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2020 GROUP TRAVEL GUIDE


S H O P. D I N E . S T A Y . P L A Y. P L A N Y O U R T R I P, FIND DISCOUNTS + M O R E I N F O AT MALLOFAMERICA.COM/GROUPS

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FROM UNFORGETABLE HISTORY TO A RCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECES TO B OUNTIFUL A GRICULTURE S HOWCASES AN ARRAY OF TREASURES TO EXPLORE!

Add excitement back into your tours with an OWATONNA MYSTERY TOUR! Choose from various guided tours and activities, then our team will get to work planning and making reservations for your fully customized itinerary. Get started by visiting visitowatonna.org/group-tour-planning or calling us at 800-423-6466.


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 central 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 Cross-Country World Cup, ESPN X Games and NCAA Men’s Wrestling Championship are among the many highlights. You can also discover something completely new, like our innovative food halls in the Twin Cities or charming pizza farms in southern Minnesota. 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. 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)

EXPLOREMINNESOTA.COM

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MARKET DEVELOPMENT MILLIE PHILLIP, Market Development Representative millie.phillip@state.mn.us • 651.757.1867

GAYLE JUNNILA, Market Development Manager gayle.junnila@state.mn.us • 651.757.1852 JAKE JULIOT, International Public Relations jake.juliot@state.mn.us • 651.757.1864

exploreminnesota.com


FUN ALL

YEAR LONG

exploreminnesota.com

RunAces.com 5


CONTENTS

MINNESOTA HISTORY SITES

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HANDS-ON ARTS EXPERIENCES

18 26

34

SIGNATURE SHOPPING

MINNESOTA TOURISM LISTINGS

48 42

PUBLISHED BY

MINNESOTA MUSEUMS

MINNESOTA’S GREAT RIVER ROAD

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


History, Beauty and Charm Plan a unique and exciting trip to Red Wing, Minnesota S MALL TOWN C HARM – B IG TI M E FU N

NATU RE’S PLAYGROU N D

Natural beauty, history and small town charm are what our visitors love about Red Wing. Located an hour south of the Twin Cities and 50 minutes north of Rochester, we are just a pretty drive away from a memorable getaway.

Our bluffs and Mississippi River create a beautiful natural playground for an abundance of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, boating and kayaking.

Enjoy our historic downtown areas for shopping, dining and entertainment in our unique locally owned shops and restaurants; there are so many hidden gems to discover.

History buffs will love the architecture, trains and museums. The historic Sheldon Theatre is the jewel of Red Wing and offers an array of programming ranging for big-name musicians, and dance performances to classic musicals and family friendly entertainment.

H I STORIC STAYS Whether you want full-service luxury hotel or the familiarity of a nationwide brand, Red Wing has a variety of options to fit any group budget. Plan a getaway full of entertainment, outdoor activities, historic attractions, unique shopping & dining, cozy lodging options and more. For travel ideas, deals, events and more, visit RedWing.org

Plan a getaway full of entertainment, outdoor activities, historic attractions, unique shopping & dining, cozy lodging options and more. For travel ideas, deals, events and more, visit RedWing.org

www.RedWing.org | #RedWingMN


MINNESOTA AT Angle Inlet

Noyes

Oak Island

A Glance

Lake of the Woods

Roseau

Badger

Hallock

Warroad Williams

Lake Bronson

Baudette

Greenbush

International Falls

Karlstad

Ranier

Middle River

Littlefork

Rainy Lake rs N atio nal Park

geu

Kabetogama

Argyle

Crane Lake

Thief River Falls

Warren

Voy a

Waskish

Big Falls Upper Red Lake

East Grand Forks Fisher’s Landing

Superior National Forest

Red Lake Falls

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Lower Red Lake

Kelliher

Northome

Erskine

Tenstrike

Fertile

Hines

Bemidji

Lake George

Laporte

Akeley

Park Rapids Nevis

Detroit Lakes

Moorhead

Fifty Lakes

Perham

Ottertail

Baxter

Battle Lake Underwood

Miltona

Alexandria

Pierz

Hinckley Mora

Richmond Paynesville New London Spicer

Benson

Willmar

Milan

Madison

Montevideo Granite Falls

Princeton

Cambridge

Redwood Falls

Elk River Monticello

Albertville

Litchfield Cokato

Lindstrom

Shakopee

Lake Benton Walnut Grove

Balaton

Pipestone

Slayton

Currie

Edgerton

Luverne

Beaver Creek

Sleepy Eye Springfield

SOUTHERN

Lake City Wabasha

Faribault

Waterville

Kellogg

Zumbrota Plainview

Waseca Owatonna

Madelia

Comfrey

Red Wing Northfield

St. Peter

Mankato

MPLS-ST. PAUL AREA

Cannon Falls

Le Center

New Ulm

St. Croix

Bloomington Hastings Apple Valley

Le Sueur

Morgan

CENTRAL

Stillwater

Belle Plaine

Henderson

NORTHEAST

White Bear Lake

Minneapolis St. Louis Park St. Paul

Waconia

Olivia

Fairfax

NORTHWEST

Anoka

Maple Grove

Hutchinson

Morton

North Branch Taylors Falls

Hanley Falls

Marshall

Pine City

Bowlus

Glenwood

Appleton

Hendricks

Sandstone

Onamia

St. Cloud

Canby

STATE REGIONS

Finlayson Isle

Osakis Sauk Centre

Starbuck

Barnum

Moose Lake

Garrison

Little Falls

Long Prairie

Thompson Hill

Carlton

McGregor

Aitkin

Mille Lacs Lake

Garfield

Duluth

Cloquet

Cushing

Ortonville

Two Harbors

Crosby Deerwood

Brainerd

Staples

Fergus Falls

Morris

Silver Bay Beaver Bay

Emily

Breezy Point

Nisswa

Wadena

Little Marais

Calumet

Hill City

Crosslake

Pequot Lakes

New York Mills

Schroeder

Remer

Longville Hackensack

Pine River

Menahga Dent

Breckenridge

Bovey

Backus

Frazee Vergas

Pelican Rapids

Grand Rapids

Federal Dam

Leech Lake

Walker

Ponsford Hawley

Deer River

Bena

Lake Itasca

Nay-Tah-Waush

Waubun

Tofte

Virginia Biwabik Chisholm Aurora Hoyt Lakes Gilbert Hibbing Eveleth

Lake Winnibigoshish

Cass Lake

Mantorville

St. James

Kasson

Windom

Altura

Rochester

Worthington

Fairmont Jackson

Albert Lea

Austin

Preston

Blue Earth

Worthington

Le Roy

Harmony

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10 10

25 25

50 Miles 50

75 Kilometers

Dresbach

La Crescent

Rushford Spring Valley

0

Winona

Chatfield

Blooming Prairie

Lanesboro Adrian

Lutsen

Superior National Forest

Babbitt

Pennington

Mahnomen

Ada

Grand Marais

Marcell Chippewa National Forest

Bagley Shevlin

Tower

Bigfork

Blackduck

Clearbrook Fosston

Grand Portage

Ely

Cook

Crookston

Moorhead

Grand Portage

Orr

Houston

Caledonia

Brownsville

Spring Grove

Albert Lea

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.

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exploreminnesota.com


MAKE MEMORIES IN BLOOMINGTON, MN

HEALTH AND WELLNESS ACTIVITIES

TAX-FREE SHOPPING ON CLOTHING AND SHOES

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Bloomington, Minnesota, is home to Mall of America® and so much more. Explore parks and nature, arts and culture, and fun activities for all ages. Whether you have a few hours or a few days, get the most out of your time in Bloomington with our specialized group itineraries.

exploreminnesota.com

Visit BloomingtonMN.org/Tour-Operators for more information!

9


Courtesy Split Rock Lighthouse

Courtesy Historical Soc. of Clay Co.

HISTORY BREATHES THAT

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

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Courtesy MN History Center

Courtesy MN History Center

exploreminnesota.com


HISTORIC SITES

Courtesy Harkin Store

M

Minnesota treats its past like the present

innesota’s history hasn’t been boxed up and stored in an attic. The past peers out on Lake Superior from atop a lighthouse that saved hundreds of sailors and ships. It’s found on the shelves of a well-preserved community grocery store and in the childhood home of the world’s most famous aviator. And it is collected

and preserved in history centers from St. Paul to the Red River Valley. Discover these unique historic sites on your group’s next trip to Minnesota. HARKIN STORE

New Ulm Setting foot in the Harkin Store on the Minnesota River near New Ulm is like stepping back 150 years. That’s when the store was in its heyday, a community hub where locals shopped, swapped news and collected their mail. Trains and a grasshopper plague destroyed not only farms and an economy that depended on river traffic but the store as well. Thanks mainly to the preservation efforts of the Harkin family, the store has been saved, and about 40% of the goods displayed inside date from 1870 to 1901, when the store was in business, according to site manager Ruth Grewe.

“There are not a lot of old buildings that have so much original,” said Grewe. The Harkin descendants “just kept everything. Knowing the history of Grandpa’s store was important to them.” Grewe leads a lot of tours, tailoring them to her audiences. Tourists’ questions help her decide which stories to tell. After 15 years working at the store, she has no need for a script. People are fascinated by the goods displayed, from baby shoes and men’s heavy boots to lamps fueled by whale oil and kerosene. Many say the store reminds them of “Little House on the Prairie” — interesting, given that it is about an hour east of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove. Because the store is small, larger group tours are divided in two. As one group tours the store, the other can examine photos and exhibits on the porch or wander into a gift shop so well stocked that people come just to shop there. Consigners are locals who make honey, maple syrup, socks on a 1904 machine, mittens from old sweaters, handmade purses, wooden toys and old-fashioned

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Illuminated Split Rock Lighthouse; the Hopperstad Stave Church replica at the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County; Harkin Store; Split Rock Lighthouse by day; a family photo at the Minnesota History Center; a Minnesota History Center quilt. exploreminnesota.com Courtesy Split Rock Lighthouse

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games like dominoes. This year marks the store’s sesquicentennial, and Grewe advises travel planners to watch the website for special programming planned to commemorate it. Hours and days vary with the season, and the store is closed in the offseason. mnhs.org/harkinstore

CHARLES LINDBERGH HOUSE AND MUSEUM Little Falls Seeing a barnstormer soar above the Mississippi River in 1911 awakened the flyer in a Minnesota farm boy who would become the most famed aviator of his time. Charles Lindbergh lived next to the river in a modest bungalow until he was 18. Today, that home and a 1960s visitors center tell the story of Lindbergh’s life in Minnesota and far beyond. The Charles Lindbergh House and Museum in Little Falls has perhaps the country’s largest collection of items tied to the aviator, who became an instant hero when he completed the first solo trans-Atlantic Harkin Store flight in 1927. “Ninety-five per“There are not a lot of old buildings cent of the items in the house are original arthat have so much original. The tifacts,” said site manager Melissa Peterson. Harkin descendants kept everything. “And there are also no Knowing the history of Grandpa’s barriers. That is the difference of the Lindstore was important to them.” bergh House.” Artifacts are enhanced by storytelling, much of it inspired by gh’s lifetime, from the toys he played with to a 70-page letter that Lindbergh wrote for a replica of his famous airplane, the Spirit of the Minnesota Historical Society in 1969 St. Louis, which visitors can board to better about his early years. understand what Lindbergh’s famous flight They are “fabulous stories that you can might have felt like. relate to,” said Peterson. The importance of A 17-minute PBS American Experience his farm upbringing becomes clear through film covers the trauma he and his family stories of how tinkering on tractors and othfaced when their son was kidnapped and exer farm equipment helped him understand plores allegations he sympathized with the airplanes and their mechanicals aspects. Nazis during World War II. On days when a local bakery can supply “This is the only museum in the U.S. that them, groups might enjoy a treat of Lindbercovers Lindbergh in totality,” said Peterson. gh’s favorite cookie, a Swedish spritz, during Because the site’s schedule changes with a social hour in the museum. Groups can also the season, it is best to check the website bearrange for a first-person interpretation in the fore making travel plans. Even when it is closed 50-person theater, perhaps of a farm worker to the public, group tours can be arranged. remembering life on the Lindbergh farm. mnhs.org/lindbergh The museum’s collection covers Lindber-

