Most of International Falls’ hotels line Highway 53, though the fanciest is the Holiday Inn (1500 Hwy. 71, 218/283-8000 or 800/331-4443, www.hiifalls.com, $107), over on the shores of the Rainy River. Guest amenities include a pool, kiddie pool, hot tub, sauna, game room, and exercise room, plus there are whirlpool suites with river views.
Also above average is the Days Inn (2331 Hwy. 53 S., 218/283-9441 or 800/329-7466, www.daysinn.com, $74), on the south end of town, which has a whirlpool, sauna, and exercise room.
Among the many small, inexpensive, family-run places along the highway leading into town, Hilltop Motel (2002 2nd Ave. W., 218/324-2400, $55) is among the best.
The wonderful Rainy Lake Inn and Suites (2065 Spruce St., 218/286-5699 or 877/724-6955, www.taraswharf.com, $85) in Ranier sticks right out over Rainy Lake. All five guestrooms have private baths and kitchens, and all but one has its own balcony or deck. For breakfast, you get a coupon for an area restaurant such as Grandma’s Pantry just a block down the street. If you want to add a night of camping in Voyageurs National Park, Tara can arrange equipment and transport.
Right across the street in Ranier, F. R. Woody’s Rainy Lake Resort (3481 Main St., 866/410-5001, www.fairlyreliable.com, $500/three nights, weekly rates available)—the F. R. stands for “fairly reliable”—looks a little ramshackle on the outside—but inside there are eight modern condo units with living rooms and fully equipped kitchens. Woody’s also has two cabins out on a private island in Rainy Lake. The whole operation is geared toward anglers and staffed by people who love fishing, themselves. After a day on the lake, a beer in Woody’s pub hits the spot.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition