Minnesota November 06, 2016
Take This Road Trip Through Minnesota’s Most Picturesque Small Towns For A Charming Experience
There are hundreds of charming small towns across Minnesota. Most offer delicious restaurants, gorgeous landscapes, and friendly people – but they’re often overlooked because of larger cities with more flash and louder voices. That’s why we created this road trip through some of Minnesota’s most picturesque small towns. In each town, you’ll have a unique experience that will give you a real taste of small town life in our great state.
This trip is quite a long one. It passes through ten picturesque small towns along 979 miles of road. You certainly won't be able to experience each of these towns in a single day, but over the course of a week, you could easily make a vacation of this road trip. Find the full route
Starting the road trip in Northern Minnesota is the small town of Ely. No list of picturesque towns in Minnesota would be complete without it. With plenty of cute shops and tasty restaurants, this gateway to the boundary waters has a small town feel even when the population grows during the summer. Check out this great
list of things to do in Ely
to help you plan your time there.
Nisswa is a small town in Lake Country that is famous for its plentiful resorts. There are dozens in the area for you to choose from. Each within feet of one of Minnesota's beautiful lakes, you can't go wrong no matter which you choose. Or, if you're more interested in outdoor activities, there is plenty of camping, hiking, and fishing in the area.
3. Fergus Falls
Fergus Falls is a cute town in Otter Tail County near the North Dakota border. The town has 500 acres of parks for those who want to spend the day outside. Indoors, tours of historical structures, shopping at local retailers, and eating at a variety of restaurants are also available.
About 175 miles south of Fergus Falls is Pipestone. Though it's a hike, Pipestone is definitely worth the trip. This little community nestled in the southwestern corner of Minnesota has some of the state's most unique landscapes. Where the north is dominated by forest and lake, Pipestone is part of the prairie. The town is home to many interesting sites, such as the Calumet Inn, which dates back to the 1800s. After you check in, you'll definitely want to take a look at Pipestone National Monument as well. The park features interpretive sites as well as an impressive waterfall.
5. St. Peter
St. Peter is a town with one of the most adorable Main Streets in all of Minnesota. Lined with local businesses, the main drag contains enough interest to take up an entire day. But you'll want to save some time to tour some of St. Peter's historic buildings. There are a lot of them - St. Peter was founded in 1853.
Winona isn't a tiny town, but it is still small by most standards. Given the college student population, the town boasts many entertainment opportunities. Catch a show at the Page Theatre or take in the Mississippi River over a meal at the Boat House Restaurant. No matter what, you are a bound to find something to do on this leg of the trip.
North of Winona, one of Minnesota's oldest towns lies on the east bank of the St. Croix River. Because of its history - and its picturesque location - people flock to Stillwater for holidays and lazy weekend afternoons. Stillwater meets them with cute local shops, delicious food, and interesting annual events.
8. Taylors Falls
Taylors Falls is another beautiful St. Croix River town that is more than worth the stop. The one thing you can't leave Taylors Falls without doing is taking a scenic boat tour through the river dalles.
Northwest of Taylors Falls, Cambridge also boasts a historic downtown with small town restaurants to boot. The city actively works to keep its downtown thriving, providing incentives to local business owners. Looking for a favorite local spot? Try Herman's Bakery on South Main Street for sweet treats with an old-fashioned feel.
The road trip concludes in Avon, a tiny town surrounded by three lakes. It's the perfect quiet place to unwind after all that adventure. Finish off your trip by enjoying a sunset over your choice of lakes, trying a local restaurant, or hiking the famous Woebegone Trail.
What do you think? Would you add any small towns to the list? If you’re interested in more road trips, check out this gorgeous
Minnesota natural wonders road trip.