Destination guide

Vacations on the banks of Brainerd

Brainerd is best known as the gateway to the Brainerd Lakes Area, and it just so happens that many Brainerd vacation rentals and rustic Midwestern cabins make their home over on the banks of one of the region's 465 individual bodies of water. The upshot is a base with kayaking and fishing, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing aplenty, all right on the doorstep. Other stays hide in Brainerd town center, where you'll hop between country museums and taste finger-licking BBQ that's come all the way up the Mississippi.

Things to do

Brainerd has its own story to tell

To get to the bottom of this far-flung lumber town at the northern end of the Mississippi, there's really nowhere better than the Crow Wing County Historical Society. It's got exhibits on old railroads and mining settlements, all backed up by huge photography archives going back to the ends of the 19th century. Further north, in the middle of the Lakes Area, you'll find the Brainerd International Raceway. That's the place to go for petrol-fueled rally showdowns and motocross battles on the tarmac.

Activities

Brainerd is life on the lakes

Brainerd vacation rentals on Gull Lake, or butting up to bulbous Pelican Lake in the north, are some of the best for getting out and about in the Lakes Area. They've got the whole shebang: kayaking, pontoon boating, fishing charters, pebbly beaches, RIB boating – there's so much for outdoorsy types to get stuck into. Alternatively, you can bag a cabin in the Minnesotan woods and opt for chin-rattling mountain biking adventures, ATV rides, hunting outings, golfing, birding, snowshoeing, hiking, and other pursuits that promise to keep you – relatively – dry.

Weather

Beat the snows in Brainerd

The harsh winters of the Midwest really do take their toll on Brainerd, which means you're better off dodging the arctic months between November and March unless you're eager to hit the cross-country ski circuits or snowshoe through the reserves. Most folk travel up during the summertime, which runs from June to August. It's not only got the best weather – think temperatures between the 70s and 80s – but also the best drag races in the local track, and more regional boating regattas on the lakes.

Natural features

Brainerd is the gateway to the MN lakes

If there's just one geographical feature that defines the landscapes around Brainerd, it's lakes. They come in all shapes and sizes as they pepper the flatlands north of town. There's huge Gull Lake and long Lower Whitefish Lake. There's littler Lake Edward and Lake Hubert. All of those come peppered with rustic Brainerd vacation rentals that promise a stay in the Minnesotan backcountry. All are also close to the protected reserve of the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, where the muddy Cuyuna Lakes State Trail hosts adrenaline-hungry bikers in the summertime.

How to get there

Transportation to and around Brainerd

Fly into Brainerd, MN (BRD-Brainerd Lakes Regional), the closest airport, located 3.7 mi (6 km) from the city center.

Can I find a vacation rental around Brainerd?

Yes, our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 304 vacation rentals near Brainerd. From 161 Cabins to 109 Houses, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Brainerd for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Brainerd?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Brainerd. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Brainerd International Raceway: 293 vacation rentals
  • Paul Bunyan Land: 281 vacation rentals
  • Buffalo Hills Park: 263 vacation rentals
  • North Central Speedway: 201 vacation rentals
  • Cuyana Mine Pits: 269 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Brainerd listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Cabins in Brainerd?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 161 Cabins in Brainerd. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Brainerd include:

  • Houses: 109 rentals available
  • Cottages: 161 rentals available
  • Bungalows: 161 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Condos/Apartments and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Brainerd?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 23 vacation rentals with pool available in Brainerd. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.