Legendary roadside attractions, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, stand ready to greet you all year around from the shores of Lake Bemidji. Family fun, year-around recreation, shopping, events and activities are only a tank full of gas away.

Get started by checking out our upcoming events!

Check out the Visit Bemidji website to help plan your visit.

Where to Stay in Bemidji

Bemidji hotels, motels, and northern Minnesota resorts, provide a variety of relaxing lodging choices. Bemidji, the First City on the Mississippi, in the heart of Minnesota’s north woods, is rich in beautiful scenery, abundant recreation, inspiring arts and culture.

Lodging in Bemidji

Directions & Parking

Take 371 from Brainerd and turn left onto Hwy 2. Take 1st exit into BJL and follow to 1st Street South.

From Motley or Park Rapids: Take Highway 71 North.

Find the Sanford Center on the south shore of Lake Bemidji off of 1st st. S or Event Center Dr. (by the Green Mill and Hampton Inn).

From Highway 71 N or Highway 2 E follow Highway 197 (Paul Bunyan Drive) from the Airport/Mall area towards Bemidji State University and Lake Bemidji.

Continue South through downtown Bemidji and follow the South shore to 1st Street South or Event Center Dr. (by the Green Mill and Hampton Inn)

Head West on Moberg Dr. NW out of the airport. Take a left on US-2 East. Take a left on 5th Street NW. Right on Bemidji Ave N/US-2 Old. Left on 1st St. SE. Continue on 1st St SE. Drive to Event Center Dr NE.



We have approximately 1200 public parking spaces available for hockey, concerts, and convention center events. There are also 170 parking spaces reserved for event employees & production staff. Shore power is available with ample space for trucks & buses.


Food & Beverage

A variety of quality food & beverage options are available throughout the Sanford Center. With three concession stands and beverage stands throughout the Main Concourse and a full bar on the Premium Level, you are sure to enjoy the event!

Accessibility & General Information

There is one public elevator for access to the suite level and club lounge located just inside the Main Entrance.

In the event of an emergency, please follow the directions given by Sanford Center ushers.

There are five different entrances into the Sanford Center. Visit the Main Entrance for access to the Box Office and Administration Offices. There is no parking fee collected at the Sanford Center.

The Medical/First Aid Office is located in the Northwest corner of the concourse near sections T & U.

Restrooms are located throughout the concourse level, with one location available on the club level. View the club level map or concourse level map for restroom locations.

The Sanford Center offers premium seating on the suite/club level. For more information on how you can become a suite holder or purchase a club level seat at the Sanford Center, please call our Accounting Manager at (218) 441-4031.

The Sanford Center welcomes guests that are accompanied by approved service animals. All other animals are prohibited.

Please call the Administration Office for any ADA related needs (seating, service animals, sign language interpreters, etc) at (218) 441-4000.