by Lisa Meyers McClintick
The throaty rumble of a boat motor, the cannonball splash of kids at the beach and even the hip-swinging croon of an Elvis impersonator define summer fun at northern Minnesota’s Breezy Point Resort. This short peninsula on Pelican Lake has beckoned vacationers since the 1920’s, when new roads and cars made heading “up north” a statewide tradition.
The resort expanded, added golf courses and built modern condos and vacation homes. Today, there’s enough lodging to hold well over 500 guests, with everything from economical lakeside hotel rooms to an 11-room reunion house.
Expect many celebrations to be underway, from reunions and weddings to guys’ golf weekends and girlfriend getaways. Likewise, winter draws a steady flow of guests, from student hockey teams that play at the community’s arena to families who want to enjoy skating, play broomball, ice fish, go tubing or attend the resort’s annual Ice Fest, where fireworks explode above the frozen lake.
Of course, the local area provides plenty of diversions, with shopping, hiking, trail or mountain biking, the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway and even kayaking across surprisingly scenic former mine pits. A resort shuttle takes guests to golf courses and restaurants, so a car isn’t needed. Renting a boat or pontoon may be more tempting, however, whether it’s for fishing or taking a pontoon to the resort’s private 14-acre Gooseberry Island, with a beach and two resident goats.
Our Editor Loves
- Boating and fishing
- Sandy beach along Pelican Lake
- Swimming pools and arcade
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The majority of accommodations -- about 180 hotel-type rooms and suites -- are in Breezy Center and at the Breezy Inn, which is across from the marina. Some can be connected for more space. All of the rooms include a mini-fridge, microwave and free Wi-Fi, while some include kitchenettes or full kitchens. If you want a tub in addition to a shower, be sure to request that with reservations.
Breezy Inn's King Executive Suites are among the most popular choices for families. If you're booking last-minute, there may still be openings in the Lodge apartments. Cribs are available for $5 per night.
Breezy Inn & Suites
This building has 118 rooms with log furnishings and patios or decks on three floors with three wings. Located across from the marina, it was built in 2001 and includes its own pool. It's a short walk to dining and the beach. Room options include Double Queens that sleep up to four; King Executive Suites for up to four people, which include a king bed in its own room, a sitting area with a sofa bed, large whirlpool tub, one bath, a fireplace and table with four chairs; and King Leisure Suites for up to four people, which include a king bed, a sofa bed in the sitting area, and views of the bay from the balcony or walkout patio.
In this building, guests have a choice of 29 waterfront rooms that are front-and-center to all the action at the resort, including a spacious indoor pool, recreation center and arcade, the Marina II Dining Room, a dockside lounge and ballroom. Configurations include Double Double rooms for up to four guests; Suites furnished with two double beds and a sitting area with a sofa bed for up to six guests; and Two-Bedroom Units with pine-log walls and older dÃ©cor including a living room and kitchen, a master bedroom in an upstairs loft and a gas fireplace. Each unit includes a king bed, queen bed and sofa bed to sleep up to six.
In comparison to other accommodations, dÃ©cor is more old-fashioned in this building with about 30 apartments, but the views are among the best at Breezy Point, with wide windows and decks facing Pelican Lake. The knotty pine-paneled units include a kitchenette and one bathroom. They sleep four to six people in rooms with one queen bed and one sofa bed; one queen bed and two double beds; or one queen bed, two twin beds and one futon in the living area.
The Point Two-Bedroom Condos
The Point, next to Breezy Center, features 10 two-bedroom, two-bath condos overlooking the lake with full kitchens and washers and dryers. Upper units include cathedral ceilings and a king bed in the master bedroom in the loft, and two double beds and a sofa bed on the main level to sleep up to eight. Lower-level units have two king beds and a sofa bed to sleep up to six.
Guests can also rent some of the resort's 80 two-bedroom, time-share condominiums near the Whitebirch Championship Golf Course. It's a short drive west of the resort, so it's not ideal for beach- and boat-focused families, but it's good for those who prefer modern accommodations and a quieter setting. Whitebirch Estates has its own indoor pool and outdoor playground, and each unit includes a fireplace, full kitchen, two baths, decks, grills and a washer and dryer. Guests also can walk to Antlers restaurant for dinner.
Executive Beach Homes
These four, two-bedroom luxury homes include fireplaces, two baths, full kitchens, washers and dryers, walkout patios and master bedroom balconies with views of the lake.
There are a dozen homes or cabins on the Breezy Point property, which are big enough for family reunions or a gathering of friends. Most have three to four bedrooms, but four have five or six rooms. The biggest one -- the Fawcett House -- is a log mansion from the 1920's. It can accommodate several generations with 11 rooms in all. Another popular choice is the Boat House, a new four-bedroom home right on the lake and next to the marina. It sleeps 12. Families who golf can appreciate the BP Wright Cabin, built in the iconic Prairie style that features lots of windows to embrace the outdoors and surrounding greens. It sleeps 14 people.
by Tim L
We really enjoyed our timeshare vacation at Breezy Point Resort in Minnesota. The accommodations were superb. We had a 3-bedroom, 2-bath unit, which was topnotch. The swimming pool, hot tub and fitness room facility is outstanding. Antlers Restaurant and Commanders restaurant offer great menu selections. The area golf courses are in tip top condition. This a fantastic family retreat or get-away.
by Crissy G
This is the second time my husband and I attended a conference at Breezy Point. The accommodations are spacious, well maintained and clean. The food was great and served efficiently for such a large group. Everyone we interacted with was friendly and helpful.
