Discover Ely Minnesota

Ely Minnesota: the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), which offers our guests a unique variety of area attractions, things to do, and places to eat and drink.

Unique Shopping

There’s something for everyone in Ely, from unique local shops to bait and tackle shops. Find a parking spot and walk around town: most shops are centrally located along the hill on Sheridan Street.

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Ely MN Shopping

Local Dining

Enjoy a walleye dinner, delicious steak or even a gourmet grilled cheese along Ely Minnesota’s main drag. Taste locally brewed craft beers or enjoy a fresh cup of coffee at one of the area’s coffee shops.

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Dining in Ely, Minnesota


One-of-a-Kind Attractions


North American Bear Center

North American Bear Center Ely MN

The North American Bear Center is the only Science/Nature museum of its kind. Dedicated to replacing old myths with facts, it lets people learn from the bears themselves about bear behavior, ecology, and their relations with humans.

The Bear Center features a theatre, interpretive nature trails, hundreds of exhibits, the Bear Necessities Gift Shop and daily programs and Events.

Meet the Bears

International Wolf Center

International Wolf Center Ely MN

The International Wolf Center aims to advance the survival of wolf populations through teaching about wolves, their relationship with the wilderness and how humans play a role in their future.

The Wolf Center features a live wolf exhibit to promote both live and online educational experiences. When visiting the Wolf Center, observers can create a connection with the ambassador wolves, which represent their wild counterparts exhibiting their natural behaviors and physical encounters with the world.

  • Look a gray wolf in the eye from only inches away
  • Thrill to the mesmerizing howl of our ambassador wolves
  • Learn new and fascinating facts about wolves from our experts
  • Explore wild wolf habitat and track them through radio telemetry
  • Take amazing photographs of our Exhibit Pack in their natural habitat

Families, individuals, kids, groups, scouts, educators—there’s an hour-long, day-long or weekend-long adventure awaiting you at this multi-million dollar interpretive museum and exhibit.

International Wolf Center

Dorothy Molter Museum

Dorothy standing in front of a brewing station in her museum.

The Dorothy Molter Museum celebrates the legendary last resident of the BWCAW, Dorothy Molter, who died in 1986 after living nearly 79 years of her life along Knife Lake near the U.S.-Canada border.

The story tells how canoeists often stopped at Molter’s home to experience her hospitality and taste her famous homemade root beer, which locals often referred to her as “the Root Beer Lady”). The museum’s log cabins where Molter resided were transported out of the BWCAW piece-by-piece and reassembled in Ely.

Dorothy Molter

Explore the many cultural, arts, and nature-centered attractions in Ely, MN

Signature Events

Blueberry Arts Festival

The Blueberry Arts Festival is Ely’s signature summer event and is held the last weekend of July in Whiteside Park. You can find wood and leather products, metal art, photography, paintings, jewelry and pottery, and many other unique hand-crafted items along with basically anything blueberry you could ever dream of. There are musical acts scheduled every day, so you’ll be sure to be entertained every day of this three-day festival.

Blueberry Arts Festival

Harvest Moon Festival

Experience gorgeous autumn in Ely! Head on over to Whiteside Park the weekend after Labor Day and you will find the Harvest Moon Festival in full swing. This three-day festival is filled with arts and crafts, food, live entertainment and activities to share with family and friends of all ages.

Harvest Moon Festival