Things To Do Near Shing Wako Resort! Many are FREE!

Brainerd Lakes Area Calendar – An Active Calendar of Events

Radio Stations that offer discounts for the Brainerd Area.

B-bay and St. Cloud Radio Marketplace

Ossipee – 1.5 miles

Valeri Ann’s – NEW! Locally grown and homemade foods! Catering, doughnuts, caramel rolls, frozen meals, canned goods and pizza delivery! Catering events, In house & special locations Open 7 am – 5 pm Mon – Fri & Sat 8 am – 2 pm.218-454-3663
Grandpa’s General Store – Shop here first before driving into Brainerd for something you need/forgot. A little bit of everything; plus hand dipped ice cream cones, pizza, soup… Open 7 days a week 7 am – 9 pm. 218-831-8929

Merrifield – 4 miles or so…

Andy’s Bar and Grill – Eat in, take out; full bar and casual dining. 218-828-9025
Uptown Griddle – Open Tues – Sat 6 am – 3 pm & Sun 7 am – 4 pm, 218-454-3463
Speedway – Fishing Licenses, Some Groceries and Bait – 5 am–10 pm every day! 218-829-8672
Harpo’s Saloon – An American style saloon, Open everyday 11 am – 1 am, 218-829-0816
Paul Bunyan Trail – Inquire at the office how to bike right from the resort! The 110 miles of level, paved trail takes cyclists through one of Minnesota’s most popular vacation areas; Crow Wing State Park south of Brainerd, then heading north through Merrifield, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Pine River, Backus, Hackensack and the Chippewa National Forest to Bemidji State Park.
The Woods – Bar/Restaurant, Event Center, Lodging, Weddings. Offering a free appetizer to our resort guests! 6 miles south of Shing Wako on County Road 3. 218-829-7507

Nearby Parks & Tennis

Public Tennis Court – 2.4 miles. Tennis Court, Playground, Hand Water Pump, Take R onto Co Rd 3, .8 miles, then take a L onto Co Rd 19, go 1.6 miles, on left.
Merrifield Lions Park – 4 miles. Baseball diamond, sheltered picnic area, playground, and volleyball court Take a R onto Co Rd 3, 2.8 miles, take L to stay on Co Rd 3, go 1.2 miles, on L.
Mission Park – 5.6 miles. Very Nice – Tennis Courts, Playgrounds, Restrooms, Walking Paths. Go N on Co Rd 3, 4.6 miles, take R onto Mission park Dr, go 1 mile.
Crosslake Recreational Park – 12 miles. Picnic shelter, playground, indoor gym and tennis courts. Daggett-Pine RD off Co Rd 66, Crosslake. 218-692-4271.

Rentals and More…

Many vendors provide delivery/pickup/shuttle service for a fee.
Dave’s Sportland Rental – Boats/Jet Skis/Water Toys, Nisswa, 218-963-2401
Crosslake Rental – Jet Skis, Pontoons, Boats – 218-692-7368
Boats and Beyond – Boats/Jet Ski’s, Brainerd/Nisswa/Gull Lake, 218-963-7700
Crystal Pierz Marine – Boats, Gull Lake, 218-963-7788
Trailblazer Bikes – On the Paul Bunyan Trail in Nisswa 218-963-0699
Cycle Path & Paddle – Canoes/Kayaks/Paddleboards/Hydro bikes/In-line Skates/FAT Bikes, Hybrid Bikes, Mountain Bikes! Shuttle Service Available for the Mississippi &Pine Rivers, the Mine Pits/Lakes in Cuyuna Country in Crosby 218-545-4545
Easy Riders Bicycle & Sportshop – Canoe/Kayak Outfitters for area rivers and lakes. Bicycle Rentals/Helmets/Repairs/In-line Skates/Bait/Guide Services/Licenses Brainerd, 218-829-5516

Local Transportation

Executive Express (formerly Lakes Express) – Airport Shuttle, 320-253-2226, 888-522-9899,
Enterprise Rent-A-Car – 218-828-0200, 14695 Edgewood Dr Suite 130 Baxter – they can help you with other car rental companies as well!
Brainerd Taxi – 218-828-1111
Grab-A-Cab – 218-270-2992

