Amy 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.
Halloween is almost here. Have you checked out the metro’s haunted houses? There are tons of scary things to do for older Halloween fans. But where you can take the little, more easily scared ones?
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.
It’s late September—time for Oktoberfest. Minnesota might have a reputation for a Scandinavian heritage, but Germans had a hand in settling our state too. Things are already underway for Wabasha’s SeptOberfest, which began earlier this month and runs through Oct. 27.
The beloved Broadway musical Wicked returns this week to Minnesota, opening 9/18 and in town through 10/27 at Minneapolis’ gorgeous Orpheum Theatre. It’s a big show with lots of moving pieces and parts, and behind the scenes, it’s quite an event getting it all unloaded and put together.
One long-time attraction at the Minnesota State Fair is the area known as Heritage Square. It’s a more old-fashioned kind of entertainment, with historical exhibits, a newspaper museum, and various shops and food outlets. This may be the last year for Heritage Square as it is now; plans are being discussed to tear it down and create a transit hub instead.
The Minnesota State Fair kicks off on Thursday. One popular attraction there is the display at the Fine Arts building. The exhibit is the result of an annual competition for Minnesota artists. Thousands of people apply; a first round is chosen; then that group is winnowed down to the final exhibit. Generally between 300-400 pieces of art are chosen to exhibit.
Last week, we took a look at places to dine al fresco in Minneapolis. Now it’s St. Paul’s turn. Here are a few great spots to check out while the weather is still so obliging. Long-time favorite W.A. Frost has a gorgeous patio behind the venerable restaurant, shaded by beautiful trees and very much a respite from the world. When the weather is nice, get there early—it’s very popular.
In just two weeks, the Minnesota State Fair opens. In other words: while warm weather can go into the fall, the official end of summer isn’t far away. Time to enjoy some patio and/or rooftop dining! Here are a few suggestions on the Minneapolis side of the river to get you going. Don’t worry, St. Paul, your turn is coming next week.
Last week, I took at look at a summer bucket list, because, like it or not, summer is racing to its end. The State Fair opens in three weeks, and school isn’t far behind. But there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the best rites of summer: visiting an ice cream shop (or two, or three…).
Summer was so late in arriving this year that it’s almost heresy to talk about it coming to an end. But as of this writing, the Minnesota State Fair is only a little over four weeks away. The clock is ticking—it’s time to make sure you get as much summer fun in as you can. Here are a few suggestions to consider.
If you think about Walker, your first thought might turn to fishing. The city is on the shores of Leech Lake, the third largest lake in Minnesota (that’s entirely within state borders).
After the Fourth of July, a reader asked me to come up with a list of places she could take her elderly father-in-law, a WWII veteran, over the summer that would give him the opportunity to pay respects to veterans of any war.
The Fourth of July is next week Thursday, and not surprisingly, it looks like many communities are going to have festivities spilling over into the weekend that follows. Besides the usual community fireworks and parades, there’s a lot to choose from around the state.
If you happen to think about University of Minnesota libraries, you might think that they’re filled with all matter of academic works, fit mainly for college students of all levels. Of course there are tons of academic materials, but that’s far from what’s available there, and you don’t have to be an enrolled student to enjoy some of the holdings.
If you hear the phrase, “Sculptures on Lake Bemidji,” you might first think of this classic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Paul Bunyan and his faithful companion, Babe the Blue Ox, have graced the shores of Lake Bemidji since 1937.
Ideally, the weather would have been better last Saturday for the first of Cajun 2 Geaux’s outdoor crawfish boils. But even on a chilly, cloudy day, it’s hard not to feel festive when the Cajun-themed truck begins cooking.
The long winter slowed the arrival of spring and all things spring-like, including the much-needed beauty of perennial flowers and bulbs. But at last they’re making an appearance. Over the weekend, I visited the Munsinger Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud, where the bulbs were bursting out, and signs of future floral glories to come.
It’s only a couple of weeks until Mother’s Day. Have you made plans for the special mom in your life? If you’d like some ideas of things to do besides go out to eat, consider one of these options.
Spring has been taking its own sweet time arriving in Minnesota this year, much to the consternation of just about everyone. But there is a place you can visit to get a taste of what spring might eventually be like: the Spring Flower Show at the Como Park Conservatory.
Next week is Valentine’s Day. Being that it falls on a Thursday, it will likely trickle over into the weekend, and restaurants and florists will be busy. There’s certainly nothing wrong with flowers and a lovely dinner out, but there are other options. Note: reservations are recommended for most of these, so call ahead.
Cabin fever setting in? The impending return of the frigid temps got you down? Can’t shake the winter doldrums? You just need to take a little trip to Ax-Man Surplus.
This weekend marks the opening of the St. Paul Winter Carnival. But that’s not the only thing opening in St. Paul.
Though far from the famed battlegrounds of the American Civil War, and overlapping with the Dakota Conflict of 1862, the Civil War did have an impact on Minnesota, during and after.
You may not realize that the Fairgrounds are open year-round, and visiting in winter gives an entirely different perspective.
One of my favorite places to visit this time of year is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, because it’s the time of year when the Arboretum’s staff and volunteers put on the annual holiday extravaganza known as Making Spirits Bright.