Vikre Distillery


Food & Drink

This winter had created a need for something stronger than beer but lighter than Glögg. Enter my favorite Boreal Cedar Gin from Vikre Distillery in Duluth. The award-winning micro-distillery also makes Boreal Juniper Gin, Boreal Spruce Gin, and Øvrevann Aquavit. Located in Canal Park, adjacent to the aerial lift bridge, it is housed in a […]

March 18, 2019

Del’s Cafe


Food & Drink

Del’s Cafe is a quintessential Minnesota small town diner. With a remarkably familiar diner marquee, Del’s is a staple in St Charles and the perfect place to escape the cold and sink into a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Once you find your way in, you’ll find the specials written on the board and […]

March 15, 2019

Quarry Hill Nature Center


Parks & Geology

Can I just tell you how much I love the Quarry Hill Park and Nature Center in Rochester? The park was originally purchased by the Rochester State Hospital in the 1870s. In 1882, a cave was hand-carved to serve as a cellar for the storage of many vegetables grown on the State Hospital farm. Quarry […]

March 11, 2019

The Kitchen Table


Food & Drink

If you are in the Ramsey area and looking for something a little off the beaten path, but not so much, check out the Kitchen Table. Just off Sunwood Drive, the breakfast, lunch and dinner eatery is hidden away in an up-and-coming business park. This place is adorable, as is the owner. It is perfect […]

March 6, 2019

Jimmy’s Pro Billiards


Entertainment

If you are starting to go a bit mad with cabin fever, I have a suggestion. Brave the cold and head over to Jimmy’s Pro Billiards just off Central in Columbia Heights / Northeast. Some call it the best pool hall in the Twin Cities, the place is named for Jimmy Wetch, the very friendly […]

March 1, 2019

Snowmobiling in Minnesota


Parks & Geology

One of the best parts of having a record snowfall is fresh powder for the snowmobile trails. Snowmobiling is a rite of passage in Minnesota – it certainly was for me. Minnesota has snowmobile trails in nearly every county of the state, including 224 miles in Hennepin County, 369 miles in Dakota County and 208 […]

February 26, 2019

The Castle Community


Food & Drink

Imagine a place where you can sip a white chocolate latte, page through hard to find books, flip through vintage vinyl, play a game of foosball, browse local art, and visit a resident puppy, all before heading down to brunch in an upscale, industrial-designed open kitchen restaurant. I KNOW, RIGHT?! Well, such a place exists. […]

February 20, 2019

Whitewater State Park


Parks & Geology

Whitewater State Park is in Altura and preserves a stretch of the Whitewater River. The Dakota named the river Whitewater because it turned milky white in the spring as high water eroded light-colored clay deposits along its banks. Surrounded by rocky bluffs, this secluded park seems to pop out from nowhere. It is located in […]

February 16, 2019

SocialICE


Food & Drink

If you are willing the brave the cold, I have something to add to your 2020 #mnbucketlist! Have you heard of SocialICE? It’s in Downtown Rochester’s Peace Plaza and is THE Minnesota Ice Bar experience! Free to the public, SocialICE is held annually and takes place in February, in the thick of the Minnesota winter. […]

February 11, 2019

Fiddlehead Coffee Co.


Food & Drink

On blustering Minnesota mornings, a good latte is my go-to. Since I’m in Rochester, I had to head over to Fiddlehead Coffee Co. Founded in 2017, Fiddlehead was located in Forager Brewing and has since moved to 3rd Ave, across Fourth Street from Rochester’s Government Center. The new, more spacious location is modern-meets-retro, complete with […]

February 8, 2019

An Ode to Minnesota Weather


Parks & Geology

An Ode to Minnesota Weather Minnesota 60 above zero: Floridians turn on the heat. People in Minnesota plant gardens. 50 above zero: Californians shiver uncontrollably. People in Duluth sunbathe. 40 above zero: Italian & English cars won’t start. People in Minnesota drive with the windows down. 32 above zero: Distilled water freezes. The water in […]

February 7, 2019

Judy Garland Museum


Historical & Museum

Judy Garland Museum has been a must-stop for travelers and locals alike since 1975. For those unfamiliar, Francis Gumm who would later become Judy Garland is the jewel of Grand Rapids. She is the star of Wizard of Oz, MGM’s 1939 film that has been seen by over 3 billion people and continues to be […]

February 2, 2019

Nemadji State Forest


Parks & Geology

Winter isn’t all bad. Take the beauty of the Nemadji State Forest for example. Established in 1935 and part of the western Great Lakes forests (WWF Classification), Nemadji is located in northeastern Pine and southeastern Carlton counties along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. The northern third of the forest drains into the Lake Superior Basin-Nemadji River Watershed, […]

January 28, 2019

The Mermaid


Concerts & Venues, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink

If you are starting to get stir crazy hiding from the dropping temperature, I may have a way for you to fight the cabin fever. The Mermaid Entertainment and Event Center in Mounds View is the place to go. Start with a state-of-the-art 32-lane bowling center, sprinkle in a Sports Bar and Grille and add […]

January 25, 2019

Art’s Café


Food & Drink

Art’s Café in Moose Lake can be best described as a hometown, local-filled, casual eatery in North Country.  The wrap around counter with anchored stools lend to its cozy, small-town diner authenticity.  Like a scene from Grumpy Old Men, Art’s in the place to go for breakfast. Their flavors range from the simplistic, like the 45 […]

January 22, 2019

Uncle Loui’s Cafe


Food & Drink

If you are like me, you scout out anywhere you can find short, worn diner counters, softened vinyl stools, and bottomless coffee. Look no further than Uncle Loui’s Cafe. Opened in 1993, Uncle Louis Cafe is in Duluth’s Central Hillside neighborhood. The dive-like, hole in the wall is a favorite among travelers and locals alike. […]

January 19, 2019

Bartz Snow Sculpture


Entertainment, Events

In case you haven’t heard of Bartz Snow Sculptures, let me introduce you. Inspired by a trip to Florida, Austin, Trevor and Connor Bartz began creating snow sculptures of sea creatures in 2012. Their first sculpture was Puffy, a 6-foot-tall Pufferfish. They have since had Wally theWalrus, Sharky the Shark, Snappy the Turtle, Finnegan the […]

January 14, 2019

Mick’s Office


Food & Drink

Mick’s Office in Moorhead is the definition of a “dive bar”. Cheap beer, cheap (and amazing!) burgers, and an atmosphere that will have you reminiscing about late nights, drinking games, and your hometown bar. Filled with pool tables, dart boards, and wooden booths, hand scribed graffiti all over the walls and ceiling – it is […]

January 12, 2019

Ice Climbing at Robinson Quarry Ice Park


Parks & Geology

This next addition to the #mnbucketlist is NOT for the faint of heart. Ice climbing is when you ascend ice formations like that of the frozen falls at Robinson Quarry Ice Park in Sandstone. Because of the incredible rock formations, Sandstone is a great place for mixed climbing where the ascent involves both ice climbing […]

January 8, 2019