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Northern Minnesota is a land of rugged beauty.
The magnificent Rainy Lake, Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and freshwater-based Voyageurs National Park have drawn outdoor enthusiasts to this breathtakingly scenic area for decades.
This article will introduce you to Cantilever Distillery + Hotel, the area’s newest cocktail, culinary, and lodging option that graces the corner of Spruce Street in the nostalgic town of Ranier, Minnesota.
In a region where fishing, boating, hiking, biking, and canoeing rule, Cantilever Distillery + Hotel serves up a delightful dose of distinction and class.
Its delectable food and drink menu, panoramic lake views, along with a staff that represents the epitome of “Minnesota Nice“, will leave you with a lasting impression of its greatness.
Cantilever Distillery + Hotel: The Details
One of the many things that make Cantilever Distillery + Hotel so special is its story.
In a world where so many businesses and brands are built with a cookie-cutter mentality, the heart and soul that went into constructing the creative and custom-built Cantilever Distillery is apparent at first glance.
Opening the front doors, visitors are greeted by tall ceilings, sun-filled windows, industrial decor, and high-end interiors that speak to its impeccable craftsmanship.
Hanging above the cocktail lounge, one can’t help but notice a gigantic replica of the historic Cantilever Bridge from which the venue has aptly acquired its name.
Back in the 1920s, the Cantilever Bridge was thought to have served as a pipeline for smuggling spirits between the U.S. and Canada during Prohibition.
In honor of the Speakeasies and Gin Joints that came before them, the founders of Cantilever Distillery + Hotel are proud to have created an ambiance that brings back the passion and excitement representative of that historic era.
Location – Ranier, Minnesota
Cantilever Distillery + Hotel is located in the heart of the small lakeside village of Ranier, MN. Neighboring communities include International Falls, MN, found 6 miles West, and Fort Frances, Ontario, located directly across the river.
Situated on the waterway that makes up the Minnesota and Canadian border, Rainer is located on the world-famous Rainy Lake. In addition, it is commonly known as being the gateway to Voyageur’s National Park.
Voyageur’s National Park lodging includes a wide variety of options including the modern amenities of Cantilever Distillery +Hotel as well as front and back-country camping.
Additional planning tip: Planning a trip to Northern Minnesota?
Consider adding in 3-days in Duluth, MN to experience Lake Superior (the largest freshwater lake in the world!).
Cantilever Distillery + Hotel: Amenities
The unique and thoughtful amenities offered at Cantilever add to the feeling of homeyness and relaxation when visiting here!
Along with its onsite distillery and cocktail room, Cantilever is home to a gift shop, espresso bar, 12-person rooftop hot tub, and sauna, as well as an onsite yoga studio (offering free classes to hotel guests!).
To soften the industrial openness of the facility, there are multiple areas of various seating options located throughout the 3-levels of Cantilever.
Guests can cozy up fireside in oversized leather armchairs, settle into plush sofas, perch atop a padded barstool, or relax at one of the many varying types of tables and wooden islands located throughout.
There are literally so many ways to feel at home here!
Cantilever Distillery + Hotel: Rooms
Cantilever Distillery + Hotel features 31 boutique-style hotel rooms that are just as snazzy as the first impression that you’ll get from walking into the main lobby.
Decorated with both industrial finishes and handmade items from locally sourced woods, the combination of rustic and class is entirely awesome!
As a partner of the Trademark Collection of Wyndham Hotels, you are guaranteed a comfortable night’s sleep in their luxurious accommodations.
All rooms feature:
- King or double queen beds with pillow-top mattresses (so comfy!)
- Clawfoot baths or walk-in showers (loved the clawfoot tub!)
- Luxurious bath amenities (the bathrooms are gorgeous!)
- Flat-screen TV
- Free Wi-Fi
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Cantilever Distillery + Hotel: Dining and Drinks
The shining stars of the Cantilever Distillery + Hotel are the delicious cocktails and accompanying menu offerings made from locally sourced ingredients.
The onsite state-of-the-art distillery produces bourbon, gin, vodka, and rye whiskey using the finest Minnesota grains and water from the Canadian Shield.
Handcrafted cocktails made with the spirits from the on-site distillery include creations such as the Cantilever Club, Ranier Mule, Cucumber Cooler, and their version of a Whiskey Ginger.
Likewise, we had the opportunity to feast on the amazing Cantilever Charcuterie board and pretzel bites with beer cheese sauce!
Other favorites include the Old Fashioned Hamburger, Habanero Aioli Chicken Sandwich, Flight of Meatballs, Two pan-seared Sea Scallops in Brown Butter, and the Classic Butternut Squash Risotto with Fried Sage.
Cantilever Distillery + Hotel: Who is it good for?
- Business travelers
- Families with tweens and teens
- Girls’ and guys’ weekend getaways
- Foodies and cocktail connoisseurs
Tips for visiting Cantilever Distillery
- Don’t forget to pack using these family packing tips and essential travel products to help make your Up North getaway a breeze!
- Make it a point to get to know the staff. They will remember you and your kids’ names throughout your stay and go out of their way to ensure that you have everything you need.
- Cantilever is located adjacent to train tracks. If this is a noise that will potentially bother you, bring along a pair of earplugs. I, however, did not find this to be a nuisance.
- When traveling East from International Falls to Ranier, look for a flashing road sign indicating that a train is blocking the intersection to get to the hotel. Simply take the next exit into Ranier to bypass having to wait for the train to pass.
- Know ahead of time that Ranier is a dog-friendly city and allows its resident dog owners the privilege of letting their dogs roam unleashed.
- There are no coffee makers in the guest rooms. Guests are encouraged to purchase a drink from the espresso bar in the lobby.
Things to do in Ranier, MN
- Enjoy a locally inspired meal at Rainy Lake Grill – <1 block
- Have a beer and listen to live music at Loony’s Brew – <1 block
- Visit the local ice cream shop – <1 block
- Swim at the public beach – 1 block
- Play at the local park – 3 blocks
- Bike the Rainy Lake Bike Trail – 3 blocks
- Reserve a guided boat tour, hiking or paddling excursion, and/or boat rental at Voyageur Outfitters – 3 blocks
- Explore Voyageur’s National Park and Rainy Lake Visitor Center – 8 miles
- Sit on the patio glancing out onto Rainy Lake while enjoying cocktails, burgers, and appetizers at Island View Lodge – 9 miles
- Enjoy dinner and a Long Island Tea on the deck overlooking Voyageur’s National Park at Sha Sha Resort – 10 miles
Things to do in International Falls, MN
- Visit Smokey Bear Park and Bronco Nagurski Museum
- Shop at Ronning’s for souvenirs, clothing, and outdoor apparel
- See a movie at Cine 5 Theaters
- Grab an amazing cup of joe at The Coffee Landing
- Tour the Boise Paper Mill
- Visit the International Border and bridge to Canada
Have you ever considered an Up North getaway to Rainy Lake and Voyageur’s National Park? What seems like the most appealing thing about at stay at Cantilever?Jen
If you like our review of Cantilever Distillery + Hotel, click here to check out our related posts:
- Voyageur’s National Park Lodging & Best Things to do
- 5 Fabulous Midwest Weekend Getaways (+3 Day Itineraries)
- Our Howlin’ Review of Great Wolf Lodge, Bloomington, MN
- 5 Fun Things to do in Minneapolis, MN with Kids
- 5 Best Mall of America Attractions for Kids
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*