Bemidji Journals

Paul Bunyan and Japanese Camp - Bemidji, Minnesota

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A June 2005 trip to Bemidji by SFPhotocraft

Maid Rite Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota More Photos
Quote: Summer was here and the kids were heading up to the wilds of Minnesota to start Japanese language camp in Bemidji, Minnesota. Papa went with and had a grand time of peace and quiet in the north woods.

Paul Bunyan and Japanese Camp - Bemidji, Minnesota

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Overview

Bemidji, MN Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota
Quote:
Bemidji bills itself as the first city on the Mississippi, and rightfully so. Just a few miles from here, the Mississippi spills out of Lake Itasca and starts its long trek south to the Gulf of Mexico. Here, you actually walk across this famous river on stepping stones. When the Mississippi bases through Bemidji, it's just slightly larger than a nice-sized stream. Bemidji has a lot to offer the summertime visitor. It sits on beautiful Lake Bemidji, and the whole area is surrounded by the pristine Northwoods lake. Fishing is king here, and record walleyes are pulled from these waters. Bemidji has grown up and now is a college town with a year-round ...Read More

Hampton Inn & Suites Bemidji

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Hotel | "Hampton Inn - Bemidji"

Hampton Inn & Suites Bemidji Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota
Quote:
While the kids were at Japanese camp, I planned to just relax in Bemidji and do a whole lot of nothing. I looked over some of the interesting lodges and cabins that surround the lakes in the area, but decided I wanted to have the creature comforts of a chain hotel. I was unfamiliar with the Hampton product, but somehow booked this property, as it was one of the few chains on the lake. I am not sure what I was expecting, maybe my expectations were way down, but boy was I blown away and pleasantly surprised at what this hotel has to offer. You can't miss the new Hampton Inn as you drive in to Bemidji. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 11, 2005

Hampton Inn & Suites Bemidji
1019 Paul Bunyan Drive South
Bemidji 56601
(218) 751-3600

Maid Rite

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Restaurant

Maid Rite Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota
Quote:
Pretty much every small town in the Midwest used to have a Maid Rite Cafe. These small cafés were parts of one of the first successful franchises in America. The original started in 1926 in Iowa. They offered a tasty burger that was chopped and similar to a Sloppy Joe. The unique feature was that it had no sauce, just some very tasty secret spices. They were (and are) delicious! Sadly, most of the small Maid Rites closed their doors, and all those wonderful, small cafés are now gone, making room for better-known names in the fast-food business. So was I happy to be driving in Bemidji and spot a real, honest-to-goodness Maid Rite. I had to stop ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2005

Maid Rite
1602 Bemidji Ave.
Bemidji, Minnesota 56601
(218) 444-7224

Green Mill Restaurant & Bar

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Restaurant | "Green Mill Pizza"

Green Mill Restaurant & Bar Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota
Quote:
Green Mill Pizza is a Minneapolis institution. If you take a poll in the Twin Cities, you may find most the most consider this the best pizza in the area, so it was a real boom for Bemidji to get a brand-new Green Mill when the Hampton Inn opened on Lake Bemidji. I was staying at the Hampton Inn, so I had lunch or dinner at the Green Mill several times on my visit. I have to go on record saying I enjoy Green Mill, but maybe not as much as others do. I am a thin-crust pizza fan, and I find the pizzas at Green Mill to have very thick and bready crusts. If you like thick deep-dish pizzas, this is your place - not mine! This Green Mill looks great. It sits right on Lake Bemidji, and for t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 11, 2005

Green Mill Restaurant & Bar
1025 Paul Bunyan Dr. S.
Bemidji, Minnesota
(218) 444-1875

Northwoods Steakhouse

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Restaurant

Northwoods Steakhouse Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota
Quote:
The Northwoods Steakhouse bills itself as Bemidji's only steakhouse. I would think some of the places who serve a nice steak in town might take exception, but Northwoods claims to be the place for a good steak up here on Lake Bemidji. There is not a lot around Northwoods, and it pretty much sits alone. It's hard to miss. It's a cute little place set off the highway, north of town. It's across the highway from the lake in a rather oddly shaped square building. They wanted to make it a North-themed restaurant, and it's kind an odd mix - an almost-deco building with a lake cabin theme going on! Northwoods is popular with both locals and tourists alike. When I entered, I could tell the b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2005

