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So close you can feel the spray
Explore and Experience Minnesota's North Shore, in any season, with all it has to offer; hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, golfing, inland/stream fishing or Lake Superior chartered fishing, downhill/cross country skiing /snowboarding or snowmobiling ... Then "come home" and relax in the comforts of your own room, with the amenities of your choice. Enjoy a place that is surrounded by beautiful cedar, pine and stately birch trees, neatly landscaped grounds with a bon fire ring at the waters edge. An incredible view of the Sawtooth Mountain range with the ever changing and unpredictable Lake Superior right in front of you. Uniquely appointed lakeside units overlooking a stunning private, thomsonite embedded ledge rock shoreline.
What a find – don’t always “luck out” when picking lodging out of a book – the little extras like the lovely bar soap, fire pit, grills on the rocks.  Thanks so much for the hiking tips- they were “right on”. We will be back.  –  Tom & Shirley, St. Michael, MN
 
You truly have a wonderful place. All 6 of us have enjoyed our women’s weekend away.  We’ve endured challenging hike with difficult weather, enjoyed listening/watching the superior waves crashing in, warmed up with a wonderful campfire and saw “cornius hictus” the northern light in the sky. We’re not sure which we did more of: walking or laughing.  We have had a wonderful time and have truly enjoyed your hospitality……We all hope to see you again. – Kathy, Evann, Sherry, Julie, Judy and Deb, Twin Cities area
 
Thank you for the good memories. We love the sound of the water, the camp fire and the friendly people.  This was the weekend for the maples. They were beautiful.  We look forward to our next visit. – Geoff & Jade, Arden Hills, MN
 
Wish we would have found this place earlier in our trip.  Love the jewelry!  We’ll remember to stay here if we are ever back in this area.  Very peaceful and comfortable. – Paul & Kathy, Tonganoxie, KS
 
We loved our stay!  The sights, sounds and smells are a delight for a couple of “city slickers”.  We tried to take in as many glorious sights as possible but 4 days is not enough time…. We will be back next year.  We love the “cabin” and the loft is just as much for BIG kids like us.  The grounds are awesome and we were able to recharge our batteries with peace and beautiful settings. –   Mark & Cora, Waukegan, IL

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Last Minute Lodging Website Special
Within 48 hours of your anticipated arrival, call us at 1.888.387.1532 or send us an email  and mention you saw our last minute special on our website. We will offer you a special rate based on our remaining rooms. This offer is not valid on existing reservations.

SUPERIOR NATIONAL AT LUTSEN GOLF PACKAGES (June 12-October 1, 2017)
Stay at Thomsonite Beach Inn and let us know you want to play gof.  You can play 18 holes with cart for $57 plus tax.  Discounted rate requires a 48 hour advance golf reservation with Superior National.  Call 218-663-7195 or visit www.superiornational.com.

Lutsen Mountains Ski and Stay Packages:
We team up with Lutsen Mountains to provide our guests with valuable lift and lodging packages for your winter pleasure. Packages vary but at the least are based on a minimum 2 night stay. Packages include discounted lodging and lift tickets. Further discounts may be found at www.lutsen.com for equipment rental and ski lessons. We have units 1,2,4,6,8, 10 and 11 available for these packages. Please give us a call or use the search below to see what fits your need. Come ski/snowboard on the Midwest’s finest mountain then return home to relax and rejuvenate with us by Lake Superior.

Click here to book a ski and stay package.

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Thomsonite pine tree
Come stay with us - you will love where we live!
About Us
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About Us

The North Shore is like a magnet that draws you closer and closer with each visit. Sooner or later you find yourself bound to it, wishing you would never have to leave.

Lee was raised in Lutsen, graduated from Cook County High School in Grand Marais, left to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. It was there Lee and Scott met. Scott is a Chef by trade and was educated at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  They moved to Plymouth, Minnesota in 1986, worked in their chosen careers and began to raise a family.

