GROUP EVENTS ON THE IRON RANGE

Take some friends with you. From guides to groups, to parties and festivals, there’s plenty of help when you’re exploring the Range. Email Beth Pierce, beth@ironrange.org, for Iron Range itineraries, help in planning, purchasing, hospitality services and more.

NEW in September 2021, the Miners Entertainment and Event Center in Virginia. This beautiful new facility offers 144,000 square feet of space for conventions, expos, weddings and more. Visit their site for details.

Single-Day Tour Ideas

Depending on your penchant for history, an entire day can be spent in Hibbing and Chisholm experiencing an “in-depth introduction” to mining heritage and local history.

Begin the adventure at Hull-Rust Mineview in Hibbing, where a sweeping view overlooks an active iron ore mine, one of six in the region. See the massive mining equipment – shovels, “haul trucks” and more –  working to extract and move rock from the pit to the crusher. Friendly and helpful volunteers can share stories and provide information about the mining process to the curious learner.

Hours 9-5 daily during the season – no admission fee.

Allow .5 hours minimum. Biffy only


Nearby, the Greyhound Bus Museum explores the history of the nation’s most venerable transportation company. Greyhound’s intra-city bus lines originated in Hibbing with a car salesman-turned-entrepreneur’s idea.

Open daily mid-May-Sept 25; group rates available.

Allow one hour. Restrooms


In between both locations, stroll or cruise the streets of “old Hibbing,” where the town was first built. Interpretive kiosks tell the story of how the village was moved to make way for mining. Explore the theme further at the Hibbing Historical Society Museum. A Hibbing walking tour brochure with audio component illuminates historic buildings, including singer/songwriter Bob Dylan’s childhood home and former haunts (or, experience with step-on guide).

Step-on guide recommended.

Call Iron Range Tourism Bureau to arrange.

Allow 1.5 hours. Historical Society Museum free; tours call for times.

Restrooms at museum.


A favorite stop is Hibbing High School, built in 1923 for the grand sum of $4 million and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guided tours are a must to appreciate the history and grandeur of the building.

Allow 1.5 hours with guide. No admission fee.

Restrooms


At any point during the morning’s tour, enjoy breakfast pastries from Sunrise Bakery, en route between the Greyound Bus Museum and the Historical Society Museum. Pick up locally-made pasta in flavors from roasted red pepper lasagnetta to pesto linguine, and purchase ethnic delights such as potica, antipasto and more. Didn’t find a souvenir at the Hull-Rust Mineview gift store? South of Howard (SoHo) boutique on First Avenue features works by local artists and collectibles. Enjoy a late lunch buffet at Sammy’s Pizza, a landmark regional restaurant brand founded in Hibbing. Lunch at Valentini’s, a vintage supper club in Chisholm dishing up authentic Italian cuisine, is another nearby lunch option.


Next, head to Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm, just a five minute drive from Hibbing. Open year-round, this one-of-a-kind facility is the Museum of the Iron Range, with exhibits that highlight the land, people and mines of the region, from pre-history to today. Make plenty of time to explore exhibits and even take advantage of free access to genealogy websites at the Iron Range Research Center, a library and repository for historic documents that is part of the museum complex. All ages enjoy a ride on Minnesota Discovery Center’s vintage trolley (at one time a common form of transportation in the region) to a mining ghost town. Guided tours and add-ons such as demonstrations, meals, and films are available.

Gift store onsite.

Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and Sundays May-September, group rates available

Allow 2 to 2.5 hours with trolley ride.

Staff tour guide recommended.


Late afternoon or free-time: relax or explore the Mesabi Trail, a 110-mile paved trail linking the communities of the Iron Range to the Grand Rapids area. Interpretive signage along trail highlights scenery and sites. Ideal for walking or bicycling. Bicycle rentals and shuttle service available through Giants Ridge Recreation Area. Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Mountain Iron (14 miles east of Minnesota Discovery Center) will provide cocktail reception. Dinner at local restaurants. Entertainment, including story-telling, music, demonstrations or lecture arranged through Iron Range Tourism Bureau.

Multi-Day Tour Ideas

The Iron Range region of northeast Minnesota includes 12 communities from Hibbing in the west to Hoyt Lakes in the east. With historic sites, scenic views and trails to explore in each town, a daytrip might not be enough time! But these “must-sees” will please the history buff and the nature lover in you!

