Ely Travel Guide

  • Ely
    by minnesotariverrat
  • Welcome Center
    Welcome Center
    by Basaic
  • Historic District
    Historic District
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Ely Things to Do

  • Ely Winton History Museum

    The Ely Winton History Museum is on the Vermillion Community College and has a number of displays about area history from prehistory (about 12,000 BC) to present emphasizing logging and mining. This museum is one of several museums in town. Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for kids 6 to 15.

  • Historic District

    Ely has a nice historic district with several buildings of historic and/or architectural interest. A few are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Murals

    Ely has a few nice murals downtown showing the history of the area, and some of the numerous outdoor activities popular in the area.

  • Wolves!

    International Wolf Center has 6 adult wolves. There are large windows to view them through. Information available on "who they are" & their stories. Film in the theatre & programs in the ampitheatre at different times. They have an area under construction during 2009, so things are a bit tighter than they normally are we were told. They are...

  • Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness...

    Ely Minnesota is a launching pad to the vast boreal forest wilderness know as the Boundary Waters Canoe area and Quetico National Park. The two of these parks encompass millions of square miles of forest and thousands of lakes. The majority of these lakes are only accessible by canoe.

  • Dogsledding anyone??? Yes,...

    Dogsledding anyone??? Yes, you can plan & go on dogsledding trips in the Ely area.This is a unique & down to earth way to see the nature of Northern Minnesota. They say they have tours for people from 8-80, this is an extreame type of vacation for ALL to do...

  • Shopping downtown Ely

    Ely has tons of cute little gift shops...they have all sorts of things you would not find anywhere else.

  • International Wolf Center

    The wolf is in a large population in this area & this center is devoted to the preservation of this animal. Anything & everything you want to know about the wolf is here.

  • Dorothy Molter Museum

    Known as the Root Beer Lady, Dorothy lived her life in the BWCA until her death & during her life, many canoist came by to visit her.


Ely Hotels

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  • Motel Ely Budget Host

    1047 East Sheridan Street, Ely, Minnesota, 55731, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Grand Ely Lodge Resort

    The Grand Ely Lodge is a nice place to stay. It is right on a lake, but far enough out of town that...

  • Super 8 Motel Ely

    I liked the look of this hotel from the outside, partly because I am a sucker for wooden buildings....


Ely Restaurants

See all 5 Restaurants in Ely
  • Steak and a Drink

    If you would prefer steak try the Ely Steakhouse. This is another place to get some good food and drink. In addition to steak, the Ely Steakhouse also has several seafood dishes. The decor inside is casual and homey. The staff was friendly and efficient. Price-wise maybe a little better than the Boathouse. The lounge has cocktails and a variety of...

  • Varied Menu, Great Seafood

    The Boathouse is a fairly fancy restaurant with a varied menu. They also have a variety of beers including some specialty beers. It is located in a nice older building in the historic district downtown. The decor inside was pretty nice too. Service was a little slow but the food was good. Appeared to be a hangout for some local singles. A little...

  • Good steaks if you're tired of fish!

    A 5 minute drive from downtown out between the lakes. Some tables have a great view. We, however, wound up back in the corner where all we saw was wall! It is a lodge/conference center, so a little bit of a different 'feel' than just a restaurant. Food was very good and several choices. Hostess had many duties, including bussing tables & taking...


Ely Nightlife

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    by Basaic Written Sep 17, 2011

    Sometimes when I travel I will stop at the Veterans of Foreign Wars clubs. They will usually greet fellow veterans with open arms. The one in Ely is the least friendly one I have ever been too. I was very disappointed.

    Dress Code: Casual. Lots of VFW hats.

    VFW Club Veterans Plaque
    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Beer Tasting
    • Budget Travel

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Ely Transportation

  • Best Way to get to Ely

    We go to Ely about once a year and have found that it is best to fly into Hibbing and take a taxi to Ely. The Hibbing Taxi Company (218-263-5065) will take reservations over the phone and have someone pick you up at the airport. Since we are a family of five, they send a mini-van for us. Cab fare to Ely is $110 cash each way - it's about a two-hour...

  • Drive a car to Ely, but your...

