PEPIN, Wis. (WCCO) — Even when record rains are falling, WCCO makes it to the lake. This summer, until the start of the Great Minnesota Get-Together, we’re highlighting communities in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
This week, Mike Binkley and Angela Davis ventured to Stockholm and Pepin, both in Wisconsin.
Lake Pepin is only an hour and half from the Twin Cities, and it’s the widest part of the Mississippi River at 40 square miles.
Pepin is a former steamboat port that Mark Twain once visited when he worked as a steamer captain. Today it’s known for its sailing.
It has a totally different feel from other cabin destinations. And a lot of the people in town are either vacationing from the Twin Cities or moved there because they fell in love with the place.
Mike & Angela Check Out Pepin, Wis.
Mike Binkley rode in the Tour de Pepin bike ride a couple of times. This year’s race took place a couple weeks ago, and in the rain.
You can choose a 32, 50, 72 or 100-mile route. They all start in Lake City, on the Minnesota side, then travel through Wabasha and into Wisconsin.
The 32-mile rides end in Stockholm, where you can take the Pearl of the Lake paddle boat back across. The ride is filled with fantastic scenery and friendly towns.
After a long ride, there’s nothing like eating at the highly-acclaimed Harbor View Cafe. So many people from the Twin Cities take day trips to Pepin just for this dining experience.
It’s small and cozy, and you might have to wait a while for a table – but the food is worth the wait.
Biking And Dining In Pepin
Why not enjoy a glass of wine while you’re enjoying the view in Pepin?
Angela and Mike stopped by the impressive-looking Villa Bellezza Winery and Vineyards Friday, which is just north of the town of Pepin.
It’s built like century-old villas of southern Europe, with main buildings surrounding a central piazza.
With 10-year-old vines, Villa Bellezza is relatively new but they make great, young blends.
It gives you a little feel of Italy, just blocks from Lake Pepin. There are actually a lot of wineries around here, thanks to Elmer Swenson’s work on cold-climate grapes at the U of M.
Mike & Angela Visit Villa Bellezza Winery
Mike and Angela found out that you don’t have to own a sailboat to cruise Lake Pepin. They went on a two-hour cruise with the guy who has a company called “Sail Pepin.”
Mike & Angela Sail Lake Pepin