The PortLand Malt Shoppe


Food & Drink

In the heat of the summer, there is nothing better than going in on a massive, sugar-rich dairy treat. Enter, the PortLand Malt Shoppe. Located in Duluth, off Superior Street on the edge of Lake Superior, the freestanding location was originally built in 1921 as a gas station for Northwestern Oil Company. The neighborhood it […]

August 24, 2019

World’s Best Donuts


Food & Drink

If you are a purveyor of things that land in the “world’s best” category, I have a suggestion. World’s Best Donuts near the waterfront in Grand Marais is a longtime family-operated bakery specializing in a wide variety of classic donuts and pastries. World Famous, did you say? Why, yes, yes I did! The walls of […]

August 16, 2019

Brewed Awakenings Coffeehouse


Food & Drink

Brewed Awakenings is a busy, quirky, colorful coffee shop and eatery, specializing in organic, farm-to-plate foods, and Fair Trade coffee. Initially launched as a small coffee cart located in a cooperative grocery store in 1996, they are now in a brick-and-mortar location off 4th street in Grand Rapids. Think comfortable, relaxed atmosphere with an artsy […]

August 11, 2019

Treaty Site History Center


Historical & Museum

Just north of St. Peter on U.S. Hwy. 169 is the Treaty Site History Center, the headquarters of the Nicollet County Historical Society. The site’s exhibits explore the history of Nicollet County and Minnesota’s territorial expansion. It also tells the story of the Dakota people, the first explorers, cartographers, traders, and Euro-American settlers. Formerly a […]

August 7, 2019

Great Lakes Aquarium


Parks & Geology

If you are going to be in or passing through Duluth anytime soon, make sure to spend some time at the Great Lakes Aquarium. Previously known as Lake Superior Center, Great Lakes Aquarium has been part of the Duluth Waterfront since 2000. From many vantage points throughout the building, you can catch a view of […]

August 1, 2019

Big Winnie Cafe


Food & Drink

I am all for small-town haunts and standard breakfast fare. This is where Big Winnie Cafe off County Road 8 in Bena comes in. I was passing through Leech Lake Reservation recently and came upon an unsuspecting brown building with a tiny, white, plastic hanging sign that simply said Big Winnie Cafe. Warm, a little […]

July 26, 2019

Cascade River State Park


Food & Drink

Cascade River State Park is one of the lesser-known state parks of the North Shore. Located in Lutsen it is connected to the Superior Hiking Trail and the North Shore State Trail, near the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The site was originally named Cascade River State Wayside and developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in […]

July 20, 2019

Hai Hai


Food & Drink

If you haven’t been introduced to Hai Hai, the newest venture from the creators of Hola Arepa, allow me. Since its opening off University in NE Minneapolis, Hai Hai has become THE hot spot. The name Hai Hai is Vietnamese for “two two,” as in, the Double Deuce. It’s a homage to the buildings former […]

July 14, 2019

Gordy’s Hi-Hat


Food & Drink

Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet is an up north, must-stop kind of place. Family-run since it opened, Gordy’s has become the go-to for gingham paper-wrapped burgers and festive, perfectly balanced malts and shakes. Step right up to the raised counter to place your order for fresh hamburgers, home-made onion rings, and fresh hand-dipped fish. Open seasonally […]

July 9, 2019

Small Town American Parade


Events, Food & Drink

For the 4th of July this year, I decided to head to Brookston. Brookston is located on the northern edge of the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation and is about 17 miles from Cloquet. The town is roughly a half a mile, with only a handful of businesses; a post office, Houle’igans Saloon, Larry’s Country […]

July 4, 2019

Tendermaid Hamburgers


Food & Drink

Have you heard of Tendermaid? It’s an infamous loose-meat, secret-recipe burger joint with roots dating back to 1930s. Let me tell you all about it. Mildred and Jerry Thatcher loved to frequent one of the more popular eateries in Marshalltown during the early 1930s, the Taylor’s Maid-Rite. The Thatcher’s ate there so often they decided […]

June 26, 2019

Betty’s Pies


Food & Drink

No road trip along the North Shore is complete without stopping at Betty’s pies to curb my sweetness-craving. Located in Two Harbors, along Highway 61 across from Lake Superior. With a line out the door, it comes as no surprise that Betty’s touts the “World famous” moniker. Beginning as a fish-shack her father Aleck opened […]

June 22, 2019

Chop n Pops Bakery


Food & Drink

Whenever I head back home, I always make it a point to stop at Chop n Pop’s Bakery in downtown Nevis. Since my sister and I planned to be in the area for the weekend before she moves to Missouri to work for the Chiefs (I know, right? So proud!), I knew we would have […]

June 16, 2019

Hazel’s Northeast


Food & Drink

Days like today require homey, comfort foods and a warm atmosphere because let’s face it, Mondays are hard but they become significantly easier with a larger-than-average dose of maple syrup. Enter Hazel’s Northeast.  This mainstay has become a total hot spot on the corner of Johnson Street and 29th and let me just say, in […]

June 10, 2019

Blue Water Cafe


Food & Drink

If you are in the Grand Marais area or plan to be, go out of your way to check out the Blue Water Cafe.  Located downtown near the harbor, Blue Water is a straightforward, hometown diner that features meat-and-potato classics.  Swedish pancakes, biscuits and gravy, buttermilk pancakes, patty melts, beef pot roast, broasted chicken, deep […]

June 6, 2019

The SPAM Museum


Food & Drink, Historical & Museum

A few months back, I had posted Explore Minnesota’s Minnesota Bucket List. I had nearly every box checked with the exception of the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota. During the #MNGFO2019, I was finally able to check it off my list! SPAM, if you aren’t familiar, is a brand of canned cooked pork made by […]

May 30, 2019

B & B Cafe


Food & Drink

The B & B Cafe in Albert Lea is the kind of place you mention to friends when they ask where your go-to breakfast spot in the area is. I know this because when I asked for recommendations, B & B was on the top of everyone’s list. Tucked off Sibley Street, the 50’s style […]

May 27, 2019

Brookside Boathouse


Parks & Geology

Have you ever tried kayaking or canoeing? How about stand up paddle boarding or hamboarding? What about rock climbing? If not, why? What if I told you, you could try all those things without the added expense of buying equipment, having the means to store it, or paying for an expert to show you. Well, […]

May 25, 2019