Fun Things to do in Ely, Minnesota

For a small town in northern Minnesota, Ely is absolutely stacked with fun things to do for the whole family.

If you love the outdoors, you’re going to love Ely. Enjoy canoeinghiking or camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Try your luck at Minnesota fishing for walleye, northern or trout in our pristine waters. Birding enthusiasts can find approximately 155 species of birds including owls, bald eagles, numerous waterfowl and song birds.

If your tastes tend to the more urbane, you’ll love playing a round of golf on one of our northern Minnesota golf coursesshopping in downtown Ely or enjoying a meal in one of our unique Ely restaurants.

Looking for a little northwoods culture? Enjoy a visit to the International Wolf CenterAmerican Bear CenterDorothy Molter Museum and the Ely-Winton History Museum. Learn about native history and culture at the Bois Forte Heritage Center and Cultural Museum.

Oh, and the fun doesn’t stop when summer is over. Fall is spectacular with dazzling autumn colors, brisk hikes, scenic drives and hunting for ruffed grouse or white tailed deer. During winter months visitor will enjoy unique Ely winter activities like dog sleddingsnowmobilingcross-country skiing,  snowshoeing and ice fishing.

Looking for more reasons to visit? Check out our 10 reasons to visit Ely, Minnesota page!

Things to Do Outdoors


The Ely area provides unique opportunities for those seeking wilderness hiking in Minnesota....

Fall Colors

Every autumn, nature plays a symphony in northeast Minnesota. When Ely nights turn cool in...


As summer starts to wind down, the tempo of the area changes. Fall weather lends itself to a new...


For vacationers who like the idea of traveling by water, surrounded by the beauty only nature can...

Mountain Biking

The Ely Area offers several opportunities for mountain biking with routes to suit various skill...


Do you love camping in Minnesota? Enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living...


The Ely area lends itself to some of the most incredible photography opportunities: picturesque...


Birds are prevalent in the Ely Area and the Superior National Forest depending on the season and the...

ATV & Offroad

ATV riders — big news! More than 250 miles of new trails will soon open in the Ely area...


After you've finished your canoe trip, hike or visited our unique shops and galleries, stop by one of our fine dining establishments and enjoy a sizzling steak, a wild rice dish or walleye fillet cooked to perfection.  Not hungry?... Read More


There are a wide variety of stores in Ely, MN to buy something you need or just to commemorate your trip! From homemade goods to bait & tackle shops to hardware stores, Ely business owners are ready to meet your needs. Read More

Arts & Culture

The Ely art scene is bursting with talent. Artists in a variety of media make Ely an exciting place to be year ‘round for exhibits and shows. The performing arts and music provide a strong base for entertainment while writers of... Read More