Hang On Tight… Experience Hands-on Journeys You Can See, Smell, Hear, & Touch

From Itineraries MinnesotaFall Issue 2007

A Five-Day Sample Itinerary for Group Tours

DAY ONE

International Peace Gardens – North Dakota/Canada
9 – 11:00 am
Nestled on the U.S. and Canadian borders of North Dakota and Manitoba lies the one-of-a-kind International Peace Garden. Since 1932 the familiar strains of Westminster Chimes can be heard reverberating off the bell tower every fifteen minutes as visitors embrace the beauty of the garden and the pride of the American and Canadian Flags; the only two floral designs that remain constant each year. There are over 2,300 acres of colorful floral displays showcasing over 150,000 flowers. Recently added is the 9/11 Memorial, a floral display that stands outlined with steel girders from the remains of the New York World Trade Center.

11 – 1:30 pm
Enjoy lunch in a glass-enclosed building overlooking Lake Stormon. Food choices range from sandwiches and soups to assorted quiches and lasagna.

1:30 – 3:00 pm
Located in the heart of the International Peace Gardens is the Game Warden Museum, constructed to educate and honor the work of our Game Wardens, who work every day to preserve and protect our natural resources.

3:30 pm 
Head east on Hwy 5 to Belcourt, North Dakota.

4 – 6:00 pm
Check into the Sky Dancers Hotel  & Casino. Enjoy a cocktail in the lounge or rest in your room.

6 – 8:00 pm
At the Chippewa Trails Restaurant you can enjoy different buffet themes daily! With prices that can’t be beat, you won’t be disappointed!

DAY TWO

Langdon, ND
9 – 10:00 am
Head about 70 miles east to Langdon, North Dakota

10:30 – 3:30 pm
What could be more hands-on than baking? Spend the afternoon baking loaves of bread from freshly ground wheat while learning about the importance of quality natural ingredients. Your group will enjoy this customized hands-on experience – lunch is included. Located only 22 miles from Langdon on a farm.

3:30 – 5:00 pm
Take the short drive to North Dakota State University’s Langdon Research Extension Center. The Center is an agriculturally-based experiment station where your group will ride in “people carriers” to visit research plots. They are experimenting with new varieties of crops distributed throughout the world. Did you know that a vast majority of french fries processed worldwide originated from this research station?

5 – 7:00 pm
Dinner in Langdon before you head 130 miles east to Roseau, Minnesota.

9:30 pm
Arrive in Roseau where you will be guests at the AmericInn Lodge and Suites. This Northwoods hotel will provide you with the amenities you want most, starting with quiet rooms. Perhaps you’d like to unwind in their pool or whirlpool before turning in.

DAY THREE

Roseau, MN
8 – 9:00 am
Begin your day with a complimentary enhanced continental breakfast.

9 –10:00 am
Head over to the world famous Polaris Plant; the birthplace of the snowmobile.  Be sure to ask about all of the fascinating stories that go along with its conception, such as the use of a grain elevator conveyor belt for the track and pieces of a Chevy bumper for skis, and where that original machine ended up.

10 – 12:00 pm
Located behind the Polaris plant is the Experience Center. The newest attraction in this community known for snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and hockey isn’t a museum. Instead, the 5,600-square-foot Polaris Experience Center is a self-guided tour, through the history of a company that’s been an integral part of life here for more than 50 years.

The Experience Center weaves product displays with lifelike exhibits, enlarged photographs, and interactive video presentations – including a miniature theater with DVD Surround Sound – all telling the Polaris story.

12 – 1:30 pm
Have lunch in the building at Branigan’s Restaurant and check out Pam’s Pantry, a gift and gourmet shop specializing in unique items specific to Minnesota.

1:30 – 4:00 pm
Take the short drive to Warroad and tour William S. Marvin Training and Visitor Center to learn the history of Marvin Windows and Doors and literally experience the window manufacturing process. Located on Highway 11 west, the 6,000 square foot Visitor Center allows guests to discover the rich history, innovations and commitment to excellence of Marvin Windows and Doors. The exhibits include a combination of artifacts and interactive presentations that will impress visitors of all ages.