Brainerd Area Discount Certificates

The ValueConnectionSt Cloud Radio Station
B-bayBrainerd Radio Station

Horseback Riding/Wagon Rides

Pine River Riding Stable – 2301 40th Ave SW Pine River, 218 587-5807
Outback Trail Rides – 12210 Pillsbury Forest Road SW Pillager, 218 746-3990

Meat Raffles & BINGO

Cedar Chest – Mondays 5:30 pm, 33350 Co Rd 3, Crosslake 218-692-2657, 9 miles
Half Moon Saloon – Tuesdays 5:30 pm, Intersection of Co Rd 3 & 4, 218-828-9025, 3 miles
Mission Tavern –TBD 13036 SW Horseshoe Lake Rd, Merrifield 218-765-3635, 5 miles
American Legion – Fridays 6 pm, County Road 3, Crosslake, 218-692-2555
BINGO @ The Woods – Tuesdays 6:30 pm – 19624 County Road 3, Brainerd MN 218-829-7507

Fishing Guides

Walleyedan’s Guide Service – 218-839-5598
Royal’s Fishing Guide Service – 218-829-6672
S & W Bait and Tackle – 218-829-7010
Nisswa Guides – 218-963-2547


Minnesota School of Diving – 712 Washington Street Brainerd, 218-829-5953

Bird Watching Tours

MN Backyard Birds – Judd Brink, Guide. 218-838-4784,

Markets & Locally Grown & Pick Your Own

Crow Wing Food Co-Op – 720 Washington Street Brainerd, 218-828-4600
The Farm on St Mathias – Seriously Local Food & Country Store – 3 miles south of Brainerd, 612-695-2721
Brainerd Market – The Brainerd Market is the only year-round indoor venue for vendors to display and sell their Antiques, Collectibles, Crafts, New & Used Items and so much more! 40+ local vendors, open 7 days a week! 522 NE 11th Ave Brainerd 218-833-2897
Lakes Area Growers Market – Tues – 8 am–12:30pm. Franklin Arts Center, Fri – Gander Mountain Lot, Baxter
Nelson-Shine Produce – 12629 30th St, Brainerd 218-829-9084 or 218-330-6587,
Wallin’s Berry Farm – Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries Open mid June to early July, from 8am to 8pm; call for special hours. 218-963-7456, 218-562-4473. 3 miles east of Nisswa on County Road 18
Grand Champion Meats – 14043 Swann Drive, Crosslake, 218-692-6328,
Farmers’ Market – Sat – 9 am – 1 pm. 301 Minnesota Ave N, Aitkin at the Historic Butler Building! 218-820-8790

Thrift Shops

Bearly Used & New – 216 South 8th Street Brainerd, 218-454-1044
Salvation Army Thrift – 609 Norwood Street, Brainerd 218-822-3559
Goodwill – 35562 Co Rd 66, Crosslake, 218-692-9455, Mon – Sat 9 am – 6 pm
Goodwill – 514 C Street NE, Brainerd, 218-829-8493
Second Time Around – 18581 MN-371, Brainerd, 218-829-1224
Crazy Jim’s Army Surplus – 119 NE Washington Street, Brainerd, 218-270-2443
Dorcas Ministries Thrift Store – 2910 Oak Street Brainerd, 218-828-2811

Water Parks

Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes – 6967 Lake Forest Road Baxter, 218-822-5634
Holiday Inn Express Three Bear Waterpark – 15739 Audubon Way Baxter, 218-824-3232
Comfort Suites/Rapid River Lodge & Water Park – 7376 Woida Road Baxter, 218-825-7234


Big Axe Brewing Company – 25435 Main St, Nisswa, 218-961-2337,
Jack Pine Brewery – 7942 College Rd Ste 115, Baxter, 218-270-8072,
Gull Dam Brewing – 23836 Smiley Rd, Nisswa, 218-963-2739,


Either are about one hour from Shing Wako Resort
Grand Casino, Mille Lacs 1-800-626-5825
Northern Lights Casino, Walker 218-547-2744

