Perfect Day Mille Lacs Lakes :: Eddy's Resort

Someone asked me the other day if I would ever want to live anywhere other than Minnesota. Sure, there are days when the actual temperature is 25 degrees below zero and your eyelids freeze shut if you sneeze, and there are days when the heat index is in triple digits and you think you're going to melt into the upholstery of your car, and there are days when you get to experience ALL FOUR SEASONS in one twenty-four hour period. But those extremes are few.

Big picture, Minnesota is a beautiful place to live, and no, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. One of my favorite things about the state: our lakes. According to the Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota is not the Land of 10,000 Lakes but rather 15,291 (larger than 10 acres).

The name comes from the Dakota word minisota, which means something along the lines of "water that reflects the sky." Here is an example of such water:

Mille Lacs Lake

Last week, I had the opportunity to stay at one of Minnesota's newest resorts, Eddy's on Mille Lacs Lake. The resort was originally built in 1960 and is famous for its red-and-white launch boats. Grand Casino recently purchased the property, tore down the original hotel, and built a brand new resort on the property.

And it's fantastic.

Lobby area

Mille Lacs is the second largest lake completely within the borders of Minnesota. Eddy's is on the southwestern edge of the lake, right across from the entrance to Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, and is only about an hour and fifteen minute drive from home. I arrived on a picture-perfect, beautiful afternoon in late June and spent the first part of my time there relaxing on the balcony with a book and this view:

The view from my room at Eddy's

How perfect is that? Dinner was at the Launch Bar & Grill, which has a varied menu with surprising twists. I had the chicken panini on 9-grain bread with Brie and mostarda (dried cherries, apricots, pears, candied ginger, and mustard seed) and it was a delicious blend of sweet and savory flavors.

Chicken panini with beer cheese fries
But the fries, my friends. The fries. Those are beer cheese fries with bacon and CHEESE CURDS. Warm, melty cheese curds covered in beer cheese soup. Am I kidding? No, I am not. Brilliant! I would make the drive for the beer cheese fries alone. Also: excellent local craft beer selection. I had the Bent Paddle 14° ESB.

The Launch Bar & Grill at Eddy's

Another highlight of the evening was the hour-long tour of the lake on one of the famous launch boats. We went past the smallest of the country's national wildlife refuges, the Mille Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, a bird sanctuary and nesting grounds on two small islands.

Mille Lacs National Wildlife Refuge

The resort is known for its red-and-white boats

Call me crazy, but I woke up at 5:30 to watch the sunrise (so beautiful and peaceful) and a bit later, went down to the dock with a cup of coffee and a book. I could have stayed in that spot all day.

Reading NOWHERE BUT HERE on the dock
My time at Eddy's was short, but so relaxing. I'm looking forward to returning with my husband - and my kids at some point - to fish and to explore the area and to see what else is in store for us at this lovely resort. I hear that the fall colors are amazing on the lake... and there may be a writing weekend here in my near future... stay tuned! 

Want to see more photos from my trip to Eddy's? Find them on my Facebook page. And look for more posts in which I share some Minnesota Love.