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Courtesy Harkin Store

Photos courtesy Charles Lindbergh House

Hands-on activities at Charles Lindbergh House

exploreminnesota.com


TASTE

MN

WILD RICE

W

ild rice is technically the seed of an aquatic grass that thrives in the shallows of Minnesota’s lakes and streams. Officials decided to make it the state’s official grain anyway; it is a heritage crop, they point out, beloved for its nutty taste and versatility. Among its modern-day tenders are Native Americans, who harvest it using canoes and special paddles. They work as their ancestors did, gliding through the tall grasses, knocking seeds loose and into the boat. Plenty of merchants — arts and crafts shops, gift shops, natural food stores — sell the Minnesota wild rice that the tribes and others harvest. Bags of wild rice make a good souvenir, especially for cooks. It also is the star ingredient in wild rice soup, a ubiquitous Minnesota dish served in restaurants and home kitchens. There is no one recipe: The Star Tribune has published 60 renditions of wild rice soup since 1975. You can have a bowl as you arrive or leave Minnesota at the Minnesota Wild Bar and Restaurant, which specializes in Minnesota’s iconic foods. It’s in Terminal One at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Courtesy Explore Minnesota

Litt le Falls

WHERE THE MISSISSIPPI PAUSES...YOUR DISCOVERY BEGINS

MINNESOTA

Just north of the Twin Cities a historic city is waiting to be discovered. Little Falls, MN is known for its location along the Mississippi and the history that happened along its banks. Our City has several attractions including Charles Lindbergh House and Museum, Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Museum, Linden Hill Historic Mansions, Minnesota Fishing Museum, Minnesota Military Museum, Pine Grove Zoo, and Great River Arts. Little Falls has something for everyone as our hospitable city will accommodate your needs whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or adventure seeker.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TODAY! littlefallsmn.com

exploreminnesota.com

(800) 325-5916 • lfcvb@lfcvb.com • 606 1st Street SE, Little Falls, MN 56345

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HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL SOCIETY OF CLAY COUNTY

SPLIT ROCK LIGHTHOUSE Two Harbors When the sky is blue and the sun is bright, Split Rock Lighthouse is picture-perfect, standing sentinel straight, nearly 200 feet above Lake Superior’s chilly waters. But a gray, foggy day makes the North Shore landmark’s significance even clearer. Atop a 130-foot cliff, Split Rock was a life preserver. Its light, which could be seen for 22 miles, saved ships and sailors after more than two dozen shipwrecks in one storm convinced officials to build the beacon in 1905. Thanks to modern navigation, the lighthouse, about an hour north of Duluth, was retired in 1969, but thousands of visitors come each year to take 20-minute, information-packed tours and roam the 25-acre site, climbing the 32-step spiral staircase for a topof-the-lighthouse view. They get a close look at the French-built Fresnel lens, which is no longer in daily use, said Karly Franzen, lighthouse keeper. “The lens is still there, and it does rotate.” Visitors can climb down the cliff to the shore for a fisheye view of the lighthouse and wander through the keeper’s cottage, where costumed interpreters talk about the isolated existence the lighthouse keeper and his family led. “They cook on wood stoves — cookies, breads that the keeper’s family would have been making when there were kids growing up here,” said Franzen. A couple of times an hour, a recording of the lighthouse’s foghorn sounds. It’s a 10th of the volume of the real foghorn, which was “rattling-windows loud,” said Franzen. In-season, groups can arrange their own tour when they call two weeks in advance. In the visitors center, they can watch a new film about the lighthouse’s history, although quite a few tour groups opt to buy the film and watch it on the motorcoach as they travel, according to Franzen. Interiors of the lighthouse and other buildings are closed in the winter. The lighthouse reopens in mid-March but doesn’t offer guided tours until the season begins in mid-May. mnhs.org/splitrock

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Moorhead The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County is best known for two striking re-creations, both tied to Nordic culture: the Hjemkomst Viking Ship and the Hopperstad Stave Church. Those two replicas, coupled with the name of the society’s museum — the Hjemkomst Center, Norwegian for “welcome” — have led to the assumption that the society is all about Scandinavian heritage. “Those things do tend to make people think we are a Scandinavian heritage center, but we are not,” said Maureen Kelly Jonason, executive director. “We are the Red River Valley Heritage Society really, which means we look at issues of diversity.”

Courtesy Split Rock Lighthouse

Exploring the interior of Split Rock Lighthouse

“It is a free multicultural showcase of culture and arts of many different nations because Fargo is a refugee resettlement community. There is a lot of diversity here that people don’t normally associate with this region.”

A good example is the center’s Pangea festival in November. “It is a free multicultural showcase of culture and arts of many different nations because Fargo [Moorhead’s twin city across the river] is a refugee resettlement community,” said Jonason. “There is a lot of diversity here that people don’t normally associate with this region.” Pangea is one of four cultural festivals held at the museum each year; groups can build a tour around any of them. Celtic culture is celebrated in March. In June, there’s a Scandinavian festival. September brings a German celebration. “The festivals are a fun time to let people loose to enjoy food, music and culture,” said Jonason. The Hjemkomst Center also brings worldclass traveling exhibits to the region. It was the only Minnesota site for Quilt National 2019, held July 1-Sept. 30, an exhibition of 32 art quilts by some of the world’s finest fiber artists.

Courtesy Historical Soc. of Clay Co.

Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County exploreminnesota.com


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

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 MNHS Premier Partner:

FOREST HISTORY CENTER GRAND RAPIDS

JAMES J. HILL HOUSE ST. PAUL

Minnesota’s Downton Abbey

JEFFERS PETROGLYPHS COMFREY

7,000-year-old sacred rock carvings

MILL CITY MUSEUM

MINNESOTA HISTORY CENTER

MINNEAPOLIS

ST. PAUL

Minneapolis starts here MILLE LACS INDIAN MUSEUM & TRADING POST

Inspiring exhibits to enrich your world SNAKE RIVER FUR POST PINE CITY

ONAMIA

A living Ojibwe story

exploreminnesota.com

Stories of the fur trade

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Winter at Clay County’s Hjemkomst Center

The biennial exhibition appeals to local quilt enthusiasts. “There is a big quilt subculture here, but people who are not obsessed with quilts will find it fascinating. These are not your grandma’s quilts,” said Jonason. This year’s exhibitions conclude with a League of Women Voters women’s suffrage exhibit, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. That exhibit will be enriched with the history of the league’s local chapter. hcscconline.org

By Lee Smalt, courtesy Historical Society of Clay Co.

MINNESOTA HISTORY CENTER St. Paul The Minnesota History Center has found that oldies often are goodies in terms of exhibitions. “One of our most popular with tour groups is the ‘Minnesota’s Greatest Generation’ exhibit,” said museum manager Annie Johnson. “It has been here about a decade now, but it is still going strong.” Told through the stories of Minnesotans and artifacts collected within the state, the exhibition takes visitors through the difficult days of the Great Depression and World War II to the boom times of the 1950s and 1960s. The center is known for interactive experiences, like sitting inside the fuselage of a C-47 troop transport plane to hear recordings of Minnesota paratroopers who survived D-Day. Group tours, scheduled at least two weeks in advance, include a greeting and a guided tour of an exhibit of the group’s choosing. Then, the group can choose how to spend the rest of its visit. A good choice for music lovers is “First Avenue,” a look at the impact of a tiny music venue that brought future stars like Joe Cocker, the Replacements and Prince into the spotlight. This year is First Avenue’s 50th anniversary. “We have one of Prince’s outfits from Purple Rain, so that is always a hit,” said Johnson. Another exhibition, which opened in late 2019, represents a new relationship the center has forged with the state’s Native American tribes. “Our Home: Native Minnesota”

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blends personal stories, loaned art, and artifacts and pieces from the museum’s collection to tell stories of the Ojibwa and Dakota tribes. “It is our first exhibit to focus on Minnesota’s Native American story of survival, resistance and adaptation,” said Johnson. In September, another new exhibition will open to tell the story of women’s suffrage through Minnesotans’ experience. mnhs.org/historycenter

Photos courtesy MN History Center

Artifacts and photos at the Minnesota History Center

“One of our most popular [exhibits] with tour groups is ‘Minnesota’s Greatest Generation.’ It has been here about a decade now, but it is still going strong.”

exploreminnesota.com


ITINERARY Central Region DAY

ELK RIVER

1

OLIVER KELLEY FARM

Learn about 1860s farming at the working Oliver Kelley Farm. Explore this historic farmstead and then head to the new modern Farm Lab to learn about today’s animals, crops and produce and how it gets from the farm to your dinner plate.

WOODLAND TRAILS

Woodland Trails Regional Park is a 427-acre park with dense woods, prairies and wetlands. It is a magnificent place to visit for bird watching, walking, hiking, biking or cross-country skiing.

ANNUAL EVENTS

There are many events that take place throughout the year, including Taste of the Elk River, an outdoor food and wine festival in mid-May; Riverfront Concert Series on Thursday nights in downtown all summer long; Santa in the Park in early December; and Shiver Elk River in the middle of winter.

DAY

2

ST. CLOUD

MUNSINGER CLEMENS BOTANICAL SOCIETY

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 hemlocks and 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

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.

PARAMOUNT THEATRE

This 800-seat theater is central Minnesota’s Home for Arts and Entertainment, hosting community theater and local, regional and national performers throughout the year.

DAY

3

LITTLE FALLS MINNESOTA MILITARY MUSEUM

Examine military historical exhibits dating from mid-1800s at the Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley. Learn about the experiences of military men and women that are captured and interpreted for the public as at this museum.

CHARLES LINDBERGH HOUSE AND MUSEUM

Discover the childhood home of Charles 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

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

For more itinerary ideas visit :

EXPLOREMINNESOTA.COM

exploreminnesota.com

17


Courtesy Muller Studio

Courtesy Watermark Art Center

,

MAKE TAKE IT

IT

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

18

Courtesy Watermark Art Center

Courtesy Austin Artworks Center

exploreminnesota.com


ART EXPERIENCES

Your creativity takes flight in Minnesota

Courtesy Design Station

I

t’s easy to get artsy in Minnesota: Blow glass. Paint a meaningful message on weathered wood. See a sculptor work near the Lake Superior shore. Turn Spam can parts into a bohemian bracelet. Look to art exhibits to inspire your own works. If you have art lovers in your group, introduce them to these experiences when you tour Minnesota.

