Page 1

2019 GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


SHOP. DINE. STAY. PLAY. P L A N Y O U R T R I P, F I N D D I S C O U N T S + M O R E I N F O A T M A L L O F A M E R I C A . C O M / G R O U P S Wi t h over 520 stores t hat have no sa les ta x on clothing or shoes, 5 0 d ining options, 1 0 a ttrac ti on s and a JW Marri ott + Radi sson Blu conve nie ntly conne cte d to the M a ll, it’s a ll he re. CONTACT: TOURISM@MOA.NET OR 952.883.8643 /MALLOFAMERICA

@MALLOFAMERICA

@MALLOFAMERICA

B LOOMINGTONMN.ORG


O W AT O N N A G R O U P T O U R PA C K A G E S S te p Ba ck in Tim e w he n yo u pi ck fro m o n e o f our plann e d g ro u p to u r i t i n erar i es or NE W myste r y to u r pa c k ag es TO U R H I G H L I G H T S :

Offered May 1 – Sept. 30 • One Call: 800-423-6466 • Group Rate: $37/person Lunch included! • Complimentary Tour & Lunch for Bus Driver & Tour Coordinator. • FREE Welcome Bags: includes more than $50 in area coupons. • Can accommodate groups ranging from 10-60 people per day. • Please allow 6 hours for tours and lunch.

WORLD FAMOUS ARCHITECTURE LOUIS SULLIVAN DESIGNED NATIONAL FARMERS’ BANK – 1908

EXPERIENCE MINNESOTA PIONEER LIFE VILLAGE OF YESTERYEAR & STEELE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

• Optional happy hour at the beautiful history center. • Tour may be customized to fit your needs. Complete itinerary details can be found at: visitowatonna.org • ADA Accessible Contact Information: Karen Pehrson, Tourism Director Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

ONLY KNOWN ORPHANAGE MUSEUM IN THE NATION MN STATE PUBLIC SCHOOL ORPHANAGE MUSEUM – 1886-1945

NEW TOUR! OWATONNA PUBLIC UTILITIES

320 Hoffman Drive Owatonna, MN 55060 800-423-6466 kpehrson@owatonna.org

visitowatonna.org

© Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism | 800-423-6466 | visitowatonna.org


WELCOME TO Minnesota

O

n paper, travel is all about logistics: Where are you going? How long are you staying? What will you do there? But in practice, travel is personal. It’s your daughter catching her first fish; you and your partner unexpectedly seeing the northern lights; your dog summiting his highest peak yet. When these moments happen, the place that made them possible will forever be part of the story. You may call it your happy place or your secret spot. In Minnesota, we call it your True North. It’s the place that brings a smile to your face as soon as you see it enter the horizon and stays in your heart for years after you’ve left. So where is your True North? You might find it on a sunset paddle on the Mississippi River, which begins in northwest Minnesota and flows south past charming towns, through idyllic countryside, and between the state’s two biggest cities. Maybe it’s on a historic main street in southern Minnesota, where you find the perfect pair of earrings at a local boutique before heading to happy hour at the nearest taproom. Wherever it is, and however many people have been there, your True North will always be uniquely yours. This year is a better time than ever to find your True North in Minnesota. For sports fans, the NCAA Final Four, ESPN X Games and a shiny new stadium for the Minnesota United FC soccer team are among the many highlights. You can also discover something completely new, like the World Ploughing Competition in Lake of the Woods or yoga with llamas (yes, you read that right) in Waconia. Whatever it is you love to do, chances are you’ll find it — and so much more — in Minnesota. So what are you waiting for? Countless ideas for cities to visit, trails to ride, foods to eat and places to entertain the kids can be found in the pages of this guide. Once you’re here, we know you’ll find your True North and want to share it with everyone back home. Or maybe you’ll want to keep it to yourself. Either way, your True North is waiting for you in Minnesota. All you have to do is find it.

SEE YOU SOON! JOHN EDMAN, DIRECTOR, EXPLORE MINNESOTA

EXPLORE MINNESOTA 121 7th Place E,. Suite 360 St. Paul, MN 55101

PHONE 651.293.5029 TOLL-FREE 888-VISITMN (847-4866)

4

MARKET DEVELOPMENT

JESSICA DODGE, North America Marketing Representative jessica.dodge@state.mn.us • 651.757.1873

MILLIE PHILLIP, International Marketing Representative millie.phillip@state.mn.us • 651.757.1867

GAYLE JUNNILA, Marketing Development Manager gayle.junnila@state.mn.us • 651.757.1852 JAKE JULIOT, International PR & Communications Specialist jake.juliot@state.mn.us • 651.757.1864 exploreminnesota.com


exploreminnesota.com

5


CONTENTS

10

MINNESOTA TOURISM LISTINGS

40 16

MINNESOTA’S CULTURAL HERITAGE

22

PERFORMING ARTS EXPERIENCES

ON THE WATER

28 34

PUBLISHED BY

AGRITOURISM ATTRACTIONS

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS

NICHE TRAVEL PUBLISHERS | 301 EAST HIGH STREET | LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY 40507 | 888.253.0455 | WWW.GROUPTRAVELLEADER.COM .


COME SEE WHAT’S IN STORE.

OVER 520 STORES TO BE EXACT.

Bloomington, Minnesota, knows a thing or two about shopping near the Twin Cities. As the home of the ever-expanding Mall of America,® you can shop over 520 stores and visit attractions like Nickelodeon Universe® and SEA LIFE® Minnesota Aquarium. With over 40 hotels, group friendly options and a light rail to get you everywhere, you’re always near the action. Now go do some shopping.

Browse special group itineraries, experiences and special hotel rates at BloomingtonMN.org.


MINNESOTA AT A Glance

MN171

313

MN310

MN

MN172

MN175

MN89

MN72

MN220

MN11

U

S5

3

MN219

MN217

MN1 1

S7

MN222

MN1

MN6

U

9

2

10 N

M

MN135

MN32

MN92

61

MN16 MN89

US59

US75

MN223

MN

MN286

MN37

MN

65

MN

MN73

MN38

46

MN200

MN113

US

2

MN225

US169

MN194

Proctor 2

US

35

MN87

I5

MN84

MN33

4

I9

MN371

MN33

MN34

MN228 MN39

MN

9

MN106

MN64

MN108

MN210

MN18

1B

37

23

MN MN78

M

N

STATE REGIONS

115

I35

MN25

US75

MN18

MN

MN79

MN238

MN287

MN54

MN48

MN27

MN10

MN114

7

MN117

I35

MN70

I94

US71

MN95

NORTHWEST

MN24

US71

MN47

MN29

55

N

M

MN104

MN28

US

10

US8

NORTHEAST

US12

I35E

I35E

MN277

US169

MN4

MN96

I694

CENTRAL

MN36

I35W

MPLS-ST. PAUL AREA

US52

MN13

MN77

US212

149

MN284

2

MN110

I494

MN

N2

MN67

MN5

MN41

M

56

MN62

N1

MN7

M

MN275

MN51

I694

I394

MN7

N3

M

MN274

MN282

MN

5

68

16

MN

MN97

MN97 I35W MN610

MN100

MN119

MN15

MN241

MN101

23

MN

MN40

SOUTHERN

MN50

MN58

MN20

MN21

MN93

8

N5

MN112

M

U

S5

2

MN

MN99

MN111

21

MN246

MN56

MN19

MN3

3

N2

M

MN60

MN247 US63

MN4

MN250

MN105

U

S6

MN43

US69

MN253

MN22

MN254

MN263

MN86

MN264

MN56

US59

MN16

MN80 MN26

MN270

MN251

76

MN109

I90

61

MN

218 US

MN91

MN62

US

US63

MN267

MN15

83

MN269

MN248 MN42

MN

MN66

6 MN

MN74

0

MN60 MN30

MN13

MN257

MN57

US14

5 MN44

Welcome Centers are located on major highways at key points in state Information Centers in these cities are affiliated wiht Explore Minnesota and provide statewide travel information. In the Twin Cities area, these information centers are in downtown Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis Park and Mall of America. Two centers are open seasonally; the others operate year-round.

8

exploreminnesota.com


TH JOI E B N. ES MEM TD EA BERS LI N H GET IST Visit MNHS sites and museums OR Y. and save! Adult group rates are available

for groups of 10 people or more. Book your group tour at 1-844-667-8679 or GroupTickets@mnhs.org.

BEGIN AT MNHS.ORG/VISIT SNAKE RIVER FUR POST PINE CITY

JAMES J. HILL HOUSE

JEFFERS PETROGLYPHS

ST. PAUL

COMFREY

Minnesota’s Downton Abbey

7,000-year-old sacred rock carvings

MILL CITY MUSEUM

MINNESOTA HISTORY CENTER

MINNEAPOLIS

ST. PAUL

Minneapolis starts here

Inspiring exhibits to enrich your world

MILLE LACS INDIAN MUSEUM & TRADING POST

FOREST HISTORY CENTER

ONAMIA

GRAND RAPIDS

A living Ojibwe story

Year-round adventure in the north woods

exploreminnesota.com

9


Courtesy American Swedish Institute

Courtesy HCSCC

STATE NATIONS OF

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

10

Courtesy Mille Lacs Trading Post

Courtesy SPX Sports/Mankato CVB

exploreminnesota.com


HERITAGE

Courtesy American Swedish Institute

I

Nordic and Native American customs thrive in Minnesota

n Minnesota, you might admire a birchbark canoe one day and a gigantic Viking ship the next. Two distinct cultures — Native Americans who’ve hunted, fished and farmed the state for centuries, and more recent immigrants from Norway and other Nordic countries — have inspired attractions designed to bridge cultural divides.

