When to Visit Brainerd, Minnesota
Brainerd is a popular summer destination, but that doesn't mean it's the only time to visit this Minnesota town. In Brainerd, summer weather typically means highs around 80 degrees and the occasional thunderstorm. Spring and fall usually bring highs in the mid-50s to mid-60s. Late spring tends to be the rainiest time of year, while fall boasts colorful foliage. Winters can be very cold in Brainerd, with highs in the low 20s and lows below 0 degrees.
Summer is by far the priciest time to visit Brainerd, though you can typically find deals on hotels and motels if you plan in advance or seek group discounts. If you're looking for the lowest hotel rates of the year, plan your Brainerd trip in the winter off-season.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Brainerd, MN:
Brainerd, MN: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. price trends by star rating class in Brainerd, MN. Browse these illustrations to determine the cheapest time to stay in Brainerd throughout the year.
Luxury Hotels in Brainerd, Minnesota
4 Star Average Prices: $164.00
Feel like splashing out during your stay in Brainerd? Try one of the area's best upscale hotels.
Whether you're traveling on business or for vacation, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Brainerd Baxter is a solid pick. This conveniently located hotel offers easy access to lakes, trails, golf courses, and shopping. There's plenty to do right on the property, too, including the Three Bear Lodge Water and Theme Park, which features laser tag, a video game arcade, and lots of water park fun. If you're traveling with a group, book one of the hotel's two event spaces and take advantage of the Holiday Inn Express's group discount, which averages 17 percent.
When you want to get away from it all, Madden's on Gull Lake offers cabins, upscale villas, and guest rooms with historical appeal. This resort hotel has everything you need for a lakefront getaway, including an outdoor swimming pool, five restaurants, two lounges, and entertainment every evening. This is the ideal place for a corporate or private group, as the resort offers 42,000 square feet of event space, 31 separate meeting rooms, and a banquet space that holds 700 people. After the big event, unwind in the sauna or hot tub and get a great night's sleep in your well-appointed room.
Nestled on the shores of Gull Lake, Cragun's Hotel & Resort is the ideal spot for a lakefront escape in Brainerd. This resort property is sure to impress, with its own beach and a full-service marina with boat rentals. Hiking and biking are right outside the resort's front door, and the indoor and outdoor pools are great for unwinding. Don't forget to book a tee time on one of the resort's legendary courses, either. With 63,000 square feet of event space and an 800-person banquet space, this resort is one of the most extensive venues in the Brainerd area.
Best Budget-Friendly Hotels in Brainerd, Minnesota
3 Star Average Prices: $144.22
Want to save your hard-earned dollars for experiences instead of accommodations? Stay at one of the Brainerd area's best budget-friendly hotels or motels.
Whether you're planning a summer or a winter visit, Americas Best Value Inn is an affordable place to base yourself in Brainerd. The rooms at this budget-friendly hotel are relatively basic, but you can choose from king or queen rooms, all of which include microwaves and mini fridges. Guests can take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and HBO, and you won't want to miss the complimentary breakfast each morning. With Belgian waffles, pastries, cereal, juice, and coffee, it's a great way to fuel up for the day.
Just a short drive north of Brainerd, Magnuson Hotel & Suites Nisswa is conveniently located off Minnesota Highway 371. Countless lakes and streams, golf courses, and the Paul Bunyan Trail are just minutes from the hotel. After a fun day exploring the great outdoors, head back to the hotel for a great night's sleep or a dip in the indoor pool. Wake up to a complimentary breakfast featuring bagels, donuts, cereal, and coffee. Use the hotel's free Wi-Fi to plan your itinerary or map out your day.
When you want a little extra space on a budget, set your sights on the Baymont Inn & Suites Baxter / Brainerd Area. All rooms include free Wi-Fi, and you can upgrade to a deluxe room or suite, many of which have full kitchens. Discover the best of Brainerd right outside the hotel's front door, and then unwind in the sauna or hot tub in the evening. Several fast-food and sit-down restaurants are right around the corner from the hotel, and the complimentary Baymont Breakfast Corner has breakfast covered.
