Grand Casino Hinckley is one of the top attractions in the Hinckley, Minnesota, area. But it’s not the only attraction you need to look forward to.
Far from it. In fact, you have another casino under the Grand Casino name just two counties over. So if you’re up for a bit of travel in the area, be sure to check out its sister casino, Grand Casino Mille Lacs.
And even better, you’re looking at a diverse group of attractions here. From a fire museum to a state and ice park, a brewery, and even a fun place to engage in water sports, the fun never ends in the area.
So are you ready to embark on the grand tour of sweet spots close to Grand Casino Hinckley?
Let’s discover all the goods in the surrounding area.
1 – Hinckley Fire Museum
We’re kicking off our tour of the Hinckley, Minnesota, area with a bang at the Hinckley Fire Museum. Dedicated to the 418-plus people who died in the Great Hinckley Fire, this museum tells their stories.
The fire burned through 200,00 acres of land back in 1894, but some sources have stated the actual number of acres lost was closer to 250. While they accounted for 418 deaths at the time, others have stated the actual number to be much higher.
And how brutal was this firestorm?
Per one sign at the museum, it possessed as much force as the atomic bomb, and it traveled as fast as a tornado and cyclone. The fire reached a height of 4.5 miles in height, and those from as far away as Central Wisconsin and Mason City, Iowa, claimed they could see the flames erupting from the area.
2 – Grand Casino Mille Lacs
Looking for more casino fun?
Head a couple of small counties over, and you’ll find Grand Casino Hinckley’s sister casino, Grand Casino Mille Lacs.
And you can probably bet that their slot machine themes, games, and jackpots vary as opposed to what you will find at the Grand Casino Hinckley location.
So if luck hasn’t been quite on your side during your time in Hinckley, take a trip over to the Mille Lacs location and see if Lady Luck is awaiting you on the other side.
3 – Banning State Park
Looking to catch the finest scenic trails in the area?
Look no further than Banning State Park.
Here, you’ll find winding trails featuring birch and pine trees lining the scenic Kettle River. Catch the waterfalls, foundations from old structures that nature is slowly reclaiming, rocky river banks, and mist rising into the treetops if you’re up for some morning hiking.
Now just as a fair warning, if you hike this trail, brace yourself for some rocky terrain and maneuvering. Some of these trails aren’t for novice hikers, so be aware of where you’re hiking before you venture out into the remote areas.
But if you head out here, it’s hard to get over the scenery. With the pine trees reflecting in the Kettle River’s clear waters, its many waterfalls, rock formations, scenic riverbanks, and quarry buildings, you’re entering an earthly paradise.
4 – Hard Water Sports
Looking for even more fun in the great Minnesota wilderness?
Ride some of these rapids at the Hard Water Sports in nearby Sandstone. They feature whitewater rafting and kayaking tours right on the river waters. Better yet, they require no previous rafting experience.
So if you’re a novice looking to explore the scenic river waters of Minnesota, this is the perfect sweet spot for you. Especially if you’re headed to the area in the summer.
As a bonus, just about every reviewer on TripAdvisor commended the staff. They’re full of knowledge regarding the terrain, and they’re quick to help anyone who needs it. So if you need instruction, don’t be afraid to ask.
Oh, and while you’ll get some breathtaking views from Banning State Park, you’ll get the same thing at different angles when you embark on a kayak or whitewater rafting tour. If you want the best of both worlds, carve out time for a tour on the river after a day of hiking.
Chances are, you’ll return to Grand Casino Hinckley rejuvenated and ready to take on yet another fine round of gaming.
5 – Robinson Quarry Ice Park
In the mood for even more breathtaking views of the Minnesota wilderness?
You’ll treat your eyes to something beyond stunning when you head over to Robinson Quarry Ice Park. When you come in the winter, you’ll discover pillars of ice formations hanging from the cliffs in the region.
Some of which extend to the snow-covered ground. Apart from Banning State Park and the Hard Water Sports, Robinson Quarry Ice Park is probably the finest place in the area to catch scenic views, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Unless you’ve taken a trip to Scandinavia, anyway.
Oh, and if you’re into the sport of ice climbing, coming here is a must. Sure, you’ll get a fantastic adrenaline rush at Grand Casino Hinckley. But it’s nothing compared to the rush you’ll experience when you go ice climbing for the first time, or even if you’re a seasoned veteran in the sport.
Reviewers have also stated that even if you’re not in town during the winter, it’s still a fantastic sight to see. Plus, you can still explore the cliffs, the terrain and even go rock climbing. Winter is the ideal time. But regardless of the time of year, you’re still giving yourself a prime treat.
6 – Three Twenty Brewing Company
If you’re into trying the finest local crafts, heading over to the Three Twenty Brewing Company is a must. And sure, you’ll find a few fine crafts at Grand Casino Hinckley. But it’s a safe bet to claim they’re nothing compared to fresh ingredients you will find right at the brewing company itself.
You’ll find this brewery in nearby Pine City, and per reviewers on TripAdvisor, their owners live, eat, breathe, and sleep beer. So if you’re interested not only in trying the finest local crafts, but discussing the subject of brewing itself, the owners are only too happy to oblige.
Best yet, if you’re in the area often and if you have visited Three Twenty Brewing Company in the past, you must make a return trip. Locals have stated they always add something new to the rotation, and you don’t want to miss out on the new brew coming from the area’s finest taproom.
If reviewers point to any downsides, it’s that they lack food. However, they often have food trucks nearby, and the nearby pizza shop delivers. And as far as the reviewers are concerned, you may take the food inside. So feel free to eat your favorite comfort foods while you drink your fill.
7 – Midwest Country Music Theater
Are you in the mood for entertainment in the country music genre?
Head over to the Midwest Country Music Theater, and you’ll find it. Located just outside of Hinckley in nearby Sandstone, Minnesota, you can enjoy a fine night of what they call the “gentler side of country music” for just $20.
It’s one of those attractions you just can’t frequent once, given the frequency of the shows and talent that features a blend of world-class and up-and-coming country music artists.
So if the entertainment at Grand Casino Hinckley isn’t what you’re looking for, know that you have more than a few options in the area. Oh, and better yet, if country music is your preferred genre, then gear up for over two hours of fine entertainment.
You’re looking at what is arguably one of the greatest country music outlets in the Midwest. And perhaps the greatest in the northern portion of the US. These are shows you don’t want to miss out on.
Our Final Thoughts on the Grand Casino Hinckley
Grand Casino Hinckley is one of two fantastic sister casinos in the area. And while it’s the primary draw, it’s not the only draw. From the fire museum to outdoor and recreational activities sandwiching a plethora of entertainment options in between, you’re in an area full of sweet spots.
So the next time you make plans for a weekend getaway to Grand Casino Hinckley, set another day aside to explore the area. Especially if the weather is fine enough to take part in all those fun outdoor activities.
Have you been to Grand Casino Hinckley? If so, tell us about your experience and let us know if you visited any of the sweet spots on the list. We’re looking forward to reading your stories.