GRAND PORTAGE NATIONAL MONUMENT

Grand Portage Grand Portage National Monument is more show than tell. Set against the blue waters of Lake Superior at Minnesota’s northeastern tip, 150 miles from Duluth, it preserves a scenic spot vital to the fur trade and Ojibwe people, as well as the 8.5-mile Grand Portage, a 1700s trading route. The topics it tackles range from 18th-century cooking and birchbark canoes to international commerce and wild rice. Interpreters are busy in season, Memorial Day through mid-October, at the Historic Depot, a detailed replica of the North West Company’s fur-trading headquarters. With notice, the staff tailors experiences for groups, according to Pam Neil, chief of interpretation “We are a smaller park, which allows us to be more flexible,” she said. “A group might be interested in the traditional life ways of the Ojibwe, hiking the Grand Por-

tage or learning about birchbark canoes.” The monument, she said, is on land gifted to the U.S. by the Ojibwe people and is surrounded by their reservation. “Part of the story told here is that this is the homeland of the Grand Portage Ojibwe. It is an amazing story of cultural persistence, and the vibrant community that exists today is a huge part of the story.” Hands-on activities at the depot — playing a little lacrosse, weaving a cattail mat or assisting with wild-rice processing — are “the magic of the monument,” said Neil. Although the historic site closes in the winter, its Heritage Center, where exhibits explore the tribe and the fur traders, remains open, and staff welcome the company. “We’ll talk your ear off,” Neil said. Next to a blazing fireplace are pairs of traditional Ojibwe snowshoes for those who want to test them on a nearby trail. www.nps.gov/grpo

AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE Minneapolis For years, the American Swedish Institute (ASI) spread the word about

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Felted beads for sale at the American Swedish Institute; Moorhead’s Hopperstad Stave Church; American Swedish Institute’s Turnblad Mansion; the Viking ship at the Hjemkomst Center; a dancer at the Mahkato Powwow; Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post exploreminnesota.com

Courtesy HCSCC

11


An early 20th-century photo of Mille Lacs Swedish culture from its home in the handsome, castle-like Turnblad Mansion. Then, in 2012, the Minneapolis institution’s cultural influence exploded with the opening of its Nelson Cultural Center, a modern addition outfitted with an art gallery, a restaurant, a gift shop, and event and workshop spaces. “Visitation is 175,000 today; just five years ago, it was 35,000,” said Scott Pollock, Courtesy Mille Lacs Trading Post MILLE LACS INDIAN MUSEUM ASI’s director of exhibitions, collections and AND TRADING POST programs. Onamia ASI’s growth is due, in part, to exhibiIn 1918, Harry and Jeannette Ayer tions and programs that are tied to Sweden in the Four Seasons Room, a diorama that opened a trading post on Lake Mille Lacs in and Nordic countries, yet they appeal to a shows how the Ojibwe moved with the seaOnamia. A decade later, hoping to capitalize wide audience. “You don’t have to be Swedson: from shore to forest to field; to fish, on tourists whizzing by in newfangled autoish or Nordic to be excited about ceramics, to tap maple trees and to harvest wild rice. mobiles on their way to the area’s lakes, the textiles or the visual arts,” Pollock said. Tribe members were models for the lifelike Ayers began selling Native American art and ASI’s restaurant, Fika, also earns accofigures in the diorama, created in 1960. crafts instead of cans of beans. lades. It’s been named one of the best places When groups visit, museum guides often for lunch in the city; pull out Native American games; the moccasin its Swedish cuisine has game and the snake game are two favorites. been applauded as auEasy to play and fun for a crowd, the games In Sweden, Fika is ... “a meeting thentic without being bring out competitiveness and camaraderie, predictable. Zimmerman said. “We are finding that adults, without having a meeting; The restaurant is especially some of the tour groups, love the every day, twice a day, you sit down named for a Swedish games as much as the kids do.” tradition, what Pollock www.mnhs.org/millelacs and converse with someone and have sums up as “a meeting coffee and sweets.” without having a meeting.” In Sweden, “every day, twice a day, you sit down and converse with someone and Today, the trading post still stocks Nahave coffee and sweets,” he said. tive American art, much of it the work of In addition to enjoying a meal at Fika, the Ojibwe, who lived along the lake long groups can arrange their own fika during a before the Ayers arrived. Just as the Ayers visit. They might also sign up for one of the did, today’s trading post staff travels across many classes offered, from ceramics to craftthe country to find Native American art and ing a cutting board using traditional carving crafts to sell at the trading post. techniques. “It is part of the mission of the trading Make no mistake, the Turnblad Mansion post to stay true to the Ayers’ vision,” said remains essential to ASI’s identity and is exTravis Zimmerman, manager for the site, tremely popular with groups during the holwhich is overseen by the Minnesota Historidays, when every room is outfitted in the ical Society. tradition of a Nordic country. And despite The trading post is open year-round, and its growth, ASI remains a small, authentic in summer especially, a stop can be paired experience, enhanced by a band of volunwith the Indian Museum, whose hours are teers devoted to its mission of connecting limited in the offseason. The museum’s people by celebrating cultural differences. 1,000 Ojibwe pieces “help tell the story of “We see ASI as a great bridge to Nordic the tribe,” said Zimmerman. countries,” said Pollock. Courtesy Mille Lacs Trading Post The tribe’s mobile culture is depicted www.asimn.org Native American goods for sale at Mille Lacs Trading Post

12

exploreminnesota.com


MADE

IN

SPAM

L

ong before spam arrived in the inbox, there was Spam, the American meat in a can. First concocted to feed hungry soldiers during World War II, the six-ingredient, pressed pork product is still popular worldwide. No one celebrates Spam more than Austin, home to Spam’s parent company, Hormel, since its founding in 1891. Austin calls itself Spamtown USA and, a few years ago, opened a new museum to salute its best-known export. Three years ago, the Spam Museum moved downtown to beef up — or in this case, pork up — Austin’s Main Street. When it did, it also decided to have some fun and make a trip to the museum as memorable as a first taste of its namesake. Over 100,000 people a year visit the free museum and take tours led by wise-cracking Spambassadors, who also serve as waiters, delivering trays of Spamples — Spam cubes speared with pretzel

sticks. Visitors can calculate their height in Spam cans, learn why Hawaii is crazy for Spam and ponder 15 types of Spam — Spam with chorizo, anyone? Historic memorabilia, videos and interactive exhibits add to the fun. “We talk about how Spam came to pass and evolved and where it is going,” said Savile Lord, the museum’s manager. “What is cool about Spam is, even at 82, it is not done. It is a very vital part of the cuisine of many countries.”

WWW.SPAM.COM/MUSEUM

Courtesy Spam Museum

D U O L C . T S R TOUR GREATE

Feel peaceful with a visit to St. John’s University. Feel joy and happiness as you laugh along to a show at the Paramount. Feel rejuvenated with a stroll through Munsinger Clemens Gardens. Feel something real. Tour Greater St. Cloud.

VISITSTCLOUD.COM/GROUP-TOUR l 320.251.4170 exploreminnesota.com

13


universal stories through Moorhead’s experience. A recent exhibit examined the local impact of World War I. “The exhibit showed how World War I played out in a small community,” said Jonason. “Our little community was a microcosm of what was recorded in history books.” www.hcscconline.org

HJEMKOMST CENTER

Courtesy HCSCC

A stave church at the Hjemkomst Center

14

MAHKATO POWWOW

Mankato Moorhead The most impressive part of the annual Robert Asp’s dream is the centerpiece of powwow in Mankato is the Grand Entry, a the Hjemkomst Center in his hometown of parade of proud Dakota tribe members who Moorhead, across the border from Fargo, dance their way into the arena at Land of North Dakota. Memories Park each September. In the 1970s, Asp set out to honor his As tribe members sing and drum, miliNorwegian heritage by building a Viking tary veterans and tribe members carrying ship, the Hjemkomst. It took a decade, but flags and symbolic staffs lead the parade. he succeeded, and Asp sailed his ship in DuPowwow royalty and dancers dressed in Daluth harbor before he died. His family and kota regalia follow. The women don beaded friends later sailed the Hjemkomst to Norand quilled buckskin dresses or wear jingle way and ultimately donated it to the city dresses, adorned with shells and trinkets of Moorhead, which has displayed it in the that add to the music. Men wear breastHjemkomst Center, a museum dedicated to plates, breechcloths and, around their anthe city’s history and its Scandinavian ties. kles, bells and deer hooves. There are songs, Visitors are always steered to the center. “The staff at our visitors center will say, “Minnesota was the original ‘If you only have time for one thing, this is homeland of the Dakota people, what you must see in so this is a homecoming for them.” our community,’” said Maureen Kelly Jonason, the center’s executive director. The ship’s physical presence and its comprayers and recognitions. pelling story are both memorable. “My fa“It is the most beautiful part of the powvorite thing is when people come around the wow,” said Dave Brave Heart, chairman of the corner and see the ship, and their jaws drop,” Mahkato Wacipi (powwow) and a Dakota. said Jonason. “Photos don’t do it justice. It Four Grand Entries are held during the is 76 feet to the top of the mast.” Mahkato Wacipi, one each on Friday and The ship is not the only “dream” project Sunday and two on Saturday. A $7 admission at the center. Also on property is the Hopfor the entire weekend makes the powwow perstad Stave Church, a replica of the stave a good value for groups. This year’s event is churches built in the 12th and 13th centuSeptember 20-22. ries in Norway. Constructed by a North DaIn an education tent, visitors can learn kota man, the Hopperstad still smells of the from tribal elders and Native American hislocal pines used to build it 20 years ago. torical societies. Nearby, artisans sell dreamThe ship and the church are reminders of catchers, jewelry and other arts and crafts, the power of “dreaming and having dreams and vendors ply patrons with fry bread, Income to fruition,” said Jonason. dian tacos and other traditional foods. The center’s other exhibits excel at telling exploreminnesota.com


MADE

IN

POLARIS

U

ntil the mid-1950s, getting through the snowy Minnesota woods was a slog. Then along came a trio of tinkerers and their grand, snow-defying machine on skis: the snowmobile. The company they founded, Polaris Industries, is still going strong today in Roseau, its hometown on the Canadian border. It makes snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and other vehicles. Outdoor enthusiasts from all over come to visit the Polaris Experience Center and take tours of the nearby Polaris manufacturing plant. Although the center is self-guided, groups can arrange for a more formal tour guided by a staff member who will delve deeper into company history. In the center, visitors are excited to see Machine No. 2 — the second snowmobile made, with its skis fashioned from Chevrolet bumpers — and read about the company’s breakthroughs and inventions. They can watch old commercials, clips

from races and footage of the Polaris thrill team doing stunts. A gift shop is stocked with Polaris-branded shirts, hoodies, hats and other items. A daily one-hour public tour at the factory begins at 2 p.m. and covers company history and a significant part of Polaris’ 850,000-square-foot plant. Additional tours for groups can be arranged with advance notice.

