One-Day Road Trips Around Minnesota

This article originally appeared on the CBS Minnesota website and was written by Linda Cameron. It can be viewed in its entirety here.


In Minnesota, the famous Highway 61 stretches from the city of Wyoming to New Orleans. But driving to New Orleans can feel like a trip in a Conestoga wagon if doing rest stops far from the Twin Cities. A single-day destination closer to Minneapolis-St. Paul puts less strain on your gas budget. During your local travels, you may have passed through these towns and cities. Consider returning for a leisurely tour if you have time. These Minnesota destinations don’t require multiple gas station stops, since they’re no more than a three-hour drive. After seeing the sights and main attractions, you might be tempted to double back for a return trip.

 

(credit: CBS)

City Of Redwing
315 West 4th St.
Red Wing, MN 55066
(651) 385-3600
www.red-wing.org

A drive to Redwing takes up to one hour from Minneapolis or St. Paul, assuming little or no traffic. A scenic town on the Mississippi River, Redwing attracts artists and photographers, who come to capture images of the river, its shoreline, and the natural wonders around Lake Pepin. Redwing has small art galleries, museums of modern art, a performing arts theater, a few stately historic homes, and an antique pottery museum that remains a tourist attraction. The town has 38 community and neighborhood parks. These parks have nearly every outdoor amenity you can think of: hiking and bike trails, an aquatic center, playgrounds, athletic fields, softball, outdoor basketball and more. Downtown Redwing is developing and welcomes new businesses. Interested business owners can download the Retail Challenge Packet.

 

City Of Northfield
801 Washington St.
Northfield, MN 55057
(507) 645-8833
www.ci.northfield.mn.us

What attracts many visitors to Northfield is the re-enactment of  “The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid.” Made into several movies, including one by German filmmaker Fritz Lang, it chronicles the ill-fated attempt of the James and Younger gang to rob the Northfield First National Bank. The intervention of the city’s outraged citizenry put a dent in the gang’s outlaw career. To get an idea of what these varmints probably ate and drank while on the lam, grab a bite at the James Gang Coffeehouse. It’s a peaceable café and eatery where deep brooding coffee brews, sandwiches, wraps, salads and breakfast come together. The James brothers might have rustled up paninis and egg avocado sandwiches without baked beans. You can learn more about the history of Northfield and the facts behind the Northfield Minnesota Raid at the Northfield Historical Society. In the winter, skaters pack into the popular Northfield Ice Arena.

 

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

Little Canada
515 Little Canada Rd., East
Little Canada, MN 55117
(651) 766-4029
http://www.ci.little-canada.mn.us

One might assume Little Canada is a few minutes from the Canadian border. But the nearest Canadian city is Thunder Bay in Ontario, 334.9 miles away. It’s at least a 6:3-hour drive to Little Canada’s sister city. Located in Ramsey County, Little Canada is an inner ring suburb of the Twin Cities. It’s a 17 to 18-minute drive from Minneapolis. From St. Paul, driving takes 11 to 13 minutes. Little Canada has its own restaurants and proximity to metro and suburban shopping centers. HOM Furniture is one of the largest furniture retailers in the Upper Midwestern states. Porterhouse Steak and Seafood  and Taste of Scandinavia Bakery & Café are highly recommended dining places. Little Canada commemorates Canadian history and its early French-Canadian settlers with special community events. Not to be missed is the annual Canadian Days Festival, celebrated like Mardi Gras with sister city Thunder Bay. This all-inclusive community fest first began in 1976 as a bicentennial.

 

City of Winona
924 Huff St.
Winona, MN 55987
(507) 452-0735
www.visitwinona.com

Why visit Winona? Because this city is full of natural outdoor beauty and old world charm to be forever remembered. Winona is also culturally rich. This small city rivets with outdoor concerts, live theater, classical and pop music, and plenty of film festivals. Downtown Winona has eclectic one-of-a-kind cafes and family restaurants. It also has a large number of national and small retailers, fashionable and quaint boutiques, artful antiques and gift stores. Winona is a 2.5-hour drive from Minneapolis.

 

(credit: CBS)

City Of Lanesboro
100 Milwaukee Rd.
Lanesboro, MN 55949
(507) 467-2696
www.lanesboro.com

Known as the bed and breakfast capital of Minnesota, Lanesboro thrives with arts, culture and tourism. The inns and restaurants here are cozy and delightful. A major attraction is the city’s small Amish community. Founded in the mid-1800s, this historic community continues the traditions of early Amish settlers. Lancaster, PA has one of the largest Amish populations. But Minnesota has 14 Amish settlements. Touring the settlements around Lanesboro is a fascinating experience. Lanesboro is a two-hour drive from Minneapolis.


This article originally appeared on the CBS Minnesota website and was written by Linda Cameron. It can be viewed in its entirety here.

Posted in Activities, Outdoor Recreation, Shopping, Travel In The State | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

7 of Minnesota’s Best Waterparks

This article originally appeared on Only In Your State on May 24, 2016. It was written by Jo Magliocco and can be read in its original context here.


