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WCCO Viewers' Choice For Best Winter 'Staycation' In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In search of rest and relaxation this time of year, many of us are quick to hop on a plane headed for warmer temperatures. What we don't realize is that the solace we're looking for may be a short car ride away.

Your votes for the best winter "staycation" in Minnesota sent Matt Brickman to the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.

When we have time off from work and it's rest and relaxation we're looking for, the Grand View Lodge in Nisswa has been the first choice of many for over 100 years.

grandview lodge nisswa
(credit: CBS)

Yet with that time off, we now have a big decision looming over our heads: Do we take a vacation or a "staycation" -- and just what is a staycation anyway?

In the interest of clarity, we put our crack team of Best of Minnesota etymologists on the case, and after hours of research, they found that "staycation" is pretty much just a made up word. Go figure!

But, alas, our vacation-staycation dilemma still exists.

"From the time it takes you to get to the airport and get through security, you can have driven to Grand View Lodge from Minneapolis, checked in, and you could already have your first glass of wine by your fireplace," general manager Mark Ronnei said.

Well, we're sold!

After 40 years with Grand View Lodge, Ronnei has accrued a lot of knowledge and a certain philosophy about the business.

"There's an old saying that says you can't be all things to all people," he said, "...unless you're Grand View Lodge!"

cross country skiing grandview lodge
(credit: CBS)

Now, if you spent any time at all around Mark, you'd realize that it's not just a slogan. At Grand View Lodge, they take fun very seriously.

"Time is the most important thing that they're going to spend with us," Ronnei said. "So the idea is: What are we going to do for them?"

In the summertime, Grand View is one of the premier golf destinations in the country, but the wintertime list of activities seems almost endless.

"We've got great cross country skiing, we've got a pool, a fitness center, we've got ice houses for those of you who've never ice-fished," Ronnei said. "When we talk about 'staycations,' let's be serious here: Some people are really talking about romance."

grandview lodge food
(credit: CBS)

Grand View is a Mecca for foodies satisfying their palettes across the board

"We have the best wine list you're going to find north of Minneapolis," Ronnei said. "Now if we can't have fun helping people have fun, I mean -- we're doing something wrong."

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