Lee’s roots on the North Shore grow deep. She is the granddaughter of Isak Hansen, a 1930’s “Herring Choker”, who brought her family back home to Lutsen in the winter of 1999. When not fishing on Lake Superior, Lee’s Grandpa Isak was busy as a talented carpenter/cabinet maker.  In the early 1950’s, Lee’s dad, Irv Hansen returned to Lutsen and together with his dad they formed Isak Hansen and Son’s Multi-trade Contracting Company.  With this company, they built beautiful vacation homes and residences complimenting the natural beauty of the North Shore. Ironically, Isak Hansen and Sons, with Lee’s
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Uncle Harvey, laid the foundation at Thomsonite Beach back in the early 1960’s.  Lee’s mom, Sue Hansen, worked for 36 years as a ski instructor at the Lutsen Ski Area. Maybe you even had a lesson from her.

The family connection to the North Shore and the desire to live here kept us searching for the right opportunity.  The dream to live here became a reality when we found Thomsonite Beach Inn and Suites to be a perfect match for us.

We soon realized that Thomsonite Beach Inn and Jewelry Shop was a unique destination rich in history; thanks to Maurice and Tania Feigal and the Thomsonite gemstone.  Thomsonite is a mineral in the zeolite family that has been referred to as the “Gem of Many Eyes”.  Our property is located in the heart of a section of Lake Superior near Good Harbor Bay and 6 miles before the town of Grand Marais where the “gem quality Thomsonite” continues to be found but with a bit more work.

Tania and Maurice Feigal were the original owners of Thomsonite Beach Motel and Jewelry Shop, established in 1962.  For 36 years they were well known to North Shore visitors for their passion as “rock hounds” and lapidary experts. They loved to share their knowledge, make beautiful silver or gold jewelry while offering lakeside accommodations which soon became treasured memories shared by generations of guests.

We continue to be pleased with our decision to make the change and move to the North Shore.  Our children, Anna-Britt and David are building their own futures, yet still enjoy the trips back home to Thomsonite.  Although we don’t allow pets here, our black lab Rip, will be sure to greet you or leave you alone if needed.

We have met so many wonderful people who make Thomsonite Beach Inn their lodging choice, as well as, those who have purchased jewelry and return for another piece to add to their collection. For those who are experiencing the North Shore or Thomsonite Beach Inn for the first time, our goal is to provide a memorable experience.

We welcome your visit and look forward to helping you create memories and share with you our favorite spots on the North Shore.  We will provide you with clean, cozy, and comfortable accommodations, a restful atmosphere; while also carrying on the “Thomsonite” gemstone and jewelry shop tradition.


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Lodging
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Lodging

Thomsonite Beach Inn is located on approximately 4.5 acres of private property including 500 feet of Lake Superior Thomsonite embedded ledge rock shoreline.  A large grassy grounds, lawn chairs, log swing, picnic tables and bon fire pit separate the shoreline from our buildings.  Our main lodge building sits 50 yards from the shoreline.  We have 9 units in this building and 2 units in an adjacent guest house. There are three styles to choose from standard, deluxe and fireplace suites. Note the floor plan for each unit to help you get a feel for the lodging space.  Wireless Internet connection is available on site.

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Photo Bar
Gems & Jewelry Store
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Gems & Jewelry Store

Mother Nature’s contribution to our amazing piece of property lies in the “Thomsonite gemstone” embedded in our shoreline.  Unique in its presence and beauty, we hope it will encourage lasting memories of your time spent relaxing on our shoreline, listening to the waves, breathing in the fresh air of the North Shore, sitting by a campfire, watching the sun rise or sun set over the Sawtooth Mountain range.  Or a visit to our Thomsonite Gemstone/Jewelry and gift shop, located in our office, will allow you to find the perfect souvenir. Fine polished and cut Thomsonite gemstones, hand crafted gold and silver Thomsonite jewelry is for sale. Our shop features jewelry and gemstones from 5 different artists and rock hounds.  We are sure the compliments received or questions asked about your Thomsonite will bring back memories that you will love to share.  
 
