Lutsen Mountains, the Heartlands largest ski resort, is hosting its Family Festival the weekend of Feb. 5-7.  Special lodging packages for a complete family vacation including lift tickets, ski rental, a family Olympics race, sleigh rides, snowshoe tours, bonfire and marshmallow roast, fireworks, and more start, for two-night/two-day packages, at $448 for a family of four. 

Another longtime favorite for guests to Minnesota's rugged North Shore has been Lutsen's $99 Weekends; four people to a room for two nights and two days of skiing.  The price is per person, based on quad occupancy and available all season long in limited numbers nightly.  If you have specific dates in mind don't wait to make a reservation, or it may not be available. 

Lutsen with a lift served 825-foot vertical drop, over 70 trails scattered across 1,000 acres, and America's only mid-continent gondola, is huge by Midwest standards.  Four mountains - Eagle, Ullr, Mystery and Moose - all interconnected create a wealth of terrain not found at any other Heartland resort.  The views of Lake Superior from any of the four mountain peaks are spectacular.  Stretching as far as the eye can see it's like an inland sea.  The 90-minute drive from Duluth along the rocky, rugged coastline reminds me of driving along the Maine seacoast near Bar Harbor.

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