On Little Mantrap Lake
Phone: (218) 732-5480

Charming Park Rapids, MN

January 6, 2024

Spend an Afternoon in Charming Park Rapids, MN

Quaint Park Rapids, MN is widely regarded as one of the state’s most beloved road trips, thanks in large part to its Heartland State Trail gateway, idyllic downtown, and proximity to Itasca State Park. In fact, Midwest Living recently highlighted the area’s charm, recreational opportunities, and historical significance. While historic Little Norway Resort itself acts as the gateway to Itasca State Park’s southern rim, sometimes a short, albeit memorable trip to Park Rapids is just what the family needs to add a little extra flair to an already stellar lakeside vacation.

15 Unique Things to Do in Park Rapids, MN

A week spent on peaceful Little Mantrap Lake should always include three or four hours spent in downtown Park Rapids, especially if you have a penchant for chocolates, antiques, and craft brews. In hopes of enhancing your next sunny escape to Little Norway Resort, we’ve compiled 12 uniquely-Minnesotan things to do in Park Rapids, ranging from wagon rides to shopping and live theater. Enjoy!

  1. Purchase (and devour) a dollop of sinful turtle fudge at Aunt Belle’s Confectionary, a famous Central Minnesota candy shop.
  2. Slurp and lick a flavorful ice cream cone at the 1950s-style MinneSODA Fountain.
  3. Go shopping in downtown Park Rapids, with stops at The Tin Ceiling, Rustic Cabin Decor, Landquist Rustic Wood Furnishings, and Amish Oak,  
  4. Bring back a basket of old-fashioned, Minnesota-made saltwater taffy at Cuzzin’s Candy Store.
  5. Hop onto the aforementioned Heartland State Trail and ride a bicycle (or rollerblade) all the way to adorable Dorset, home to the state’s only mini-mayors.
  6. Ride go-karts, play mini-golf, rock climb, and brave an escape room at Evergreen Funpark.
  7. Peruse fresh produce and pick strawberries at Carter’s Red Wagon Farm. Or, better yet, visit the farm during the always-extravagant Fall Festival
  8. In late July, visit Park Rapids during the aptly-named “Crazy Days,” home to insane shopping discounts, live music, and even a pet parade.
  9. Watch a live performance at Jasper’s Theater.
  10. Bond with the kids, team-build, or push your limits at the Character Challenge Course.
  11. Sip on a craft ale (or two) at Revel Brewing, one of the newest additions to downtown Park Rapids. We recommend purchasing a growler of the Yetti Milk Stout to be enjoyed later in your cozy cabin.
  12. Play 18 holes at Headwaters Golf Club or Eagle View Golf Course.
  13. Embark on a culinary voyage at one of the region’s best restaurants, such as Necce’s Ristorante, Good Life, or Vallartas Mexican Grill.
  14. Hand-select a bunch of mouthwatering meats on Main Street. Remember to utilize your complimentary grill here at Little Norway Resort.
  15. Relish an Italian roast coffee at Bella Caffe.

Family Resorts near Park Rapids, MN

Little Norway Resort remains one of the most desirable pet-friendly resorts in Minnesota, mainly because of its unique history (it used to be “Camp Lloyd”), private acreage, and heavenly Little Mantrap Lake (a beloved fishing destination). Typically, families spend an entire week or more at Little Norway, which lies 1.5 miles south of Itasca State Park. We are one of only two resorts on the lake, so you can expect nothing less than sheer solitude, still waters, and healthy fishing hauls, regardless of the season. On-site amenities include a sizable private beach, spacious playground area, an indoor playroom, pontoon rides, patios, Wi-Fi, and complimentary canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards.

To book a long-awaited, well-deserved escape to sunny Park Rapids, please don’t hesitate to check our availability calendar. You won’t find rates this low anywhere else near Itasca State Park!

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