Northwoods Steakhouse
6409 Bemidji Ave North
Bemidji, Minnesota 56601
(218) 444-2199

Union Station

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Restaurant

Union Station Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota
Quote:
I asked at the desk of my hotel what they thought was the best dining experience in Bemidji. The answer quickly came back as Union Station. So, one night I was hungry for a nice dinner and went to try Union Station.It was easy to find, as it's on the main highway leading through town and is hard to miss. There was plenty of parking out front, and I got in without a reservation with no problem. I found the main dining room to be a bit dark. This may not have been the perfect choice for a dinner in warm June. I could see it being really cozy in winter, sitting by the blazing fire as snow fell outside. The room had a train motif. It was the kind of place you have seen before, with the f...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 12, 2005

Union Station
128 First St. NW
Bemidji, Minnesota
(218) 751-9261

Brigid's Cross

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Restaurant

Brigid's Cross Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota
Quote:
I had driven by Brigid's Cross a number of times during my stay. It sits front and center on Beltrami, which is the main street running through downtown Bemidji. It sits directly across the street from the Bemidji Playhouse. It always looked inviting with a small patio and unique graphics. I was eager to give it a try. The minute I walked in the door, I felt I was transported to a pub in Ireland. This place was authentic, not a bit overdone. It had some pub games at the door and a long bar. The bar had a huge selection of scotches and, of course, lots of Guinness exposure. The pub had lots of tables and some booths, although many folks were enjo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 12, 2005

Brigid's Cross
317 Beltrami Ave. NW
Bemidji, Minnesota 56601
(218) 444-0567

Itasca State Park Mississippi Headwaters

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Attraction | "Itasca State Park - Mississippi Headwaters"

Itasca State Park Mississippi Headwaters Photo, Park Rapids, Minnesota
Quote:
Most people know all about the Mississippi River, and most of them have a picture of her running through Missouri and the stories of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. Most folks know about her way down south in plantation country as she empties into the Gulf of Mexico. However most people know very little about where she starts, way up in northern Minnesota. Here at Itasca State Park she spills out of Lake Itasca and the famous Mississippi River is born. Here is where the start of her 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico begins! Itasca State Park is a lovely state park. It's Minnesota oldest state park and covers 32,000 acres of northern woods. In this park alone are 100 lakes! Most peopl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 12, 2005

Itasca State Park Mississippi Headwaters
36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, Minnesota 56470
(218) 266-2100

Concordia Language Villages

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Attraction

Concordia Language Villages Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota
Quote:
Where in the U.S. would you go if you wanted to learn Swedish, Russian, Spanish, French, German Italian, Finnish, Japanese, Korean, or several more languages? How about heading way up north in the woods of Northern Minnesota. Northern Minnesota, you ask? As they say up there "You betcha"! Concordia College has been running summer language camps in this area for over twenty-five years now. Their method is tried and true. Many of the camps are around their own private lake, while others are sub-contracted to other camps in the area. The villages that have their own locations have a distinct flavor to that culture. For instance the German village looks like a little square from a town on the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 12, 2005

Concordia Language Villages
8659 Thorsonveien NE
Bemidji, Minnesota 56601
(218) 299-4544

Paul Bunyan's Animal Land

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Attraction

Paul Bunyan's Animal Land Photo, Bemidji, Minnesota
Quote:
When I grew up in southern Minnesota, we always would drive north in the summer for our lake vacation. On the way, we would stop at one of the many deer farms in the area to pet and feed live deer. This was always my favorite part of the trip and I anticipated this stop more than the lake itself. Many of these petting parks have been closed, although a few remain. So, when I took my kids up to this area for camp I had to share with them the deer petting and feeding experience.The park is easy to find, it's right off Highway 2, the main road in the area. It has a large sign and huge deer that mark the spot.We parked and went in, we paid the $5 for adults and $4 for kids for admission. W...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 12, 2005

Paul Bunyan's Animal Land
3857 Animal Land Drive SE
Bemidji, Minnesota 56601
(218) 759-1533

About the Writer

SFPhotocraft

SFPhotocraft
Altadena, California

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