest, 8789 Interlachen Rd, Nisswa, ☏ . Big restaurant playing up the backwoods Minnesota stereotype. Its a mixture of corny and classy at the same time. The menu is pretty safe, typical American food. However, they proudly feature the bounty of Minnesota in their dishes. Also has a nice selection of local beers. and a huge deck.
- Jack Pine Brewery, 7942 College Rd Ste 115, Baxter, ☏ . Small brewery known for their Fenceline IPA.
- Gull Dam Brewing, 23836 Smiley Rd, Nisswa, ☏ . Right off the main highway, this brewery has a fairly large taproom and occasional food trucks.
- Big Axe Brewing, 25435 Main St, Nisswa, ☏ . Big Axe is a small brewery with a simple modern/rustic-hybrid taproom. They have a range of simple, but well-executed styles ranging from wheat beers to IPAs. Big Axe also has a kitchen which serves a small menu of bar food and sandwiches.
Lodging options are many. Small family-owned resorts offer cabins along the shores of area lakes. Deluxe resort complexes offer meal plans, children's programming, championship golf courses, and perhaps an on-site spa. Northwoods hotels can be found in Brainerd, Baxter, Pequot Lakes, Crosslake, and Breezy Point. Quaint B&Bs, campgrounds, and private cabin rentals are also available.
For local information, contact the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, +1-800-450-2838.
- Hawthorn Brainerd Hotel Suites.
- Arrowwood Lodge, 6967 Lake Forest Rd, Baxter, ☏ . Big hotel with a deep woods camp theme. Lots of stuffed animals and log cabin details everywhere. There is an on-site restaurant and an attached water park.
|Routes through Brainerd|
|END ←||W E||→ Mille Lacs → Sandstone|
|END ←||N S||→ Jct W E → Foley → Monticello|
|Fergus Falls ← Staples ←||W E||→ Aitkin → Duluth|
|Cass Lake ← Walker ←||N S||→ Little Falls → Saint Cloud via|