In today’s fast-paced world, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the changes. Every other day, a new technology is released, a new restaurant is opened, and an old building is torn down. Much is lost in favor of progress, but there are plenty of old things that are still hanging on. These 10 nostalgic places around Minnesota are just a few. One visit, and they’ll take you straight back to your childhood.
1. Vali-Hi Drive-In - Lake Elmo
Vali-Hi Drive-In has been around for years, and it still gets packed on weekend evenings in the summer. After all, what better way to see a movie than as a triple feature? Pair that with snacks from the concession stand, and you have a night filled to the brim with nostalgia.
Address: 11260 Hudson Boulevard, Lake Elmo.
2. Mickey's Diner - St. Paul
3. Paul Bunyan Land - Brainerd
Years before Valleyfair, Paul Bunyan Land was perhaps the most popular amusement park in Minnesota. While it has undergone some changes in the past half-century, the park is still full of memories. After all, Paul Bunyan has been greeting visitors by name since 1954!
Address: 17553 Highway 18, Brainerd.
4. Roller Garden - St. Louis Park
Roller skating may not be as popular as it was in decade past, but there is a sizable community of people who still love retro sport. Strap on some skates or blades and get ready to circle the waxed floors of this spot to fun, poppy music. What could be better - or more nostalgic?
Address: 5622 West Lake Street.
5. Moorhead Dairy Queen - Moorhead
Sure, there are Dairy Queens in other parts of the state. But the Moorhead DQ is just special. For one thing, it's one of the few remaining walk-up Das left. For another, they still make their novelties by hand! If you want an authentic experience from the mid-20th century, stop in at Moorhead DQ.
Address: 24 8th Street South, Moorhead.
6. Gordy's Hi-Hat - Cloquet
In northern Minnesota, this restaurant has been going strong since 1960. They serve up delicious, affordable American fare that will bring back memories with the first bite. As soon as you pull up, you'll be brought straight back to yesteryear. This nostalgic restaurant is not to be missed!
Address: 415 Sunnyside Drive, Cloquet.
7. Valleyfair - Shakopee
Valleyfair may seem new, with a huge array of modern rides across its 125 acres. But this amusement park has actually been around since 1976. That means many of us grew up going on excursions there. And because it keeps growing, that tradition will only continue in the future. This park is equal parts nostalgia and modern-day amusement.
Address: 1 Valley Fair Drive, Shakopee.
8. Science Museum of Minnesota - St. Paul
While its current location is relatively new, the Science Museum of Minnesota's history goes way back to the turn of the 20th century. Back then, it was much smaller. But over the decades, this spot has been a popular field trip destination for schoolchildren all across the state. For that reason, it's one of the most nostalgic places in Minnesota.
Address: 120 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul.
9. JJ's Drive In - Luverne
Northern Minnesota isn't the only place with great, retro drive-ins. In the tiny town of Luverne, Minnesota - located in the southwestern corner of the state - a scrumptious spot named JJ's is holding its own. This spot has been around for years, and it still draws crowds for its generous portions, great prices, and delicious food. Next time you're on the southwestern Minnesota prairie, stop in for a bite to eat.
Address: 804 South Kniss Avenue, Luverne.
10. Long Drive In - Long Prairie
Vali-Hi may be one of the most popular drive-ins in southern Minnesota, but northern Minnesotans may be more familiar with the Long Drive In. This historic spot has been around since 1956. It's entertained generations of Minnesotans, and people still visit today for a strong dose of nostalgia - and to catch the latest movies. This historic drive-in is one of the most nostalgic places in the state.
Address: 24257 Riverside Drive, Long Prairie.
Have you been to any of these spots? What are your favorite nostalgic places in Minnesota? Share your memories down below.