Crosslake – 10 miles

Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway – Free! Tour in your cars, pedal your bikes, or just put on some good walking shoes. This is 54 miles of stunning scenery through the cities of Pequot Lakes, Breezy Point, Crosslake, Manhattan Beach, Pine River, and Jenkins. Podcasts and interpretive kiosks tell the stories of these communities, history, and local folk-lore.
Lake Country Crafts and Cones – New for 2013 – Drive Through! “The Yellow House” with over 150 artists & 36 flavors of Ice Cream! Coffee, Espresso, Fudge. On Co Rd 66, 218-692-4411.
City of Crosslake Park – Free! Whether you’re standing on the overlook watching the rushing water or casting a line into the current, the Pine River Dam in Crosslake is a sight to see! The recreational area offers camping, boating, swimming, picnicking, fishing and an abundance of water related recreational opportunities on 37 acres.
Crosslake Historic Log Village – Free! The village takes you back in time with a replica village of furnished buildings from the 1800’s – some original log structures, and two that are new. There is an original log schoolhouse, general store, homestead, logger’s camp, saloon, tourist cabin, livery and Crosslake’s original town hall! Staffed Hours: Sat and Sun 11 am – 4 pm Memorial – Labor Day. Open daytime hours for self-guided tours.
Uppgaard Wildlife Management Area – Free! 18 miles. 110 acres of landscaped wildlife habitat. As one of the few non-game wildlife areas, Uppgaard is perfect for nature watching with wide, well-packed woodland trails. The area features FREE guided tours during the summer, departing every Wed. at 9:30 am. Take a L onto Co Rd 3, drive through Crosslake onto Co Rd 66, turn L at Co Rd 16, drive approx 2 miles, park is on your L.
Crosslake Town Square – Just off the beaten path of Route 66/#3; an adorable addition to the town. Free! All through the summer, there’s a live music series on Saturday evenings from 6:30- 8:30 in the park. To see who’s playing, check here –

Nisswa – 10 miles, Unique Shopping!

Turtle Races –This is a great way to enjoy a summer day in downtown Nisswa. Turtles will be provided at the race site; if you choose to bring your own turtle the official racing button must still be purchased. Each racer is given a pre-assigned race number. When the event begins, numbers will be announced and paid participants will step forward to receive a turtle to race or use their own. Winners will receive an official turtle ribbon. Wednesdays through August 11; Registration begins at 1 pm.
Historic Pioneer Village – Free! Made up of a number of buildings, each offering a unique glimpse at people and styles of the late 1800’s and early 1900s. Visitors to downtown Nisswa can take a self-guided tour through the village and see the one-room school house, bank, and other replica buildings. The four homesteads feature furniture and items reminiscent of those brought from the “old country” by German, Norwegian, and Swedish immigrants.

Brainerd/Baxter – 12 + miles

Wild Bird Store/Little Farm Market – Everything for birds from A to Z! Also a vendor for locally made arts and crafts. A fun place to shop and browse! 516 C Street NE, Brainerd. 218-829-5436
Safari North Wildlife Park – 20 miles. Fun for all ages! Open May 15 – Oct 1, 9 am – 6 pm – 7 days a week, 8493 State Hwy 371, Brainerd , 218-454-1662
Paul Bunyan Land and This Old Farm Pioneer Village – 19 miles. For 60 years the 26 foot tall animated Paul Bunyan has greeted youngsters by name, 40 amusement rides and attractions. 30 building Pioneer Village, Memorial Day to Labor Day (Summer Season) Open DAILY 10am – 6pm 17553 State Highway 18 Brainerd. Located 7 Miles East of Brainerd on State Highway 18. 218.764.2524
Brainerd International Raceway – 14 miles. BIR has come a long way since its modest beginnings 40 some years ago. Its colorful history and world-class racing has helped put Brainerd on the map. From May through September you can find major road and drag racing events here, including the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Located North of Baxter on Highway 371. 218-824-7223
Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame – Free! 13 miles. Located within Gander Mountain in Baxter. Numerous legendary anglers hail from the Gopher State and the detailed, informative displays located within the hall of fame are dedicated to showcasing their great accomplishments over the years: Al Lindner, Gary Roach, Al Maas, and other famous Minnesota fishermen.
Brainerd Historic Walk – Free! Allows you to rediscover the rich and varied history and stories of what was first known as the Crossing. The Brainerd History Group in conjunction with other community groups, is dedicated to celebrating this history and making it come alive in the 21st century.
Northland Arboretum – In the heart of Brainerd/Baxter and boasts nearly 12 miles of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. The Northland Arboretum provides opportunities to view nature at its best and showcases a verity of flowers, trees and wildlife among the 500 acres of natural beauty.
Kiwanis Park – Free! 12 miles on the Mississippi River. 37 acres in size and features fishing piers, playground, canoe launch, paved trail, restrooms, and pavilions. 1101 East River Road in Brainerd.
Lum Park – Free! 12 miles on the Mississippi River. 38 acres in size and features disc golf, pavilions, boat landing, fishing pier, sand beach volleyball court, and playground. 1619 NE Washington Street, Brainerd.
Shopping in Downtown Brainerd – Downtown Brainerd is fortunate to have many of its older buildings still standing, filled with unique, locally-owned shops and restaurants creating a pedestrian friendly commercial district. National Registered historic buildings in Downtown include the old Brainerd Public Library on Washington Street, the Brainerd Water Tower, and the Parker Building (E.L. Menk Jewelers)
WestGate Mall – 14136 Baxter Dr, Brainerd
Mann Westgate Movies 10 – 14145 Baxter Drive, Baxter, 218-828-6228
Lakes Area Yoga – A nonprofit organization bringing quality yoga at affordable prices to the Brainerd Lakes area since 1995. Drop-ins welcome! 218-829-7029

