Minneapolis December 16, 2017
9 Slow-Paced Small Towns Near Minneapolis Where Life Is Still Simple
When the city gets to be too much, Minneapolitans are lucky to have many small towns to escape to. In any direction you go, a visit to a charming small town nearby will help you recharge and refresh. These towns are full of interesting sights, but the most important thing they offer is the peace and quiet you just can’t get in the city. Next time you’re feeling stressed, take a little trip to any of these slow-paced towns near Minneapolis where life is still simple.
One of the bigger towns on this list, Hastings is located alongside where the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers meet. While it has a population of over 22,000 people, don't let its size fool you. This town is full of relaxing fun, river recreation to downtown shopping and dining. Don't forget to check out the falls of the Vermillion River while you're in town.
Just under 40 miles south of Minneapolis, Jordan is a small town of about 5,700 people. Whether you browse a local shop or try out a mom-and-pop restaurant, you'll come away refreshed. After you're fully recuperated, you might want to venture into Minnesota's Largest Candy Store. It's always a busy place, but the variety and novelty is like nothing else in Minnesota.
Just south of Minneapolis, Northfield stands as a testament to Minnesota history. It was built out of mills that once lined the Cannon River, and the town's history still shows to this day. Besides taking in the beautiful views, you can wander around historic Northfield on a peaceful afternoon. No matter the season, you won't regret your visit.
Perpetually topping lists of cutest towns in Minnesota, Stillwater is one of the best day trips you can make from Minneapolis. From the historic downtown to the riverfront views, you can easily fill an entire day with relaxation and fun in this St. Croix River town.
5. Red Wing
With a population of about 16,000 people, Red Wing is not the smallest town on this list, but it is among the most beautiful. Nestled among the bluffs of the Mississippi River, this town features some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Minnesota. Barn Bluff may be its most famous sight, but there are amazing views nearly anywhere you look. When you're all done taking in the scenery, take some time to wander downtown and explore Red Wing's long history.
Wayzata is a charming town located right on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. It's only a few miles from Minneapolis, so it's the perfect place to escape if you need a few moments to yourself. Gaze out on the lake, wander downtown, and check out some of the charming architectural details in this little town.
A town with a Swedish heritage, Lindstrom will take you out of the city like no other town will. From the small restaurants that line the main road to the teapot water tower to the dozens of lakes that populate the area, Lindstrom is a beautiful town that is well worth visiting.
About 40 miles north of Minneapolis, Buffalo is a bit further away than some of the other towns on this list, but it is more than worth the drive. The town is known for its active art scene that features frequent musical and theatrical performances. The town is also home to a lovely downtown that has several great antique shops. If you're looking to catch a show or do some shopping outside the hustle and bustle of Minneapolis, you may just want to visit Buffalo.
9. Marine on St. Croix
Marine on St. Croix is a historic town notable for its famous general store. The town was founded in 1839 and has retained much of its early charm ever since. The must-stop spot is Marine General store and it’s attached ice cream shop, General Scoop. They'll both take you back to simpler times, and you'll forget all about the busyness of the city.
Have you been to any of these small, slow-paced towns near Minneapolis? Are there any other towns you like to visit to get a taste of the simple life? Share your favorites in the comments below!