Something to Do for the Whole Family
Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort is located just two hours north of Minneapolis. First opening its doors in 1898, they’ve been creating a welcoming and calming environment for over 100 years. From the moment you step on the premises, you can feel the history and tradition.
While checking in at the front desk I overheard a gentleman say the last time he and his wife visited the resort was 40 years ago for their honeymoon. Another person told me she used to work a summer job at Ruttger’s many decades ago, and that’s where she met her husband. Over the course of our stay, we heard many personal stories like this one, which is what makes Ruttger’s so unique.
This post is sponsored by Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort, all opinions and thoughts are my own.
1. A Variety of Lodging Options
Throughout the large premises, there are several places to stay including the Bay Lake Villas and a variety of cabins. We had an opportunity to stay in each place for one night. The villas are a bit more updated, have large bathrooms, a big balcony, and a gas fireplace. The cabin we stayed in was more centrally located and closer to the pool, beach, and restaurants. It also had a view of the lake!
2. Three Restaurant Options
There are three great restaurants on campus, each offering a unique experience. Ruby’s Dining Room opens at 5 pm and has a more upscale menu with items such as lobster mac and cheese, walleye, and steak. Ruby’s is located in the original, historic lodge. A buffet breakfast is also served inside Ruby’s Dining Room. Bear Pine Bar opens at 11 am for lunch and dinner. Their food choices are a bit more casual. We enjoyed burgers, Reubens and chicken sandwiches.
Lastly, across the street from the lodge and located inside the clubhouse at Jack’s 18 golf course is White Oak Grill. At White Oak Grill you’ll find a full bar, eight tap lines featuring local Minnesota beers, and a great menu with burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. Sit inside the bar, or head out to the large wrap-around deck, which overlooks the golf course.
3. Jack’s 18 Golf Course
Ruttger’s has two golf courses onsite and open to the public, Jack’s 18 and Alec’s 9. We had an opportunity to play Jack’s 18 and it’s a really beautiful course with tall pine trees. All the golf carts have GPS trackers, which is really nice having accurate yardage without needing a range finder. The GPS tracker also ensures you’re aware of hazards like bunkers, and water. After a round of golf, we stopped by White Oak Grill in the clubhouse to cool off with some beers.
4. Free Water Sport Rentals
If you’re staying at Ruttger’s, kayak, canoe, and paddleboat rentals are free. One afternoon we took the kayaks out and got to see more of Bay Lake from a new perspective. There is a two-hour limit for kayak, canoe, and paddleboat rentals, but you can rent them as often as you’d like during your stay. For a small fee, you can also rent a paddleboard, hydro bike, and sailboat.
5. Pontoons Available to Rent
Dock slips are available for those who are not staying at Ruttger’s but wish to grab a meal or play golf. If you’re staying at the resort, you can rent a pontoon for a few hours, a half-day, or a full-day. Boat over to the many sandbars in Bay Lake, throw over the anchor and swim, or ride around the lake and enjoy the sunset. There are also wave runners for rent for those feeling adventurous.
6. Fun On-Site Activities
There are so many activities offered right on-site that are great for the whole family. Most are free and a few have a small expense. Check their calendar for special events, like s’mores night, craft class, yoga classes, wine tastings, and live music events! You can also play shuffleboard overlooking the lake.
7. Shops and Spas On-Site
There are several on-site shopping options. Treat yourself or buy a gift for a friend. You’ll find wine glasses, t-shirts, paintings, hats, and more. I picked up a super soft and fuzzy white sweatshirt, a new baseball cap, and a few other goodies.
8. Lakefront Beach
Bay Lake is a spectacular lake with impressive water quality. The resort has a large sandy beach located in front of the main lodge. Wade into the water, swim out to the water trampoline, or enjoy the lounge chair while you sip your morning coffee or an evening cocktail.
9. Swimming Pools
Regardless of what season you visit Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort, and no matter the weather, there is a pool for you to enjoy. Check out the indoor pool and hot tub, or enjoy the outdoor pool and watch the sunset, like we did.
10. History and Tradition
While staying at the resort, you’re going to want to be sure to walk around the historic lodge and learn about the Ruttger family. This lodge was first founded in 1898, and there are so many interesting facts you can read about. For example, I learned that they used machinery to cut ice from the frozen lake up to three feet thick. Then, their horses would haul the huge chunks up to the ice house, and the ice was used throughout the summer. It’s pieces of information like this that make Ruttger’s a really unique place to stay.
Start Planning Your Visit
Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort is a truly special experience. With all the amenities you need right on campus, including three restaurants, two golf courses, two pools, a spa, shops, kayaks, pontoons, a beach, and more, you’ll have everything you need for the whole family. We saw so many older folks, young children, and couples. The staff is so friendly and accommodating to everyone’s needs.