WWW.POLARIS.COM

Courtesy Polaris

The Mankato powwow, open to all tribes and the public, dates to 1972 and is one of the largest and last outdoor traditional powwows held off the reservation. It promotes reconciliation and healing in a town where 38 Dakota were hanged in 1862, the largest mass execution in U.S. history. A year later, the tribe was banished from its Minnesota homeland. Today, Mankato welcomes everyone, and more than 5,000 people attend, many of them Dakota. “Minnesota was the original homeland of the Dakota people, so this is a homecoming for them,” said Brave Heart. www.mahkatowacipi.org

Courtesy Mahkato Wacipi

Grand Entry at the Mahkato Powwow exploreminnesota.com

15


Courtesy Far North Spirits

Courtesy Far North Spirits

FRESH IDEAS

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

16

By Melanie Graves, courtesy Explore MN

By Patty Ruppert, courtesy Bruentrup Heritage Farm

exploreminnesota.com


AGRITOURISM

Courtesy Oliver Kelley Farm

I

minnesota’s agricultural heritage grows on groups FOSSUM FAMILY FARM

Northfield n Minnesota, living off the land looks The Fossum Famidifferent, depending on where you stand. ly Farm’s future as an Rural life might lead to mining for mineralpaca farm was sealed als, growing grains for bottled spirits or with a kiss — well, actually, two kisses. raising alpaca for cozy mittens. Vicki Fossum had Here are five great sites around the state gone to buy alpaca stock where groups can experience Minnesota’s for the farm near Northproud agricultural heritage. field where her husband, Keith, grew up and where they now live. Her daughter, who is autistic and uses a wheelchair, went with her. When Fossum looked up and saw two alpacas, one on each side of her daughter’s wheelchair, “giving her kisses on each side of her cheek,” she knew she had to buy those animals. “Maybe it was not the best business decision — you usually pick your stock by fiber quality and bloodlines,” Fossum said, but she never regretted her spontaneous purchase. What drew her to the gentle creatures is what draws people to the Fossum’s southern Minnesota farm for tours. “Not every farm has alpacas, and the same thing that attracted us attracts other peo-

ple,” Fossum said. “They are cute and very docile, and their size makes them easy for people to handle.” On tours, Vickie and Keith Fossum, who both work full-time jobs in addition to farming, talk about their herd of over 50 alpacas and explain how fiber is gathered and processed. They will also demonstrate aspects of the process by request. “When I first got into this, I decided if I was going to raise fiber, I was going to learn the process, from start to finish,” said Fossum, who now knits, crochets and felts, and teaches others how to turn fiber into yarn. A tour takes about an hour, and visitors are welcome to shop the farm’s store, which stocks raw fiber and yarn and finished products like alpaca hats, scarves and mittens. Not all the yarn sold there is from the Fossums’ herd, but yarn that is includes a label with the name and picture of the alpaca from which it was sheared. www.fossumfamilyfarm.com

LAKE VERMILION-SOUDAN UNDERGROUND MINE STATE PARK Soudan Here’s how James Pointer, lead mine interpreter at Lake Vermilion-Soudan

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A cocktail class at Far North Spirits; Far North’s limoncello; an Oliver Kelley Farm animal encounter; fun at Oliver Kelley Farm; a milk cannister at Bruentrup Heritage Farm; alpaca yarn at Fossum Family Farm exploreminnesota.com Courtesy Oliver Kelley Farm

17


Underground Mine State Park, sums up the importance of Minnesota’s first iron ore mine. “Two world wars were fought during the time the Soudan mine was in operation. The miners were exempt from the draft because the mine played such a role in the wars,” he said. In operation for 80 years, the northeast Minnesota mine and the iron ore mined there were essential in making steel for everything from railroads to skyscrapers. A tour that OLIVER KELLEY FARM dives deep into the now-inactive mine is a Elk River good way to understand its impact. After an Oliver Kelley didn’t know a thing about introductory video, visitors don hardhats and farming when he came to rural Minnesota descend into the mine in the “cage.” About a from Boston in the 1860s, but that didn’t dozen people go down at a time. stop him from having a national impact on “The thing people remember the most agriculture. Kelley founded the first national is the cage ride,” said Pointer. “It’s like an agriculture organization, the Grange. elevator ride but more exciting. It is not a nice, smooth ride — it shakes a bit. If you are used to going straight “Two world wars were fought up and down with Muzak, well, you don’t get during the time the Soudan mine that here.” was in operation. The miners were The cage descends at an angle and covers exempt from the draft because the nearly half a mile in three minutes. At the mine played such a role in the wars.” bottom, visitors climb into open cars behind a small electric locomotive and ride just unToday, the Oliver Kelley Farm near Elk der a mile to stairs or an elevator (the trip is River in central Minnesota is a National HisADA accessible and can take one wheelchair toric Landmark operated by the Minnesota per tour) to the area of the mine where men Historical Society. Its mission? “We are tellworked. There, they get a lesson that blends ing the story of Minnesota agriculture from geology, history and technology. 1850 to today,” said Ann Bercher, program The miners who worked there cammanager. paigned to have the mine preserved. Better To do that, the historical society uses the than many, they understood its relevance historic farmstead, which includes an 1876 and impact, said Pointer. home, a barn and outbuildings, and a new “Eighty-five percent of the iron ore mined visitors center and farm lab. On the historin the U.S. is from Minnesota,” said Pointer. ic farm, it’s 1860 all over again. A team of “This was the first mine in Minnesota and the oxen plows the fields; Berkshire hogs snuffle deepest and the richest iron ore in the state. in their pen. Visitors do household chores, It has a huge place in Minnesota history.” muscle the hand pump to collect water and www.mndnr.gov/soudan help care for farm animals. “Our staff raise the same livestock, the same crops, the same vegetables and wear the same type of clothing as he wore,” said Bercher. Instead of pretending to be Kelley and his family, staff members do third-person

18

interpretation, which encourages interaction with guests. “It allows visitors to ask more questions and talk to interpreters about their own experiences,” Bercher said. The visitors center, with its learning kitchen, classrooms and farm lab — encompasing a garden, barn and cropland — provides more modern insights. For example, last year’s farm lab garden contrasted a World War I Liberty Garden and a 1968 garden. By 1968, people had moved to suburbia and hybrid plants were coming into use. “People were putting gardens in smaller spaces, so the plants needed to be more compact,” said Bercher. The learning kitchen is a busy place, where vegetables grown on the farm are put to use. “We cook up and bake up what is grown,” said Bercher. It also offers classes and workshops on topics like root vegetables and building gingerbread farms. www.mnhs.org/kelleyfarm

Touring Soudan Mine

Photos courtesy MN DNR

Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park exploreminnesota.com


MADE

IN

REDHEAD CREAMERY

A

lise Sjostrum was only 16 when she announced that she would become a cheesemaker. She made cheese her life, studying the craft in college and at specialized culinary schools. Friends started calling her Cheese Alise. Four years ago, her teenage declaration came true when she, her husband and her parents opened Redhead Creamery on her parents’ dairy farm near Brooten in central Minnesota. Sjostrum spends her days developing and making artisan cheeses that fit the ever-changing profile of the milk that flows from the farm’s dairy herd. The milk’s fat content and flavor vary, depending on what the cows eat. Sjostrum tailors her cheeses to take best advantage of those flavors. On Fridays and Saturdays, the public is welcome for 60- to 90-minute tours of the entire operation. The $10 tours are at 12:30 p.m. each day. Visitors meet cows named for donors to the

Kickstarter campaign that helped build the modern creamery and watch the cheese being made through windows into the creamery. They learn about environmentally sound measures the farm has taken. Afterward, they sample North Fork Whisky Washed Munster, Little Lucy Brie, Ridiculously Good Cheddar Cheese Curds and other cheeses. They can also visit the creamery’s cheese shop to buy cheeses, local jams and breads to take home, or enjoy a custom cheese board and a glass of beer or wine. The cheese shop’s sophistication surprises many, Sjostrum said. “From the outside, it is a steel building that looks like a glamorous shed. Then they come in and it is an elaborate cheese shop where they can look through windows and see cheeses being made” she said. The tours are a good reminder of agriculture’s impact, she added. “It is fun to help bring people back to where their food is made.”

WWW.REDHEADCREAMERY.COM

Courtesy Redhead Creamery

[ ENJOY EAGAN MINNESOTA ]

FANTASTIC GROUP TOURS BEGIN IN EAGAN TWIN CITIES PREMIUM OUTLETS®

Enjoy tax-free shopping daily at Twin Cities Premium Outlets® and nearby Mall of America®—the nation’s largest shopping and entertainment complex. Plus, Eagan offers over 100 delectable dining options and 18 incredible hotels, with most featuring complimentary breakfast and shuttle service. Don’t delay— plan your Eagan getaway today!

MINNESOTA VIKINGS MUSEUM

WATT MUNISOTARAM

LEBANON HILLS REGIONAL PARK

VISIT E AG ANMN.COM OR C ALL DENISE OLSEN FOR MORE INFORM ATION E AG AN CONVENTION & VISITORS BURE AU • 866-324-2620

exploreminnesota.com

19


FAR NORTH SPIRITS Hallock Far North Spirits lives up to its name. The small-batch maker of gin, vodka, rum and whiskey sits on 1,000 fertile acres near Hallock in Minnesota’s northwest corner, making it the northernmost distillery in the lower 48 states. On the farm where co-founder and distiller Michael Reese was raised, 100 acres of rye and 10 acres of corn are dedicated to products he concocts, according to Cheri Reese, his wife and business partner. The Reeses opened the distillery five years ago, making it the second distillery in the state. Now there are about 30. Rewards for the long drive up to the Red River Valley include uncommon cocktails and soothing scenery in Far North’s cocktail room, open Saturday evenings or available for private bookings. The Reeses have developed a menu of 15 different drinks, each made with fresh ingredients. “These are ambitious recipes, not just a rum and Coke,” Cheri Reese said. The distillery sits amid flat fields, and the cocktail room capitalizes on the wide views. “We situated the cocktail room so you can see in any direction for about three miles,” she said. “We tried to create a space that is quiet and restorative.” They also gave the room local flavor by using pieces of area history as decor, including reclaimed wood from the nearby school Mike attended when he was growing up on the farm. The Reeses are happy to give tours, and typically, one or both lead a group through the 8,000-square-foot distillery where visitors learn how raw grain becomes products like a popular spiced rum and Roknar whiskey, Far North’s best seller. During tastings afterward, visitors can sip gin made distinctive with grapefruit, lavender and thyme. “People always taste it and say, ‘I didn’t think I liked gin, but I like this,’” said Cheri Reese. www.farnorthspirits.com

20

By Patty Ruppert, courtesy Bruentrup Heritage Farm

BRUENTRUP HERITAGE FARM Maplewood A lot of small towns have a community park where townspeople and others gather for fun and festivals. Only 10 miles outside the state capital, Maplewood goes one better with its own community farm, the Bruentrup Heritage Farm. The bright-red barn, outbuildings and farmhouse date back to 1891 and sit on 22 acres within the city limits; the buildings were moved there from their original site because of development. Mary O’Malley is secretary of the Maplewood Historical Society, which runs the farm and organizes annual events like Johnny Appleseed Day, a Christmas tour, breakfast with Santa and a couple of flea markets. “No one is paid around here,” she said. Instead, 125 proud volunteers do everything from organizing events and serving as tour guides to painting and landscaping. Because the farm is volunteer run and hours are limited, groups interested in touring must call ahead. Exhibits cover local history, dairy farming and 3M, the major corporation that moved to Maplewood in the 1950s. The farm’s barn can be used for dinners, concerts or other special events. If a grant comes through, the historical society hopes to put on a play there in the summer about the Andrews Sisters, the three Minnesota siblings who were a singing sensation in the first half of the 20th century. Mainly, though, the farm is designed to promote an understanding of and an appreciation for agriculture. “We are trying to keep it alive,” said O’Malley. “People come back to the farm to remember what it was like when they were young, and they bring their children.” www.maplewoodhistoricalsociety.org

Courtesy Far North Spirits

TOP: The barn complex at Bruentrup Heritage Farm BOTTOM: The column still at Far North Spirits

“People come back to the farm to remember what it was like when they were young, and they bring their children.”

exploreminnesota.com


Experience Minnesota at its BEST!