AUSTIN ARTWORKS CENTER

Austin To see art in everything, let the Austin ArtWorks Center be your guide. Since it opened five years ago in this town of 25,000, the center has become quite good at creating imaginative art projects for group tours. Not surprisingly, many involve Spam, the canned meat product that originated in Austin, home of Hormel. Austin is also home to the Spam Museum, now downtown. Groups have made jewelry from the Spam cans’ tabs or floral arrangements from its distinctive cans, said Laura Helle, executive director at the arts center. Don’t worry if Spam doesn’t ignite the Picasso within. “We are small enough that we can design a project specifically for the group,” said Helle. There are plenty of other artistic avenues to explore, like paintings of holiday

scenes, works made with polymer clays — which are easy to handle and can be baked later in home ovens — or felted gnomes. The center tries to be practical, devising art projects that take only an hour or so and are easy to transport. Everything for the project is provided, and many materials are donated by the center’s enthusiastic supporters. If Helle puts out a call for rocks for a painting project, she knows from past experience that a pile of stones will soon appear. “Sometimes it’s like a spigot that won’t turn off,” she said with a laugh. Finished projects “don’t look like preschoolers’ macaroni art, but they aren’t Tiffany either,” Helle said. Likely, artists will be proud to show off those boho-style bracelets they fashioned from used bike inner tubes and Spam can tabs. And they often realize they are more artistically inclined than they previously imagined. “People will say, ‘I’m not an artist; I’m not creative,’” said Helle. “But then they complete a project and are pleased with the results.” austinareaarts.org

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Mueller Studio; a Watermark Art Center craft; a Design Station flower box; a mosaic project at Watermark Art Center; Austin ArtWorks Center; Design Station alumni.

exploreminnesota.comCourtesy Design Station

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DESIGN STATION Alexandria Since opening the Design Station in Alexandria in 2018, Gwen Schroeder has often thought of herself as “a therapist, without the therapy charge.” That’s because as her customers lose themselves for a couple of hours focusing on do-it-yourself home decor projects at her workshop, they also unwind. And they tell her what a relief that is. “They find the projects relaxing,” she said. “They are at peace and find themselves gaining self-confidence as they do something they doubted they could do.” Schroeder’s business gets its name from the Great Northern railcar attached to it, which was used as a dining room when the building was a restaurant. She uses the railcar for overflow and special events. Booking a group is easy. A group leader schedules a time and talks about some projects, and Schroeder does the rest. She supplies all the raw materials: the wooden signs, planters, dog dish stands, trays and

“They find the projects relaxing. They are at peace and find themselves gaining self-confidence as they do something they doubted they could do.”

MUELLER STUDIO

other pieces to be painted, as well as the paint, stencils and baby wipes used to apply paint. She even hands out aprons to protect clothes. Groups are welcome to bring food and drink. Customers leave with something attractive to use at home: a sign that says “Home Sweet Home” or a kitchen tray with the stenciled message “This Kitchen Is Seasoned With Love.” Depending on the season, painting projects vary: in the spring, wooden eggs; in the fall, wooden pumpkins. “My projects are never the same and that keeps people coming back,” said Schroeder. “We see all ages. My youngest customer has been 3; the oldest, 87.” The Design Station has been a hit with everyone from bus tours to Boy Scout troops. At one birthday party, 11-year-old boys laughed it up as they stenciled signs that said “Little Man Cave” and “Be Nice or Go Home.” The growing business has also been therapeutic for Schroeder. She tears up as she talks about its genesis. “My husband died seven years ago,” she said. “I feel life is short. I’d dreamed of owning my own business. My girls are all on their own now, so I decided it was time for Mom to follow her dream.” designstationdiy.com

Lutsen Fans of Last Chance Studio in Lutsen will be pleased to hear that the longtime art stop has a new life as the foundry and studio of sculptor Greg Mueller. Mueller bought the spot from his artist friend Tom Christianson and renamed it Mueller Studio. There’s no longer a retail art gallery, but Mueller, a longtime art educator, welcomes groups to watch him at work on the varied sculptural pieces he creates for public and private commissions.

Austin ArtWorks Center

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“If I know in advance, I could prepare a demonstration. I’ve got two to three large commissions going, so it can be fun to see things in progress,” he said. As he works, Mueller can answer questions and talk about the history of foundry work and how it has changed. Groups can examine some of the reclaimed and found objects — stop signs, for example — that he uses in his projects. Visitors might realize they’ve seen some of Mueller’s work, like benches he made last fall for a park in Eagan or sculptures that will be part of a highway enhancement. Because his studio is outdoors, on the busy and scenic highway, he’s getting used to drop-ins. “It’s pretty informal,” he said. “I get people who are curious as to what is going on.” Back in his home state for just a couple of years, Mueller has already become active in nearby Grand Marais’ arts community. He’s among some 20 artists who open their studios during the twice-annual Art Along the Lake tour. As improvements are made

RIGHT AND BOTTOM RIGHT: Art installations at Mueller Studio BOTTOM LEFT: Design Station

Courtesy Design Station

Courtesy Muller Studio

Courtesy Muller Studio

Courtesy Austin ArtWorks Center

exploreminnesota.com

21


“As they watch molten glass that flows like honey turn into a hard, reflective solid, there is something still very magical. The alchemy is fascinating.”

to Highway 61, he and other area artists are making sure that public art enhances the byway. He’s also planning a sculpture garden on his property to brighten the ride for bikers on the Gitchi-Gami bike trail, which will eventually run right through his yard on its way to Grand Marais from Duluth. greglmueller.com

FOCI MINNESOTA CENTER FOR GLASS ARTS

Source of the Mississippi

catch a PAR K RAPIDS

Theater

DISTRICT

800-247-0054

www.parkrapids.com

22

Minneapolis Art can be calming. A palmful of clay or a brush dipped in watercolor paint tends to soothe. Delving into glassmaking, though, is a different artistic animal. First, there’s the heat. “It’s around 2,000 degrees, so there’s a natural instinct to want to shield yourself from the heat,” said Kelly Nezworski of the FOCI Minnesota Center for Glass Arts in Minneapolis. “Your body reacts, your instinct kicks in. Then people feel the excitement and the adrenaline. As they watch molten glass that flows like honey turn into a hard, reflective solid, there is something still very magical. The alchemy is fascinating.” FOCI, housed in a building that was once a General Mills research facility, has artist studios, an exhibition gallery and glass arts classes for all ages. Groups can visit the gallery, where works by 30 artists rotate every three months and cost from $20 to $750. The shopping expedition could be followed by a glassblowing demonstration and talk. Or if there’s more time, travelers could take a glassblowing class. Each person makes a small glass object — it varies depending on the season — sometimes a flower or a pumpkin, other times a tumbler or a paperweight. One-on-one train-

Photos courtesy FOCI Glass

TOP: A glass-blowing demonstration at FOCI Glass MIDDLE: A glass fusion activity BOTTOM: A hands-on glass experience

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TASTE

MN

JUICY LUCY

C

reative juices flowed in the 1950s. Barbie and Mr. Potato Head were born; Liquid Paper came along to cover up our mistakes; hula hoops kept us spinning; and Minneapolis flipped over a new idea in hamburgers — the Juicy Lucy — two hamburger patties wrapped around a knot of cheese and cooked on a hot grill until the cheese oozed and the hamburger crunched. The story of the Juicy Lucy’s origin has long been disputed, and both Minneapolis restaurants that claim to have created it are still in business, a few miles apart on Cedar Avenue South. Matt’s Bar looks like a dive but inside, feels like a retro man cave. It sells the Jucy Lucy, the spelling quirk the result of a never-corrected typo on the original sign. Down the street, the 5-8 Club says the Juicy Lucy was its idea. More than 60 years later, who cares? The two have a lot of competition these days, as restaurants throughout Minneapolis-St. Paul have jumped into the Juicy Lucy fray. Bon Appetit magazine proclaimed the Juicy at St. Paul’s the Nook, “a small place with big burgers,” the best. Hell’s Kitchen, Red Cow, Butcher and the Boar and the Blue Door Pub have their own renditions. No matter where you enjoy one, a Juicy Lucy and its molten cheese center can serve as a respite from a long Minnesota winter. Courtesy Explore Minnesota

ing takes about 20 minutes per person at four glassblowing stations, so a group of 20 would wrap up in 90 minutes to two hours. Because the glass must harden, pieces can be picked up in a couple of days or shipped. mnglassart.org

WATERMARK ART CENTER Bemidji Bemidji, a tourist town in Minnesota’s northwest region, has cleverly turned a former lakeside supermarket into a superlative center for artistic expression. Its new digs have allowed the community arts organization, now called the Watermark Art Center, to expand exhibition space and other offerings, including classes. For an additional fee, a group tour can book an artistic project led by center staff, according to Jill Oakes, art education program director. “When I do an art activity with a tour, I try to coordinate it with one of our current exhibits,” she said. “I usually give them two to three choices for activities.” The hands-on projects are designed to be finished in about an hour.

exploreminnesota.com

For a recent church group, Oakes used an exhibit in the center’s Native American gallery as inspiration. Water was its theme, and so the group made a waterscape that included birch branch weavings. The center’s pollinator gardens inspired another project, where a group made tiny bird and bumblebee baths. A youth group made colorful bears to echo wildlife paintings by DG House, a Native American artist. In its first year in the new space, the center had more than 20 exhibitions in its four galleries, including a gallery that is curated by Bemidji State University and that serves as the showplace for its impressive art collection. Visitors to the Watermark see everything from the best of local high school students’ art to the works of Mary Cassatt and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec from the Bemidji State collection. The center is also a shopping destination, as tourists and locals line up in its Shop 505 for fine art and handcrafted jewelry. “It is work by local artists, things you would buy that are real art,” said Oakes. watermarkartcenter.org

Courtesy Watermark Art Center

A take-home project from Watermark Art Center

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ITINERARY Southern Region DAY

1

RED WING

POTTERY MUSEUM OF RED WING

More than 6,000 vintage pieces of artisan-crafted stoneware, art pottery, dinnerware and folk art bring the story of historic Red Wing to life in dozens of exhibits covering 13,000 square feet.

RED WING SHOE STORE & MUSEUM

Visit the flagship Red Wing Shoe Store to see the world’s largest boot, the Red Wing Shoe Museum and a full-floor outlet center.

ANDERSON CENTER AT TOWER VIEW

A nationally registered landmark, the Anderson Center’s facility houses a permanent art collection, sculpture garden, studio artists, classes and retreats.

DAY

2

OWATONNA

VILLAGE OF YESTERYEAR AND STEELE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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, fire station, farm machinery building, blacksmith shop, country school and more.

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NATIONAL FARMERS’ BANK

Discover historic downtown and the National Farmers’ Bank. Built from 1906-1908, the National Farmers’ Bank is widely recognized as one of the premier pieces of “Prairie School Architecture” in America. The most famous of all Louis Sullivan’s banks, it is considered “a jewel box of the prairie,” featuring gold leaf arches, stained glass windows, and nouveau baroque art designs.

DAY

3

ROCHESTER

MAYOWOOD MANSION

Discover the Mayo family’s fascinating history on a Historic Mayowood Mansion tour. Guided tours of the mansion, which was built in 1911 and housed three generations of Mayos, are available from mid-April to mid-October. From early November until mid-December, the mansion is decked out for the holidays and offers holiday-themed tours.

PLUMMER HOUSE OF THE ARTS

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, consisting of formal gardens and a bird trail.

