They call Minnesota the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” for a reason. During the summer, the lakes are popular with groups and individuals throughout Minnesota and the surrounding states. Cragun’s Resort and Hotel on Gull Lake is a great place to experience the majesty of a Minnesotan lake with the fun of recreational activities the whole family can enjoy. That’s why Minnesota Parent named Cragun’s a “Family Favorite Resort.”


The resort is located in Brainerd, Minnesota, about 2 hours northwest of the Twin Cities area. Situated right on the shores of Gull Lake and right in the center of the popular Brainerd Lakes Area, Cragun’s Resort and Hotel is a great destination for anyone. It’s also a great place to host your reunion. In fact, AAA called it “One of Minnesota’s ideal locations to hold a family reunion.” With over 65 years of experience planning and executing family reunions, class reunions, weddings, and other get-togethers, the resort certainly has everything you could ever want or need to hold the perfect reunion.

A Host of Amenities

Lakeside reunion accommodations overlooking Gull Lake.

Private gathering areas and a variety of lakeside accommodations overlooking Gull Lake.

But, what does Cragun’s Resort actually provide? For starters, the facilities are large, well-staffed, and equipped with everything you need to hold a successful reunion. There are 200 rooms in the main facility ranging from hotel rooms to banquet halls that can hold 800 people. All of these rooms are connected by a series of heated hallways, which are perfect for staying out of the winter cold. The hallways take you right to all the important spots at Cragun’s, including:

  • Meeting rooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Gull Lake Spa
  • Indoor Pool
  • Sports Center
  • Main Lobby

If this lavish hotel experience isn’t in your wheelhouse, then the resort also provides lakeside cabins and reunion houses that have between 1 and 5 bedrooms. Wherever you stay at Cragun’s, your room is certainly going to overlook beautiful Gull Lake. You’ll also be a literal stone’s throw away from the mile-long sandy beach with its comfortable barbeque and picnic areas.

You can add all these amenities to the fact that your reunion will be planned and overseen by one of Cragun’s personal planners. They take care of everything from scheduling to accommodations so that you don’t have to worry about a thing. You can even schedule various outdoor and indoor activities and games like bonfires, bingo, fishing and golf lessons, karaoke, lake cruises, and many more. Cragun’s is also home to two Legacy Golf Courses, which Golf Digest called two of “The Best Places to Play.”

If you’re planning your reunion for the winter, then you may be wary about choosing a facility located in central Minnesota. But, Cragun’s Resort has plenty of winter activities to keep you entertained and plenty of heat to keep you warm regardless of the temperature outdoors.

Beyond the Resort

If you think the fun stops after you exit the resort, then you’d be wrong. Brainerd is one of Minnesota’s premier resort towns, and, as such, it offers a plethora of entertainment opportunities for all ages. In the wintertime, you’re only 8 miles away from the Brainerd Lakes Ski Area. For summer excursions, the Three Bear Water Park is located conveniently in the Brainerd Holiday Inn Express.

Brainerd is also home to the Brainerd International Raceway, and Cragun’s is situated only minutes from all the action. A 1/4th mile drag strip coupled with a 3-mile road course provide for a lot of auto racing action and fun. If that doesn’t get your heart racing, then you’re only about an hour away from either the Grand Casino in Mille Lacs or the Northern Lights Casino in Walker. The Grand Casino is open 24 hours and provides Las Vegas-style action for the adults and a full children’s arcade for the kids.

Of course, most folks can’t afford to leave their kids alone in an arcade while they gamble. If you want something the entire family can enjoy together, then Brainerd is home to Paul Bunyan Land and This Old Farm and Pioneer Village. Both of these parks provide an educational and entertaining experience that your group is sure to enjoy.

If you’d rather spend your time in the outdoors, then there are plenty of parks, trails, and hunting preserves that provide opportunities for cycling, hiking, hunting, fishing, and everything in between. The central Minnesota area is lush with open land and, of course, lakes that will make your jaw drop.

The Brainerd area also has spas and shopping opportunities that rival any big city. It is truly a paradise with almost anything you could ask for in a family reunion.

Planning Your Cragun’s Resort Reunion Trip

The one thing standing between you and the perfect reunion may be the logistics of the whole process. Brainerd is located in the center of Minnesota. If you’re coming from the Twin Cities Metro Area, then you should take I-94 North to Highway 10 in St. Cloud. Follow Highway 10 North to Highway 371. Again, follow Highway 371 North until you get to Brainerd. It’s really that simple.

As we’ve noted before, Cragun’s Resort offers the services of a personal planner once you and your group arrive. You may want to schedule certain things in advance, like a trip to the casino or an onsite game. In the case, you would need to schedule these outings and events with Cragun’s prior to your trip. They can ensure that your entire reunion is fully scheduled and flows smoothly from start to finish. Of course, there will always be a little downtime in the event that you want to experience Brainerd and the surround areas on your own.

Cragun’s Resort is clearly a great place to hold your reunion or event. The amount of amenities, events, and attractions at Cragun’s and in the surrounding area certainly can’t be beat.