Boating and Marina
Visitors can find plenty of professional fishing guides in the area (ask staff or bait shops for recommendations) if they're serious about hooking a famed walleye or northern from area lakes, but many families are happy simply tooling around on a pontoon, soaking up the summer sun and lake breezes. The marina rents pontoons, fishing boats and motors and personal watercraft, and is home to the Breezy Belle paddlewheel boat. The Breezy Belle offers two-hour cruises of the lake, two to three times a week throughout the summer.
With shallow depths, Breezy Point's beach can be especially appealing for toddlers who love to dart between sand creations and the water. The beachfront also includes a playground, volleyball courts, and canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards for guests to use.
Families congregate at Breezy Center, anchored by the resort's largest indoor pool and an additional kiddie pool for toddlers. The pool is open to all hotel guests. Breezy Inn also has an indoor pool for guests and those staying in surrounding vacation homes. Both pool locations include a heated whirlpool. There is a third indoor pool at nearby Whitebirch Golf Course for guests staying near the golf course. Pools are open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and parents need to supervise children.
Families can find pool and Ping-Pong tables here, along with video games, air hockey, board games to check out and rental equipment for a variety of sports. An exercise room with lake views can be found here, too. Parents can keep an eye on kids in the rec center while relaxing in The Coffee House.
Breezy Point draws many golfers with its trio of three courses. The Traditional course near the main property offers the most convenient and economical option for families and young golfers, while nearby Whitebirch Golf Course offers additional challenges. For a splurge, Deacon's Lodge ranks as one of the region's most-lauded choices: a par-72 course designed by Arnold Palmer.
In addition to volleyball courts near the marina, the resort also has horseshoe pits and four tennis courts.
When the lake freezes, the waterfront becomes a groomed skating rink for hockey, broomball or gliding around. Guests can rent snowshoes, cross-country skis, skates and clubs and tennis balls for nine holes of snow golf. Indoor skating may also be available at the Breezy Point ice arena if it's not being used for hockey tournaments.
Breezy Point Resort offers several places to dine, as well as a few meal plans. The meal plans don't make financial sense for families with kids who won't be ordering hefty entrees, such as steak or seafood. Marina II, Antlers and Dockside Lounge all offer kids' menus and are family-friendly.
This is popular for families wanting to fill up for breakfast with a daily buffet that includes staples such as pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit and yogurt. The restaurant overlooks the lake, which makes it popular for a date-night dinner, too. Starters include California sushi rolls and gravy-and-cheese-laden poutine, and entrees such as roast duckling, steak and Walleye Oscar (topped with crab, asparagus and Hollandaise sauce). Marina II is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. for breakfast, and until 11:30 a.m. for breakfast on weekends.
This seasonal dining spot, a few miles west of the main resort and along the Whitebirch Golf Course, also has a date-night feel with a stone fireplace and wood-beamed ceiling. It also includes an outdoor fire pit and a patio surrounded by a garden and waterfall, which adds to the ambience. The dinner menu features rib eye, steaks, prime rib, seafood and a Hungarian mushroom soup.
With a variety of pizzas and location along the waterfront, this casual lunch and dinner spot is a favorite with families. It also serves sandwiches, burgers and salads. Look for live music during the summer and Elvis on Saturdays at sunset throughout July and August. Dockside opens at 11 a.m. daily.
Adults may head here for coffee and big cinnamon rolls, but kids will want to return for afternoon ice cream and cookies. It's a good place to take refuge while still keeping an eye on kids in the recreation center. The Coffee House is open Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
This seasonal eatery with a stone fireplace and up-north feel is located off the main property and overlooks the Deacon's Lodge Golf Course. Families will appreciate patio dining for sandwiches, burgers and salads for lunch, plus appetizers, steaks and seafood for dinner.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
If you are planning a large family reunion and want to meet at Breezy Point, the staff has professional event planners to guide you through challenges such as good gathering places, meals and activities. You'll also need to plan ahead for peak summer weekends when accommodations with more than three rooms are so popular, they can book a year in advance.
The Art of Smart Timing
Breezy Point is open year-round, with late June through most of August as the peak season for family travel. If you have toddlers and don't have to work around a school schedule, you can find the best deals from mid-May through early June or the weeks right before and after Labor Day. The weather can still be ideal, and the resort is quieter. Travel mid-week for the best prices.
Winter weekends (peak is January and February) are also popular for outdoor fun, so it's wise to plan ahead. Check when booking to make sure you're not going to be placed near a potentially loud group of hockey families gathered for tournaments. Perks for winter and shoulder-season guests (mid-October through mid-April) include a complimentary daily breakfast buffet and an evening cocktail hour.
If getting away for some downtime is more important than outdoor recreation, the best lodging deals are available during the shoulder seasons, between winter and spring and fall and winter.
While summer guests will need bug repellent and sunscreen for days that can rise to 80- and 90-some degrees, winter guests will need layers for warmth and wind protection with temperatures sometimes dipping below zero.
Breezy Point is three hours (about 166 miles) north of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Lakes Express Shuttle transports passengers to the Brainerd Lakes Area, but it may be more economical to rent a car depending on your family's size. The Brainerd airport is about 28 miles from Breezy Point.
There are several rest areas along the way if you're driving from the Twin Cities, but be sure to stop at the one along Highway 371, a few miles south of Brainerd. Kids can pose with the outdoor statue of Paul Bunyan and walk across an indoor map of the region and its lakes inside the visitor center while parents grab tourism guides.
Breezy Point Resort has a shuttle that loops through the property and golf courses. Plenty of parking is available and there's no charge.
For Mom and Dad
If you have friends or family to watch the kids, sneak away for a paddle or sunset boat ride together. The resort's spa at Breezy Center, opened in May, 2015, will offer an array of massages, facials, pedicures, manicures and Coolsculpting, a fat-reduction procedure.