HERITAGE HOUSE VICTORIAN MUSEUM

A mere two-block walk north of downtown Rochester brings visitors to Heritage House Victorian Museum, which offers the opportunity to see how life was lived in the 1800s. This Italianate-style home was built in 1875 for Timothy and Eliza Whiting.

CHARLES E. GAGNON MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN

The Gagnon 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 peoples.

DAY

4

PRESTON & HOUSTON

NATIONAL TROUT CENTER

Visit the National Trout Center for hands-on activities to engage the public in awareness of the environment, cold water fishery resources of the region and the arts and crafts related to trout fishing.

AMISH COMMUNITY TOURS

Amish families first began to settle in Minnesota in the late 1800s. Today the Preston, Harmony and Canton area of Fillmore County is home to Minnesota’s largest Amish settlement, with seven church districts and approximately 1,000 people. Take a guided tour with one of the area Amish tour businesses to experience Amish life first-hand.

INTERNATIONAL OWL CENTER

Meet live ambassador owls at the International Owl Center. Feel how soft an owl feather is, peruse owl art from around the world, and find out more about the people working hard to make the world a better place for owls.

For more itinerary ideas visit :

EXPLOREMINNESOTA.COM

exploreminnesota.com


Just 20 miles north of Duluth Discover everything Lake Superior’s North Shore is famously known for — in and around Two Harbors. • Accessible waterfalls and state parks

• Lake Superior waterfront access and ship watching

• TWO lighthouses

• Award-winning brewery and restaurants

• FOUR historic sites and museums • Outdoor adventure

exploreminnesota.com

• Locally-owned unique gift shops

twoharbors.com

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History Museum of E. Otter Tail Co.

Courtesy Vikings Museum

BROWSE COLLECTION THE

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

26

Courtesy MN Marine Art Museum

exploreminnesota.com


MUSEUMS

You’ll always remember minnesota’s museums

Courtesy Rourke Art Gallery and Museum

T

hese museums are anything but musty and dusty. Imagine a collection of almost all local art, shown off in a historically significant building: displays of locomotives and railcars paired with a scenic railroad; a county’s history, pulled from people’s attics and basements; a salute to art inspired by water; and a

place just for fans of Vikings — the football kind, that is. Groups can have these and other memorable experiences at museums throughout Minnesota. ROURKE ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM

Moorhead Going local is nothing new at the Rourke Art Gallery and Museum in Moorhead. Housed in a restored 1915 post office, the last of downtown’s “grand” buildings, the Rourke exhibits art by area artists instead of work from afar. “We’re trying to do the opposite of that,” said exhibition manager Cameron Peterson. Its nine exhibition spaces are used in two ways. The Rourke rotates pieces from its 4,000-piece permanent collection as any museum would. Most works are by Midwestern artists, although there are a few ringers, like an Andy Warhol. Other spaces operate as an art gallery, with works by lo-

cal artists on display and for sale. “We are not just a museum,” said Peterson. “Through our galleries, we support local artists to give a new artist a start or display shows of regional artists.” Art rotates frequently, so most months visitors will see something new. And lest you think there might not be enough local talent to round out shows, consider this: In 2019, 95 area artists participated in the museum’s annual invitational. This year, that show, with the theme “Within One’s Own Skin,” opens June 18. “I like to promote that one for group tours,” said Peterson. “It is a good chance to see a variety of styles and techniques and interpretations of a theme.” James O’Rourke, who founded the museum in 1960 and led it for many years, also wanted his museum to be run by artists rather than art administrators. His wish is currently granted: Peterson is a printmaker, and executive director Jonathan Rutter is a painter. The Rourke is open to the public Friday through Sunday, and Wednesdays and Thursdays by appointment. Admission is free, and guided tours cost $2 per person. therourke.org

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: History Museum of East Otter Tail County; signed footballs at the Vikings Museum; Rourke Art Gallery and Museum; an outdoor exhibit at the Rourke; Minnesota Marine Art Museum. exploreminnesota.com Courtesy Rourke Art Gallery and Museum

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VIKINGS MUSEUM

LAKE SUPERIOR RAILROAD MUSEUM Duluth At most railroad museums, you gaze at massive locomotives and dream of where they might take you. But at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in the historic Duluth Union Depot, you can ride the rails. “We have an excursion railroad right out our back door,” said Ken Buehler, executive director and general manager. “It’s rare to have both a museum and a scenic excursion train.” It’s also unusual for the train to go somewhere. Unlike most rail excursions — Buehler said his former wife used to describe scenic railroads as “four miles into the woods and four miles back” — the North Shore Scenic Railroad travels 28 miles north to Two Harbors. It wends its way up to the Lake Superior shore town; through the city, neighborhoods and north woods; out to the lakeshore; and back into the woods. The trip takes about two hours, depending on how much it slows down at scenic points. “You cross seven trestles and bridges,” said Buehler. Some span chasms carved by rivers. And, of course, Lake Superior often steals the show. “When you’ve got that view, you slow down,” he said. Buehler suggests that before they hop on the train, groups spend at least an hour at the museum, chosen as the top transportation museum in the country in 2017 by USA Today. There’s a lot to see — more than 20 locomotives — all of which run and can be used for the excursion train and more than 40 other cars and pieces of equipment. Groups can arrange for a behind-the-scenes tour of a dining car owned by U.S. Steel. They’ll also want to visit the immigrant waiting room, where thousands of newcomers entered the state to work in its iron ore mines. It was, at the time, the Midwestern version of Ellis Island, Buehler said. As the train takes a group up the lake, their motorcoach can travel the road to Two Harbors and meet them when they disembark there. Depending on the timing, the group can dine in Two Harbors or have a box lunch as they head on up the road to Split Rock Lighthouse and other scenic spots. lsrm.org

Eagan The Minnesota Vikings joined an elite group in 2018 when they became only the fourth NFL team to have their own standalone museum. And what a museum it is, a 14,000-squarefoot shrine to the home team on the Vikings’ new headquarters campus in Eagan, a Minneapolis suburb. Not far off Interstate 494, it is 15 minutes from Mall of America and the airport. That makes it a natural stop before and after games during the season, said the museum’s Jessica Faucher. “A lot of fans come in for a Sunday game on Saturday and stay over on Monday, so they might come to the museum on those days.” For this museum, finding qualified tour guides was no problem. “Fans approached us about volunteering,” said Faucher. “They’d say, ‘I love the Vikings, I’m a lifelong fan; I want to do more.’” Many have followed the team since its inaugural 1961 season and they keep up with the latest Vikings news. A short film in the 360-degree theater makes a good introduction; a virtual reality experience allows fans to feel like they are standing on the field on opening day, surrounded by stands packed with cheering fans. Many stories are told of those who made the Vikings a team to be reckoned with. “Our story and artifacts gravitate toward people involved in the legacy since the inaugural season of ’61, especially coach Bud Grant,” said Faucher.

Rourke Art Gallery and Museum

Photos courtesy Rourke Art Gallery and Museum

Vikings Museum

Courtesy Vikings Museum

Courtesy Lake Superior Railroad Museum

Lake Superior Railroad Museum

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TASTE

MN

PORKETTA

A

century ago, porketta’s aromatic waft welcomed many a Minnesota miner as he trudged home from the iron ore mines. Italians had brought the recipe from their homeland, and they shared it with the Finns, the Slovaks and other immigrants who also came to work the Iron Range. There was a lot to love about porketta. Made from pork shoulder or butt, it was cheap and fed many. The ingredients, primarily fennel and garlic, were simple. Cooked slowly, the herbs married with the meat. Tender and flavorful, porketta was a warm taste of home. It’s still a Minnesota favorite, found in Italian restaurants like Gannucci’s Italian Market in Duluth and Valentini’s Vicini Lago in Chisholm, not far from the unofficial Iron Range capital, Hibbing. The Twin Cities have their porketta outposts, too. The Iron Ranger in St. Paul, its roots tied to a restaurant in the Iron Range, offers a porketta Cuban as well as the classic sandwich. The Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub in Minneapolis also gets high marks for its 18-hour porketta — smoked porketta, smoked Swiss cheese and sauteed onions.

Courtesy Iron Ranger

Memorabilia collected over the past few years visually tells the story not just of Vikings football but also of the sport’s history in Minnesota. Who knew, for example, that a Vikings predecessor, the Duluth Eskimos, helped save the NFL? After a guided tour, groups are welcome to see more on their own or to plunge into piles of purple-and-gold Vikings paraphernalia in the Vikings Locker Room gift shop. “We’re quite proud of our purple and gold,” said Faucher. vikings.com/fans/vikings-museum

Courtesy Vikings Museum

A novelty vehicle at the Vikings Museum exploreminnesota.com

29


Minnesota Marine Art Museum

MINNESOTA MARINE ART MUSEUM

Photos courtesy MN Marine Art Museum

FREE ADMISSION

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

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

Courtesy History Museum of E. Otter Tail Co.

Winona Like the license plate says, Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. The state is also the birthplace of the Mississippi River; dozens of other rivers spider-web its earth as Lake Superior pats the top of its head. Even if it isn’t coastal, Minnesota has liquid assets. “Most people in Minnesota have a strong connection to water,” said Dave Casey, assistant curator of education and exhibitions at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) in Winona. That is why an art museum whose collection is tied to water makes sense here. “Great art, inspired by water,” is how the museum describes its collecting principles as it sits within sight of the Mississippi River. That guiding principle yields a surprisingly broad collection. There’s the expected, like Emanuel Leutze’s iconic “Washington Crossing the Delaware” from 1851. This painting hung in the White House for 30 years before it was purchased by MMAM. There’s also the edgy and unexpected, such as an upcoming exhibition of Hawaii photographer Christy Lee Rogers’ surrealistic underwater images. She was named the 2019 Sony World Open Photographer of the Year. “Her underwater photographs of people in motion in colorful dresses look like 17th-century baroque paintings,” Casey said. Artists not thought of as marine artists also hang here: Georgia O’Keeffe, three generations of Wyeths, Vincent van Gogh, John James Audubon, even Pablo Picasso. “No one would think of him as a marine artist, but you will see water pop up in his work,” said Casey. The museum is best known for its Hudson Valley School collection but is also rich

History Museum of East Otter Tail County

“Her underwater photographs of people in motion in colorful dresses look like 17th-century baroque paintings.”