Begin the adventure at Hull-Rust Mineview in Hibbing, where a sweeping view overlooks an active iron ore mine, one of six in the region. See the massive mining equipment – shovels, “haul trucks” and more –   working to extract and move rock from the pit to the crusher. Friendly and helpful volunteers can share stories and provide information about the mining process to the curious learner.

Hours 9-5 daily during the season – no admission fee.

Allow .5 hours. Biffy only

PLEASE NOTE: THIS SITE IS CLOSED FOR RELOCATION, SUMMER 2018. PLEASE CALL 218-749-8161 FOR UPDATES.


Enjoy a tour of Hibbing with a step-on guide available through Iron Range Tourism Bureau, then explore the famed Hibbing High School, built in 1923 at a cost of $4 million. Global resources were tapped to install marble, crystal and stonework embellishments throughout the building, and artists commissioned to create murals.

A guide is a must.

Allow 2 hours for city tour and high school.


Travel five miles to Minnesota Discovery Center, Minnesota’s museum of the Iron Range, where you’ll enjoy lunch and more. Explore indoor and outdoor exhibits that tell the story of the land, the people and the mines of the region. Make time for a crash course in genealogy research at the onsite library and research center, with free access to online genealogy websites and helpful research librarians. Tour the archives, see a film, watch a weaving or cooking demonstration – there are many add-on options at the museum. Be sure to take a trolley ride to a mining ghost town.

A tour guide is a must here.

Allow 3 hours minimum with lunch.

Gift store onsite.


As a group or an option while at the Discovery Center, arrange for a bus tour of Hibbing Taconite, the working mine visible from Hull-Rust Mineview. This is typically a 1.5-hour tour departing from Minnesota Discovery Center (travel time to mine: about 10 minutes) but can be customized.

En route to your accommodations at The Lodge or Villas at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, visit Irma’s Finland House, a treasured gift store specializing in Scandinavian items. After a little shopping and check-in, stroll the grounds of Giants Ridge Recreation Area or enjoy a beverage on the patio.

Dinner at The Lodge can be accompanied or followed by entertainment or a presentation, arranged through Iron Range Tourism Bureau.


Begin Day Two with breakfast at The Lodge at Giants Ridge, then travel to Eveleth for an hour of hockey history immersion! Understand the contributions of this small community to hockey lore at the US Hockey Hall of Fame Museum. From there, travel to Tower, a 30-mile drive ending at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. You’ll have the option of tours a half-mile below the earth’s surface at this historic site, the first mine on the Vermilion Iron Range. One tour takes you through mined areas in an ore cart running on rails! The other is a tour of a high energy lab deep underground. Explore buildings and trails above ground before you depart for Fortune Bay Resort Casino. Group rates and gift stores available at both locations.

Visit the Heritage Museum to learn more about the customs, history and legends of the Bois Forte Ojibwe before enjoying an afternoon of gaming followed by dinner at the casino restaurant. For those who prefer to stay outdoors, canoe and paddle boat rentals are available for exploring Lake Vermilion. Return to Giants Ridge via highway 135 and pass through “the nation’s cold spot,” Embarrass.


On your final day, make time to fully enjoy the outdoors! Onsite bicycle rentals make it easy to explore the 100-mile paved Mesabi Trail that winds through the property. Or just stroll along the trail past two lakes and over a river. Hiking trails are also located at Giants Ridge along with paddle board rentals (arrange for lessons!), and two world-class golf courses. Lunch at the Wacootah Grill onsite before your departure to the North Shore of Lake Superior via Superior National Forest Scenic Byway (watch for wildlife!).

An optional activity such as lecture, demonstration or nature walk could be offered.

Contact Iron Range Tourism Bureau.

Need help planning a group event? We can provide information on dining, museum tours, special workshops, entertainment, biking, hiking, casinos, day trips and more. Call 800-777-8497 for more information.

MEETINGS ON THE IRON RANGE

From the gorgeous Chalet at Giants Ridge, to the newly built (complete in 2021) Miners Event and Convention Center in Virginia, there great options for groups both large and small. Call the Iron Range Tourism Bureau for more information on spaces, places, lodging blocks and more. 218-749-8161

Download Field Trip Ideas

Planning for school groups or seniors? We specialize in STEAM experiences for all ages. And ask us about genealogy projects! To get some ideas, look through our Field Trip. It’s a great place to start.

Camp Lodging for Large Groups

Visiting the Iron Range with a large group? Our local camps offer lodging, recreation, dining and meeting space for large sports groups, retreats or away-weekends for a business or organization.