Bucket List 1

Hit the shops! Mainstream Boutique offers unique clothing and accessories for women of all ages. Northfield Yarn has a full range of yarns, tools, books and patterns!

2

Grab a bite! Froggy Bottoms River Pub & Lily PADio boasts excellent food & drinks! Your group won’t leave hungry!

3

Take a tour of the Northfield Historical Society Museum and learn all about the famous attempted bank robbery by Jesse James and his gang!

4 Lisa Peterson

Director of Tourism 507.645.5604 lisa@visitingnorthfield.com

Stay the Night! The Historic Archer House River Inn features 36 Rooms & Suites, 3 Restaurants, Retail Stores and Lounge! The Fairfield Inn & Suites Northfield features 80 guest rooms including 20 suites and a full-service bar with a deck overlooking the Cannon River. The Northfield Inn is a beautiful Bed & Breakfast located near Carleton College on Northfield’s East side. There’s much more to explore in Northfield! Visit our website for group tour itineraries!

19 Bridge Sq. Northfield, MN 55057 | 507.645.5604 | VisitNorthfield.org

exploreminnesota.com

21


Courtesy Bemidji Symphony Orchestra

TAKING STAGE THE

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

22

Courtesy Paramount Arts Center

By Jennifer Mariano, courtesy RPAC

exploreminnesota.com


PERFORMING ARTS

By Sally Wagner, courtesy Guthrie Theater

F

groups embrace minnesota’s performing arts

rom the Twin Cities to Bemidji, the arts thrive in Minnesota. Whether it’s a small-town orchestra that’s been warming hearts since 1938, historic theaters with bright futures or a performing arts center that’s getting locals into its act, groups will find plenty of places to enjoy captivating performances.

If you count theater lovers among your customers, be sure to include some of these performing arts venues on your next trip to Minnesota.

SHELDON THEATRE

Red Wing In late 2018, the Sheldon Theatre, Red Wing’s 1904 showplace, wrapped up the final stage of a five-year renovation that gave it brighter lights, superior sound, a fresh look, accessible restrooms and a new reception space. “We invested in the infrastructure of this remarkable place to protect and preserve it and enhance the user experience with contemporary amenities and expectations people have for a modern building,” said executive director Bonnie Schock. Now, when Shawn Colvin sings in the 460-seat southern Minnesota theater, Schock said, “it sounds pristine, unbelievably true,” thanks to new equipment that enhanced the theater’s already-strong acoustics. And if a group wants a private

pre- or post-show reception, there’s a stunning space for it — what was once the second balcony — with an aerial view of the theater below through its large windows. A new live performance series was “intentionally designed to appeal across audience demographics,” Schock said. “We have raised the bar on our programming.” That, combined with physical improvements, has attracted a larger audience base and more and different artists. What has not changed about the Sheldon are characteristics that have always attracted its patrons: quality shows, easy access and an intimate venue. The Sheldon disrupts the assumption that high-quality entertainment is found only in big cities. “That has been a feature of the Sheldon all along,” said Schock. “We have world-class performances on a regular basis. People will experience a show in a way that is much more intimate and upclose and personal than in the big city. Many times, the artists are popping out in our lobby — we can’t guarantee it, but it often happens.” www.sheldontheatre.org

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Bemidji Symphony Orchestra; Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater; a concert at Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing; “The Nutcracker” at the Reif Performing Arts Center; a choir performing at Paramount Arts Center exploreminnesota.com By Jerry Olson, courtesy Sheldon Theatre

23


PARAMOUNT ARTS CENTER

BEMIDJI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Bemidji There’s no need to put on the pearls or polish the dress shoes for a Bemidji Symphony Orchestra concert. The BSO, said Beverly Everett, music director, encourages people to come as they are. “People think the symphony means you have to dress up,” said Everett. “We have people who come in hunting attire, suits and dresses and everything in between.” Everett and the orchestra are far more interested in having an audience with attentive ears and open hearts. Feelings outweigh fashion. “It makes me feel wonderful when they attend a concert and tell us they actually feel physically better afterward,” Everett said. Professional musicians travel from around the region to play with the orchestra, which was established in 1938. Everett doesn’t pretend it performs at the level of, say, the Boston Symphony or other wellknown peers. “Our goal is to make it as perfect as we can in terms of notes and rhythm, but we know that what we offer has a little more to do with the heart,” Everett said. “It is important to us in that in playing, we have an emotional impact on our audience.” A number of guests who perform with the orchestra during its seven-performance season have local ties. “We have guests who connect to the community because they are from here or are people who I know and have worked with, and [they] have the confidence they will connect with the audience on and off the stage,” said Everett. Post-performance talks are often part of the experience, giving audiences the chance to talk about what they heard. The orchestra performs in the arts center at Bemidji High School, known for its acoustics and lack of visual obstructions. “It seats 1,100, has wonderful acoustics and no bad seats,” said Everett. www.bemidjisymphony.org

24

St. Cloud In two years, the historic theater that is the core of St. Cloud’s Paramount Arts Center will be 100 years old, and having saved it looks smarter all the time. “In many communities, assets like this were lost through the years, or by the time they decided to resurrect them, it was cost prohibitive because they had waited too long,” said executive director Bob Johnson. About an hour northwest of Minneapolis, St. Cloud has taken the performing arts foundation laid long ago and built beyond it. The Paramount today is about art in many forms, which makes it even more attractive for group trips. “People know us as the theater, but we also have visual art studio spaces where people can participate in classes,” said Sara Erickson, marketing and special projects coordinator. Those courses run the gamut: pastels, watercolors, papier mache, pottery, weaving and calligraphy, for example. Of course, the theater’s shows remain the biggest draw. A night at the theater might include dinner or tours through the center’s art galleries. “We have a nice downtown with wonderful restaurants, and if you arrive early, we have three art galleries,” said Erickson. “Groups often travel up from northern [Twin Cities] suburbs, for one of the 17 matinees during the season,” said Johnson. The range of performers at the Paramount is wide, from national acts like Paula Poundstone to concerts by locals, including the popular rock group Fabulous Armadillos. “We want to meet the needs of all our potential patrons,” said Johnson. ”We have national and regional groups, but we are also on a mission to serve local artists, some who are just emerging and who find it so exciting to be on the stage of a nearly 100-year-old theater.” www.paramountarts.org

“People know us as the theater, but we also have visual-art studio spaces where people can participate in classes.”

Courtesy Paramount Arts Center

The historic marquee at Paramount Arts Center

GUTHRIE THEATER Minneapolis Kate Roarty, box office manager at the well-known Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, has this advice about planning a group trip there: “Call us. We love talking about all the cool things at the Guthrie.” Even with websites and online ticket sales, there’s much to be gained by calling to talk to Guthrie staff. For example, if off-color language is an issue for a group, Roarty could supply more details than the standard “contains strong language” included in a show description. “We can have a conversation about the finer details of the content,” she said. Lighting and special effects can also be an issue. For a group whose members must avoid flashing lights for health reasons, staff can tell the planner when strobe lights will be used so group members can know ahead of time and prepare. “We can let people know what is coming and when,” Roarty said. A phone call might also enlighten a planner about substantial group discounts, which vary depending on day, time and seats; other options, like tours, could also be discussed. “We can do private tours for $7 per person,” said Roarty. Backstage, architecture and costumes tours are popular, and private talks on those and other topics can also be arranged. “During the backstage tour, they’ll see the shops in the building where we make everything for a show, and meet the amazing craftspeople who build all our sets [and] props and make our costumes.” exploreminnesota.com


ITINERARY

BEMIDJI SCULPTURE WALK

Take a walking tour through downtown to view over 25 sculptures and murals designed by well-known artists. The sculptures are on exhibit year-round with new installations annually.

Northwest and Central Regions DAY

1

ST. CLOUD & LITTLE FALLS

MUNSINGER AND CLEMENS GARDENS, ST. CLOUD

Two distinct but adjacent gardens are located in St. Cloud on the banks of the Mississippi River. Munsinger Gardens dates from the ‘30s and includes 14 acres of winding flower-bordered paths under tall pines. Clemens Gardens, developed primarily in the ‘90s, provide a collection of six gardens characterized by formal style that is situated on seven acres.

STEARNS HISTORY MUSEUM, ST. CLOUD

The Stearns History Museum is part of a 100-acre nature park with walking trails an abundant wildlife. Throughout the year, the museum presents exhibits, programs and activities that educate, entertain and inspire visitors.

CHARLES LINDBERGH HOUSE AND MUSEUM, LITTLE FALLS

Discover the childhood home of Charles A. Lindbergh and learn how the Mississippi River influenced his future as an environmental activist, inventor and aviation pioneer. Your group can see model planes, historic flight footage and interactive exhibits.

LINDEN HILL HISTORIC ESTATE, LITTLE FALLS

Built in 1898, Linden Hill Historic Estate sits on nine acres overlooking the Mississippi River. Groups can visit the estate’s Weyerhaeuser home and Musser Mansion to learn what life was like in the early 1900s.

DAY

2

PARK RAPIDS

ITASCA STATE PARK, HEADWATERS OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER

The Mississippi River begins its 2,552mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico at Itasca State Park. Your group can wade across the headwaters in the footsteps of American history. The Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center offers interpretive displays and the Headwaters Café, a cafeteria-style restaurant.

JASPER’S THEATER

Jasper’s Theater provides clean entertainment for groups with a mix of music, magic and comedy. Located on Highway 34, the theater offers plenty of room for buses and seating for 380 guests.

NEMETH ART CENTER

WATERMARK ART CENTER

Watermark has four galleries featuring rotating exhibits. Watermark Art Center also hosts Art in the Park, Spoken Word Series, It’s Only Clay, First Friday Art Walk and other programs throughout the year.

THE HISTORIC CHIEF THEATER, HOME OF THE PAUL BUNYAN PLAYHOUSE

The Historic Chief Theater is a performing arts center that offers entertainment from around the world. Its resident production company, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, is the oldest professional summer stock company in Minnesota.

FREE ADMISSION

Visit the world’s largest & most extensive collection of Red Wing clay products!

Nemeth Art Center maintains the Gabor and Edith Nemeth Study Collection that includes 40 paintings dating to the 16th century. It also has curated exhibits of contemporary art from regionally and locally known artists in northwest Minnesota.

DAY

3

BEMIDJI PAUL BUNYAN AND BABE THE BLUE OX

Constructed in 1937, the giant statues of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe, stand near the Bemidji Tourist Information Center. The statues are the second-most-photographed roadside attraction in the U.S.

MORE THAN 9,000 VINTAGE PIECES PLUS A BEAUTIFUL GIFT STORE AWAIT YOU

We welcome school, group, or bus tours. Please call in advance 240 Harrison Street Red Wing, MN

651.327.2220

TUESDAY-SATURDAY 9-5 SUN 11-4

Closed New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

PotteryMuseumRedWing.org exploreminnesota.com

25


Guthrie Theater and the Minneapolis skyline The architecture tour delves into Jean Nouvel’s arresting building design for the new Guthrie Theater, which opened in 2006 on the banks of the Mississippi River. For the costumes tour, groups travel offsite to a warehouse where “retired” costumes are stored. “It’s like looking into a huge closest of the best friend in high school that you always wished for so that you could dress up in all her cool things,” said Roarty. www.guthrietheater.org

REIF PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

By Mark Vancleave, courtesy Guthrie Theater

“During the backstage tour, they’ll see the shops in the building where we make everything for a show, and meet the amazing craftspeople who build all our sets [and] props and make our costumes.”

