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Ely, Minnesota Attractions & Restaurants

Ely, Minnesota Attractions and Restaurants

You’ll be surprised!

There is so much to do at River Point Outfitting Co., you may never want to leave the grounds. But, when you do, you will find some of the best of northern Minnesota. The Ely, Minnesota area is brimming with attractions, restaurants, festivals, events, activities, and things to do.


Ely Minnesota Attractions – World Class Museums

Dorothy Molter Museum

Discover the life of a Boundary Waters legend. Nested in a quiet grove of pines, which replicates Dorothy’s homestead amidst the pines on Knife Lake, just on the east side of Ely, Minnesota, are the cabins and museum of one of the Northwood’s dearest and most colorful persons. Visit the Museum to find out how this city girl ended up as the last non-indigneous resident of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Find out how she made her livelihood selling home-made root beer to thousands of canoeists who stopped at her homestead on Knife Lake giving her the nickname “The Root Beer Lady.”

While you are a guest at River Point Outfitting Co. in Ely, the day or two prior to the start of your canoe trip, you can stop in and visit the Dorothy Molter Museum, enjoy touring the two buildings, viewing movies of her amazing life, and learning more about a woman who still today is an integral part of the history of the Boundary Waters. All of this is just 10 minutes from River Point Outfitting Co.

Hours: Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day Weekend: Open 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Open select weekends the rest of the year. Admission: $6.50 for adults, $4.50 (5 and under, free). Open days/hours and fees subject to change.


North American Bear Center

An amazing educational resource center, the North American Bear Center or Black Bear Center has a vision of replacing myths about bears with reality, and is complete with educational displays, a theater playing the best in bear videos, the Cub Room which beckons kids of all ages, a black bear den that kids can crawl into, and more. The Bear Center is home to three captive black bears living in a forested 2-acre enclosure offering viewing windows from the indoors or the outdoor viewing balcony–both with an excellent opportunity to see both the pond and waterfall areas which the bears frequent. Video exhibits on pepper spray and radio-collaring bears are highly informative and interesting.

The Four-Season Habitat Exhibit features over 30 Northwood birds and mammals. See full-sized moose, deer, wolf, and caribou mounts. Northwood sounds fill the hall and are identified on a big-screen monitor. Touch screen kiosks are fun and provide learning for all ages.

Additional videos exhibits feature coastal brown/grizzly bears fishing, clamming, grazing, playing, fighting, and mating. The latest new exhibit focuses on bear sign in several categories–tracks, trails, beds, marking, and scat analysis. Visitors can learn to tell if there are bears in their area by learning to read the signs the bears leave behind.

There is something to enjoy and learn when visiting the Ely Minnesota area attractions and restaurants for just about everyone who visits the North American Black Bear Center. It is located one mile west of Ely, Minnesota on highway #169, or about 15-20 minutes from River Point Outfitting Co.

March 31- April 30 (Fri & Sat): 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. May 1- September 10: 9:00 am-6:00 pm. September 11-Ocotober 29  10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Call 877-365-7879 or 218.365.7879 for more information and admission fees. Open days/hours and fees subject to change.


International Wolf Center

No trip to the North Country is complete without a tour of Ely’s famous multimillion dollar interpretive wolf center facility known internationally for its research and natural history on the timber wolf. Have a “close encounter” with the resident wolf pack as they roam their 1 1/4 acre home at the Wolf Center, playing, eating, sleeping, and tussling with each other. Experience the $1 million “Wolves & Humans” exhibit. Visitors can go on evening howling expeditions or hike to a beaver dam.

Presentations, family day programs, enjoying a picnic at the new outside area, and other adventures round out a visit to the center. Thrilling wolf howling expeditions right on the wilderness shoreline of Birch Lake where River Point Outfitting Co. is located is often where the Wolf Center guides go for their wolf howling excursions.

The International Wolf Center is located one half mile east of Ely, Minnesota on highway #169, about 10 minutes from River Point Resort. Call 218.365.4695 ext.21 for more information, hours, and admission fees.


Ely Folk School

Arrive in Ely a day or two ahead of your canoe trip to coordinate taking a class at Ely’s new Folk School. Learn, even teach if you desire, and share crafts and skills from sewing, baking, paddling, jewelry-making, herbalism, basketry, woodworking,and much more.

These activities reflect the true North Wood culture and traditions. The current schedule is found on the website or call for more information. Conveniently located just 10 minutes from River Point Outfitting Co. on the main street of Ely, 209 East Sheridan Street.



Surrounded by the Superior National Forest, and the glacial cliffs of the Laurentian Divide, the area around Ely is one of the most scenic hiking destinations in the Midwest. The pristine wilderness offers hikers a truly memorable and diverse experience. Whether you’re a casual hiker looking for an afternoon walk in the woods, or an avid hiker, the trails offer something for everyone.

View soaring eagles, enjoy plump, juicy blueberries (mid-July to mid-August), explore rushing waterfalls and scenic peaceful lakes and rivers, or walk through stands of giant white pines that are hundreds of years old. The opportunity to see bald eagles is a common experience here. The area is home to 150+ nesting birds and 40 species of wildlife. Fall is an amazing hiking time with colors aplenty-perfect for an afternoon hike.

Great places to hike-in addition to River Point’s own “Trail of Reflections“.


Kawishiwi Falls Trail

All of the waters from the South Kawishiwi River which flow south from the Boundary Waters, and form the east and west shorelines of River Point Outfitting Co.’s property eventually end up tumbling through the Kawishiwi Falls, located just east of Ely on highway #169, about 12-15 minutes from River Point.

“Kawishiwi is an Ojibwe name meaning the “river full of beaver or muskrat houses.” This is surely true, as beaver homes can be observed on the South Kawishiwi River adjacent to River Point. This is a superb short, easy-to-hike trail close to Ely, with amazing waterfalls. The trail has extremely steep cliffs, so be aware of children at all times. Kawishiwi Falls is a great hiking trail to do for part of an afternoon combined with dining, shopping and sight-seeing in Ely. Lots to do with all the Ely Minnesota area attractions and restaurants to choose from.


Ely Minnesota Restaurants and Cafes

Please find a list of some of the fine and varied dining choices in Ely. Enjoy!

Ely Steak House

Steak dinners, walleye , seafood, chicken,and French onion soup prepared to perfections. Prime rib on Fri and Sat. More than 100,000 Bucky burgers have sold, making it the most popular burger in Ely. A favorite night spot with lots of bar fun including karaoke on Thursday and Saturday. Located at 216 East Sheridan Street, 10 minutes from River Point Outfitting Co. 218-365-7412. Open for lunch and dinner.


Insula Restaurant

In the newly renovated former Vertin’s building, this popular dining spot serves locally sourced ingredients in the New American cuisine from breakfast to dinner. Try their amazing Eggs Benedict. Featured plates daily with a butcher’s cut, fresh fish or seafood, and a pasta, plus a soup of the day. Casual dining ambience with specialty cocktails, beer, and wine. Located at 145 East Sheridan Street, 10 minutes from River Point Outfitting Co. 218-365-4855 Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Closed on Sundays at 2:00 pm.


Organic Roots

Natural food market with organic local foods, produce, canned and packaged goods, spices, a myriad of teas and wholesome organic snacks for the trail or the canoe trip are avaialble to purchase. Consider making your own breakfast and dinner in the full kitchen of either your Chalet or Villa you may have rented at River Point Outfitting Co. Or, consider enjoying the intimate Bistro style atmosphere for lunch.

Seasonal menu changed daily with vegan and gluten free options. Flat breads, soups, salads, sandwiches, and ethnic dishes. deli counter with wraps, salads, healthy European-style baked goods including their signature killer carrot cake made with all organic ingredients. Organic wine and beer. 141 East Chapman Street, about 12 minutes from River Point Outfitting Co. 218-365-2799. Open for lunch from 11:00 am-2:00 pm. Food Market open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed on Sundays.


Rock Wood Restaurant

Gourmet burgers, walleye, and hand-cut steaks. Large selections of appetizers in a upscale woodsy atmosphere with log furnished tables and chairs. Locally harvested wild rice. Full bar with 19 craft beers on tap, signature cocktails, and daily happy hour. Live music weekly. Reservation accepted. Take-out available. Dine in A/C comfort indoors or on the shaded patio. Located at 302 East Sheridan Street, 10  minutes from River Point Outfitting Co. 218-365-7772. Open for lunch and dinner.


Sir G’s

Delicious pizza and Italian entrees make this one of Ely’s most popular restaurants. Pasta and specially seasoned meat filings are make on site for authentic Italian flavor. Save room for cannoli, tiramisu, or spumoni Wine and beer. Call ahead for take-out. Located at 520 East Sheridan Street, just 10 minutes from River Point Outfitting Co.  218-365-3688. Open for lunch and dinner.


Boathouse Brewpub

Ely’s only brewery with burgers and many other entrees, including Mexican dishes in a family dining room or in the bar. Beer in growlers to go with out in the bush when on your canoe trip. USFS Boundary Waters approved containers. Large screen TV’s. Located at 47 East Sheridan Street, just 10 minutes from River Point Outfittintg Co.  218-3565-4301.


Stony Ridge Cafe

Ely’s super big burgers (50 kinds!) plus stuffed hash browns to write home about. Ribs, chili, salads, wine and beer are all available. Bring your appetite as the servings are huge. Outside patio dining. 60 North Lake-view, about 15 minutes from River Point Outfitting Co.   218-365-6757


Gators Grilled Cheese Emporium

Enjoy delicious traditional comfort foods and healthy alternatives indoors by the fireplace or on the sunny deck. Specialty mac’n’cheese, meal-size sandwiches, homemade pizza, salads, delectable homemade soups, and desserts. Beer and wine Board games available. Free WiFi. 955 East Sheridan Street, 10 minutes from River Point Outfitting Co.  2180365-7348. Open for breakfast and lunch until 3:00 pm daily.


Enjoy one or several of these fine Ely Minnesota Area Attractions and Restaurants. You’ll be happy you did!

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