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

Poor Gary’s Pizza


Food & Drink

I am all for small town pizza joints and Poor Gary’s Pizza fits the bill. Located in the downtown area of Moose Lake, Poor Gary’s is family owned, and couldn’t be more Mom-and-Pop if they tried. Think, old school lighted letterboard menus, bucket booth seats, and customizable everything. I mean, they didn’t even flinch at […]

January 4, 2019

Caydence Records & Coffee


Food & Drink

If you love worn vinyl, live music, and an infusion of caffeine, look no further than the Payne Phalen neighborhood gem, Caydence Records & Coffee. The coffeehouse-meets-record shop is in the Eastside of St Paul, on the corner of Payne and York. Serving up St Paul’s own Bootstrap Coffee Roasters and other fun, creative, specialty […]

December 30, 2018

Lange’s Café


Food & Drink

At the intersection of 75 and 23 is Pipestone, Minnesota. Here you’ll find the Pipestone National Monument, the Historic Calumet Inn, and Lange’s Cafe. Lange’s Cafe is a family recipe heavy, history-laden, made-from-scratch local pride favorite. So, of course, I had to try it. As soon as I walked in, I totally fell in love […]

December 27, 2018

QC Pizza


Food & Drink

Have you heard of QC Pizza? Short for Quad City, QC Pizza is between Century and 494 in Mahtomedi and is the only place you will find Quad-City style pizza in Minnesota. What is Quad style, you say? Well, let me explain. Quad-City Style Pizza comes from the Quad Cities region of northwest Illinois and […]

December 22, 2018

Miracle at Lawless Distillery


Food & Drink, Holidays

If you love kitschy holiday décor and themed drinks, make your way to Lawless Distillery this month. Lawless is the only place in Minnesota where you will find Miracle, a holiday-themed pop-up bar. Originally launched in 2014 in New York City, Miracle has become an annual tradition for restaurants and bars all over the world […]

December 17, 2018

European Christmas Market 2018


Events, Food & Drink

I have another event to add to your December traditions; The St Paul European Christmas Market held on the East Plaza at Union Depot! The market was inspired by “Christkindlmarkt,” an outdoor open-air holiday market and festival common across central European countries during the Advent season. Since the Middle Ages, this 500-year-old world tradition fosters […]

December 14, 2018

Union Depot’s 6th Annual Holiday Bake Sale


Food & Drink

My absolute, most-favorite event of the year is the Union Depot’s Annual Holiday Bake Sale. Hosting the top Twin Cities bakeries for 6 years in a row in the Union Depot’s gorgeous Waiting Room, it certainly doesn’t disappoint! More than just a bake sale, it includes all kinds of events like baking and cooking demonstrations, radio […]

December 9, 2018