If you are not making a trip to the North Shore, but are still interested in purchasing a piece of Thomsonite Jewelry, contact Lee using our contact form  or call her at 218-387-1532.  While we do not have an online store, Lee is willing to email photos of jewelry options based on what you are looking for.

What to know about Thomsonite (click here)
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"Minnesota's Gemstone"
 

Origin

Thomsonite was created from lava flows of the Keweenawan Period, over 600 million years ago. Gases trapped within the lava and seams between the lava flows turned into hollow pockets when the lava hardened. Over hundreds of thousands of years, these hollow openings filled and solidified, forming Thomsonite.  
 
The unique combination of volcanic activity and certain chemicals and minerals is responsible for why the gemstone formed in this location along the North Shore.  
 

Occurrence

Thomsonite can be found locally on the beaches between Lutsen and Grand Marais, on Isle Royal, Michigan and near Saxon Falls and the Montreal River Gorge on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. The color and texture of Minnesota’s Thomsonite makes it unique as gem-quality stones are found only in a limited area of Lake Superior’s shoreline about 5 ½ miles southwest of Grand Marais. Thomsonite Beach Inn is located in the middle.  
 
Thomsonite is also found in the Kilpatrick Hills of Scotland; Northern Ireland; Saxony, Germany; Russia; the Faroe Islands; Kern County, California; and Cape Lookout, Oregon.  
 

A Rare Mineral

Thomsonite is a mineral belonging to the zeolite group of minerals, which has over 35 different recognized members. Thomsonite is one of the rarer zeolites. It forms tight acicular radiating clusters and sphericules as well as some blockier crystals and is found in the vesicles or bubbles of volcanic rock, as are most other zeolites.  
 

History and Background

Dr. Thomas Thomson, for whom Thomsonite is named, first described the mineral in 1840, after finding it in the Kilpatrick Hills of Scotland.  
 
The Minnesota Geological Survey was established in 1873 and headed by Newton Winchell, who taught in the winter and conducted surveys during the summer months. Two of his students, young professors from the University of Minnesota, S.F. Peckman and C.W. Hall, spent their vacation in 1879 along the north shore of Lake Superior studying rocks. A report they published in 1888 is the first printed reference to Thomsonite.  
 

Colors

Pure Thomsonite is snow-white and sometimes translucent. Other compounds such as ferric and / or ferrous iron or copper are responsible for the various colorations within the gemstone. Commonly found colors are pink, tan, white, red and brown. Those with green, gray or black backgrounds or green eyes are the most highly prized and least frequently found.  
 

Mining History

During the turn of the century, Hans Bernard Larsen, a Norwegian immigrant who came to Grand Marais in 1888, sold Thomsonite in a summer tent along Good Harbor Bay. By 1924, the American Exploration Company owned much of the Thomsonite-laden property.  
 
In 1942, Harlow Tyschen bought Lake Superior shoreline and began to mine Thomsonite. He sold his property in 1974 to Anita and Jack Brust and formed Tybrus Gems to mine the stones.  Some of their prize gemstones are on display in the Office/Jewelry Shop.  
 
Maurice and Tania Feigal bought 500 feet of shoreline to build Thomsonite Beach Resort in 1961, where they mined and sold Thomsonite jewelry until 1998. For 36 years they were well known to North Shore visitors for their passion as “rock hounds” and lapidary experts. They loved to share their knowledge, make beautiful silver or gold jewelry while offering lakeside accommodations which soon became treasured memories shared by generations of guests. The Feigal’s sold the resort in 1998 to Matt and Vicki Geretschlaeger who operated it until November of 1999.  It was then purchased by Lee and Scott Bergstrom who are the present owners.

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Jewelry Gallery (click here)
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Activities
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Activities / links

One of the reasons we wanted to move to the North Shore is the love we have for the incredible opportunities for outdoor activity.  This benefits our guests because we can offer first hand information on most of the recreational activities that our county provides in any season.   
 