4 – 6:00 pm
Check into your hotel. Warroad has many accommodation choices for your group to choose from. Take a look at one of the many resorts in the area that would really give your group the up-north experience. Whether your group dines on their own, or at a local diner or supper club, Warroad has many choices for groups.

DAY FOUR

Warroad, MN
7 – 9:00 am
Enjoy a local breakfast that is sure to stick to your ribs!

9 – 10:30 am
Tour of the outdoor wood-burning stove manufacturer plant of Heatmor, Inc., which has been manufacturing outdoor furnaces since 1984. Tours are available Monday through Friday. Call ahead for an appointment.

10:30 – 1:00 pm
Nature viewing from the Point Park’s observation tower will give your group the opportunity for bird-watching as the park is the first stop on the Pine-to-Prairie Birding Trail. See the open water of beautiful Lake of the Woods. A sandy bottom and beach style edges allows for your group to get their feet wet. Have your lunch catered in so your group can enjoy the outdoors.

1 – 2:00 pm
Baudette, MN
Highway 11 from Warroad to Baudette is officially recognized as a MN State Wildflower Route. As you tour there’s lots to do and lots to see. Near Williams, the Orchid Capital of the Nation, you can observe up to 20 varieties of wild orchids from late May through early August. You’re sure to see Minnesota’s state flower, the pink and white Showy Lady Slipper, growing wild in large numbers in June along the highway.

2 – 6:00 pm
Known as the Walleye capital of the world, stop in Baudette and get your photo taken with ‘Willie the Walleye’, a 40-foot long two-ton lunker that stands guard overlooking Baudette Bay. Head over to Sportsman’s Lodge north of Baudette on Rainy River. Your group will spend the afternoon out on the Leonard-C, a 42-foot cruise boat. It’s a comfortable way to see the sights of the renowned Rainy River, which at this point makes up the U.S.-Canadian border. Enjoy a real shore lunch (fish fry).

6 – 7:00 pm
Continue your day with a drive along the scenic byway called Waters of the Dancing Sky to International Falls. The beauty of this entire area offers lodging for a variety of groups – from staying at a resort, a cottage, a houseboat or in a hotel, this is an experience in itself! This spectacular part of God’s country offers a variety of services, guide services and, of course, hot fishing trips! Each can be customized for your groups needs.

DAY FIVE

International Falls, MN
7 – 8:00 am
This part of the trip has adventure written all over it. So be sure to enjoy a hearty breakfast…Minnesota-style.

8 – 10:00 am
Boise Paper Solutions Mill Tours and Woodland Tours. See the second largest and fastest papermaking machinery in the world at the Boise Paper Solutions Mill, located on Second Street in International Falls. Touring America Magazine lists this as one of the top 18 plant tours in America. Tours run June through August, Monday through Friday. Be sure to call ahead for groups.

10 – 6:00 pm
Boreal Explorations EcoAdventures
offers life-enhancing adventures and provide the ultimate in silent sports tours. Through kayaking, sailing, wildlife viewing, skiing, snowshoeing and more, in half to multi-day tour packages, Boreal defies traditional tourism boundaries to take you on adventures of explorations on Rainy Lake and Voyageurs National Park. Guided trips can be customized to meet the abilities, needs, and interests of all types of visitors. Trips may be tailored toward high endurance wilderness expeditions for those interested in extreme adventure travel, or two-hour relaxing, scenic picnic forays.

(BONUS: If you find yourself with extra time, check out the HISTORIC GOLD MINES! Gold fever hit Rainy Lake in the late 1800s, and the National Park Service interprets that sparkle in our history. Visit Bushyhead Island or Little American Island by cruise boat or private vessel. Call (218) 286-5258 for the latest schedules and fees.)

6 – 7:00 pm
Head back to your room to freshen up before dinner.

7 – 9:00 pm
Choose from one of the area restaurants offering deck dining with a beautiful view of Rainy Lake. And with luck, you can marvel at nature’s own light show – the Aurora Borealis, aka the Northern Lights. Up here, north of the 48th parallel, any clear evening can produce an unforgettable display.

Thank you for bringing your groups to the upper Midwest. This sample itinerary contains many ideas you can customize into a fascinating tour or package for your own group(s). For assistance in customizing your travel itinerary, or to answer your questions about regional destinations, contact Heartland Tours & Travel in the Twin Cities (MN) at 651-777-7170.

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