Grand Rapids Already, the Reif Performing Arts Center in northern Grand Rapids packs its annual calendar with more than 50 national and international touring shows. That doesn’t even count its long list of local performers and groups. Still, the performing arts complex, renovated and expanded just three years ago, wants to add even more for its patrons. So Shantel Dow, executive director, put out a call for local musicians to come perform in the lobby before shows. “The lobby is like a community living room, just a beautiful space,” she said. “We

“The evening was unforgettable.” Music. Comedy. Dance. Theater. Variety. L i ve @ T h e R e i f ASK US ABOUT GROUP DISCOUNTS

– Trip Advisor

“In Red Wing, big-league arts find a small town audience.” – Minnesota Public Radio

10% OFF 10 or more TICKETS 20% OFF 20 or more TICKETS

reifcenter.org 218.327.5780 “Stimulating Arts in Northern Minnesota”

Don’t miss the next unforgettable moment of your life. Get your tickets today. 443 W. 3RD ST I RED WING, MN

By Jessica Sievers, courtesy Sheldon Theatre

An elegant event at the Sheldon Theatre

26

exploreminnesota.com


MADE

IN

MUSICMAKERS

N

eed a bowed psaltery, a kantele, a hurdy-gurdy, a psalmodikon or a strumbly? How about a harp or a banjo? If so, it might be time to visit Musicmakers in the Twin Cities suburb of Stillwater. The small company makes 30 instruments, including common ones like ukuleles and lesser-known ones like the hognose psaltery. It sells the instruments as finished products and as kits. Tours of its manufacturing operation are informal, tailored to individual interests. According to Cody Clifton, who handles customer service and is also a musician, two audiences dominate tours: musicians who don’t know anything about woodworking, and woodworkers who don’t know anything about music. Visitors can see the company’s six woodworkers on the job, and depending on the number and complexity of visitors’ questions, a tour can take

“10 minutes to an hour,” said Clifton. When it began in 1978, Musicmakers sold kits for making a variety of items, such as clocks, kitchen cutlery and musical instruments. And although you can still build your own kantele — that’s a 10-string zither from Finland, by the way — a lot more customers opt for finished instruments now than they did even a decade ago, according to Clifton.

WWW.HARPKIT.COM

Courtesy Musicmakers

are trying to make it more of an experience by offering music by local talent, young and old, the hour before the show starts.” This year, cozy gas logs will glow in the fireplace as the cafe supplies coffee and treats for theatergoers who want to listen to live music. Among local talent signed on are Michaela Smith, a college student who plays the ukulele; board member Abby Kuschel, who plays piano; and singer and pianist Ariana Aitken. Their reward will be tickets to the show and any tips that land in the jar. Dow and her staff also look for extras to enhance an evening out. For a “Music of Abba” show, they snapped pictures of theatergoers in front of a ’70s backdrop. Photos were given away as free souvenirs. “You’d have thought we had given them a million bucks,” Dow said. The center’s also had trivia, crossword puzzles and other games tied to shows. “We’re trying to do something fun before every show,” said Dow. All the efforts are with one goal: to encourage the community to come to their theater. “It is such a beautiful facility; we want the community to embrace it,” Dow said. www.reifcenter.org exploreminnesota.com

27


Courtesy Visit Winona

ON SURFACE THE

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

28

Courtesy Visit Detroit Lakes

Courtesy Visit St. Paul

exploreminnesota.com


WATERFRONT FUN

minnesota is a land of rivers and lakes

Courtesy Prairie Island Campground

I

PADELFORD RIVERBOATS St. Paul Padelford Riverboats has had a grand 50 years plying the Mississippi River near the Twin Cities. Since 1970, when it launched its boat tours near St. Paul with the authentic stern-wheeler Jonathan Padelford, it has expanded its fleet, adding the Anson Northrup, a side-wheeler low enough to slip under the area’s bridges, and the Betsy Northrup, a converted car ferry that has become a crowd favorite for its quiet ride — it has no engine and is pushed by a tug boat — and its large, open deck. Gus Gaspardo, president of Padelford Riverboats, remembers when people used to get mad if they weren’t on the stern-wheeler. “Now they get mad if they aren’t on the barge.” Even as the cities have grown, the serenity and scenery enjoyed on Padelford’s cruises have endured. “It catches people by surprise,” said Gaspardo. “It is unique

n summer and fall, Minnesotans make a splash. They paddle up and down the Mississippi, float down less mighty but still scenic streams and escape to the state’s 10,000-plus lakes. Here are five ways groups can enjoy Minnesota’s waterways.

in that you are in a scenic stretch in an urban area surrounded by 3 million people. It is relaxing.” The stretch of river where the boats cruise is flanked by the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, which protects hardwood trees that bring brilliance in the fall and ample perches for bald eagles, great blue herons and other birds. Cruises are seasonal, from mid-April to October, with lengths to suit different schedules. A 90-minute sightseeing cruise and a four-hour dinner cruise are both popular with groups, with options like drink packages and entertainment. Plans for a 50th-anniversary celebration are in the works, and the company hopes to bring back couples and others who’ve marked important occasions onboard in the past half-century. The celebration will include a special Padelford beer, concocted by a local brewery, to toast the occasion. www.riverrides.com

CHARLIE’S OTTERTAIL TUBING Detroit Lakes As Cathy Pihlaja’s dad watched his daughter and her friends float down the

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Kayaking on the Mississippi River; Prairie Island Campground on the Mississippi River; a Padelford Riverboat at sunset; Padelford and the St. Paul skyline; Charlie’s Ottertail Tubing exploreminnesota.com Courtesy Visit St. Paul

29


Canoeing on the Mississippi near Winona

Otter Tail River in inner tubes, he saw good outdoor fun and a business opportunity. “He bought a couple hundred inner tubes and some land, and away we went,” said Pihlaja, who runs Charlie’s Ottertail Tubing, founded by her father 35 years ago in Detroit Lakes. Charlie’s is a highly seasonal enterprise, ruled by weather’s whims. The business opens Memorial Day weekend, and “we shoot for Labor Day,” said Pihlaja, although dry weather sometimes causes water levels to drop too low for tubing before that. Groups roll into Charlie’s ramshackle headquarters, pick out inner tubes — they basically come in small, medium and large sizes — board a white school bus and head up river to the launch site. Coolers are welcome, but Charlie’s staff counts beverages at the beginning and end of each trip to make sure no cans or bottles end up in the river. “We’d like to see this go for generations, so we don’t want any litter,” said Pihlaja. The float downriver takes longer than the ride to the put-in point. “It’s only a couple of miles by bus, but it is a two- to two-and-ahalf-hour float back because the river twists and turns,” said Pihlaja. Deer, beavers and eagles are often spotted along the way. And if customers haven’t had their fill when they end up back at Charlie’s, they can reboard the bus for another round. “You can go as many times as you want,” said Pihlaja. “Some come and go three times.” At $10 for adults and half that for children under 12, tubing’s about the cheapest fun you can have in a day. “It is a relaxing way to spend a hot afternoon,” said Pihlaja. “My mom is 74, and she still loves to go.” www.visitdetroitlakes.com

30

Courtesy Visit Winona

MISSISSIPPI RIVER PADDLING Winona Paddling the Mississippi River is easy even for novices when Winona is the point of departure. Prairie Island Campground, five minutes upriver from downtown, can supply all the equipment and expertise. The city-owned campground’s concessionaire, Jamie Schell, can line up outdoor recreation experts from nearby Winona State University to lead group paddles in the quiet Mississippi backwaters. Trips are planned based on group size, skill levels and other individual needs. Self-guided tours take about 90 minutes; with a guide, groups could spend as long as three hours on the water. In his short time managing the campground, Schell has added rental bikes and weekend concerts; he has also invested in new paddling equipment, including sit-ontop kayaks, which are more comfortable and easier to manage. “You don’t sit down inside it like a traditional canoe, and it is

Courtesy Prairie Island Campground

A campfire concert at Prairie Island Campground

“It’s only a couple of miles by bus, but it is a two- to two-and-a-half-hour float back because the river twists and turns.”

exploreminnesota.com


MADE

IN

HAFEMAN BOAT WORKS

I

f you want to learn about birchbark canoes, Ray Boessel is the man to see. Over the past 37 years, he’s made 342 in his shop at Hafeman Boat Works near Big Fork in the Chippewa National Forest. He also travels to living-history events to talk about the role birch-bark canoes played in early American trade. Boessel’s broad knowledge makes his shop popular for tours, and he welcomes them. It’s always a good idea to call ahead, since he does spend days away doing living history or in the woods collecting the roots, birch bark and cedar needed to build the vessels. He uses the canoes in his shop, both finished and under construction, to help visitors understand the building process and the features of different canoes. Visitors also see the raw materials and learn how they are used to make a strong and watertight canoe. To emphasize the birchbark canoe’s impact, he

shares facts like this: In the fur-trade era, a 26-foot birchbark canoe would carry two tons of freight, six to eight men and all of their gear. Lest you think birchbark canoes today are strictly museum pieces, consider this: Three-quarters of the people who buy Boessel’s canoes use them. He never gets complaints about the workmanship. And even though sales have slowed, he keeps turning out canoes. “Even if I don’t sell them, I will keep building them.”

218-743-3709

Photos courtesy Hafeman Boat Works

 History, Beauty and Charm  Plan a unique and exciting trip to Red Wing, Minnesota

• Conveniently located just an hour south of the Twin Cities • Historic stops include the St. James Hotel, Sheldon Theatre, Pottery Museum of Red Wing & Goodhue Co. History Center • Wineries, Brewery and unique locally owned shops & restaurants

• Outdoor adventures set in scenic beauty • A variety of meeting spaces and customized itineraries available

Let us help you plan your next tour exploreminnesota.com

www.RedWing.org | 651-385-5934 | #RedWingMN

31


Destiny Cruises’ double-decker yacht, North Star

VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK

Courtesy Destiny Cruises

Courtesy Destiny Cruises

also self-bailing,” he said. “It’s safer for the less-experienced kayaker because if you fall off, it is easy to get back on.” The beauty of paddling this part of the river is the peaceful backwater channels that result from being below a lock, dam and spillway, which creates water trails that paddlers can easily and safely navigate. When the water level is just right, kayaks slide easily among the trunks of swamp maples. Schell just spent his first spring on-site and was amazed by the avian activity. The Mississippi, of course, is a migratory path, but it’s hard to grasp what that means until it is witnessed. “Spring and fall can be amazing times, with 3,000 to 5,000 pelicans or snow geese, sandhill cranes or Canada geese,” said Schell. “To be here every day in the spring was a spectacle because of the number of birds.” www.prairieislandcampground.com

A relaxing cruise on Gull Lake

“Spring and fall can be amazing times, with 3,000 to 5,000 pelicans or snow geese, sandhill cranes or Canada geese. To be here every day in the spring was a spectacle because of the number of birds.”

32

International Falls Chuck Remus presents a convincing argument for taking a boat trip at Voyageurs National Park near International Falls. “The park is 219,000 acres, and 40 percent is water,” said the longtime park staffer. “Getting out on the water is the only way to truly see it.” Of the park’s two boats, the 49-passenger Voyageur is best suited for groups. And because the season is short — mid-May through late September — chartering the boat might make more sense than squeezing onto a public cruise. One of the newest national parks at just over 40 years old, Voyageurs is named for the French fur traders who used its interconnected waterways like we use highways today. On a boat tour, visitors learn about the voyageurs, Native Americans, and wildlife like moose, wolves, otters and ospreys. There are also some surprising stops, including a former gold rush site and the remains of Minnesota’s oldest commercial fishing operation. Lunch can be arranged at the historic Kettle Falls Hotel, which is only accessible by water. Kettle Falls was originally a logging camp, and some say the hotel was a bordello before it became a hotel in the early 1900s. “It was the gathering place when people were mining and logging and commercial fishing,” said Remus. “It is kind of at a pinch point that everyone went through.” Because Voyageurs is at Minnesota’s tiptop — “when you are going down Rainy Lake, Canada is on one side, and the U.S. is on the other,” Remus said — the park is not a stop-off on the way to somewhere else. “This is a naturally beautiful place, with wooded shorelines and clear water,” said Remus. “The reason it hasn’t been as utilized is that you have to plan to come here. We are kind of at the end of the road.” www.nps.gov/voya

exploreminnesota.com


CRUISE GULL LAKE Brainerd Gull Lake has long been a cool escape. Gangsters hid out there; for decades, the rich and famous — Paul Newman, for one — scurried off to this lake, part of the Gull Lake Chain near Brainerd. You don’t have to be a star to enjoy Gull Lake’s dazzle, especially since Destiny Cruises’ North Star began offering tours from early June to early October. The double-decker yacht is one of the last made by Wisconsin-based Skipperliner, and with its sophisticated sound system and lighting and a well-outfitted galley, it cost close to $2.5 million, general manager Michele Baker estimates. “It weighs 76 tons and has a flat bottom, so there’s not a lot of roll,” said Baker. “Passengers often say, ‘This is like standing in my living room.’” Cowboy Flame and Brew, a popular restaurant not far from the North Star’s dock at Ernie’s on the Lake, is the boat’s ca-

terer, supplying everything from prime rib dinners to lunches of steaks and burgers grilled onboard. Baker grows many of the fresh flowers that decorate tables; another appreciated amenity is a handicapped-accessible restroom. The North Star offers public, semiprivate and private cruises. There’s sometimes a band onboard, playing tunes by Jimmy Buffett, Elvis Presley and others. Sunsets become even more memorable with sweet treats like fruit pies and fresh-baked brownies. On a two-hour sightseeing tour, there’s much to absorb, from the lake’s ties to Native Americans and the Brainerd bank robbers to views of some of the nearly 20 resorts that ring its waters. Massive mansions also add intrigue, said Baker. “Some are owned by famous people, but we can’t name them anymore because then people want to hang out on their docks.” www.destinycruisesllc.com

Courtesy NPS

Voyageurs National Park

Majestic meets famous!

Discover everything Lake Superior’s North Shore is famously known for— in and around Two Harbors. Accessible waterfalls and state parks TWO lighthouses FOUR historic sites and museums Lake Superior waterfront access and ship watching Award-winning brewery and restaurants Locally-owned unique gift shops Only 20 miles north of Duluth

twoharbors.com 800-877-7384

exploreminnesota.com

33


Courtesy International Wolf Center

By Marilyn Emerson, courtesy SNWR

WILD WONDERFUL AND

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

34

Courtesy Minnesota Zoo

Courtesy National Eagle Center

exploreminnesota.com


ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

minnesota reveres its native wildlife

Courtesy Minnesota Zoo

M

innesota has an untamed streak. Wolves, bears and moose live happily in its woods; birds arrive not in flocks but in masses. There are more bald eagles than in any other state except Alaska. And nature preserves pop up as frequently as lakes. It’s a state that protects and appreciates its wildlife.

Groups traveling in Minnesota can get close to some of the state’s amazing wildlife at these sites.

INTERNATIONAL WOLF CENTER

Ely On a summer day, the four wolves that live as a pack at the International Wolf Center in Ely might kick back and enjoy a “wolf popsicle” or another cool treat. “When it’s hot, we like to freeze things for them in a bucket, like a beaver tail,” said Krista Harrington, interpretative manager. Those popsicles do more than provide relief from the heat. They are one of the inventive ways staff keep wolves engaged in their wooded enclosure that measures just over an acre in northeast Minnesota’s Superior National Forest. “They have a pond, waterfall and woods. It’s really quite a lovely enclosure,” said Harrington. “In it, they get to act like wolves, but sometimes they are not so visible,

which is why we do the popsicles and other enrichment activities to encourage them to be active.” Visitors can watch the pack interact through windows in the visitor center that overlook the enclosure. It’s just one way the center teaches people about wolves. The staff also offers robust programming, with talks every hour throughout the day on topics as varied as wolves’ interactions with moose and research on wolf populations. Talks can also be tailored for specific groups with adequate notice. This spring, the center will open its new Discovery Center, taking the in-depth and thorough information now presented in traditional museum fashion and making it more interactive. For example, today’s museum explains how radio telemetry is used to monitor wolves and displays the equipment; the redesigned Discovery Center will allow them to use the equipment so they can hear the pulses the transmitters emit and better understand how it is used to monitor wolves in the wild. “The Discovery Center will have something educational and fun for everyone to experience,” said Harrington. www.wolf.org

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Ely’s International Wolf Center; Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge; Apple Valley’s Minnesota Zoo; a Minnesota prairie chicken; Watching eagles at the National Eagle Center; a tiger at the Minnesota Zoo exploreminnesota.com Courtesy Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

35


National Eagle Center

Courtesy National Eagle Center

NATIONAL EAGLE CENTER

The center has three scheduled programs a day and slots for three more that can be arranged for private groups. Many talks conclude with a visit from an eagle ambassador, who will eat its lunch as a naturalist answers questions. “It can be a little stomach-turning for some, but most people can’t get enough of it,” said Hahn. In the next few years, the center will grow as it expands its exhibit space to allow for more eagle ambassadors and to display 25,000 eagle-related artifacts — the world’s largest private collection of eagle-related memorabilia, ephemera and art. www.nationaleaglecenter.org

Wabasha At most zoos and wildlife centers, a wall of glass or wire sep“It is quite a landscape, hard to arates visitors from bald eagles and other capture in photography sometimes. birds of prey. Not so It is something to take in, especially at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha. with the way the prairie changes Five eagles — four bald eagles and one almost weekly.” golden — are tethered in their exhibit, just a few feet from visitors and separated by knee-high railings. Each bird has its own SHERBURNE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE space, perch and water basin and is separatZimmerman ed from other birds by several feet, since the The landscape at Sherburne National birds are solitary by nature. Wildlife Refuge, east of St. Cloud, is an ex“As far as I know, this is the only facility in treme makeover decades in the making. Its the country that presents eagles in this man30,700 acres today look as they did before ner,” said marketing manager Ed Hahn. “That farmers arrived and tried to convert a prairie is the high point: to be that close to the birds.” punctuated by oak savannah and scattered Perched on the banks of the Mississippi wetlands into farmland. Thanks to conservaRiver, about 80 miles southeast of the Twin tion efforts, native grasses and flowers have Cities, the eagle center is a must-see for some returned, sheltered by sprawling canopies of 80,000 bird enthusiasts each year. Walls of bur oaks. Restored waterways feed the wetglass afford views of a stretch of the river long lands and provide trails for canoeists. known for its bald eagle population. “It is quite a landscape, hard to capture “Our location is no accident,” said in photography sometimes,” said Alaina LarHahn. “In the early to mid-’80s, eagle- and kin, a visitor services specialist. “It is somebird-watchers brought friends and family thing to take in, especially with the way the here. It was a bald eagle hot spot when bald prairie changes almost weekly.” eagles were at the height of endangerment.” Although the refuge’s creation was a point Although many visitors are happiest watchof contention for landowners, many who ing the eagle “ambassadors,” there is a lot to sold their land seem glad they did. “They are learn in interactive exhibits on two levels. For thankful to have their family’s land restored example, a full-scale model drives home just and set aside to be a wild space,” said Larkin. how massive a bald eagle’s nest is. Hahn has Sandhill cranes arrive each fall, and the seen entire school classes fit inside it for photos. refuge has been designated an important

36

bird area by the National Audubon Society. The best way for groups to see the birds and wildlife that thrive in the varied habitats is on a seven-mile auto tour. Pull-offs and lookout spots are positioned along the way, and with notice, a volunteer can serve as a step-on guide. “We have several who enjoy giving bus tours,” Larkin said. “They will hop on with you, give narration and select a few spots to hop out.” Tours are seasonal, as the road closes when winter snow arrives. Under the same management as Sherburne, the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge is 100 miles north of Sherburne. Along its 9.5-mile auto tour, the Rice Lake Observation Platform affords views of the 18,000acre refuge. A prolific wild rice crop attracts red-ringed ducks: In October 2017, the lake set a new state record when almost a million of the ducks arrived, the most waterfowl of one species in one place at one time ever recorded in the state. www.fws.gov/refuge/sherburne

MINNESOTA ZOO Apple Valley The Minnesota Zoo has proved that it is not just a place for the pint-sized. Among its adults-only events is Adults Night Out, an evening that is sometimes themed —Oktoberfest or tropical beach party, for example — and includes adult beverages, concessions and, often, live entertainment. “It’s an opportunity for adults to experiSandhill cranes at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

By Markexploreminnesota.com Nicholson, courtesy SNWR


ITINERARY

DAY

3

Southern Region DAY

WINONA

1

BUNNELL HOUSE

DAY

2

VILLAGE OF YESTERYEAR AND STEELE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

ROCHESTER

MAYOWOOD MANSION

Built by fur trader Willard Bunnell in the late 1800s, the Bunnell House is an outstanding example of Rural Gothic architecture that encompasses the historical period during which Native American canoes gave way to steamboats and game trails became roads for Euro-Americans.

Mayowood Mansion was built in 1911 by Charles H. Mayo, who lived there until 1939. Now, this 38-room historic house is home to an extensive decorative arts collection, gorgeous gardens and antique furnishings from French, Spanish, German and American cultures.

WINONA COUNTY HISTORY CENTER

CHARLES E. GAGNON MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN

The Winona County History Center is housed in a 1915 armory and the award-winning contemporary Laird Norton Addition. Exhibits examine life in Winona as lived by both lumber barons and laborers.