These 7 Epic Waterparks in Minnesota Will Take Your Summer To A Whole New Level

It’s that time of year again! The temps are starting to soar in Minnesota, and we can’t wait to get into the water to cool off. And when it comes to water, the best way to enjoy it, aside from our thousands of lakes, is obviously at our waterparks! From slides to wave pools, these 7 always make a splash.

Posted in Activities, Outdoor Recreation, Relocation, Seasons, Sports, Travel In The State | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Minnesota’s Northern Lights

Every so often, Minnesota’s night sky is painted green by the Aurora Borealis, better known as the”northern lights”.

While the lights are usually associated with places much farther north than Minnesota, Auroras can be spotted year-round from areas with dark skies. The lights can be seen from most places in the state, provided you are away from large population centers. Light pollution–the ambient light given off by lights from cities–makes the night sky much harder to observe and often hides the green bands and spires from the naked eye. To see the lights for yourself, it’s best to find a spot far away from large towns and cities. (You can find a good, dark place with minimal light pollution using this handy map!)

Auroras-1

It’s not always enough to be in the right place if you want to see the Aurora Borealis, however. You’ll also want to check the forecasts: not just the normal weather predictions, but also space weather. That’s right: space weather! Plan to be outside and facing north on a clear and cloudless night sometime after the sun has set. Then, check the space weather forecast using the NOAA’s space weather prediction center, which lists forecasts for the probability of a visible Aurora.

Like weather forecasts, space weather predictions are not always correct. Sometimes you just won’t see anything, even from the right place on a clear night with lots of solar activity. But don’t get discouraged! Peak Aurora activity runs from October to April and continues year-round to give you plenty of chances to spot one of Minnesota’s natural wonders.

Posted in Activities, Outdoor Recreation, Weather | Leave a comment

Frozen Lake Fun

Fun doesn’t stop on Minnesota’s lakes when it gets too cold for swimming. When a solid layer of ice has formed over the water, Minnesotans find other ways to enjoy life in the “Land of 10,000  Lakes”.

ice fishing

Ice Fishing

Fishing doesn’t stop when summer comes to an end. Instead, once the ice becomes thick enough to safely walk (and drive!) on, many anglers from across Minnesota take up ice fishing. Instead of casting bait out on a fishing rod from a boat or on the shoreline, ice fishers drill holes in the lake’s solid surface and drop their fishing lines through the opening. Some prefer to sit out in the open, while others drag small huts onto the ice and relax in the warmth of the shelter. Find out more about ice fishing in Minnesota at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ website, here!

The Polar Plunge

While ice fishing safely is all about staying out of the freezing water, some of the more daring Minnesota residents take part in one of the many “Polar Plunge” cold-water dunking events. The concept is simple but extreme: a hole is cut in the ice of a lake, and then people jump into the freezing water for a few seconds. It sounds crazy, but the events have drawn as many as 15,000 participants across over 20 official events each winter. It can be very dangerous if attempted alone, but organizers behind the Minnesota Polar Plunge ensure that every precaution is taken for the safety of the plungers with on-site medical personnel and warm tents set up nearby to warm up the freezing daredevils. Most importantly, the Polar Plunge is a major fundraising organization for the Special Olympics. As of January 20th 2016, nearly $2,000,000 have been raised by participants and donors for the Polar Plunge. That, and there are still another 13 plunges scheduled across the state this season! To find out more or to join, visit the Minnesota Polar Plunge website here.

Posted in Activities, Events, Outdoor Recreation, Relocation, Seasons | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

St. Paul’s Winter Carnival

Saint Paul, and Minnesota in general, is known for its harsh winters: but that doesn’t mean that the residents of the Twin Cities are resigned to a glum season of joyless cold!

Saint_paul_mn.jpg

Each year St. Paul residents celebrate the Winter Carnival to make the most of the region’s chilly reputation. Find out more on the Winter Carnival’s website here!

 

Posted in Activities, Events, Holidays, Relocation, Seasons, Travel In The State, Weather | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter Tip for Warming Up Your Car

As the weather starts to drop this weekend, Sarah wants to know: How long should you let your car warm up in the winter?cold cars

Mechanics say anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes is ideal. Letting your car idle for 15 minutes or more is just wasting gas.

Car guy Gordy Leach has a trick during extremely cold days: After your car is warmed up, put it in reverse or drive, and then keep your foot on the brake for 20 seconds before moving. This helps the transmission warm up too and cuts down on wear and tear.


This article is an excerpt from an article that was posted on CBS Minnesota‘s website by John Lauritsen. It can be read in its entirety here.

 

Posted in Relocation, Seasons, Weather | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Feel-Good Story

Minnesota may be known for its cold temperatures and snowy weather during the holiday season, but the generosity of some in Rosemount, MN will warm the hearts of many.

On November 28, a couple left a record-setting donation of $500,000 in the kettle of a Salvation Army bell ringer!

Read the full story here:

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/3894409-record-500000-gift-rosemount-kettle-stuns-salvation-army

 

Posted in Holidays, Neighborhoods, Relocation, Seasons | Tagged , , | Leave a comment