Amy Rea

amy rea Amy ReaAmy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer’s Guide (Countryman Press, 2008), as well as the upcoming Backroads & Byways of Minnesota (Countryman Press, spring 2011).

She grew up in northern Minnesota, attended the University of Minnesota, and bounced around various careers including managing a maternity store and working as a travel agent before settling into her writing career.

She’s married with two teenage boys and two rather poorly trained dogs.

most recent stories2 Amy Rea

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Wander Minnesota: Festivals And Events In December (Week 1)

The month of December is an exceptionally busy one for this festival-fond state. To try and get as much coverage as possible without creating a blog post that’s a mile long, I’m going to report weekly this month.

13 hours ago

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Wander Minnesota: Halloween Weekend

Halloween is almost here, and there’s plenty going on. Let’s take a look at a sampling of Halloween events around the state. Friday night is Haunted High Ropes at the Eagles Bluff Environmental Center near Lanesboro. Go trick-or-treating on the high ropes course—and watch out for ghosts and skeletons along the way.


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Wander Minnesota: A Labyrinth and Bicycles

There’s a lot going on at the White Bear Lake Center for the Arts these days, both inside and out. The main exhibit inside is one that’s actually rooted in the outdoors: Gregg Rochester’s Le Tour d’Art, which is touring various galleries and is on exhibit in White Bear Lake through Oct. 29.


Get Lost In A Corn Maze

Wander Minnesota: MEA Break

It seems like school just began, but it’s already almost time for MEA. The MEA break will be Oct. 15 and 16. Here are a few ideas for keeping your kids entertained during the long weekend.


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Wander Minnesota: Fall Foliage And Fun

The DNR is reporting that fall colors have begun to pop, mostly up north as of this writing. The gorgeous fall foliage season is all too short. Now is the time to plan a little getaway to enjoy them before winter sets in. Here are a few suggestions for lodgings that are open past the summer tourist season.


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Wander Minnesota: Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Last week, I talked about the wild rice demonstrations at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum. Not far from the museum is Mille Lacs Kathio State Park. The park’s two-fold name has two roots. “Mille Lacs” is the term French explorers used to describe the area, and it is an apt term, meaning “1,000 lakes” in English.


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Wander Minnesota: Wild Rice

Last weekend (and the next two Saturdays, weather permitting), the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post offered demonstrations on traditional Native American techniques of processing wild rice. With the fall foliage just starting to break out around Lake Mille Lacs, this would be a fun day trip both for leaf-peeping and for visiting this well-curated museum and see the demonstration.


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Wander Minnesota: The Making Of A Museum

Many times I’ve written about the strong museum presence we have in Minnesota. But it’s always interesting and fun to find a newcomer trying to make its way.


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Wander Minnesota: State Fair Crop Art

If you’ve never seen it, crop art (found in the Ag Building) is the art form that involves the use of seeds in a mosaic style. Specifically, seeds used in crops grown in Minnesota — no weeds allowed, and think wild rice, not white rice.


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Wander Minnesota: Catch An Exhibit

We’re definitely in a weird patch at the moment, with chilly, rainy weather at this writing, and more rain and low temperatures possible for the coming weekend. Of course, we can expect the heat to return next week, as it often does when the Minnesota State Fair opens. But until then, if you’re looking for some indoor entertainment, take a look at what’s happening in the museum world.


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Wander Minnesota: Japanese Garden at Normandale Community College

If you take a little drive out beyond Edina and into Bloomington, you could find yourself at Normandale Community College. You might note that the buildings look attractively modern and the grounds well-kept, and you might think that’s all there is to see, if you’re not a student there.


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Wander Minnesota: Flandrau State Park

On the edge of New Ulm is Flandrau State Park. It’s named after Charles Flandrau, a frontiersman who spent years exploring the Minnesota River Valley before settling near Traverse des Sioux and became a prominent citizen, eventually serving in both the territorial and state supreme courts.


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Wander Minnesota: Minneopa State Park

Like waterfalls? Like Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, but sometimes would like to avoid the crowds? There’s a good choice just an hour or so out of the metro: Minneopa State Park, just outside of Mankato. […]


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Wander Minnesota: Road Trip To St. Peter

South of the Twin Cities, along the Minnesota River, is the town of St. Peter. St. Peter’s earliest claim to fame is that it came close to being the capital of Minnesota, but thanks to the machinations of Joe Rolette, who stole the bill that would have designated St. Peter as the capital and hid with it until legislators had voted in St. Paul instead.


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Wander Minnesota: More Than Just A Ball of Twine

If you’ve been in Minnesota for any length of time, surely you’ve heard of the giant ball of twine in Darwin. While there are various contenders for the title of “largest twine ball” in the U.S., the one in Darwin is generally considered to be the largest ever wound by one person.


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Wander Minnesota: ‘Inspired By Books’ At The MIA

At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts , of course there’s always so much going on around visual arts. But the museum also offers frequent tours of a literary bent: Inspired by Books, tours that combine the museum’s extensive visual arts collection with themed explorations of books.


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Wander Minnesota: Fourth of July Weekend

The Fourth of July is this Saturday and not surprisingly, it looks like many communities are going to have festivities all weekend. Besides the usual community fireworks and parades, there’s a lot to choose from around the state. If your Fourth of July plans take you out of the metro, you’ll find plenty to do. Here’s a sampling.


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Wander Minnesota: Road Trip To Henderson

If you’re looking for a relaxing day trip or getaway, there’s a little town along the Minnesota River that fits the bill. The main street of Henderson is just a few blocks long, but there are eateries and shops worth a visit.


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Wander Minnesota: Father’s Day In Minnesota

Father’s Day is coming soon. What are you doing to enjoy the day with your dad? Here are some ideas for special events, not necessarily Father’s Day-themed, but fun for the whole family.


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Wander MN: Festival Season

Memorial Day is past, and summer has commenced. Minnesota offers festivals all year round, but summer is prime time.


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Wander Minnesota: Memorial Day Observances & Celebrations

Sure, the weather has (finally) started to act like it’s supposed to this time of year, but we all know summer really starts over Memorial Day weekend, when everyone begins flocking in earnest to lakes and northwoods.


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Historical Society Creates Tours For Memory-Impaired

I’ve often been a cheerleader for the Minnesota Historical Society, because I think the work they do in preserving Minnesota’s past, and developing programming to make it fun and interesting in the present, is stellar.


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Wander Minnesota: Sure Signs Of Spring

As if the sight of trees and lawns greening up wasn’t a big enough clue that spring is finally here, there are colors all across the spectrum at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.


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Wander Minnesota: May Is Minnesota Museum Month

It’s almost May — and that means it’s Minnesota Museums Month the annual celebration of all that Minnesota has to offer in the way of museums. And that’s quite a lot. It’s a considerable bounty, with about 600 around the state.


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Wander Minnesota: Memorial Day Resort Happenings

Sure, it’s a month away, but Memorial Day will arrive faster than you think. Many resorts are planning long-weekend festivities for that weekend, and booking ahead is recommended. Here’s a sampling of what you can find.



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