PotteryMuseumRedWing.org 30

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MNGroupTravel2020.qxp_Layout 1 11/1/19 4:22 PM Page 1

Closes February 22 with works of the impressionists and an expanding contemporary collection. With group discounts, the $5 admission is a bargain for six galleries of impressive art. Tours can be self-guided, but by calling at least three weeks in advance, a group can arrange for a more enlightening tour, about an hour long and led by Casey, other staff or docents. Each chooses which paintings to discuss, giving every tour a different twist. Afterward, visitors can tour the museum on their own or duck into a well-stocked gift shop that sells items tied to the museum’s collection and made by local artists. mmam.org

HISTORY MUSEUM OF EAST OTTER TAIL COUNTY Perham For a primer on how to start a local history museum, visit the History Museum of East Otter Tail County in Perham. “The collection started with the historical society asking people in the community to donate items,” said Mary Pfeffer, one of eight museum volunteers. People complied. They dug into closets, attics, basements and garages, and what they shared is the foundation of a quaint collection that captures the significance of this corner of Otter Tail County. What do visitors get to see? Home movies, filmed by a resident in the 1920s; instead of actors, regular townspeople are the cast. There’s a working Edison phonograph and its cylinders, Native American artifacts donated by a local who collected them from area tribes, old signs and scrapbooks, books, vintage clothing and photographs. Today, this county of 1,000 lakes is known for tourism, but its past was more complicated, said Pfeffer. “The town was built by the railroad, so there is a lot of railroad history,” she said. “We were also part of the homesteading movement, so a lot of our early settlers were homesteaders. After the Civil War, logging was a big thing.” There’s an exhibit about the country schools and photos of famous businesses, like the Schroeder Brewery and the brick yard that manufactured the town’s distinctive yellow bricks. “There’s a little bit of everything,” said Pfeffer. The museum is in a stone building that was a church then a library. Its small gift shop features items from the Otter Tail area. Take a deep breath as you step out of the museum, Pfeffer said, and you’ll realize that Perham still has plenty of hustle. Depending on which way the wind blows, the air is scented with dog food, licorice, potato chips or sour milk on its way to becoming cheese, all products made in this industrious area. historymuseumeot.com

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“World-class entertainment!” – Play Off the Page

“A

HUGE hit! Can’t wait to return!” – KARE 11

“A big,

BEAUTIFUL fantastically fun hit!” – Cherry & Spoon

Jessica Fredrickson

Opens February 28! The Tony & Grammy Award-winning musical hits the Main Stage!

952.934.1525 ChanhassenDT.com

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ITINERARY Minneapolis — St. Paul Area DAY

1

MINNEAPOLIS

MILL CITY MUSEUM

DAY

ST. PAUL

2

JAMES J. HILL HOUSE

Mill City Museum is an architectural showpiece, rising eight stories within the limestone ruins of the Washburn A Mill, a National Historic Landmark nestled on the riverfront. With breathtaking views and rich history in the bustling downtown neighborhood, there’s no shortage of things to do nearby.

Explore upstairs and downstairs life in Minnesota’s Downton Abbey — a 36,000-square-foot mansion built for railroad titan James J. Hill. Learn about the railroad titan’s influence on the region and about his network of family, friends, servants and guests.

MIDTOWN GLOBAL MARKET

The cathedral dominates the St. Paul skyline and is situated on the highest point in downtown St. Paul. The parish hosts a regular organ concert series showcasing the cathedral’s two Skinner organs, and the Minnesota Orchestra and Vocal Essence are among the several groups that perform in the cathedral.

Don’t miss the chance to visit Midtown Global Market, with more than 50 vendors offering a vast array of goods including delicacies and gift items from around the world.

WALKER ART CENTER

Internationally recognized as a leading arts venue, the Walker Art Center presents contemporary visual arts and design exhibitions; dance, theater, and music performances; and film screenings

GUTHRIE THEATER

The Guthrie Theater engages exceptional theater artists in the exploration of both classic and contemporary plays, connecting the community to the world. Before the show, go behind the scenes of the theater for a unique experience.

CATHEDRAL OF SAINT PAUL

DAY

3

STILLWATER

STILLWATER TROLLEY

Hop on the Stillwater Trolley for a fully narrated tour of Minnesota’s oldest town. Most of the tour is up in the hills where all the old mansions were built between 1850 and 1915.

STILLWATER RIVER BOATS

Float along the St. Croix River on one of six Paddlewheel boats while your group enjoys a delightful lunch or dinner.

HISTORIC MAIN STREET

Over 100 owner-operated shops and restaurants line Stillwater’s historic Main Street, including antiques, art galleries, fashion boutiques, home furnishings, decor, gifts, indoor and outdoor dining and more. 

COMO PARK ZOO & CONSERVATORY

One of the last free zoos in the United States, Como is home to a wide array of animals and plants and welcomes visitors 365 days a year. Located right next to Como Town Amusement Park, Cafesjan’s historic carousel and Como Park, the zoo and conservatory are great fun for visitors of all ages.

For more itinerary ideas visit :

EXPLOREMINNESOTA.COM

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PACKAGE PERKS

Overnight packages include special hotel rates, complimentary breakfast, Free Slot Play, restaurant and gift shop discounts and more!

PLAY FOR THE DAY

Are you traveling to or through the Twin Cities metro? Stop by and play for a few hours. Travel with a large group and get more rewards!

GAMING • GOLF • DINING • HOTEL • SPA CONTACT US: 866-832-6402 | sales@mysticlake.com mysticlake.com

2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN 55372 exploreminnesota.com

PLEASE PLAY REPONSIBLY. OWNED & OPERATED BY THE SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON SIOUX COMMUNITY

33

© 2020 SMSC Gaming Enterprise


Courtesy Leech Lake COC

Courtesy Cuyuna Lakes COC

MEET MERCHANTS OUR

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

34

Courtesy Visit Cook Co. MN

Courtesy Leech Lake COC

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SHOPPING

Courtesy Mall of America

O

shopping is personal in minnesota DOWNTOWN CROSBY

Crosby f course, there’s Mall of America, as Digging for treasures much a must-see attraction as a shopis a tradition in Minnesoping destination. But in Minnesota, ta’s Cuyuna Iron Range. shopping is as much about smallFirst it was miners, who unearthed iron ore. The town Main Streets as it is megamalls. Placcraters they left behind es like Crosby, Walker, Red Wing and Grand eventually filled with waMarais offer much to purchase, delivered with ter, forming lakes that plenty of personality. now draw fishermen who cast for great catches. In downtown Crosby, a different sort of fishing expedition is underway, as shoppers snag antiques at some half-dozen stores downtown. Antiques shopping has been a tradition in the town of just under 3,000 since the 1980s, when a local who collected antiques realized that downtown’s numerous vacant storefronts would make great antique stores. She opened one, and other dealers soon followed. In 1998, then-Gov. Arne Carlson declared Crosby the Antiques Capital of the Lakes. In the past few years as interest in antiques waned, some stores closed, but now, as Crosby has become known for mountain

biking, downtown has seen an uptick. Each of the antique stores has its specialties and personality, according to Cathe Picek of the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce. The Hallett Antique Emporium, for example, is the largest, with several dozen vendors. Pine Cone Antiques is known for Mission-style furnishings and American art pottery. With tired and hungry bikers rolling into town, Crosby has also seen a flurry of new eateries. Mixed Company Coffee and the Red Raven Café make good preshopping stops. “The coffee shop has breakfast sandwiches and bakery items as well as large lunches,” said Picek. Like bikers, shoppers benefit from the energy boost provided by the protein drinks Red Raven sells. At the end of the day, shoppers can drag their glass pitchers, woolen mittens, rocking chairs, vintage aprons, old skis and 1950s suitcases over to the Iron Range Eatery. Picek highly recommends the trendy pizza topped with pear, caramelized onion and gorgonzola. For heartier fare, check out the Crosby Bar and Grill, known for its barbecued ribs. cuyunalakes.com

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A Walker craft vendor; a Crosby antiques store; Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America; friends shopping at Mall of America; a farmers market in Walker; waterfront in Grand Marais. exploreminnesota.com Courtesy Mall of America

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Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium at Mall of America

MALL OF AMERICA Bloomington Shopping at more than 520 stores is the main attraction at Mall of America, of course. Serious shoppers can spend a day — even days — checking out old favorites and investigating new concepts, like Fourpost, an incubator that lets shoppers get a taste of smaller, emerging brands that might be on their way to the big time in retail. Group tours visiting the megamall can ask for extras, like complimentary VIP shopping packages that include a Mall of America coupon book, souvenir shopping bags and other coupons and discounts. The mall also provides free maps and brochures and can help plan itineraries. If groups want a break from their storeto-store treks, Mall of America does have some entertaining options. A new walking tour covers the mall’s history and what’s made it such a business success. Its more than 40 million annual visitors make Mall of America one of the most visited destinations in the nation. The hourlong tour, led by a member of the mall’s leadership team, helps explain why. Another popular package combines lunch at FireLake Grill House with FlyOver America, a 4D flight simulation that takes “passengers” over some of the country’s best-known and most picturesque landmarks. It takes about 90 minutes for lunch and the ride. If a group has less time, it might want to venture behind the scenes at Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, in the mall. During a 45-minute tour, groups troop up to the deck above the aquarium’s tunnel and come within inches of sharks, sea turtles and other sea life. Then, they head to the lab to learn about water treatment and on to the food prep kitchen to hear about what the aquarium’s many fish might be having for dinner. mallofamerica.com

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Courtesy Mall of America

Courtesy Cuyuna Lakes COC

Crosby, the “Antiques Capital of the Lakes”

Courtesy Mall of America

Mall of America

“Antiques shopping has been a tradition in the town of just under 3,000 since the 1980s, when a local who collected antiques realized that downtown’s numerous vacant storefronts would make great antique stores.”

exploreminnesota.com


TASTE

MN

HONEYCRISP APPLES

O

ne of America’s favorite apples has roots in Minnesota. The honeycrisp, an apple variety developed at the University of Minnesota’s Agricultural Experiment Station Horticultural Research Center in the 1970s, has taken the country by storm in the past 15 years. Honeycrisp apples are known as the perfect apples for eating raw. As the name implies, they were bred to be crisp and juicy, and they feature a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. These traits — along with the royalty paid to the University of Minnesota for each apple — make the honeycrisp a premium variety, but enthusiasts are happy to pay the higher cost. The honeycrisp is now the official state fruit of Minnesota, and experts estimate it will be the third-most-grown apple in the United States this year. Though you can find honeycrisp apples on grocery store shelves nearly anywhere in the country, there are still special ways to enjoy them in Minnesota. Orchards throughout the Twin Cities area and the southern region of the state offer pick-your-own honeycrisp experiences in the fall. Pepin Heights Orchard in Lake City is a popular destination for groups and offers honeycrisp cider and other products. Courtesy Explore Minnesota

[ ENJOY EAGAN MINNESOTA ]

FANTASTIC GROUP TOURS BEGIN IN EAGAN Eagan is the perfect destination for your next group tour. Proud to be home of the Minnesota Vikings, groups can experience the state-of-the-art Vikings Museum, which features interactive displays and a complete history of the Minnesota Vikings. As one of only four NFL team museums in the country, this is a must-see! Eagan is also located less than five miles to amazing attractions like the Minnesota Zoo, Fort Snelling and Mall of America®, all of which offer behind-the-scenes programs just for groups. Additionally, Eagan features a fantastic array of tax-free shopping at Twin Cities Premium Outlets – the largest outlet mall in the Upper Midwest. With 18 amazing hotels most offering complimentary breakfast and free on-site motor coach parking, Eagan is THE place to book your next group tour.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS MUSEUM

