Plan to spend some time getting to Ely. They don't call it the "End of the Road" for nothing! If you take a commercial flight to Minnesota, plan to rent a car to get to Ely. It's about five hours from Minneapolis, or two hours from Duluth.
Use that rental car.
- International Wolf Center,, 1396 Highway 169, ☎ 218-365-4695 (TTY relay service dial 711. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org), . Summer schedule from mid-May through mid-October open daily (hours vary). Winter schedule from mid-October through mid-May open weekends only. Admission $8.50-$4.50 (kids under age 3 free).
- North American Bear Center, 1926 Highway 169, ☎ 218-365-7879, toll-free 877-365-7879, . Summer schedule from May through November open daily (hours vary). Winter schedule from December to May open Saturdays only except by appointment. Admission $8.50-$4.50 (kids under age 3 free).
In the winter: Dog sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and a variety of other winter activities, since the lakes have frozen over and are covered with snow. One place to book winter trips is through Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge
- Dorothy Molter Museum,  just north of Ely tells about the life of the Root Beer Lady. Here you can learn about how she lived in solitude on Knife Lake, and how she made and sold root beer.
- International Wolf Center, along the Fernberg Road just north of Ely. Here, learn about wolves and even see them up close. This is also one of the places where you might want to watch the safety video about the Boundary Waters, so why not pop into the Wolf Center and learn something!
- Canoeing This is why most people venture all the way up to Ely in summer. One of the options is of course to bring your own canoe and gear. But, if you don't own this type of outdoor gear, there are plenty of commercial canoe outfitters in Ely. Also, the Girl Scouts' Northern Lakes Canoe Base is a perfect way for Girl Scout troops or individual girls to go on canoeing trips, and is great for girls ages 11 and up and their mothers/troop leaders as well. The Boy Scouts have a similar program at the Northern Tier Boy Scouts High Adventure Base. And fishing is a possibility too (remember to get a permit). In the summer: Besides canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota and the Quetico Provincial Park in Canada.
- When you go out into the Boundary Waters, winter or summer, make sure that you have an up-to-date map and compass with you, and someone who knows how to use them. Be prepared for all types of weather, but pack as light as possible. No need to bring a fresh shirt for every day you are out there. A lighter load will make those portages enjoyable. Still, though, bring enough food. You will be surprised how much more you eat out there since you are constantly doing things. Also be aware that there may be a fire ban in the summer due to extreme dry weather. If this is the case, use a camp stove and bring enough fuel. But mostly, enjoy yourself out there, relax, and enjoy some of the best things that nature has to offer!
- In town, there are homely, casual amusements and a relaxed atmosphere -- a bowling place, mini golf, karaoke club, several parks, a movie theater. The movie changes every week, and is played every evening at 7:30PM.
- Northern Lakes Girl Scout Canoe Base, .
- Northern Tier National High Adventure Base (Boy Scouts), 14798 Moose Lake Road, Ely, MN 55731 ☎ +1-218-65-4811, (), .
For all of your outdoor needs, there is Piragis. To save some money, check out their outlet shop, a block away on Sheridan Street. There also is Wintergreen, which also offers outdoor supplies. Steger Mukluks will keep your toes warm. And there are probably two dozen other outfitters and equipment suppliers where you can get good quality and a good selection of most any outdoor stuff you want.
There are many fun gift shops as well. Some feature woodsy and down-home items, some have lovely artistic decor items, or furniture, or quirky widgets. There's plenty of fun shopping.
And the usual utility things: For groceries, there is Zup's right in the middle of town. Along the main street you also find two dry cleaners. There is a hemp store, also called Music Outfitters, and an army surplus store. Good food at a variety of restaurants and eateries.
Ely is a small town, it's fun just to walk around the town and explore these places for yourself.
- Piragis Northwoods Outfitters, 105 N Central Avenue, ☎ 218-365-6745 (email@example.com), . Every kind of gear, equipment, maps, clothing, gifts and more. You can shop in town or online. There's also an outlet store a block away on Sheridan Street, featuring end-of-season discounts, "experienced" equipment, etc. You can even get a shower there when you come off the trail!
- Wintergreen Northwoods Apparel, 205 E. Sheridan St., Ely, MN. ☎ 218-365-6602, .
- Brandenburg Gallery, 11 E. Sheridan St., ☎ 218-365-6563, . Photo gallery by Jim Brandenburg, reknowned National Geographic photographer who lives in Ely, and whose work includes lush views of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.
- BaskeTree, 34 W. Sheridan St., ☎ 218-365-6010. Gift shop and bakery. Also the registration office for A Stay Inn Ely (look below in Sleep).
- Britton's Cafe, 5 E Chapman St., ☎ +1 218-365-3195.
- The Chocolate Moose, 101 N Central Ave, ☎ +1 218-365-6343.
- Ely Steak House, 216 E Sheridan St., ☎ +1 218-365-7412.
- Evergreen Restaurant, 400 N Pioneer Rd., ☎ +1 218-365-6565.
- Journey's End Cafe, 528 E Sheridan St., ☎ +1 218-365-3398.
- Northern Grounds Cafe, 117 N Central Ave., ☎ +1 218-365-2460.
- Sir G Italian Restaurant, 520 E Sheridan St., ☎ +1 218-365-3688.
- Vertins Cafe, 145 E Sheridan St., ☎ +1 218-365-8644.
- Cranberry's, 47 E Sheridan St., ☎ +1 218-365-4301.
- Dee's Bar & Lounge, 17 E Sheridan St., ☎ +1 218-365-3896.
- Grand Ely Lodge, 400 N Pioneer Rd, ☎ +1 218-365-6565(fax: +1 218-365-2840), . Doubles $90-160.
- Motel Ely Budget Host, 1047 E Sheridan St, ☎ +1 218-365-3237(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 218-365-3099), .
- The Paddle Inn, 1314 E Sheridan St., ☎ +1 218-365-6036, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM.
- Shagawa Inn Resort, 1973 W Shagawa Rd., ☎ +1 218-365-5154, .
- A Stay Inn Ely, 112 W Sheridan St., ☎ +1 218-365-6010, .
- Super 8, 1605 East Sheridan St., ☎ +1 218-365-2873.
This page was last edited at 18:07, on 11 September 2008 by Wikitravel user Morph. Based on work by David, Betsy, Stacy Hall and Colin Jensen and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.