Come Unplug and Reconnect with the Outdoors. Take the Unplug and Play Pledge to make your vacation Way North of Ordinary. Commit to getting outside.  Here are some suggestions.
Hiking | Tennis | Golf | Biking | Canoeing / Kayaking | Fishing | Rock Picking | Sightseeing | Alpine Skiing / Snowboarding | XC Skiing | Snowmobiling | The Arts
One of our biggest loves includes the Superior Hiking Trail.  Since 2002, Lee had been working on completing the “original” 200 plus mile trail system with her sister, Jan from the Twin Cities. On September 9, 2015, Lee and Jan completed their last segment from Split Rock to Beaver Bay with a twist.  Backpacking the 11.3 miles with a one night stay mid section, was a new experience.  It has been a true blessing to spend this time together hiking such a unique trail system in our own back yard.  Scott on the other hand has run a major portion of the trail.  He has participated in a few of the Superior Hiking Trail races.  He has completed a couple Moose Mountain Marathons and 50 milers. So, if you want to know where to hike and what our favorites are just ask.   Shuttle service is available at a nominal fee to those hikers who would like to hike point to point.  

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Another passion lies with tennis. The Cook County Public Tennis Courts are located in Grand Marais by the High School.  There are 5 beautiful courts including 3 with lights.  The Cook County Tennis Association provides drop in tennis and POP tennis opportunities along with the Fisherman’s Picnic Tournament held the first weekend in August. Visit their website at www.facebook.com/groups/cookcountytennisassociation.

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We do love to golf.  If you golf, pack your clubs and come play the championship 27-hole Superior National Golf Course . Ask us about our stay and play partnership with Superior National at Lutsen.  The 9 hole canyon and river courses have been newly renovated, while mountain continues to offer another challenging 9 holes. Spectacular views of Lake Superior and the Poplar River will take your breath away.  Ten miles from us up the Gunflint Trail is the 9 hole course at Gunflint Hills. Another course to test your skills to keep the ball out of the woods.   

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The Gitchi-Gami State Trail system is a non-motorized paved recreational trail system that when completed will span 88 miles between Two Harbors and Grand Marais.  At present there is over 25 miles of riding or walking pleasure.  Visit their website to stay up to date on trail progress at www.ggta.org/trail.php.  A few sections of scenic highway 61 have double wide shoulders that allow a more comfortable riding experience while enjoying a view of Lake Superior. Recently we have been bitten by the gravel and mountain biking bug. We have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the gravel roads, forest service roads and trails in our area. There are a number of biking events in our area from Spring to Winter. Over Memorial weekend, the Le Grand du Nord takes place with a 50 and 100 mile gravel race beginning and ending in Grand Marais.  In late June, the “Lutsen 99er” is a mountain bike race that has exploded with participation.  The race has 4 distances (19, 39, 69 and 99 miles). This can be a family event because the day after the race, your kids can ride in the "micro niner" race.  If you are up for a winter fat tire riding race, come join us for the Fat Tire Classic held on the Norpine Trail system the first weekend in January. Bottom line, don't forget to bring your bike when you head to the north shore.  We have loads of biking fun for all.  

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Prior to our move to become Innkeepers, our summer vacations included annual trips to the BWCA or the Quetico Provincial Park. We have fond memories of numerous routes in either park that we enjoy sharing or we would love to hear what our guests have to say about the trips they have or will be taking as they pass through. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Quetico Park offer miles of the best canoeing wilderness in the world.  Kayaking on Lake Superior or one of the many inland lakes is an experience neither of us has yet to enjoy.  This is definitely on the “to do list”.  

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While staying at Thomsonite Beach Inn, you will see many commercial and private fishing boats from our shoreline. Charter fishing on Lake Superior includes fishing for salmon and trout. Guided inland fishing is available and catches include walleye, lake trout, pike and bass with the assistance of a local guide.  If you have your own boat, Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, so take your pick while here in Cook County.  