Pequot Lakes – 15 miles

Kendall Candles – Factory & Store – Free Tours Daily! (Mon – Sat), 218-568-5678, 3506 Kendall Circle
Paul Bunyan Lore – Free! While in our community we invite you to explore the folk-lore of Paul Bunyan as he left behind his favorite fishing bobber, chair and foot prints for you to see.
Market in the Park – Start your morning with free Yoga near the new band shelter on the north block of the Trailside Park. Afterwards, wander down the Paul Bunyan Trail for the fresh produce, business booths, flea market, new/used items, and food. Kids will enjoy the Bobber Hunt and Bobber Bowling. Thurs during July and Aug.
Fire Tower – Free! Climb the Nationally Registered Historic DNR fire tower east of Pequot Lakes, looming above the Jack Pines. It provides a 15-mile scenic view of the area. The foundation of the forester’s home still exists at the base of the tower.
Fishy – Fishing Gear, Tackle, Cabin Décor & More, Open Wed – Sat, 2 miles N of Nisswa on CR 107 to #27997, 218-568-2347
Sunset Cinema – 33040 Aspen Wood Drive, 218-568-4341

Crosby – 18 miles

Minnesota’s Newest Mountain Biking Hotspot!Bike It! – The finest IMBA mountain biking found anywhere in the Midwest is emerging within the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
Antique Capital of the Lakes Area – Years ago, Kay Johnson decided she had accumulated too many antiques and collectibles, she and her husband purchased two buildings on Main Street in the heart of Crosby. Kay’s goal was to “make Crosby cute.” Within a few years, other buildings opened up, including two large antique shops which are open all year around. Since then, other shops have also opened their doors. In 1998, Minnesota Governor, Arne Carlson, took notice of this effort and proclaimed Crosby as the “Antique Capital of the Lakes Area.”

Little Falls – 44 miles

Pine Grove Zoo & Primeval Park –Meander down paved paths and view a variety of exotic, native and domestic animals at home in their spacious, natural habitats. Interactive signs and a petting stable. The Zoo also offers walking trails as well as large picnic and playground area. 10 blocks west of the Mississippi on State Highway 27. May – Sept; Mon – Fri 10 am – 6 pm, Sat – Sun 10 am – 7 pm. Admission fees apply. (320) 616-5595.
Charles A Lindberg Historical Site & Driving Tour –The famous aviator spent boyhood summers and a few winters at this home on the Mississippi. Now you can enjoy its cozy kitchen, hear the whisper of the pines from the porch where he slept, or walk by the river where he dreamed of flight. The newly remodeled visitor center with state of the art exhibits tells more of the family story. Memorial Day through Labor Day, Thurs – Sat 10 am – 5 pm and Sun Noon – 5 pm, closed Mon through Wed except for holidays.
General E.A. Walsh Training Center/Camp Ripley & Camp Ripley Environmental Center – 36 miles. Offers a wide variety of group tours to suit any age. Briefings are available for those interested in taking an in depth look at how today’s National Guard soldiers train. The award winning Environmental program at Camp Ripley offers tours and briefings for military personnel and civilians. Camping and fishing are available to military personnel and retirees only. 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, 320-632-7400.

