MN Travel Guide: February

An old favorite given new life, a renovated theater, and a charming bed and breakfast all highlight what’s new around the state this month

An illustration of Minnesota with each region defined by a different color.

illustration by darren booth



St. Joseph

The new Estates Bed and Breakfast is the only B&B in St. Joseph, and unlike your typical B&B, full of old-fashioned furniture and knickknacks, this one exudes a contemporary atmosphere with modern light fixtures and furnishings replacing doilies. Its location, near St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, makes the three-suite house a convenient lodging alternative to St. Cloud for students’ families. Suites include the “Johnnie,” the “Bennie,” and the “Minnesota,” with balcony.



An illustration of the Detroit Lakes' Ice Castle.
Detroit Lakes Ice Palace

photo courtesy Detroit Lakes tourism

Detroit Lakes

The St. Paul Winter Carnival pulled together its on-and-off-again ice palace at the last minute, but the city whose lake was originally intended to supply the ice, Detroit Lakes, will still unveil its own “super-sized” castle on February 8, as part of its annual Polar Fest. Designed by a resident sculptor, this palace will use about 1,000 blocks of ice, towering 24 feet and stretching 60 feet long by 30 feet wide.





With a budget of about $30 million, the NorShor Theatre renovated its rehearsal studios, orchestra pit, and 1950s murals and at last reopened as the focal point of downtown Duluth’s Historic Arts & Theater District (previously a vaudeville house, a movie theater, and a strip club). After years of planning and 16 months of construction, the theater opens its doors for its first show, Mamma Mia, in February.





Northeast Minneapolis’ giant light-up bottle-cap sign advertising Grain Belt Beer (brewed by New Ulm’s August Schell Brewing Company) went dark around 1975, illuminated only on occasion until apparently going out for good about 20 yeas ago. After years of discussion, the brewery finally relit the Grain Belt Beer sign, teaming up with locals, who shelled out $100 each to own one of its LED bulbs (among other state-pride paraphernalia), and reinstating what Mayor Jacob Frey calls “the Yellow Brick Road to the Northeast.”



The two brothers of Interesting People Reading Poetry.
Interesting People Reading Poetry

photo by amanda anderson


Two brothers combined the arts of poetry and podcasting, hosting Minnesota-based artists and social movers on their weekly podcast Interesting People Reading Poetry. Guests have included Minnesota House Representative Ilhan Omar and comic-book writer (and Minnesota Monthly regular) Benjamin Percy, both of whom read a favorite poem and shared what it means to them. The show features original music and concludes with a “Haiku Hotline” segment: You can text or call in (612-440-0643) to leave a voicemail haiku related to the day’s theme—with the possibility of having it broadcast.