    Drive a car to Ely, but your best transportation in the BWCA is a canoe, because they do not allow motorized vehicles in the BWCA.Bring or rent a canoe...

  • Ely Hotels

    6 Hotels in Ely

Ely Local Customs

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    by sketchyhand Written Jan 16, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The transition between a 180 F sauna and a hole cut into a frozen lake is an undescribable experience. This is a picture of the sauna building at camp Menogyn. Shortly after this was taken we ran out of those doors and into the 32 degree water.

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Ely Warnings and Dangers

  • Keeping Yogi at Bay

    Bears can be very dangerous if you don’t prepare for them. I used to work in this area at a canoe outfitter and have been a regular visitor since I was five. Inevitably I’ve have had a few run ins with bear over the years. I was scared to death of these buggers for years after I had a 400 pounder walk up eight feet from me when I was six. But after...

  • There are wild animals, so be...

    There are wild animals, so be prepared to encounter a moose, or a bear or MOSQUITOS!! Bring your bug spray!! Even though there are alot of wolves, you probably won't see one, they are very secluded. You could possibly hear them at night though...that is a normal occurance.

  • Bears

    Make sure that you register your canoe route with the rangers. Bears were sited close to our route way out of season. The rangers came to find us. We did not sight the bears but the rangers came to assure that we were safe. This is more a precaution. This type of camping requires knowledge and safety. Do not ruin your adventure, make sure you...


Ely Tourist Traps

  • by durandurango Written Feb 21, 2007

    There are new owners at Silver Rapids. They are a local family and have really updated it. The restaurant is fantastic. There is an all you can eat fish fry on Fridays that is awesome. These owners have turned around the business. It is a wonderful place to stay and play.

    Unique Suggestions: No real fishermen will bring you to their "spots." Especially local people. Expect that as a response from most people. Even if they say they will take you somewhere great, it will most undoubtedly be a spot they bring everyone. Paddle further away from traffic and you will catch more. Shagawa boast walleyes. Miner's is good for trout and pan fish.

    Fun Alternatives: I have camped at Miner's Lake RV Park and Campground. It was located a short jaunt from town (just past Grand Ely Lodge on Pioneer Rd). I found it close to town but away from the hoopla. Very convenient. It was right next to the Trezona Trail. So I could just hike a mile to town and do all of my shopping. Then my hubby drove, and we had supper at Northern Grounds and went back for marshmallows around the campfire. Great Site for camping and affordable rates.

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Ely What to Pack

  • North Woods camping

    You should take the wise advise of bringing enough food for your trip, regardless if you plan to fish or not, because sometimes the fish are not biting.Keep valuables in wet/dry sacks in case your canoe tips or rain/hail comes down on you. Wear watershoes/sandals that you can keep on your feet at all times, in the water, on the trails, etc.Also,...

  • Bug Spray!!!!!

    When I was there in early June, the only bad insects were ticks and flies. But that was bad enough! And I can't imagine what it would be like in July and August with all of those mosquitos!!! So be sure to have bug repellent!

  • Packing List

    I recommend a starters pistol, it's not dangerous, but it scares the crap out of any bear attempting to raid your food while you're camping (in addition to any tent-mates you have who didn't wake up when the bear wandered into camp)


Ely Favorites

See all 4 Favorites in Ely
  • While in the BWCA/Quetico, break camp...

    Take an experienced man's advice and weigh anchor "early". You will be able to get the majority of your day's itinerary done while the lakes are still calm without the afternoon winds, and the heat of the day will not bake you.That way you can make camp leisurely after lunch, before all the other campers have taken everything. And it will give you...

  • Trails of Camp Menogyn

    The trails throughout the camp are raised above the ground to reduce the impact and erosion caused by constant foot traffic. Do not worry, you do not have to travel far to reach remote single track nearby.

  • Go to the BWCA. You need to...

    Go to the BWCA. You need to get yourself one of the many outfitters in Ely. They can set you up with a canoe, & all of the equipment you need. Or, of course you can bring your own, but I would consult an outfitter to know any & all the restrictions. An outfitter is also a good place to get a permit. You must have a permit to enter to BWCA, this...


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