While growing up and going to school in a small town, I always dreamed of living in a big city. After awhile, I grew to resent the small town atmosphere. Now that I live in Minneapolis and am still adjusting to big city life, I realize the importance of appreciating every location for what it is. I can now see and enjoy the benefits of every city I visit, no matter how big or small.
A co-worker told me last week that she chose to spend her birthday in a small town an hour south of the Twin Cities. Why? What was there? She told me it was quiet, it was relaxing, and she loved the scenery. Based on her rave reviews, I looked up little towns in Minnesota and started to understand the appeal. The photos from each little town I viewed were breathtaking. I imagine the scenery is even more lovely in person. Luverne, in particular, caught my eye.
Luverne is a little town located about three hours and 45 minutes southwest of the Twin Cities, along the Rock River. The town actually has a claim to fame as one of the four cities portrayed in Ken Burns’ 2007 PBS documentary on World War II, “The War,” and even served as host city of the documentary’s world premiere.
So if you’re looking at having a quiet, relaxing weekend in a charming small town, consider making Luverne your next weekend getaway. Start your day off with brunch at Sterlings Café and Grille, located in the heart of downtown Luverne. After brunch, walk to the nearby shops. Those Blasted Things is your classic, old-fashioned gift shop, while Tyana’s Boutique is your destination for clothing and accessories.
Go exploring at Blue Mounds State Park, which is known as a “prairie park” with a Sioux quartzite cliff, a massive outcrop of rock rising 100 feet above the plains, and bison herds, reintroduced into the park back in 1961. The park also contains a small patch of what is left of the tall grass prairie that once covered North America. In fact, Blue Mounds is one of the several places in Minnesota where prickly pear cactus grows in the summer months.
When you’re ready to call it a day, hit up The Bluestem for dinner, then catch a movie at the historic Palace Theatre. Get your rest so you can spend the next day exploring all that you missed on the first day: attractions like the Hinkly House Museum, and the Carnegie Cultural Center.
For more information, visit luvernechamber.com.