TWIN CITIES PREMIUM OUTLETS®

MINNESOTA ZOO

FORT SNELLING

VISIT EAGANMN.COM OR CALL DENISE OLSEN FOR MORE INFORMATION • ENJOY EAGAN • 866-324-2620

exploreminnesota.com

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Courtesy Destiny Cruises

Photos courtesy Visit Cook Co. MN

Friends shopping in pet-friendly Grand Marais

DOWNTOWN GRAND MARAIS Grand Marais How about a slice of scenery with your shopping expedition? Head up to Grand Marais, a small village of around 1,300 next to Lake Superior. Downtown’s shops are a fun and, at times, funky bunch. For strange architecture — to match its strange name — the Beaver House wins. The giant walleye flying out from its roof hints at what’s sold inside. In terms of size, the Lake Superior Trading Post is probably second only to Lake Superior in Grand Marais. The enormous log store has everything needed for up north, from warm clothes for all ages and camping gear galore to big cups of coffee. There’s fun stuff too: kids’ toys, jewelry, maybe even a carved wooden Santa for the mantel. To take home something tasty, visit the Gunflint Mercantile for jars of wild rice and mushroom soup mix, a fudge kabob or some gooseberry spice jam. For a tasteful gift of a different sort, check out the artist-made contemporary jewelry, kitchen tools and other functional pieces at UPstate MN. Two books stores have loyal followings: Birchbark Books, known for new and used books but also well-selected gift items, and the tiny Drury Lane, a book shop run by an author where books are squeezed into a tiny cottage near the lake. Grand Marais is home to many artists — it

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ART COMES

TO LIFE AT

EVERY TURN

Courtesy Leech Lake COC

A shop in downtown Walker is considered the state’s first artists’ colony — so don’t leave downtown without a stop at a gallery or studio. The Sivertson Gallery exhibits works that focus on the beauty and character of Lake Superior and the people who live around it, created by some 60 regional artists. It’s easy to see why Budget Travel named Grand Marais the Coolest Town in America in 2015, although part of the title could have been inspired by the winds that whip off the lake and cool even a summer day. Wear layers when you visit, or you might find yourself in line to buy a fleece jacket at the Lake Superior Trading Post. visitcookcounty.com

DOWNTOWN WALKER Walker In Walker’s four-blocks-long downtown, stores snuggle close to one another within view of Leech Lake. Bicyclists whiz in on the 150 miles of bike trails connected to the town. Every storefront is filled, so a short walk yields a lot of shopping. Merchants also are close-knit. They celebrate one another’s successes and rally when a fellow merchant suffers. Take last January’s fire at the city’s new brewery. Portage Brewing was destroyed, and Lundrigans, a quality clothing store in business since 1937, sustained so much damage from fumes that it was closed for six months as the store was gutted and rebuilt. “Lundrigans had to destroy all their merchandise, and the building had to go down to studs. Thousands and thousands of irreplaceable antiques that decorated the store were lost,” said Cindy Wannarka, executive director of the Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce. When Lundrigans reopened in mid-2019, the whole town came out for the occasion. The rebuilt brewery reopened a few months later. Both businesses and a gift shop that was also

exploreminnesota.com

Downtown Saint Cloud, Minnesota

EXPLORE MORE VISITSTCLOUD.COM 39


Courtesy Leech Lake COC

damaged by fumes were on Fifth Street, so at Christmastime, Walker celebrated with a Miracle on Fifth Street event. Those shops are among a host of others in the compact downtown, like Wine Down, where visitors can enjoy wine flights with meats and cheeses; the Artist Mall, where some booths stock works by local artists and others are packed with antiques; Christmas Point Wild Rice Co., a purveyor of wild rice and other food gifts; and Reed’s Sporting Goods, known for its large inventory of hunting and fishing equipment. Wannarka said downtown Walker reminds us that shopping can be more of an occasion than a chore. “We don’t have any of the national chains. All the shops make sure they are not carrying each other’s products, so each store is unique,” she said. “They all still gift-wrap; they give that extra bit of service. You get taken care of, treated like you’re a member of the family.” leech-lake.com

RED WING Even with the closing of the Red Wing Pottery and Red Wing Stoneware in 2019, there’s still plenty of pottery to be discovered in Red Wing. Pottery-making was a major industry here beginning in the mid-1800s, powered by the area’s abundant clay. Tons of crocks, jugs, dinnerware, vases and other pottery were produced through the years.

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Courtesy Red Wing CVB

LEFT: Fresh treats at a Walker market RIGHT: Pottery Museum of Red Wing

“Larry buys entire collections. Kids know that they are supposed to call Larry when their parents need to sell ... we are very heavy on pottery and dinnerware from 1877 to 1967.”

Much of the Red Wing pottery for sale in Red Wing today is at Larry’s Jugs and Antiques, about a block and a half from the Pottery Museum of Red Wing. Larry fell in love with Red Wing crocks after seeing a basement full of them more than 50 years ago in Rochester. He bought them all, and he’s been buying Red Wing pottery ever since. “Larry buys entire collections,” said his wife, Pauline, who does not collect but does help Larry with the business. “Kids know that they are supposed to call Larry when their parents need to sell.” As a result, she said, “Larry seems to specialize in working with widows.” He’s also become an authority on Red Wing pottery. Larry’s written three books, helped start the pottery museum and founded a Red

Wing pottery collectors society. He continues to help lead the museum, even giving guided tours at times. Between the museum, where the gift shop is stocked with vintage pottery, stoneware and dinnerware made in Red Wing; several antiques booths in Pottery Place, a former Red Wing pottery building across the parking lot from the museum; and Larry’s Jugs, groups find plenty of pottery to peruse, said Pauline. At Larry’s Jugs, “we are very heavy on pottery and dinnerware from 1877 to 1967,” she said. The Petersons are also welcoming and happy to visit with shoppers. “The coffee pot’s always on,” said Pauline. “My husband was a collector first, and so he has a passion for this, and he loves to share his knowledge,” she said. “That is why we are so successful.” redwing.org

exploreminnesota.com


ITINERARY Northeast Region DAY

1

DAY

INTERNATIONAL FALLS VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK

Spend the day exploring America’s only freshwater-based national park. Voyageurs National Park offers a wide range of guided boat tours, canoe trips, hikes and ranger-led programs during the summer and fall, primarily June-September. Located near the Canadian border, the park offers visitors some of the best conditions to view the night skies and Northern Lights.

3 LAKE SUPERIOR MARITIME MUSUEM

The museum offers film shows, model ships and exhibits featuring commercial shipping activities on Lake Superior and in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. At Canal Park, you are within yards of giant lake carriers and foreign ships as they pass under the world-famous Aerial Lift Bridge. While you’re there, sit back and enjoy the beautiful gulls and walk along the canal’s piers to its lighthouses.

GREAT LAKES AQUARIUM

DAY

DULUTH

2

SPIRIT MOUNTAIN

You will find four seasons of fun at Spirit Mountain Adventure Park, with spectacular views of Lake Superior, the St. Louis River and Duluth. Rides include the Timber Twister alpine coaster that races along a 3,200-foot elevated track through the forest and down the mountain as you enjoy amazing views of Duluth. Guests also enjoy a leisurely journey on a scenic chairlift ride.

ELY

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.

GLENSHEEN MANSION

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

INTERNATIONAL WOLF CENTER

Visit the International Wolf Center to have a close encounter with the wolf exhibit pack as they play, eat, sleep and tussle. Staff naturalists will introduce the pack through captivating programs for children and adults several times a day.

NORTH AMERICAN BEAR CENTER

The North American Bear Center is the only black bear and wildlife educational facility of its kind. Dedicated to replacing old myths with facts, it lets people learn from the bears themselves about bear behavior, ecology, and their relations with humans.

DOROTHY MOLTER MUSEUM

The Dorothy Molter Museum preserves and interprets Northwoods wilderness heritage through learning opportunities inspired by Dorothy Molter, the last non-indigenous resident of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. While there, be sure to try the Isle of Pines Root Beer which is based on Dorothy’s original recipe.

For more itinerary ideas visit :

EXPLOREMINNESOTA.COM

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Courtesy Itasca State Park

Courtesy Itasca State Park

WILD WONDERFUL AND

BY VICKIE MITCHELL

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Courtesy MN Historical Society

Courtesy Lark Toys

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GREAT RIVER ROAD

By Dan Marshall, courtesy MN Historical Society

F

discover the sites along minnesota’s Great River Road

ollowing the river — the Mississippi River, that is — amounts to mighty memorable Minnesota experiences. Starting at the top, groups wade across the river’s headwaters — it doesn’t take more than a minute — then head south to learn more about how logging the pines along it nearly decimated Minnesota’s woodlands. Near the

site of a frontier fort, visitors explore how Minnesotans have contributed to the country’s defense. In the Twin Cities, travelers learn how the river powered the economy at a riverfront park and museum that overlooks the river’s only falls. The trip ends on a playful note, at one of the most acclaimed toy stores in the country. ITASCA STATE PARK

Park Rapids In Connie Cox’s opinion, Ponce de Leon missed the boat. Had he ventured far north to what is now Minnesota, he would have discovered waters as magical as those he found in St. Augustine, at the humble spot where Lake Itasca spills out

and the Mississippi River begins. “When you watch everyone from little kids to 95-year-olds and see the delight in their faces as they step into the Mississippi where it is the infant river — we really do have the Fountain of Youth,” said Cox, lead interpretive naturalist, who’s been a fixture at Itasca State Park for the last 24 years. There’s much to do and see in this 33,000-acre state park that preserves, protects and promotes the mighty river’s meager start. There are boat rides on the lake, meals at a historic lodge, guided nature hikes with eagles soaring above and baby turtles snapping below, even overnight stays in cabins crafted by the CCC. But the Mississippi headwaters is what everyone wants to see most. If you want to see it yourself, hop on the park’s website; a live cam captures the headwaters and people wading across them. Depending on the season, the headwaters’ crossing can be ankle to knee deep. Either way, “you can go from the east side to the west side of the Unit-

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Itasca State Park in winter; the Itasca tree canopy; Forest History Center’s scenic view; hands-on at the Forest History Center; the workshop at Lark Toys; Mill City Museum. exploreminnesota.com By Charlie Vaugn, courtesy MN Historical Society

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Walking to the Mississippi River headwaters at Itasca State Park

Courtesy Itasca State Park

ed States in the blink of an eye,” Cox said. “There are stories that if you make a wish, your wish will come true in 90 days — that’s how long it takes a drop of water leaving Lake Itasca to reach the Gulf of Mexico.” For many, the Mississippi’s less-thanmighty beginnings are a surprise. “Most of our visitors have experienced the river south of Minneapolis-St. Paul, where it is quite large,” said Cox. “Many will say to me on a tour, ‘What was the name of that crick we just went by?’ and I’ll say, ‘That was the Mississippi River.’ Their response is always, ‘It is so small.’ But I tell everybody, ‘All great things have simple beginnings.’” mndnr.gov/parks

“Wildlife abounds in this setting. There are bald eagles, bobcats, bear, beaver, otter, 100 species of migratory birds. Even though we are almost dead center in Grand Rapids, it is a very wild place.” An exhibit at Mill City Museum in Minneapolis

