Plan Ahead: Lanesboro for the Holidays

There’s something delightfully charming about Lanesboro, which prides itself on being “The bed and breakfast capital of Minnesota”—seriously, there are more than 14 in the area. The town, nestled in the bluffs of the Root River Valley, is a beautiful place to explore and relax no matter the season. Forbes even named Lanesboro one of America’s Prettiest Towns in 2010.

After Halloween this weekend, the holiday season will be right around the corner. Start feeling festive at the third annual Lanesboro Holiday Inn Tour (Nov. 19 & 20, from 2-6 p.m., tickets limited). On the tour, you’ll see 12 of Lanesboro’s much-loved inns decked out for the holidays (six each day).  Tickets run $20 for one day or $35 for both (half-price for guests at sponsoring inns) and include appetizers at the Old Village Hall Restaurant & Pub.


Photo by Todd Buchanan

Just in time for the holidays, don’t miss Parfumerie (Nov. 18-Dec. 20), a romantic comedy about the rivalry of two department store perfume clerks during the Christmas season (think: You’ve Got Mail) at the Commonweal Theatre Company. One of Lanesboro’s treasures, the Commonweal, founded in 1989, unveiled a new $3.5 million performance center with a 200-seat stage in 2007. The theater boasts a season filled with up to six plays and more than 200 performances. Due to the area’s concentration of Norwegian-American residents, the theater often produces the works of noted Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Also on stage: Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird (through Nov. 13).

For more fun in Lanesboro, read “Hidden Minnesota” to learn about suggested activities, restaurants, inns and shops around town or “Pedal Pushers,” to learn about the area’s great biking trails (go before the snow!).