The best reason to stop in this little town is to tour the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum (7136 Hwy. 61, 218/663-7804 or 888/616-6784, www.commercialfishingmuseum.org , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, $3 adults).
Housed in a replica fish house, the displays engagingly explain the who and how of Lake Superior’s fishing industry through old equipment—including a fish table that received heavy use, as the scales still embedded in it will attest—and fascinating photos. The museum is also the office of the helpful America’s North Coast Travel Planner (www.americasnorthcoast.org ).
Tofte is linked to the BWCAW via County Highway 2 (aka the Sawbill Trail), and an outfitter at each end can set you up with everything you need to paddle it.
In town is Sawtooth Outfitters (7213 Hwy. 61, 218/663-7643, www.sawtoothoutfitters.com , 7 a.m.–7 p.m. daily), which also has mountain bikes, sea kayaks, and cross-country skis.
Sawbill Canoe Outfitters (4620 Sawbill Trl., 218/663-7150, www.sawbill.com , 7 a.m.–9 p.m. daily) is right up at the Sawbill Lake Entry.
Composing seemingly half the town is the oft-lauded Bluefin Bay Resort (7192 Hwy. 61 W., 218/663-7296 or 800/258-3346, www.bluefinbay.com , $145). Some of their topflight amenities include a fitness center, tennis courts, two saunas, indoor pool, and a year-round outdoor pool and hot tub. They also offer movie nights, guided sea kayak and snowshoe tours, sailing trips (you need not be staying at the resort for these), and will shuttle you to Lutsen Mountains  or area trailheads. The 133 diverse lakeside units range from studios to three-bedroom condos, and most have fireplaces, decks, and whirlpools. Add the lake views and it’s a great romantic getaway. Two-day rentals are required on weekends.
Bluefin Bay also runs both of Tofte’s restaurants. Bluefin Grille (7192 Hwy. 61 W., 218/663-6200, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., $8–46) is a very popular place. Enjoy cinnamon wild rice pancakes, roast duck, and one of dozens of wines with great lake views from the dining room or deck.
Just up the road, Coho Café & Bakery (7126 Hwy. 61, 218/663-8032, 7 a.m.–9 p.m. daily summer, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri.–Sat. rest of year, $7–18) has fancy deli sandwiches, pasta, and pizza.