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

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

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

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

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

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.

About wendycarson

If you're a buyer or seller, relocating from out of state or in town, an investor in a short sale or foreclosure situation, townhome or single family, acreage or development, new construction or existing, I'm here to serve your real estate needs! My main areas of business are residential real estate in the Twin Cities 13 County Metro Area and Western Wisconsin. I sell all types of residential real estate, from first time homes through executive properties, and specialize in relocation services working with various companies, organizations and universities throughout the Twin Cities. Because I pride myself on providing over-the-top customer service, the majority of my business comes from referrals. My educational background includes a BA in Communications from Central College, Pella, IA, and a Masters in Business Communication from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN.
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