11000 Craguns Drive
Brainerd Minnesota 56401United States
Midwest Living Recommends
A beachside location, award-winning golf course, three pools, and a fleet of water (or snow) toys makes Cragun's one of the area's best bets for a one-stop vacation.
With its dark brown siding and teal alpine trim, Cragun's triggers flashbacks to an era when families had leisurely weeks to lounge at the lake and hook a walleye for dinner. Vacations may be shorter these days, but the resort's variety of activities gives it an edge as a one-stop destination year-round. Most of the 263 cabins and suites overlook Gull Lake, as do the area's best indoor and outdoor pool. A summer kids' program entertains 4- to 12-year-olds in the summer while teens can join a flotilla of pontoons for lake cruises. Families can band together for volleyball, medallion hunts, karaoke and waterski lessons. There is a free Par 3 reversible golf course, along with the signature Legacy golf course and a nine-room spa. Guests also can rent bikes and ride along the popular East Gull Lake Trail, which leads to the Gull Lake Dam picnic area. In winter, when wood smoke wafts from fireplace suites, activities turn to snowmobiling, ice skating, hockey, broomball and ice-fishing. Guests are greeted with parties on Sundays in the summers and Friday nights in the winter. At age 79, owner Dutch Cragun, is still welcoming guests who have kept the resort humming for more than 70 years. Prices start at $149.