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

You simply will not believe that are you less than an hour away from the bustling Twin Cities when you spend the weekend in Northfield, MN. Quaint yet lively, this little button of a town is the perfect destination for a romantic weekend or hotspot for a girls’ getaway. In fact, there’s a little something for everyone.

Home to two of Minnesota’s famed colleges, St. Olaf and Carleton College, and to a Saturday art fair every week (while the weather is tolerable), Northfield holds plenty of options for shopping. From locally owned art galleries to trinket and vintage gift shops to designer boutiques, you almost have to go into the shops more than once to take everything in.

Strolling up and down the Cannon River (also favored by bikers and runners) will take you through a myriad of food and drink options as well. The Contented Cow Pub has a small town feel with a big city beer list. With live music and an outdoor patio, the college hangout is the place to swing through for some liquid relaxation. Notice also when you walk past the First National Bank that you are standing next to a piece of history. While Jesse James and his gang tried to rob the bank in 1876, the raid has been known to some as one of the last events of the American Civil War.

Contented Cow Pub in Northfield, MN  Cannon River in Northfield, MN

Just outside of downtown is the newly remodeled Ole Store Café, an upscale dinner spot with an extensive menu. Tucked into a cozy Northfield neighborhood, the comfortable ambiance and Minnesota-nice staff will leave you with a smile and a full belly. Or if you’re in the mood for something more casual, stop at J. Grundy’s Rueb ‘n’ Stein.

Archer House in Northfield, MNAfter a day of taking in the history, quaintness, and pleasure of Northfield, your room at the Archer House River Inn (pictured right) awaits. More than 100 years old, each of the 36 guest suites are decorated uniquely and recently updated, yet entirely have the bed-and-breakfast weekend getaway touch. Don’t forget to stop at the Restaurant and Tavern Lounge for breakfast, but go early, you won’t be the only ones.

As you pull away feeling refreshed with your bag of purchases, you’ll once again be pleased when just 50 miles later you pull into your driveway at home.

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