The Iron Range is a region in northern Minnesota known for its ore-mining history and ample opportunity for outdoor recreation. Learn about Minnesota’s mining industry heyday and the people and places that sustained it through a visit to the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. This indoor and outdoor museum features numerous exhibits on the Native Americans, immigrants, and miners who call this place home, and groups can also learn about the region’s unique geology. See another side of the Iron Range with a trip to Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park. Here, groups can travel 3/4-mile underground on foot and then in an old ore cart. These guided tours of the old mine offer a fascinating look at the history of Minnesota’s last underground iron ore mine.


In Orr, the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is home to dozens of black bears that visit the area every summer. The sanctuary is built on the former homestead of Vince Shute, who wanted to “promote a better understanding of the black bear through education, observation, and experience.” This peaceful wildlife experience gives groups an up-close look at black bears through guided observation, educational programming, and even photography classes.


Stop into Canelake’s Candies in Virginia, Minnesota, which has been this charming town’s go-to sweets shop for three generations. Both a historic site—it’s the state’s oldest candy store—and a place to indulge your sweet tooth, groups can stock up on handmade chocolates, hard candies, gels, and even attend a group-friendly candy-making demonstration. Plus, find packaged favorites, a gift store, soda fountain, and an ice cream bar.


Iron Range Tourism Bureau


Main Image: Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, Minnesota; Credit: Iron Range Tourism Bureau