MINNESOTA MARINE ART MUSEUM

Built on a pastoral shore of the Mississippi River, the Minnesota Marine Art Museum boasts a collection of fine art that rivals the most cosmopolitan cities including Picasso, Van Gogh, Renoir, Matisse and the work of scores of other painting masters.

WINONA TOUR BOAT

See the beautiful Mississippi River upclose on this 1.5-hour narrated boat tour that has evening tours departing at 6 p.m. The tour not only entertains but also educates about the famed waterway and the history of Winona and its relation to the Mississippi River.

exploreminnesota.com

OWATONNA

The Magnon Museum and Sculpture Garden preserves Charles Gagnon’s art, spanning from 1962 to 2012. Gagnon was dedicated to creating bronze sculptures that would give hope to the world and inspire peace among all people.

PLUMMER HOUSE

Tour the 49-room, five-story Plummer House of the Arts, designed in 1917 by early Mayo Clinic physician Henry Plummer and featuring many innovations that were far advanced for the era. The Tudor-style mansion sits on 11 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds.

SALEM GLEN WINERY

Salem Glen is a family-owned boutique winery specializing in small batches of wine made from regionally grown grapes. Beautiful views of the countryside can be enjoyed while having a private tasting and tour of the winery.

Experience what life was like in Owatonna at the turn of the 20th century. The 19-structure site features two log cabins, a railroad station and a caboose from Steele County, a general store/post office, a fire station, a farm machinery building, a blacksmith shop, a country school and more.

MINNESOTA STATE PUBLIC SCHOOL ORPHANAGE MUSEUM

Visit one of the nation’s only orphanage museums to learn about the unique history of the Minnesota State Public School Orphanage that was home to more than 10,000 children between 1886 and 1945. Explore the museum, historic Cottage 11, the children’s cemetery and interactive campus to get a glimpse of what life was like for the children who called the orphanage their home.

REPTILE AND AMPHIBIAN DISCOVERY ZOO

Minnesota’s premier reptile destination, Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo is home to over 150 kinds of animals from all over the world, exhibited in naturalistic re-creations of their native environments.

NATIONAL FARMERS’ BANK

The bank was designed in the early 1900s by Louis Sullivan, who was known as the “father of the skyscraper” and Frank Lloyd Wright’s mentor. The National Farmers’ Bank became the first and most famous of Louis Sullivan’s “jewel box” banks. The building features gold-leaf arches, stained glass windows, ornate terra cotta, and two-ton electroliers.

37


Prairie Wetlands Learning Center

Courtesy Pine to Prairie Trail

A ring-tailed lemur at Minnesota Zoo

Courtesy Minnesota Zoo

ence the zoo after hours, without children around,” said Julie Bartkey, communications and media relations specialist, who recently left her kids at home for a night at the zoo. “It really is lovely, and people have a great time.” The zoo, 10 minutes from Mall of America, is also experimenting with new special events such as a monthlong Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular launched in 2018 that will return in 2019. “We had 5,000 regular jack-o’-lanterns and 120 80-to-100-pound carved pumpkins that were art,” said Bartkey. Lit with LED lights, the proliferation of pumpkins glowed along a quarter-mile path through the zoo. The zoo also offers traditional group activities. During its one-hour walking tours, a naturalist supplies fun animal facts, tells stories about various inhabitants and goes behind the scenes to show zookeepers at work. Those with a free Saturday can attend zoo camp and hear guest speakers, take behindthe-scenes tours and participate in projects.

An EXCITING STOP on I-94 between Fargo & Minneapolis! Dragon WilloW Winery

leatherWooD Vinegary

Source of the Mississippi lake Wobegon trail

sinclair leWis boyhooD home

Great Tours For Groups:

catch a PAR K RAPIDS

•Baseball Bat Factory •Redhead Creamery Cheese Curds •Wine, Whiskey & Vinegary Tours/Tastings •& Ghosts

Theater

DISTRICT

MINNESOTA

800-247-0054

www.parkrapids.com

38

855.444.SAUK www.VisitSaukCentre.org

A recent camp focused on creating perfect animal environments. For an unusual all-nighter, groups can spend the night at the zoo. Dinner is served, there’s a cash bar, and before bedtime, a latenight snack is served. Morning is signaled with the smells of coffee and breakfast and the sounds of lions, tigers and bears. www.mnzoo.org

PINE TO PRAIRIE INTERNATIONAL BIRDING TRAIL Fergus Falls to Warroad Yellow-rumped warblers, black-crowned herons, red-breasted nuthatches, bluewinged teals and white-faced ibises are among the more than 250 brightly feathered and colorfully named birds that can be spotted along the 200-mile Pine to Prairie International Birding Trail. Minnesota’s first birding trail is an alliance among nine northwestern communities, numerous natural resource organizations and a bevy of birding organizations. Informational signs and local visitors centers point travelers to 45 birding sites on the trail’s path from Fergus Falls in the south to Warroad in the north. For groups traveling from the Twin Cities to Manitoba, a detour to the trail is an interesting aside, said Jean Bowman of the Fergus Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau. She’s delved into birding a bit herself, rising early to sit quietly in a viewing blind to watch male prairie chickens impress their female counterparts. “They show off in front of the hens; the sacks on their necks turn bright gold as they strut and show off.” For groups willing to be early birds, a similar outing could be arranged, she said. Her city’s Prairie Wetlands Learning Center could also be a good stop, with its bird-viewing trails, exhibits and programs. Other stops along the trail include the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, the state’s largest, where 280 species of birds have been spotted; Maplewood State Park, with 9,000 acres of wetlands and forest; and the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge, a reliable spot for prairie chicken dances. Each May, Detroit Lakes’ Festival of Birds celebrates bird migration with field trips, presentations and other events. www.mnbirdingtrail.com

exploreminnesota.com


ITINERARY Northeast Region DAY

1

TWO HARBORS

3M/DAWN MUSEUM

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, better known as 3M, was founded in Two Harbors. Tour the 3M/ Dawn museum and learn about the history and growth of the company.

LIGHTHOUSE POINT AND HARBOR MUSEUM

The Two Harbors Light Station is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on Minnesota’s North Shore. The light was first lit on April 15, 1892, and has had a continuous white beacon in all directors. Besides the history, travelers will be amazed by the beautiful scenery from this area.

THE DULUTH AND IRON RANGE DEPOT MUSEUM

Erected in 1907, the Duluth and Iron Range Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum features exhibits that reflect the development of Lake County, with special emphasis on the big three industries: iron mining and the railroad; timber; and commercial fishing.

exploreminnesota.com

DAY

2

DULUTH

GREAT LAKES AQUARIUM

DAY

3

GRAND RAPIDS

FOREST HISTORY CENTER

Located on the harbor in Duluth, Great Lakes Aquarium features five daily programs. This hands-on discovery center inspires guests to explore animals and habitats found in the Great Lakes Basin and other waters of the world.

Situated on the Mississippi River, the Forest History Center offers exciting living history experiences in a re-created 1900 logging camp, as well as a variety of naturalist, folk school and outdoor recreation programs.

SPLIT ROCK LIGHTHOUSE

THE MACROSTIE ART CENTER

Get a glimpse of Great Lakes life in the remote and spectacular setting of the Split Rock Lighthouse. See firsthand how lighthouse keepers earned their unique livelihoods and learn about the important role that shipping and the lighthouse played in Minnesota history.

LAKE SUPERIOR AND MISSISSIPPI RAILROAD

The six-mile historic Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad follows the beautiful St. Louis River Corridor in West Duluth. The hour-and-a-half ride is filled with history, wildlife and incredible scenery and offers the closest view of the river without getting wet.

GLENSHEEN MANSION

Perched on the shore of Lake Superior, Glensheen is the most-visited historic home in Minnesota. The 12-acre estate features gardens, bridges, and the famous 39-room mansion built with remarkable 20th-century craftsmanship.

The MacRostie Art Center hosts monthly rotating exhibitions, special events and arts education classes. The ArtShop features local handmade art including jewelry, pottery, paintings, woodworking and wearables.

BOVEY SPEAKEASY AND UNDERGROUND TUNNEL

In a quaint old mining town lies a unique antique store with lots of historic mystery. Your tour will fill you with raw excitement of a rowdy mining town that could not abide with the prohibition of the 1920s. Catered dinners are available.

REIF PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

Each year, the Reif Center hosts more than 50 national and international touring performances including musical theater, contemporary dance, classical musicians, country music and more.

39


LISTINGS

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL AREA

NORTHWEST REGION NORTHEAST REGION

Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-301-9435 visitapplevalley.com

MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL AREA

Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism 763-682-4902 buffalochamber.org Burnsville Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-521-6055 burnsvillemn.com

SOUTHERN REGION

Chisago Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 651-257-1177 chisagolakeschamber.com Eagan Convention and Visitors Bureau 866-324-2620 eaganmn.com

Lakeville Convention and Visitors Bureau 888-525-3845 visitlakeville.org

Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce 952-474-6461 excelsior-lakeminnetonkachamber.com

Meet Minneapolis 888-676-6757 minneapolis.org Minneapolis Northwest Tourism 800-541-4364 minneapolisnorthwest.com

Falls Chamber of Commerce 715-483-3580 fallschamber.org

40

Waconia Chamber of Commerce 952-442-5812 destinationwaconia.org Explore White Bear 651-653-5122 explorewhitebear.org

CENTRAL REGION Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce 800-612-6122 visithastingsmn.org Inver Grove Heights Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-584-4281 visitigh.com

Explore Edina 952-806-9064 exploreedina.com

Twin Cities Gateway 763-785-5640 tcgateway.com

CENTRAL REGION

Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-346-4289 bloomingtonmn.org

Stillwater & Oak Park Heights Convention and Visitors Bureau 651-351-1717 discoverstillwater.com

Vacation Minneapolis South 866-324-2620 minneapolissouth.com

North Branch Area Chamber of Commerce 651-674-4077 northbranchchamber.com Richfield Tourism 800-660-7005 visitrichfield.com Roseville Visitors Assn. 877-980-3002 visitroseville.com Discover St. Louis Park 952-426-4047 discoverstlouispark.com Visit Saint Paul 800-627-6101 visitsaintpaul.com Visit Shakopee 800-574-2150 visitshakopee.org

Aitkin Chamber of Commerce 800-526-8342 aitkin.com Explore Alexandria Tourism 800-245-2539 explorealex.com Becker Area Chamber of Commerce 763-262-2420 beckerchamber.org Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce 800-450-2838 explorebrainerdlakes.com Visit Brainerd 800-450-7247 visitbrainerd.com Crosslake Chamber of Commerce 800-450-2838 crosslake.com exploreminnesota.com


Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce 218-546-8131 cuyunalakes.com

Long Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce 320-732-2514 longprairie.org

Pequot Lakes Chamber of Commerce 800-450-2838 pequotlakes.com

Elbow Lake Chamber of Commerce 218-685-5380 elbowlakechamber.com

McGregor Chamber of Commerce 877-768-3692 mcgregormn.com

Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce 763-441-3110 elkriverchamber.org

