Sports and Recreation
FUN IS FOREVER ABUNDANT, NO MATTER THE SEASON
Be prepared to plan your Bemidji weekends well in advance. There’s so much going on all year long, you can quickly run out of room on the calendar if you’re not careful.
The Sanford Center often is the center of the action, with regular big-name concerts for every musical taste, great family attractions and expos. From October through February, Sanford is home ice for Bemidji State University’s Division I Beaver Hockey program.
Every month, Bemidji has at least one major outdoor festival, parade or athletic competition. They range from the Blue Ox Marathon in October to February’s Winterfest, the Loop the Lake Bike Festival in June and the enormous Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival in August, not to mention the Jaycees Water Carnival, parade and fireworks for the Fourth.
Before, after and in between is the chance to enjoy cozy coffeehouses, nouvelle cuisine, heavenly pizza and burgers, and flaky fresh walleye. Live, local music is featured most weekends at several spots, and don’t miss the taproom at the Bemidji Brewing Company.
LAKES AND WOODS OFFER ENDLESS ENTERTAINMENT
Outdoors magazine named Bemidji one of the nation’s “Top Towns” for outdoor recreation, and that was a decided understatement.
The Bemidji area is a paradise for hunters and fishermen – and equally for devotees of jet skis, snowmobiles and four-wheelers. It’s also a mecca for committed canoeists and sailors and an endless adventure for cross-country skiers, hikers and cyclists. Golfers can enjoy the Bemidji Town & Country Club and numerous other nearby courses in gorgeous north woods settings.
Not surprisingly, lots of locals take full advantage of all these pursuits, and visitors flock here year-round, enjoying their own vacation homes, as well as the hospitality of more than 60 area resorts and other abundant and top-quality lodging.
There are 400 fishing lakes within 25 miles of the city, and over 500 snowmobile trails and 160 kilometers of cross-country ski trails in and around the city. Beautiful Lake Bemidji State Park is 15 minutes from downtown, and the world-famous Itasca State Park, Headwaters of the Mississippi, is less than an hour away.
And right there in Bemidji’s front yard is lovely Lake Bemidji itself, 6,765 acres of glistening water that is as ideal for serious walleye fishing as it is for a sunset pontoon cruise.