As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, I always looked forward to weekends “up north.” This meant 2-4 days at our family cabin on Lower Bottle Lake near Park Rapids. The actual amount of time spent there depended on whether or not Dad could get an extra day or two off of work. Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends were the best. In northern Minnesota, nothing beats summer holiday weekends!
One of the highlights of a cabin vacation was the Emmaville Store. In those days, it was a simple convenience store with 2 gas pumps in front. If you needed gas for the lawn mower, boat, or snowmobile and didn’t feel like driving an extra 12 miles to Park Rapids, you would stop at Emmaville instead. Later, the Emmaville Café was added to the complex. I was a big fan of their All-You-Can Eat Taco Bar, first on Friday and then Tuesday nights.
Possibly Emmaville’s most interesting tourist attraction is the No-Tel Motel! No, it’s not what you’re thinking 😉 Rather, it’s a simple but comfortable 4 unit motel. If a motel room isn’t big enough for your family, they also have a 3 bedroom cabin. Want to rough it without really roughing it? Try the Emmaville Campground. Rates are reasonable and it’s a great place to relax. Last time I checked, motel prices at Emmaville were significantly lower than rooms in Park Rapids.
When you see this sign, you’ll know you have arrived! Next time you’re vacationing or visiting in northern Minnesota, be sure to check out the Emmaville store, café, and of course the No-Tel Motel.