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Many guests are attracted to our Inn because of the Thomsonite gemstone that is located on our property.  Thomsonite is embedded in a section of Lake Superior that is 5-7 miles long and our property is about in the middle. To preserve our beautiful Thomsonite embedded shoreline, we do not allow rock picking.  We will offer suggestions on alternative locations to hunt for Thomsonite as well as the Agate.  We do have an impressive selection of Thomsonite gemstones and gold/silver Thomsonite jewelry in our gift shop.   

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Visit nearby Grand Marais with its harbor and marina, or take in local playhouse events, art galleries, shopping, and museums. Enjoy the Cascade and Temperance Rivers, Gooseberry Falls, Grand Portage, Split Rock Lighthouse, Tettegouche, and other state parks and historical sites. Lutsen Mountains offers an alpine slide or gondola ride in the summer time for some spectacular views and family fun.   
 
The fall colors on the North Shore are amazing. It can be another opportunity to take a hike on the Superior Hiking Trail, visit the various State Parks while there are many suggested routes to experience. A few of our favorite spots to explore include Oberg Mountain, White Sky Rock, Lookout Mountain and Lake Agnes. We often suggest a road trip to Wild Country Maple Syrup or along the Caribou and Honeymoon Trails across to the Sawbill Trail as a must.  

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Lee basically grew up skiing at the Lutsen Ski area.  So, downhill skiing is a long time passion of hers.  Lee takes the opportunity to hit the slopes when she can so she can provide accurate snow conditions to the winter guests. She loves this part of her job at Thomsonite.   Now known as Lutsen Mountains, it offers the highest peaks (1,000+ feet of vertical), longest runs (2 miles) and most skiable space (1,000 acres) of any downhill skiing/snowboarding resort in the Midwest. Lutsen Mountains is located 13 miles south of Thomsonite Beach. Carve your turns on a wide variety of terrain, while taking in the spectacular view of Lake Superior. The four mountains offer a different challenge for all abilities of skiers or boarders. Check our specials section for current ski packages.  

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Cook County has the largest cross country ski trail system in North America.  Scott loves to take advantage of skiing what he can of the 400 km of beautifully groomed Nordic trails.  There are numerous trails for all levels of skiers.  XC skiers can take part in the Volks ski challenge at www.volkski.com as part of their North Shore winter experience.

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Here is another winter activity that many visitors flood to the North Shore to feel the thrill as they ride along some of the Midwest’s most breathtaking and mountainous backcountry terrain.  Thomsonite Beach is located four to six miles from the closest snowmobile trail access points. Visit www.visitcookcounty.com/snow/trailconditions.php for the most up to date trail information.  
 

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The North House Folk School is about celebrating traditional Northern crafts and the joy of learning.  Classes include the fiber arts, wood carving, timber framing, boat building and basketry to name a few. The North House also supports various annual events and themed weekends throughout the year such as: The Winters Gathering and Arctic Film Festival, The Wooden Boat Show and Unplugged Music Festival. Check out the link noted to see what might be a reason for you to visit the North Shore and take a class at the North House.  As a bonus, all students attending North House classes will receive a 10 % discount on lodging at Thomsonite.  
 
The Grand Marais Art Colony provides hands-on art classes for beginners to professionals, independent studio access for artists, events and exhibits in the visual arts, ceramics, printmaking, glass and more. Visit www.grandmaraisartcolony.org  to see upcoming classes or events to nurture your creativity on your next North Shore getaway.  
 
The Arrowhead Center for the Arts celebrates and promotes the arts, artists, and the uniquely creative culture of Minnesota's North Shore and Arrowhead regions. The Arrowhead Center for the Arts is a managed by the school and is located in Grand Marais.  The Center serves the community and visitors with theatre , music , and an diverse selection of year-round cultural events.

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Links
Below are some links to help you find what you are looking for.  We have done just about all of the activities above and have a great
knowledge of the area.  Please ask us!

Visit Cook County     |     Cook County Tennis      |     Lutsen Tofte Tourism
Grand Marais Art Colony     |     North House Folk School
Superior National Golf Course     |     Superior Hiking Trail Association
WTIP northshore radio 
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