Zimmerman Cafe Bar and Bowl

The second place my brother and his wife suggested was the Zimmerman Bar Bowl. They both raved about the food and how great the staff is and they were so right. The whole venue looks like a scene from Top Gear, complete with leather bar seating and steel plated walls. A fun place that fits the culture of the area. The bowling alley wasn’t open at the time BUT the food alone was worth going for. Really big portions, as you can see. I loved it.


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CLOSED The Whistling Pickle 

Whenever I’m on a road trip, mostly because I’m only in Minnesota, I try to connect and go bucket listing with people who live in the area. For Princeton, I called my brother and sister in law, who lives in Zimmerman which is just a few miles from Princeton and they suggested two places. The first being the Whistling Pickle. Actual name. Famous for their deep fried pickles, pickle poppers (think jalapeño poppers) and my personal favorite, pickle fries. Just like regular fries but exchange the potato for pickle. They have other things too like Rajun Cajun, Hog Attack, and Bull Bites. Oh yeah, they also have a very, very stocked bar, go figure.


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Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

I’ve passed by the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge dozens of times without stopping. I finally decided to check it out on this road trip. The refuge, established to protect and restore the habitats associated with the St. Francis River Valley, is about 9 miles northwest of Zimmerman. It’s 30,700 acres of Federal land that showcases the transition zone between tallgrass prairie and forest with a big emphasis on the restoration of oak savanna , wetland, and big woods habitats while taking care of its +230 species of birds, 58 species of mammals, and 25 species of reptiles and amphibians. If you want to camp and explore, you can stay at the Sand Dunes State Forest campground and spend the day hiking. Fun fact: they allow you to pick berries and mushrooms to eat, right off the trail!


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Santa Lucia’s Ice Cream

It’s hot. Like sweaty, sunny, sticky, melty hot. The kind of hot that requires ice cream, and a lot of it. Welcome to Santa Lucia’s Ice Cream. With two locations, one in Princeton off 1st Street and the second in Zimmerman off Fremont, Lucia’s is a hit. It opened in 2010 and has something called the Princeton Surprise. Not to ruin it, but its peanut butter, vanilla, and a host of other perfectly melded flavors. A nod to the town’s High School mascot and colors; tiger, black and orange. I can’t think of a better way to beat the heat! OH! and they also have ice cream cakes, in case you’re the eat-at-home type.


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