2 Star Average Prices: $111.37
Where are the real discounts in Brainerd
There's no need to pay full price on your Brainerd accommodations. Be sure to look around for the best group discounts and deals when you book your hotel room. AAA members get discounts at the Baymont Inn & Suites Baxter / Brainerd Area and at the Comfort Suites / Rapid River Lodge & Water Park. AARP members and senior travelers can save at the Americas Best Value Inn and at the AmericInn Baxter. Government employees and members of the military get low rates at Super 8 and other hotels in the area.
Best Value Options in Brainerd, Minnesota
Don't want to compromise when it comes to amenities or price? Take a closer look at Brainerd's best value hotels.
Located in the heart of the Brainerd area, AmericInn Baxter offers simple yet spacious rooms just minutes from the area's best indoor and outdoor attractions. Get a great night's sleep in your queen or king room, use the free Wi-Fi to keep everyone updated on your trip, and take advantage of the in-room mini fridge and microwave to keep your favorite snacks and drinks at your fingertips. Fuel up for an active day with the AmericInn's free breakfast, which includes freshly baked waffles, eggs, pastries, fruit, and coffee.
Just down the road, Super 8 offers comfortable queen and king rooms with mini fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers. If you need more than just a cup of coffee to get your day started, be sure to spin by the hotel's complimentary breakfast, which features waffles, fruit, cereal, and more. Get a restful night's sleep on the plush-top beds, use the guest laundry facilities to freshen up, and take advantage of the many outdoor recreation, shopping, and dining options within a few minutes' drive.
If you want tons of fun built into your accommodations, the Comfort Suites / Rapid River Lodge & Water Park is the perfect place to stay. This hotel boasts rustic decor, large suites, and pillow-top beds. However, the main draw here is the water park, which includes massive waterslides, a lazy river with waterfalls and rapids, and a kiddie pool for the littlest swimmers. You can also take a dip in the hot tub or sweat it out in the sauna, no matter the season. This family-friendly property also boasts a video game arcade, a fitness room, and free breakfast.
Can’t-Miss Attractions in Brainerd, Minnesota
Ready to get out and explore Minnesota's Playground? With over 450 lakes in the vicinity, Brainerd is ideal for all kinds of water sports and outdoor activities. From boating and fishing to swimming and skiing to kayaking and canoeing, the Brainerd area has it all. You'll find that Gull Lake and other major waterways are especially busy during the summer months.
If you'd rather stay on dry land, though, you'll still find plenty to do. Rent a bike and hit the trails, go hiking or horseback riding, or try your luck with bird-watching. You can even spot wildlife at the Safari North Wildlife Park, an especially fun attraction for kids. Golf enthusiasts will want to schedule a tee time at one of the area's top courses, such as the Legacy Courses at Cragun's, Madden's Golf Course, or The Pines Golf Course.
Planning a winter visit? Be sure to bundle up before heading out to enjoy this winter wonderland. In the Brainerd area, you can explore over 1,000 miles of snowmobiling trails, challenge yourself to your choice of cross-country skiing trails, or go snowshoeing. Be sure to book a hotel with a sauna, as you'll want to warm up at the end of an adventure-packed winter day.
No matter the time of year, you'll want to cap off your visit with a stop at one of the area's best microbreweries. Sip an amber or cream ale at Roundhouse Brewery, try an oatmeal stout or a jalapeño cream ale at Jack Pine Brewery, or down a pilsner or a scotch ale at Gull Dam Brewing.
You'll find several other microbreweries in the area, so you can pick a favorite or design your own tasting tour.
With so much to do in Brainerd, why wait another minute to plan your trip? Find the ideal hotel and start planning a memorable trip to explore the great outdoors.