Melrose Area Chamber of Commerce 320-256-7174 melrosemn.org

Perham Area Chamber of Commerce 218-346-7710 perham.com Pine River Area Chamber of Commerce 218-587-4000 pinerivermn.com

Emily – Fifty Lakes Chamber of Commerce 218-763-2480 – Emily 218-763-3113 – Fifty Lakes emilymn.com

Mille Lacs Area Tourism 888-350-2692 millelacs.com

Visit Fergus Falls 800-726-8959 visitfergusfalls.com

Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce 763-389-1764 princetonmnchamber.org

Monticello Chamber of Commerce & Industry 763-295-2700 monticellocci.com

Glencoe Chamber of Commerce 320-864-3650 glencoechamber.com

Morris Area Chamber of Commerce 320-589-1242 morrismntourism.com

Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 320-634-3636 welcomeglenwood.org

New London Chamber of Commerce 320-354-2444 newlondonmn.net

Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce 800-572-6689 explorehutchinson.com

New York Mills Civic and Commerce 218-385-3339 explorenewyorkmills.com

Greater St. Cloud Convention and Visitors Bureau 320-251-4170 visitstcloud.com

Sauk Centre Convention a nd Visitors Bureau 855-444-7285 visitsaukcentre.org Spicer Commercial Club 320-796-8066 spicermn.com Discover Staples 218-296-2737 discoverstaplesmn.org Starbuck Chamber of Commerce 320-239-4220 starbuckmn.org

Lake Miltona Visitors Bureau 877-833-2350 visitlakemiltona.com

Nisswa Chamber of Commerce 800-950-9610 nisswa.com

Lake Osakis Resort Assn. 800-422-0785 lakeosakis.com

Otter Tail Lakes Country 800-423-4571 ottertaillakescountry.com

Lincoln Lakes Area 800-462-0203 lincolnlakes.com

Outing Area Chamber of Comerce outingmn.com

Whitefish Area Lodging Assn. 800-450-5835 whitefish.org

Paynesville Area Chamber of Commerce 320-243-3233 paynesvillechamber.org

Willmar Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-845-8747 willmarlakesarea.com

Pelican Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce 218-863-1221 pelicanrapidschamber.com

Zimmerman Area Chamber of Commerce 763-856-4404 zimmermanchamber.org

Litchfield Chamber of Commerce 320-693-8184 litch.com Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-325-5916 littlefallsmn.com exploreminnesota.com

Wadena Chamber of Commerce 877-631-7704 wadenachamber.com

SOUTHERN REGION Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-345-8414 albertleatourism.org Appleton Area Chamber of Commerce 320-289-1527 appletonmn.com Discover Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau 507-437-4563 austinmn.com Benson Chamber of Commerce 320-843-3618 bensonareachamber.com Big Stone Lake Area Chamber of Commerce 320-839-3284 bigstonelakechamber.com Blooming Prairie Chamber of Commerce 507-583-4472 bloomingprairie.com Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce 507-526-2916 blueearthchamber.com Caledonia Area Chamber of Commerce 507-725-5477 caledoniachamberofcommerce.com Cannon Falls Area Chamber of Commerce 507-263-2289 cannonfalls.org Elysian Area Chamber of Commerce 800-507-7787 elysianmn.com Fairmont Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-657-3280 visitfairmontmn.com

41


Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism 800-658-2354 visitfaribault.com Granite Falls Area Chamber of Commerce 320-321-3202 granitefallschamber.com Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce 877-251-0606 exploreharmony.com Henderson Chamber of Commerce 507-248-3234 henderson-mn.com Houston Chamber of Commerce 507-896-4033 houstonmnchamber.com Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce 507-847-3867 jacksonmn.com La Crescent Chamber of Commerce 800-926-9480 lacrescentmn.com

Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau 888-283-4061 luvernechamber.com

New Ulm Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau 888-463-9856 newulm.com

Madelia Area Chamber of Commerce 888-941-7283 visitmadelia.com

Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism 800-658-2548 visitingnorthfield.com

Madison Area Chamber of Commerce 320-598-7301 madisonmn.info

Olivia Area Chamber of Commerce 320-523-1350 oliviachamber.org

Visit Mankato 800-657-4733 visitgreatermankato.com

Owatonna Chamber of Commerce & Tourism 800-423-6466 visitowatonna.org

Mantorville Area Chamber of Commerce 866-313-8687 mantorvilletourism.com Marshall Area Convention and Visitors Bureau 507-537-1865 visitmarshallmn.com Montevideo Area Chamber of Commerce 800-269-5527 montechamber.com

Lake Benton Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau 507-368-9577 lakebenton.us

Montgomery Chamber of Commerce 507-364-5933 montgomerymnchamber.com

Lake City Tourism 877-525-3248 lakecitymn.org

Pipestone Convention and Visitors Bureau 507-825-3316 pipestoneminnesota.com Preston Area Tourism 888-845-2100 prestonmntourism.com Red Wing VCB 651-385-5934 redwing.org

St. Peter Area Chamber of Commerce 800-473-3404 stpeterchamber.com Slayton Area Chamber of Commerce 507-836-6902 slaytonchamber.com Southeast MN Historic Bluff Country 844-452-0409 bluffcountry.com Springfield Chamber of Commerce 507-723-3508 springfieldmnchamber.org Tracy Area Chamber of Commerce 507-629-4021 tracymn.com Wabasha-Kellogg Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-565-4158 wabashamn.org Walnut Grove Tourism Info 888-528-7298 walnutgrove.org

Redwood Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism 507-637-2828 redwoodfalls.org

Discover Waseca Tourism 507-835-9700 discoverwaseca.com

Morton Chamber of Commerce 507-697-1884 mortonareachamber.org

Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-634-8277 experiencerochestermn.com

Waterville Chamber of Commerce 507-362-4609 watervillemn.com

Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce 800-944-2670 lanesboro.com

Mountain Lake Area Chamber of Commerce 507-427-2999 mountainlakemn.com

Rushford Peterson Valley Chamber of Commerce 507-864-3338 rushfordpetersonvalley.com

Western MN Prairie Waters 866-866-5432 prairiewaters.com

Le Sueur Area Chamber of Commerce 507-665-2501 lesueurchamber.org

Murray County Tourism 507-836-1147 murray-countymn.com

St. James Area Chamber of Commerce 507-375-3241 ci.stjames.mn.us

Lincoln County Tourism 507-694-1721 lincolncounty-mn.us

42

New Prague Chamber of Commerce 952-758-4360 newprague.com

Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau 507-794-4731 sleepyeyechamber.com

Wheaton Chamber of Commerce 320-563-4110 cityofwheaton.com Windom Area Chamber of Commerce 800-794-6366 windomchamber.com

exploreminnesota.com


Visit Winona 800-657-4972 visitwinona.com Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-279-2919 worthingtonmnchamber.com

Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-866-4566 visitgrandforks.com

Remer Area Chamber of Commerce 218-566-1680 remerchamber.com

Hackensack Area Chamber of Commerce 800-279-6932 hackensackchamber.com

Roseau Convention and Visitors Bureau 218-463-0009 goroseau.com

Zumbrota Visitor Info 507-732-4282 ci.zumbrota.mn.us

Hallock Tourism 218-843-2737 hallockmn.org

Thief River Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau 218-686-9785 visittrf.com

NORTHWEST REGION

Itasca Area Lakes Tourism Assn. itascaarea.com

Akeley Chamber of Commerce 218-252-1541 akeleychamber.com

Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau 800-382-3474 lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Visit Bemidji 877-250-5959 visitbemidji.com Blackduck Chamber of Commerce 800-323-2975 blackduckmn.com Cass Lake Chamber of Commerce 800-356-8615 casslake.com Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-809-5997 visitcrookston.com Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau 800-542-3992 visitdetroitlakes.com Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-235-7654 fargomoorhead.org City of Fosston 218-435-1377 fosston.com

Lake Winnie Area Resort Assn. lakewinnie.net Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce 800-833-1118 leech-lake.com Leech Lake Tourism Bureau 800-735-3297 leechlake.org Longville Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 800-756-7583 longville.com City of Mahnomen 218-935-2573 mahnomenmn.org Minnesota Northwoods Tourism Bureau 877-955-2755 minnesotanorthwoods.com Nevis Civic and Commerce nevischamber.com Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 800-247-0054 parkrapids.com

Upper Red Lake Area Assn. upperredlakeassn.com

Ely Chamber of Commerce 800-777-7281 ely.org Visit Grand Rapids 800-355-9740 visitgrandrapids.com Hinckley Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-952-4282 hinckleymn.com International Falls, Ranier & Rainy Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-325-5766 rainylake.org

Wahpeton-Breckenridge Area Chamber of Commerce 800-892-6673 wahpetonbreckenridgechamber.com

Iron Range Tourism Bureau 800-777-8497 ironrange.org

Warroad Area Chamber of Commerce 800-328-4455 visitwarroad.com

Kabetogama Lake Assn. & Tourism 844-525-3522 kabetogama.com

NORTHEAST REGION

Lake Vermilion Resort Assn. 800-648-5897 lakevermilionresorts.com

Ash River Trail Comm. Club ashriver.com Cloquet Area Chamber of Commerce 800-554-4350 cloquet.com Cook County Visitors Bureau 888-922-5000 visitcookcounty.com Crane Lake VTB 800-362-7405 visitcranelake.com Visit Duluth 800-4-DULUTH visitduluth.com Edge of the Wilderness Lodging Assn. 888-754-0011 edgeofthewilderness.com

Moose Lake Chamber of Commerce 800-635-3680 mooselakechamber.com Orr-Pelican Lake Resort Assn. 800-777-4690 orrpelicanlake.com Proctor Tourism 218-624-6297 visitproctormn.com Silver Bay Area Tourism Association 218-226-8885 heartofthenorthshore.com Two Harbors Chamber of Commerce 800-777-7384 twoharborschamber.com

City of Red Lake Falls 218-253-2684 redlakefalls.com exploreminnesota.com

43


YOU’VE NEVER MET A PLACE QUITE LIKE THIS Meet Minneapolis.

Learn more at

Glass blowing demonstrations? We’ve got it. Tasting the globe in less than a day? You bet. Taking in views of the downtown skyline while traveling on the Mississippi River? Absolutely.

minneapolis.org

Check out our collection of unique tours, performances, demonstrations and experiences tailored specifically for groups. Contact: MADISON ROHDE 612.767.8220

madisonr@minneapolis.org

FOCI MN CENTER FOR GLASS ARTS

minneapolis.org/groups

MIDTOWN GLOBAL MARKET

MISSISSIPPI RIVERFRONT

Profile for The Group Travel Leader, Inc.

2019 Minnesota Group Travel Guide  

Find travel ideas and itineraries for your next trip to the North Star State in the 2019 Minnesota Group Travel Guide.

2019 Minnesota Group Travel Guide  

Find travel ideas and itineraries for your next trip to the North Star State in the 2019 Minnesota Group Travel Guide.