International Falls Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, where to stay, where to eat, and how to get around in International Falls.

Introduction to International Falls

International Falls, also known as the “Icebox of the Nation,” is a charming city located in Northeastern Minnesota, United States. It sits on the border of the United States and Canada, with the Rainy River flowing between the two countries. International Falls is a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors who seek outdoor adventures, stunning natural landscapes, and rich cultural attractions.

List of Places to Visit in International Falls

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

International Falls has a rich cultural heritage, showcased in numerous museums and historical landmarks throughout the city. The following are just a few of the must-visit cultural attractions in International Falls:

  • Koochiching County Historical Society Museum: This museum features exhibits on local logging and mining industries, as well as the lives of early settlers.
  • Bronko Nagurski Museum: This museum celebrates the life and accomplishments of Bronko Nagurski, a former professional football player from International Falls.
  • Smokey Bear Park: This park is home to the world’s largest statue of Smokey Bear, the iconic American mascot of forest fire prevention.
  • The Old Bank: This historic building has been restored to its former glory and now functions as an art gallery and event space.

Natural Attractions of International Falls: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

International Falls is a paradise for nature lovers, with endless opportunities for hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, and more. Some popular sites to visit include:

  • Voyageurs National Park: This stunning national park is perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and exploring the many islands and waterways of the park.
  • Rainy Lake: This large and beautiful lake is perfect for fishing, boating, and relaxing by the shore.
  • International Falls-Koochiching County Waterfall Tour: This tour takes you to some of the many waterfalls in the area, including the stunning Kettle Falls.

Hiking/Biking Routes of International Falls

International Falls has many great hiking and biking trails, perfect for exploring the natural beauty of the area. Some popular routes include:

  • Echo Bay Trail: This trail is a 7.6 mile out-and-back route that offers stunning views of Rainy Lake.
  • Black Bay Trail: This 2.5 mile trail offers a relatively easy hike through the forest, with beautiful views of the bay.
  • Green Trail: This 8 mile loop is a bit more challenging, with some steep inclines and rocky terrain.

Best Things to Do in International Falls: Activities and Tours

International Falls offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Some of the best things to do in International Falls include:

  • Fishing: The area is home to many species of fish, including walleye, northern pike, and bass. Many local companies offer guided fishing tours.
  • Snowmobiling: International Falls is a winter wonderland, with plenty of snowmobile trails and rental companies to choose from.
  • Boating and kayaking: The many waterways in the area make it a perfect spot for boating and kayaking, with plenty of rental options available.
  • Sightseeing tours: Many local companies offer guided sightseeing tours of the area, including tours of the waterfalls, wildlife, and historic sites.

Week-Long Itinerary for International Falls

For those who want to fully immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of International Falls, the following itinerary offers a week-long adventure:

Day Activity
1 Fishing on Rainy Lake
2 Hiking the Echo Bay Trail
3 Guided tour of Kettle Falls and other waterfalls
4 Snowmobiling in Voyageurs National Park
5 Visiting the Koochiching County Historical Society Museum
6 Kayaking and exploring the islands of Voyageurs National Park
7 Visiting the Bronko Nagurski Museum and other historic sites

Food and Drink Scene of International Falls

No trip to International Falls is complete without indulging in some of the local cuisine. The following are some of the best dishes and beverages to try while in the area:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Walleye: This local fish is a staple of the area, and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
  • Wild rice soup: This creamy and delicious soup is made with wild rice, a staple crop of the area.
  • Pasties: Originally brought to the area by miners, pasties are a savory pastry filled with meat, potatoes, and vegetables.

Local Beverages

  • Voyageur Brewing Company: This brewery offers a variety of craft beers inspired by the local landscape, including the Rainy Lake IPA and the Kettle Falls Coffee Stout.
  • Blueberry wine: International Falls is home to many blueberry farms, and the local wine is a perfect way to savor the flavor of the area.
  • Hot chocolate: The cold winter months in International Falls call for a warm mug of hot chocolate from one of the local cafes.

Where to Stay in International Falls: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

International Falls offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Some popular options include:

  • AmericInn Lodge & Suites: This hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites, as well as an indoor pool and hot tub.
  • Days Inn by Wyndham: This budget-friendly hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms, as well as a free breakfast.
  • The Guest House: This cozy guesthouse offers rooms with shared bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen, perfect for budget travelers.

What to Buy in International Falls: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

For those who want to bring home a piece of International Falls, the following are some of the best souvenirs and local products to buy:

  • Wild rice: This nutritious grain is a staple of the area, and can be found in many local shops and markets.
  • Blueberries: Fresh, frozen, or made into jam, blueberries are a delicious way to remember your time in International Falls.
  • Smokey Bear merchandise: Fans of the iconic forest fire prevention mascot should check out the Smokey Bear Park gift shop for t-shirts, hats, and other souvenirs.

Local Culture and Customs of International Falls

International Falls has a rich cultural heritage, with a blend of Native American and European influences. The area is known for its emphasis on outdoor activities and natural beauty, as well as its friendly and welcoming residents.

Best Time to Visit International Falls

The best time to visit International Falls depends on your interests and preferences. Those who enjoy winter sports and activities should plan to visit during the winter months, while those who prefer hiking and outdoor adventures will enjoy the summer and fall months.

Do’s and Don’ts of International Falls


  • Do dress in layers, as the weather can be unpredictable.
  • Do respect the natural environment and take care not to disturb wildlife or damage the landscape.
  • Do interact with the friendly locals, who are often happy to offer advice and recommendations.


  • Don’t litter or leave garbage behind.
  • Don’t ignore safety warnings, especially when it comes to ice and water safety.
  • Don’t trespass on private property or engage in disruptive behavior.

Safety and Health

Safety in International Falls

International Falls is generally a safe place to visit, with low crime rates and friendly residents. However, visitors should still take basic precautions, such as locking doors and windows, and keeping valuables out of sight.

Health in International Falls

Visitors to International Falls should be aware of the risks associated with outdoor activities, such as sunburn, dehydration, and insect bites. It is important to dress appropriately, use sunscreen and insect repellent, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Getting to International Falls: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near International Falls

The closest airport to International Falls is Falls International Airport (INL), located just a few miles from the city center. Other nearby airports include Fort Frances Municipal Airport (YAG) in Canada and Grand Rapids–Itasca County Airport (GPZ).

Bus Stations Near International Falls

Greyhound operates a bus station within the city, connecting International Falls to major cities.

Other Options

Those who prefer to drive can reach International Falls via Interstate 35 or Minnesota State Highway 53. Rental car options are available at the airport and in the city center.

How to Get Around in International Falls

International Falls is a compact city, easy to navigate on foot or by bicycle. However, for those who prefer to drive, rental cars and taxis are available.

Where to Go Next from International Falls: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

For those who want to continue their adventure beyond International Falls, the following destinations are worth a visit:

  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: This stunning wilderness area is perfect for canoeing and exploring.
  • Duluth: This charming city on Lake Superior is known for its historic canal and beautiful parks.
  • Thunder Bay: Just across the border in Canada, Thunder Bay is a beautiful city with a rich cultural heritage.


International Falls is a hidden gem in the great state of Minnesota, offering breathtaking natural scenery, rich cultural attractions, and endless outdoor adventures. With so much to explore and discover, it’s no wonder that International Falls is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world.