Edit ModuleShow Tags

Day Trip Ideas for Thanksgiving Weekend


Published:

alena0509/fotolia

Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to take a quick day trip to bond with family and friends while discovering the best shopping, eats, and holiday traditions around Minnesota and Wisconsin. Here are four often-overlooked destinations that are worth a visit.

Rochester
Home of the renowned Mayo Clinic, and the third largest city in the state, Rochester offers a fun selection of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Eat at ZZest Café & Bar or Casablanca Creative Cuisine & Wine. Take an evening painting class at Canvas and Chardonnay (voted Rochester’s Finest 2016 Best Entertainment Venue), visit quaint shops such as Tangerine Gifts, Posh Boutique, or Scrub Your Butt Soap Company, and join the town for their “Here Comes Santa Claus” holiday tradition on Friday, November 25. 

New Ulm
Approximately 90 miles southwest from the Twin Cities, New Ulm is known for its German heritage and authentic vintage-style shops. Support small businesses by shopping at Lambrecht’s Gifts, Semblance, or Gallary 512 Boutique. Get lunch in New Ulm’s historic downtown at Lola’s – An American Bistro (the lighting and comfy couches makes for a cozy resting spot), and enjoy an evening performance of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at New Ulm’s Street State Theater. (Discover more things to do in New Ulm.)

Hudson
Hudson, Wisconsin is just a quick 30 miles west of the Twin Cities. #OptOutside this Black Friday (or all weekend long!) by exploring Willow River State Park, which features extensive walking trials, bike paths, a waterfall, and of course, scenic views. Then grab a bite at Hudson’s #1 restaurant Pier 500, and shop small holiday gifts and treats at Lavender Thymes, LaRue Marche, and Knoke’s chocolates. End the night by attending the Phipps Theater’s performance of “A Christmas Carol”.  

Lindstrom
Known as America’s Little Sweden, Lindstrom is a quaint town just 40 miles north of the Twin Cities. Even the water tower is adorable—the standard round shape is replaced with a white and blue tea kettle. Shop for vintage, one-of-a-kind gifts at Lindstrom’s Homespun Treasures II or their Lindstrom Antique Mall. Get dinner at the restaurant Swedish Inn, and for dessert, check out the delicious selection of baked goodies at Clark Cupcakes. For more shopping opportunities, swing over to Forest Lake for the Hometown Holiday celebration featuring local business sales and specials, and wraps up the day with a Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lakeside Memorial Park.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Hit the Road for a Fall Weekend in Alexandria, Minnesota

When fall comes around in Alexandria, Minnesota, the leaves aren’t the only things that are colorful. The fall festivals and events in Alexandria brighten up the first chilly months and give life to the city that lives on the lake during its summer.

Lantern Light Festival Celebrates Chinese Culture at Canterbury Park

Shakopee is the temporary home of dazzling lanterns illuminated in lights, Chinese performances, and a unique family-friendly experience.

Get Ready for a Sweat Fest

ALTR’s fitness classes in Minneapolis' North Loop are a high-octane thrill ride with a one-way ticket to shredded

Photographing the City on Your Lunch Break

Local photographer Wayne Moran leads afternoon tours through picture-perfect Minneapolis

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: October

Help out mothers and children dealing with homelessness, fight against cancer, and contribute to a north Minneapolis bakery with the Cookie Cart.

Best Minnesota Town Last Call for Votes

Help one of these 10 cities advance to the finals for a chance to win a party in their town, $50,000 toward an advertising campaign, and an editorial feature in Minnesota Monthly magazine.

New Fall Drinks at Tattersall Harvestival

The NE Minneapolis distillery features four apple-based drinks to celebrate autumn

Small Press, Big Impact: Graywolf's 2nd Literary Salon

Graywolf invited writers Layli Long Soldier, Carmen Maria Machado, and Danez Smith to the stage to challenge the status quo

New Places to Shop and Eat at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

MSP Airport's revamp just bumped it up to 6th best in North America—now with indoor food trucks, local brews, therapy dogs, and a golfing simulator

From Writer to Mid-Wife: St. Paul Writing Workshops Highlight Strength in Vulnerability This Month

Leading workshops through October, St. Paul author Ellen Sue Stern on the healing of writing

DNR Predicts Unusually Vibrant Fall Colors: Find the Best Spots

The MN DNR is predicting an especially colorful fall season due to ideal summer weather conditions. We found five spots around the state—including Lanesboro and Lake Superior—with great autumn views.

Duluth Indie Bookstore Celebrates Opening

Zenith Bookstore opens in the face of Amazon and free two-day shipping—because this Duluth retired couple knows that people love shopping small

What It Means to Light Up the St. Anthony Lock

A colorful light show fills the now-defunct lock with its own history

Save the Date for Unveiled Bridal Show September 17

Unveiled isn't just a bridal show, it's a fun and memorable experience.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags