Grand Rapids is a small city in northern Minnesota and county seat of Itasca County. With more than 1,000 lakes inside the county, Grand Rapids serves as a popular destination for anglers looking for a good spot to cast a line. There are several smaller lakes in and around the downtown area, but the big kahuna is Pokegama Lake.
Generations of American kids probably think Judy Garland grew up in Kansas with Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. Nope! She grew up in Grand Rapids as one of the Gumm kids. Ahhh! So that's why there's a yellow brick road outside the Central School.
Get in Edit
U.S. Highways 2 and 169.
Get around Edit
- [formerly dead link] Forest History Center, 2609 County Rd 76, ☏ . Jun 8-Labor Day: Tu-Sa 11AM-4PM. Sep-May: M-F 9AM-4PM (visitor center and gift shop only). A recreation of a turn of the 20th century logging camp. $8 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children 6-17, free for children under 6.
- Itasca County Historical Society, 10 NW 5th St, ☏ . Su-F 9:30AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-4PM. Housed inside the Old Central School in downtown Grand Rapids. Home to the Little Gem's Gift Shop, The Itasca Museum, Judy Garland exhibit, and The Karjala Research Genealogy and History Center.
- Judy Garland Museum, 2727 S Hwy 169, ☏ , toll-free: . Oct-Mar: F-Sa 10AM-5PM. Apr-Memorial Day: M-Sa 10AM-5PM. Memorial Day-Sep 30: 10AM-5PM daily. Located inside Judy Garland's childhood home.
- 1 Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program, 720 NW Conifer Drive, ☏ . The Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program offers lessons in violin, viola, cello and bass for all ages. The Itasca Symphony Orchestra performs three times a year at the Reif Center in Grand Rapids.
- 2 UPM Blandin Paper Mill Tour, 121 Third St. NW, ☏ . Each summer, visitors can tour a large commercial paper mill to see how glossy magazine paper is produced. See mountains of logs piled up in the yard waiting their turn to be mashed into pulp. See enormous super calendar machines that press pulp into flat, smooth printable surfaces before being spun onto rolls the size of boxcars. Tours are offered regularly, but only at certain times on certain days between early June and the end of August. Call ahead to inquire.
- 1 Forest Lake Restaurant, 1201 NW 4th St (From Hwy 2, turn north on 11th Ave. If your car plunges into the lake, you went too far), ☏ . Local favorite for generations. Serves regional specialties like walleye and wild rice soup.
- 2 Pasties Plus, 1405 NW 4th St (just off Hwy. 2), ☏ . Pasties are light pastry dough wrapped around a meat and vegetable filling.
- Brewed Awakenings Coffeehouse, 24 NE 4th St, ☏ . 6:30AM-6:30PM.
- Grand Rapids Area Library, 140 NE 2nd St, ☏ . M-Th 9AM-8PM, F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. Free wi-fi.
Go next Edit
|Routes through Grand Rapids|
|Grand Forks ← Bemidji ←||W E||→ Jct W → Hermantown → Duluth|
|Virginia ← Hibbing ←||N S||→ Jct W → Aitkin → Minneapolis|