Steve’s Pizza


Food & Drink

Steve’s Pizza is an airy, straightforward, open-late pizza joint in downtown Austin. A menu filled with a plethora of Italian options like lasagna, alfredo, linguine, and their magnum opus, pizza. Of course, there are the fan favorites like a Mama Mia with pepperoni and sausage; a Mighty Meat pizza with pepperoni, sausage, beef, salami, and […]

October 16, 2019

Coffee House on Main


Food & Drink

I am in Austin, Minnesota for the Minnesota Governors Pheasant Hunting Opener. Whenever I go somewhere new, I instinctively look for things that start with “C”. “Candy,” “cupcakes,” “cookies,” you get the idea. Today is no different, “coffee” is on the docket. Coffee House on Main fits the bill. Cozy, check. Homey with a touch […]

October 11, 2019

Paul Bunyan State Forest


Parks & Geology, Paul Bunyan

I have to be honest, The Paul Bunyan State Forest is one of my all-time favorite places in Minnesota. Let me tell you why. This area, outside Park Rapids, is near and dear to me for several reasons but most notably because it is where I, a self-professed Paul Bunyan expert, believe the idea for […]

October 5, 2019

The Lost 40


Parks & Geology

Have you heard of The Lost 40?  Located in the Chippewa National Forest in the town of Northome, the Lost 40 Scientific and Natural Area (SNA), or simply “The Lost 40″ is a nature preserve that is unlike anywhere you have seen in the Midwest.  Let me give a bit of history;  In the late […]

September 27, 2019

Lake Superior Railroad Museum


Historical & Museum

Lake Superior Railroad Museum is located in downtown Duluth, in the platforms yard of the original Historic Union Depot, built in 1892, now the Saint Louis County Heritage and Arts Center’s Historic Union Depot. The Depot also houses the Duluth Art Institute, Duluth Playhouse, the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, and the Saint Louis County Historical Society. […]

September 21, 2019

Lake Ave Restaurant and Bar 


Food & Drink

For me, fall means landscape changes and comfortable spaces. On days like today, all I want is homey, lived-in, cozy places that I can hide from the summers-end crowds. Don’t get me wrong – I love basking in the beauty of any touristy place, I just like to bask from afar, with food. In short, […]

September 15, 2019

Muskie Water’s Co.


Food & Drink

Muskie Waters Co. is one of those favorite stops you can’t wait to make when you are in the Northwoods. Located just off the Heartland bike trail in Nevis, on Highway 34, between Walker and Park Rapids, it is well worth the stop and I’ll tell you why. Coffee and ‪‎espresso cafe, ‪check. Candy store, check. Apparel ‪boutique and ‪‎ice cream shop, check and […]

September 9, 2019

Finland Campground


Parks & Geology

If you plan on heading up to the North Shore and are looking for a place to stay, check out the Finland Campground. The secluded oasis is seven miles from the very popular (and beautiful) Tettegouche State Park and Lake Superior Hiking Trail. The location alone is worth a drive through. Tucked into the woods […]

September 2, 2019

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