Edit ModuleShow Tags

Day Trip to Northfield


Published:

 

As a non-native of the Twin Cities area, I’m constantly mesmerized by its seemingly endless number of restaurants and coffee shops—so many that I’ll probably never get to all of them. Coming from a smaller town in Nebraska, it can be a relief to escape the hustle and bustle of a big city and find something simpler. My dad is a St. Olaf alum, so it seems fitting that I discovered Northfield to be the perfect escape. After a few visits with family and friends, here is my guide to experiencing the best Northfield has to offer.

Spring and Summer Events

Plan your trip around Northfield’s MayFly and June Bug Music Festivals, which take place the last weekend of May and June. The festivals include two days of outdoor (weather permitting) musical performances Friday and Saturday night at the Contented Cow, a local British-style pub in downtown Northfield.

Founded in 2010 by local artists and entrepreneurs, Northfield’s Riverwalk Market Fair begins on June 4 this year. Held every Saturday, the open-air market is strung along the scenic Cannon River. Expect to find locally grown produce, artisan foods, and a juried selection of art work, as well as musical entertainment, special events, and activities for the whole family.

Want to pick your own fresh produce? Stop by Lorences Berry Farm to pick berries to take home with you. Enjoy pre-picked asparagus in May to mid-June, pre-pick or Upick strawberries mid-June to July, and pre-pick or Upick raspberries early August to late September.

Where to Sleep

The Magic Door Bed and Breakfast: Step back in time with a relaxing night at Northfield’s Magic Door Bed and Breakfast. Built in 1899, the Magic Door is a stately, three-story Victorian home located just blocks from downtown Northfield. This is a bed and breakfast with a reputation for amenities and constant attention to detail.

Archer River House Inn: Open since 1877, the Archer House River Inn is a grand four-story red brick building that rests on the banks of the Cannon River at the center of downtown Northfield. It offers two full-service restaurants, the Bittersweet Café for caffeine and goodies, a lounge with a river deck, retail stores, and an exercise room.

Where to Caffeinate

Goodbye Blue Monday: Goodbye Blue Monday is a locally owned coffee shop located in downtown Northfield. Not only is the coffee unique and delicious, but the vintage, eclectic décor is unlike anything you’ll find at your go-to national chain. When I last visited, the line was almost out the door—it’s clearly a local favorite. (I also distinctly remember purchasing an enormous chocolate chip cookie, and forcing my mom to buy her own because I just couldn’t share its deliciousness.)

Where to Nosh

J. Grundy’s Reub ‘N’ Stein: Reub ‘N’ Stein was my dad’s favorite when he was a student at St. Olaf. I can see why it’s still his favorite when he passes through town. When I last visited this tavern, I ordered a cup of chili and split the bacon cheeseburger with a black bean patty between my mom and I. As delicious as it was, I don’t recommend eating here for lunch. Put off this feast until you’re done shopping and are at liberty to unbutton your jeans to make more room.

Where to Shop

Antiques of Northfield: I’m a sucker for a good antique store, and boy, is Antiques of Northfield a good one. The store literally overflows with all things vintage, crafty, and old-fashioned. You can’t visit a historic town like Northfield and not partake in a bit of harmless antiquing, right?

The Rare Pair: This locally owned treasure specializes in comfortable shoes, clothing, and accessories for men and women alike was once home to my favorite cool weather companion, a burnt orange wool scarf. The Rare Pair is my first shopping stop whenever I visit Northfield. With a helpful staff and wide selection, you’re sure to find something you just can’t live without—I know I have.

 

Our spring windows!

A photo posted by The Rarepair (@therarepair) on


Explore more as you plan your trip to Northfield:

Need a Dose of Holiday Charm? Head to Northfield, MN

The Not-So-Far Weekend Getaway: Northfield, Minnesota

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