Courtesy MN Historical Society

Courtesy MN Military Museum

Minnesota Military Museum

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FOREST HISTORY CENTER Grand Rapids A re-created 1901 logging camp gets a lot of attention at the Forest History Center. Costumed interpreters wield axes, guide teams of draft horses and fell trees. The camp itself is accurate, built using actual plans drawn for an early 20th-century camp. But as fascinating as the lumberjacks’ lives seem, their work devastated forests not only in Minnesota, but throughout the Eastern and Southern U.S. The Forest History Center, created in 1978, has since been telling the story of what happened after logging decimated nearly 80% of our forests. “We tell the story of clear-cutting back in the 1900-01 winter, when there were very few regulations regarding lumbering in Minnesota,” said site manager Jeff Johns. That story “makes a good segue” for what happened next as the need for forest management and conservation was realized “so that we have enough forest resources to serve posterity,” said Johns. A visitors center with 10,000 square feet of exhibits tells many of those stories, from the contributions of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt and environmentalist John Muir to the impact of the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and state forestry efforts. Typically, groups are integrated into one of the five scheduled tours the center offers daily. Like many Minnesota attractions, its hours and days of operation change with the season, but group tours can always be scheduled. The center sits on 170 acres next to the Mississippi River, which was used to float logs south to lumber mills. The surrounding lands remind visitors of how beauty and diversity are gained by protecting and conserving forests, said Johns. “We have managed and unmanaged forest, grasslands and wetlands,” he said. “Wildlife abounds in this setting. There are bald eagles, bobcats, bear, beaver, otter, 100 species of migratory birds. Even though we are almost dead center in Grand Rapids, it is a very wild place.” mnhs.org/foresthistory

By Dan Marshall, courtesy MN Historical Society

Forest History Center exploreminnesota.com


MADE

IN

WALLEYE

F

ishermen love walleye. Minnesota’s state fish is stubborn, a challenge to reel in. Diners love it, too. Walleye’s white flesh is flaky with a sweet, mild flavor. Many tout it as the best-tasting freshwater fish of all, which explains why you’ll find walleye at restaurants of every kind in Minnesota. It’s most often filleted and fried, and served as a sandwich with slaw and other sides. St. Paul’s Tavern on Grand gets a lot of acclaim for its walleye. At some lakeside restaurants, guests can bring their own fresh-caught walleye for chefs to prepare. Chefs get creative with the versatile fish. Asian restaurants pair it with ginger and black beans. Mexican restaurants fry chunks of it and pour them into tortillas for tasty fish tacos. Blackbird, in Minneapolis, adds a New Orleans twist with a walleye po’boy. Others use it in breakfast hashes or fashion it into sliders with a tangy sauce. Baseball fans can get their walleye on at a Minnesota Twins game, where snack bars sell walleye on a stick, a handy way for spectators to eat in their seats.

Courtesy Explore Minnesota

MINNESOTA MILITARY MUSEUM AT CAMP RIPLEY Little Falls Old Fort Ripley stood guard on the new frontier for almost 30 years. Now, those lands next to the Mississippi River and many more — some 53,000 acres in total — are a military training center for branches of the military and various state agencies. Called Camp Ripley, the facility also serves as a protected area for golden eagles, deer and other wildlife and is the home of a museum dedicated to Minnesota’s military veterans. Through permanent and temporary exhibits that make good use of its 80,000 artifacts, many donated by Minnesota citizens, the Minnesota Military Museum employs personal stories to show the impact of war. Its permanent exhibit “America at War” looks at battles fought since Minnesota’s statehood in 1858, including the contributions of early forts, like Fort Ripley, which protected settlers. A collection of rifles, revolvers and other weaponry from the Revo-

exploreminnesota.com

MISSISSIPPI RIVERFRONT lutionary War to modern times is displayed in the Arms Room. Six models of the Jeep illustrate the importance of this four-wheeled warhorse and Minnesota’s role in its development. Special exhibits have examined women’s roles in the military, the impact of World War I — including a walk through a re-created trench like the ones used in World War I battlefields — and a special unit of Minnesotans of Norwegian heritage who skied and specialized in mountain warfare. They helped return their home country to freedom after World War II. Visitors can step inside a rare boxcar used to transport American troops and their horses in France during World War II — a gift from French citizens — or climb into the driver’s seat of a tank turret. In good weather, groups can stroll around the more than 60 vehicles, tanks, aircraft and artillery on display outdoors. mnmilitarymuseum.org

Minneapolis Next to modern-day downtown Minneapolis, the Mississippi River takes its only tumble as it travels toward the Gulf of Mexico. That 55-foot drop, known as St. Anthony Falls, set much in motion. The Dakota people revered it; a Catholic friar named it. Settlers from the northeast harnessed its power, first to mill logs, later to mill flour. “Industrialization on a massive scale” is how Michael Rainville of Meet Minneapolis describes it. “It is the birthplace of Minnesota,” Rainville said, making the riverfront a must-stop, and there’s far more to see than the expected scenic overlook. Today’s riverfront teems with activity. Old mill buildings and their ruins have been restored for offices, housing and the centerpiece, the Mill City Museum. There are parks, walking paths and the Stone Arch Bridge, a former railroad bridge turned pedestrian pathway that angles across the Mississippi. In 2020, another park, called Water Works,

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Mill City Museum

Courtesy MN Historical Society Courtesy Pine to Prairie Trail

Courtesy Lark Toys

will open, and in 2021, it will become home to a new group-friendly restaurant run by Sean Sherman, the Sioux Chef, serving Native American specialties. But the first stop should be the museum. Its reuse of an old mill building is inventive, from a rooftop with the best views of the river and Stone Arch Bridge to a freight elevator turned into a moving theater called the Flour Power Tower. The audience sits in chairs in the massive elevator, and as it stops on each floor, its doors open onto multimedia tableaus that describe what it was like to work in a flour mill. The museum also re-creates Gold Medal Flour’s test kitchen, and groups might snag a sample to taste. “They are sometimes making cakes, lots of breads; it just depends on what interpreters are working on,” said Molly Jessup, a program specialist. The museum also features a film, “Minneapolis in 19 Minutes,” that was created by a local writer and is a humorous and lighthearted look at the development of the city. mnhs.org/millcity

A carousel at Lark Toys

WE LOVE TOUR GROUPS! • COSTUmEd STEP-On GUidES • GERman HERiTaGE & CULTURE • HERmann mOnUmEnT contac • SCHELL’S BREWERy t for sa us mple • HiSTORiC SiTES itiner aries! • FESTiVaLS

LARK TOYS Kellogg Everybody — from Oprah and USA Today to Travel + Leisure and Reader’s Digest — raves about Lark Toys: “Best toy store in Minnesota,” “One of the top 10 toy stores in the world!” they proclaim and exclaim. But to simply call Lark a toy store is like saying Einstein was sort of smart. Lark Toys is also a mini-museum, its Memory Lane lined with vintage Barbie dolls and green plastic army men. And since Lark opened as a toy manufacturer three decades ago, toymaker Tim busily crafts wooden pull toys in his workshop. Outside, miniature golf beckons. Indoors, there’s a carousel, hand-carved from Minnesota basswood over nine years by the store’s founders and ridden by everyone from babies to octogenarians. When five mini llamas on site feel friendly, the toy store can feel like a petting zoo. Miranda Gray-Burlingame, whose family bought the store just south of Wabasha 12 years ago, says it’s a place to share memories and make new ones. “There’s a lot of nostalgia and reminiscing and telling stories,” she said. “We are so aware people are carrying around hard stuff all the time. We hold Lark as a place of healing and rejuvenation.” Group tours roll in to remember younger days, buy toys and books — yes, Lark also has an extensive selection of children’s books, chosen by Kathy Gray, Miranda’s mother — take a whirl on a hand-carved dragon, and enjoy an ice cream cone or lunch at an in-store cafe that gets rave reviews. Lark staff can greet groups and tell them the story of the store’s start before sending them off to explore its 20,000 square feet of merchandise and fun. Summers are busy with vacationers, and there’s another bump in the fall as leaves turn. Winters are quiet, but the store is open, although in January and February it’s only Friday through Sunday. It’s a perfect beginning or end to a trip north or south on the Great River Road. larktoys.com

newulm.com • 888-463-9856 46

exploreminnesota.com


ITINERARY Northwest Region DAY

PARK RAPIDS

1

ITASCA STATE PARK

Itasca State Park is home to the headwaters of the Mississippi. In this 32,690-acre sanctuary, the mighty Mississippi River begins its 2,552mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. People come to walk across the rocks at the headwaters but also fall in love with the pines, as the park preserves thousands of acres of old-growth white and red pines. Beautiful visitor centers and historic lodging complement the natural wonders of the park. Besides all of the sites to visit at the park, another great option is taking in a nature program or event. Programs are available year-round.

COBORN’S LAKE ITASCA TOURS

After exploring Itasca State Park, board the Chester Charles II on beautiful Lake Itasca, the source of the mighty Mississippi River. The 1-hour-45-minute boat ride follows the route Ozawindib and Schoolcraft did in 1832 when they recorded the headwaters of the Mississippi River, wildlife interpretation of bald eagles, common loons, Indian and logging history.

JASPER’S THEATER

Jasper’s Theater is a cozy log theater nestled in the pines one mile East of Park Rapids. You’ll be entertained by four generations of the family, along with some of the best performers in the region. The shows are a mix of music, magic and comedy.

exploreminnesota.com

DAY

2

DETROIT LAKES

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

As the name implies, this is lake country. There are more than 400 lakes within 25 miles of Detroit Lakes. Spend the day birding, fishing, biking or golfing in this outdoor paradise.

ARTS & CULTURE

Get your arts fix by checking out some of the 30 four-foot, hand-decorated sunfish sculptures in the area. These art pieces make for fantastic photo opportunities for your group.

SHOPPING

Detroit Lakes is a mecca for “Up North” shopping. Scout for vintage goods at one of the area’s hidden gems like SuLaine’s Antique Mall, which has 70 antique dealers showcasing their best goods in 14,000 square feet of space.

HOLMES THEATRE

Enjoy a show at the Holmes Theatre, a renovated 837-seat art-deco era performing arts theater.

DAY

3

MOORHEAD

HISTORICAL & CULTURAL SOCIETY OF CLAY COUNTY

This Scandinavian culture and heritage center is a must-see museum where you’ll find the Hjemkomst Viking Ship, a full-scale ship modeled after the Gokstad burial ship. A local Moorhead guidance counselor named Robert Asp dreamed of building a replica Viking ship and sailing it to Norway. During your visit, you can watch an award-winning documentary, see photographs, and listen to recordings of Asp and his family’s journey to sail the hand-built Hjemkomst ship 6,000 miles across the Atlantic.

THE HOPPERSTAD STAVE CHURCH

Built between 1996 and 2001, the Hopperstad Stave Church replica stands as a testament to Norwegian culture and heritage in the Midwest. It serves as an educational tool in the local community and is operated by Clay County’s Historical and Cultural Society.

THE COMSTOCK HOUSE

For more itinerary ideas visit :

EXPLOREMINNESOTA.COM

Explore this stunning example of late Victorian architecture built in 1883 by taking a guided tour through this 11room, two-story home as your knowledgeable guide describes life in the early days on the prairie.

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LISTINGS

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL AREA

NORTHWEST REGION NORTHEAST REGION

Visit Apple Valley 800-301-9435 visitapplevalley.com Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau 952-858-8500 bloomingtonmn.org

CENTRAL REGION

Explore White Bear 651-653-5122 explorewhitebear.org

CENTRAL REGION

SOUTHERN REGION

Aitkin Area Chamber of Commerce 218-927-2316 aitkin.com

Experience Burnsville 952-895-4690 burnsvillemn.com Chisago Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 651-257-1177 chisagolakeschamber.com

Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau 651-451-2266 visitigh.com

Eagan CVB 651-675-5546 aganmn.com

Visit Lakeville 952-469-2020 visitlakeville.org

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

Meet Minneapolis 612-767-8000 minneapolis.org

Falls Chamber of Commerce 715-483-3580 fallschamber.org Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce /Tourism 651-437-6775 visithastingsmn.org

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Waconia Chamber of Commerce 952-442-5812 destinationwaconia.org

MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL AREA

Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce/Tourism 763-682-4902 buffalochamber.org

Explore Edina 952-806-9064 exploreedina.com

Twin Cities Gateway 763-785-5640 tcgateway.com

Minneapolis Northwest Tourism 763-566-7722 minneapolisnorthwest.com Vacation Minneapolis South minneapolissouth.com North Branch Area Chamber of Commerce 651-674-4077 northbranchchamber.com

Richfield Visitors Association 800-660-7005 visitrichfield.com

Explore Alexandria Tourism 320-763-0102 explorealex.com

Visit Roseville 651-633-3002 visitroseville.com

Becker Area Chamber of Commerce 763-262-2420 beckerchamber.org

Discover St. Louis Park 952-426-4047 discoverstlouispark.com Visit Saint Paul 651-265-4900 visitsaintpaul.com Visit Shakopee 952-445-1660 visitshakopee.org Discover Stillwater 651-351-1717 discoverstillwater.com

Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce 218-829-2838 explorebrainerdlakes.com Visit Brainerd 218-825-0410 visitbrainerd.com Crosslake Chamber of Commerce 218-692-4027 crosslake.com Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce 218-546-8131 cuyunalakes.com exploreminnesota.com


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

McGregor Chamber of Commerce 218-768-3692 mcgregormn.com

Pelican Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce 218-863-4606 pelicanrapidschamber.com

Willmar Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 320-235-3552 willmarlakesarea.com

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

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

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

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

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

Milaca Chamber of Commerce 320-983-3140 milacachamber.com

Perham Chamber of Commerce 218-346-7710 perham.com

Visit Fergus Falls 218-332-5425 visitfergusfalls.com Glencoe Chamber of Commerce 320-864-3650 glencoechamber.com Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 320-634-3636 welcomeglenwood.org Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce 320-587-5252 explorehutchinson.com Lake Osakis Resort Association 320-305-0653 lakeosakis.com Lincoln Area Business Association 218-575-3066 lincolnlakes.com Litchfield Area Chamber of Commerce 320-693-8184 litch.com Little Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau 320-616-4959 littlefallsmn.com Long Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce 320-732-2514 longprairie.org

exploreminnesota.com

Mille Lacs Area Tourism 320-676-9972 millelacs.com Monticello Chamber of Commerce & Industry 763-295-2700 monticellocci.com Morris Area Chamber of Commerce 320-589-1242 morrismntourism.com Experience New London 320-354-2444 newlondonmn.net New York Mills Chamber of Commerce 218-385-3339 explorenewyorkmills.com Nisswa Chamber of Commerce 218-963-2620 nisswa.com Otter Tail Lakes Country Association 218-998-8052 ottertaillakescountry.com Outing Area Chamber of Commerce 218-792-5365 outingmn.com Paynesville Area Chamber of Commerce 320-243-3233 paynesvillechamber.org

Pine River Area Chamber of Commerce 218-587-4000 pinerivermn.com Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce 763-389-1764 princetonmnchamber.org

SOUTHERN REGION Albert Lea Convention & Visitors Bureau 507-373-2316 explorealbertlea.com Appleton Area Chamber of Commerce 320-289-1527 appletonmn.com

Sartell Hospitality 320-258-6061 everythingsartell.com

Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau 507-437-4563 austincvb.com

Sauk Centre Convention & Visitors Bureau 320-352-5201 visitsaukcentre.org

Benson Area Chamber of Commerce 320-843-3618 bensonareachamber.com

Spicer Commercial Club 320-796-8066 spicermn.com

Big Stone Lake Area Chamber of Commerce 320-839-3284 bigstonelakechamber.com

Visit Greater St. Cloud Convention & Visitors Bureau 320-251-4170 visitstcloud.com Discover Staples 218-296-6330 discoverstaplesmn.org Starbuck Chamber of Commerce 320-239-4220 starbuckmn.org Wadena Chamber of Commerce 218-632-7704 wadenachamber.com Whitefish Area Lodging Association whitefish.org

Blooming Prairie Chamber of Commerce 507-583-4472 bloomingprairie.com Blue Earth Area 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

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Elysian Area Chamber of Commerce 507-267-4708 elysianmn.com Fairmont Convention & Visitors Bureau 507-235-8585 visitfairmontmn.com Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce /Tourism 507-334-4381 visitfaribault.com Granite Falls Area Chamber of Commerce / CVB 320-321-3202 granitefallschamber.com Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce 877-251-0606 exploreharmony.com Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce 507-847-3867 jacksonmn.com La Crescent Area Chamber of Commerce 507-895-2800 lacrescentmn.com Lake Benton Chamber of Commerce /CVB 507-368-9577, ext. 2 lakebenton.us Lake City Tourism 877-525-3248 lakecitymn.org Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce 507-467-2696 lanesboro.com Le Center Area Chamber of Commerce 507-357-6737 cityoflecenter.com Le Sueur Area Chamber of Commerce 507-665-2501 lesueurchamber.org

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Lincoln County Tourism 507-694-1721 lincolncounty-mn.us Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce /CVB 507-283-4061 luvernechamber.com Madelia Area Chamber of Commerce 507-642-8822 visitmadelia.com Madison Area Chamber of Commerce 320-598-7301 madisonmn.info Visit Mankato 507-385-6660 visitgreatermankato.com Mantorville Area Chamber of Commerce 507-635-5170 mantorville.com Marshall Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 507-537-1865 visitmarshallmn.com Montevideo Area Chamber of Commerce 320-269-5527 montechamber.com Montgomery Chamber of Commerce 507-364-5933 montgomerymnchamber.com Morton Area Chamber of Commerce 507-697-1884 mortonareachamber.org  Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce 507-427-2999 mountainlakemn.com Murray County Tourism 507-836-6148 murraycountymn.com

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

Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce /CVB 507-794-4731 sleepyeyechamber.com

New Ulm Chamber of Commerce /CVB 888-463-9856 newulm.com

St. Peter Chamber of Commerce / CVB 507-934-3400 stpeterchamber.com

Northfield Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-658-2548 visitingnorthfield.com

Slayton Area Chamber of Commerce 507-836-6902 slaytonchamber.com

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

Southeast MN Historic Bluff Country 507-312-9567 bluffcountry.com

Owatonna Chamber of Commerce /Tourism 800-423-6466 visitowatonna.org Pipestone Area Chamber of Commerce / CVB 507-825-3316 pipestoneminnesota.com Preston Area Chamber of Commerce /Tourism 507-765-2153 prestonmntourism.com Red Wing Visitor & Convention Bureau 651-385-5934 redwing.org Redwood Area Chamber of Commerce /Tourism 507-637-2828 redwoodfalls.org Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau 507-288-4331 experiencerochestermn.org Rushford Peterson Valley Chamber of Commerce 507-864-3338 rushfordpetersonvalley.com St. James Area hamber of Commerce 507-375-3241 ci.stjames.mn.us

Springfield Chamber of Commerce 507-723-3508 springfieldmnchamber.org Tracy Area Chamber of Commerce 507-629-5528 tracymn.org Wabasha-Kellogg Chamber of Commerce /CVB 800-565-4158 wabashamn.org Walnut Grove Tourism 888-528-7298 walnutgrove.org Discover Waseca Tourism 507-835-9700 discoverwaseca.com Waterville Chamber of Commerce 507-461-9490 watervillemn.com Western MN Prairie Waters 866-866-5432 prairiewaters.com Wheaton Chamber of Commerce 320-563-4110 cityofwheaton.com Windom Area Chamber of Commerce / CVB 800-794-6366 windomchamber.com

exploreminnesota.com


Visit Winona 800-657-4972 visitwinona.com Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce /CVB 507-372-2919 worthingtonmnchamber.com Zumbrota Visitor Info 507-732-7318 ci.zumbrota.mn.us

NORTHWEST REGION Akeley Chamber of Commerce akeleychamber.com Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce 218-444-3541 bemidji.org Visit Bemidji 218-759-0164 visitbemidji.com Blackduck Chamber of Commerce 218-835-4803 blackduckmn.com Cass Lake Area Chamber of Commerce 218-214-1359 casslake.com Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB 218-281-4320 visitcrookston.com Detroit Lakes Reg. Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau 218-847-9202 visitdetroitlakes.com Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau 701-282-3653 fargomoorhead.org Fosston Community Development 218-435-1959 fosston.com exploreminnesota.com

Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau 701-746-0444 visitgrandforks.com

Red Lake Falls Chamber of Commerce 218-253-2684 redlakefalls.com

Edge of the Wilderness Lodging Association 888-754-0011 edgeofthewilderness.com

Hackensack Chamber of Commerce 218-675-6135 hackensackchamber.com

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

Ely Chamber of Commerce 218-365-6123 ely.org

Hallock Tourism 218-843-2737 hallockmn.org

Riverland Tourism Association visitriverland.org

Itasca Area Lakes Tourism Association itascaarea.com Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau 218-634-1174 lakeofthewoodsmn.com Lake Winnie Area Resort Association lakewinnie.net Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce 218-547-1313 leech-lake.com Leech Lake Area Tourism Bureau 800-735-3297 leechlake.org Longville Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 218-363-2630 longville.com Mahnomen Tourism Info 218-935-2573 mahnomenmn.org Minnesota Northwoods Tourism Bureau minnesotanorthwoods.com Nevis Chamber of Commerce Nevischamber.com Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 218-732-4111 parkrapids.com

Roseau Chamber of Commerce 218-463-0009 goroseau.com Visit Thief River Falls 218-686-9785 visittrf.com Upper Red Lake Area Association upperredlakeassn.com Wahpeton-Breckenridge Area Chamber of Commerce 701-642-8744 wahpetonbreckenridgechamber.com Warroad Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB 218-386-3543 visitwarroad.com

NORTHEAST REGION Ash River Trail ashriver.com Cloquet Area Chamber of Commerce 218-879-1551 cloquet.com Visit Cook County 218-387-2524 visitcookcounty.com Crane Lake Tourism Bureau 218-993-2901 visitcranelake.com Visit Duluth 218-722-4011 visitduluth.com

Visit Grand Rapids 218-326-9607 visitgrandrapids.com Hinckley Convention & Visitors Bureau 320-384-0126 hinckleymn.com International Falls, Ranier & Rainy Lake CVB 218-283-9400 rainylake.org Kabetogama Lake Association  218-875-2621 kabetogama.com Lake Vermilion Resort and Tourism Association 218-666-5850 lakevermilionresorts.com Mesabi Iron Range Tourism Bureau  218-749-8161 ironrange.org Moose Lake Area Chamber of Commerce 218-485-4145 mooselakechamber.com Orr-Pelican Lake Association 218-757-3140 orrpelicanlake.com Visit Proctor 218-624-6297 visitproctor.com Heart of the North Shore 218-226-8885 heartofthenorthshore.com Lake County Chamber of Commerce 218-834-2600 lakecountymn.com

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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: DANIEL ROJAS 612.767.8016

FOCI MN CENTER FOR GLASS ARTS

danielr@minneapolis.org

minneapolis.org/groups

MIDTOWN GLOBAL MARKET

GUTHRIE THEATER

Profile for The Group Travel Leader, Inc.

2020 Minnesota Group Travel Guide  

When 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 sp...

2020 Minnesota Group Travel Guide  

When 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 sp...

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