Minnesota State Parks near Shing Wako Resort

2019 Minnesota State Parks Permits – Trade in a one-day permit and get $7 off a year-round permit
$7 One day vehicle permit, $5 One-day group permit
Disabled veterans and active duty military personnel can get discounted or free vehicle permits
$35 Year-round vehicle permit, $26 Additional year-round vehicle permit
$12 Special permit (requires proof of handicap and proof of vehicle ownership)
$30 Motorcycle permit (fits in a wallet; not attached to windshield)

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area – 20 miles

State Park Permit not needed, except for camping. Trout stamp is required for fishing. Located near Crosby and part of the MN state park system. The crystal clear mine pit lakes provide unbelievable fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and scuba diving opportunities on 27 lakes – some up to 500 feet deep with water clarity of up to 90 feet – draw a wide range of recreation enthusiasts. 25 miles of natural shoreline can be explored by boat or canoe and anglers can cast a line for trout, northern, bass, crappie or sunfish. Also: A new 24 mile mountain biking course, birding opportunities, paved biking, in-line skating, running, walking and horseback riding. If you like a little drama with your leisure, you’ll find it at the Cuyuna Range Mine Pit Lakes. Family Friendly Interpretive Exhibit At Croft Mine Historical Park – Sat and Sun, between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. Additional fee for tours, 218-546-5926.

Crow Wing State Park – 23 miles

This is a nature lover’s delight. Explore prairie, pine, and hardwood forests. View the Mississippi River from historic and picturesque “Chippewa Lookout.” Novice canoeists can paddle the calm waters of the Crow Wing and Mississippi Rivers. In this area, a frontier town emerged to serve the needs of travelers and traders. The town died when the railroad chose to cross the river at Brainerd. Walk through the site of the Old Crow Wing Village and a section of the famous Woods Trail, which served ox cart traffic that carried supplies between St. Paul and the Red River settlements. Park Highlights – Scenic Hiking Trails, Canoeing/Mississippi River, Fishing, Historic Sites and Wildlife Observation. . Located south of Brainerd, Sun – Thurs 9 am – 4 pm, Fri and Sat 9 am – 9 pm. 3124 State Park Road Brainerd, 218-825-3075.

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park – 45 miles

Located near Onamia. The park’s 9000 years of human history and archaeological significance at Petaga Point Archaeological Site has made it a National Historic Landmark. Climb the 100 foot observation/fire tower and look across the majesty of Mille Lacs Lake. Take part in Mille Lacs Kathio State Park’s extensive interpretive/nature programs or get out by yourself and hike on the park’s varied trail system. Kathio has a wonderful swimming beach and playgrounds, plus canoes or rowboats you can rent for a trip on the historic Rum River and Ogechie and Shakopee lakes. The river, lakes, and park trails offer visitors excellent opportunities to watch waterfowl, bald eagles, osprey, beaver, loons, deer, coyotes, and many others. Interpretive Center open Sat, 10 am to 4 pm, call 320-532-3523 Fri – Sun, leave message.

Father Hennepin State Park – 60 miles

Located on the southeast shore of Mille Lacs Lake. Visitors enjoy a large sandy beach for swimming, two boat accesses, fishing piers and picnic sites with a panoramic view of the lake. The park’s 320 acres include two campgrounds and hiking trails that wind through a hardwood forest and along the rocky shoreline of Mille Lacs. The hardwoods provide shade during the summer and spectacular color in the fall. Handicapped Fishing Piers, Sandy Beach, Home of Several Albino Deer. From the town of Isle, go 1 mile W on Highway 27 to park entrance. Summer: Sun – Wed 9 am – 8 pm Thurs and Sat 9 am – 9 pm and Fri 9 am – 10 pm. Spring and Fall: Daily 9am – 4:30pm. 320-676-8763.

Itasca State Park – 90 Miles

Located N of Park Rapids. Established in 1891, Itasca is Minnesota’s oldest state park. Today, the park totals more than 32,000 acres and includes more than 100 lakes. Walk across the mighty Mississippi as it starts its winding journey 2,552 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. Stand under towering pines at Preacher’s Grove. Visit the Itasca Indian Cemetery or Wegmann’s Cabin, landmarks of centuries gone by. Visit the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center and the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. Be sure to take the short walk to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, which offers visitors a glimpse of this historic location. Picnic areas, swimming beach, playground, bike rentals, walking and biking paths, hiking, fishing, Boat, motor, pontoon, paddleboat, kayak, canoe and bike rental located at the Lake Itasca boat access. Best time to reach the park: Daily from 8:30 am to 4 pm, 218-699-7251.