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Summer in lakes country: A readers' guide

Illustration by Troy Becker / The Forum

The arrival of Memorial Day means that summer is finally, definitely, for sure here.


Of course, we all remember last year, which started cold and rainy. That meant that many of us weren't able to do the things that we enjoy most during summer, like be on the lake or go golfing.

This summer is going to be better, though, and we at The Forum want to make sure you enjoy yourselves.

Blessed with beautiful, scenic Minnesota lakes country spanning southeast and northeast, there are plenty of places to go and plenty of things to do within just a day's drive.

To get you started, we've created this map identifying some of those fun things to do or those unique places to visit.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start enjoying summer.

1. Where to go tubing down a river: Charlie's Ottertail Tubing on the Ottertail River, 33503 Highway 34, Detroit Lakes, (218) 847-3258

2. Where to take in a scenic drive: Otter Trail Scenic Byway, circling through Pelican Rapids, Fergus Falls, Perham and Battle Lake

3. Where to find a large selection of beer: Zorbaz on the Lake, 402 West Lake Drive, Detroit Lakes, (218) 847-5305

4. Where to go shopping for souvenirs: Trading Post Inc., 204 Main Ave. S., Park Rapids, (218) 732-4509

5. Where to play a perfect afternoon of golf: Thumper Pond, 300 Thumper Lodge Road, Ottertail, (218) 367-2000

6. Where to find great outdoor seating at a restaurant or bar: Holiday Inn, 1155 Highway 10 E., Detroit Lakes, (877) 863-4780

7. Where to find the best view in lakes country: Inspiration Peak State Wayside Park, 16 miles southeast of Battle Lake just off County Highway 38

8. Where to find some tasty pizza: Ole & Lena's Pizzeria, 134 1st Ave. SW, Rothsay, (218) 867-2500

9. Where to get your bike tuned up, and then where to take it for a ride: Northern Cycle, 501 1st St. E., Park Rapids, (218) 732-5971, then hit the Heartland State Trail, which will bring you up to scenic Walker

10. Where to take the family camping: Maplewood State Park, just southeast of Pelican Rapids

11. Where to find some refreshing ice cream: Dairyland, 1220 North Union Ave., Fergus Falls, (218) 736-3491

12. Where to sip a glass of wine with friends: Stella's, 114 Lake Ave. S., Battle Lake, (218) 862-5576

13. Where to indulge your sweet tooth: Chocolates Plus, 315 Beltrami Ave. NW, Bemidji, (218) 759-1175

14. Where to sink your teeth into a juicy burger: Skål Bar & Grill, 219 E. Frazee Ave., Vergas, (218) 342-7525

15. Where to take in a small-town festival and parade: Perham's Turtle Fest, running June 16-24, with the parade scheduled for June 22 at 6:30 p.m.

16. Where to find the sandiest beach for swimming: Detroit Lakes' public beach

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535