Best Of Minnesota
This time of year, we’ll do anything to stay warm. But there’s a place you can go for a taste of the tropics. You voted Water Park of America the best of Minnesota.
George Widman of Widman Candy Shop has been the confection king in Crookston for nearly 40 years. With every Best of Minnesota story, we like the winners to acknowledge being voted “the best” on camera. But being typical Minnesotans, boasting proved to be difficult.
Cossetta Alimentari is a downtown St. Paul institution. It’s three sprawling floors of Italian breads, cheeses, pastries, pizza and — of course — pasta! But if you want to know the story of Cossetta, the writing is on the wall.
Your votes sent Natalie Nyhus to Masu in northeast Minneapolis.
What started thousands of years ago as a mode of transportation has evolved into something that lets us enjoy the outdoors, even in winter. Snowshoeing makes hiking through the snow simple. So we went looking for the best place to do it in Minnesota, and ended up in Collegeville for a visit at St. John’s Abbey Arboretum.
Winter is long, cold and dark in Minnesota, especially for golfers. Instead of daydreaming about warm weather and your favorite course, you can still play the game inside. That’s why we went in search of the best indoor golf in Minnesota.
Yoga class is a place to feel calm, cool. But at CorePower Yoga in Highland Park, the place you voted Best of Minnesota, it’s hot. “CorePower is different because we create an environment in which the yoga is fun,” Regional Manager Amanda Ford said.
The new year means new beginnings and a fresh start. To keep with the theme of freshness, we went in search of some fresh juice and wanted to know where to find the best juice bar Minnesota. Your votes sent us to Rochester and Tonic Fresh Juices & Local Food.
With the holidays winding down, it’s time take a deep breath, relax and order in dinner, which for many means Chinese food.
Santa has been busy making stops all over the world to hear Christmas wishes. So we wanted to know, where is the best place to visit Santa Claus?
‘Tis the season to hop in the car with the family and take an evening drive to see all the Christmas lights in the neighborhood. Some houses have a string or two, while others go all out. So we asked where to find the best Christmas lights in Minnesota, and you picked a spectacular display in Willmar that took 900 hours to put up. And this isn’t a city display — it’s just one family’s house and yard.
‘Tis the season to watch your favorite Christmas classic – “A Christmas Story.” Now imagine bringing those memories to life with song and dance. You voted “A Christmas Story, The Musical” the best holiday show in Minnesota. Sharon Hailey is the show’s director and choreographer.
There’s something about cutting down your own tree. It’s an experience. Just like the Fraser fir and balsam, the Wolcyn Tree Farm, and family, continues to grow.
Like every other business in Excelsior, John Klick is preparing to open for the day. But there’s none like this in the area. It’s not just a brewery, and not just a bar. It’s a taproom! “It’s an awesome environment that a brewery can create all their own beers, they can only serve their own beers, you can’t serve hard alcohol, you can’t serve anybody else’s beer,” Klick said.
Derek Engler is in the third generation of the family that started Pilgrim Dry Cleaners in Brooklyn Park. “Pilgrim started in 1940 with my grandfather. It continued with his daughter, my mother, Bonnie Engler. I came on in 2009,” Derek said. He says clothes are cleaned in a solvent-based method that’s green, organic and environmentally friendly.
Back in the day, every town had to have a meat market. They were a necessity, says Ryan Schmidt, owner of Schmidt’s Meat Market in Nicollet. “Meat markets, butcher shops in small towns used to service a 10-mile area of the farmers that surrounded that,” Schmidt said. “They didn’t have a cold storage, so they would rent lockers from butcher shops and meat markets.” Nowadays, only some towns are lucky enough to still have one.
This Friday, little ghosts and goblins will ring your door bell looking for a trick or treat. But if it’s real scares you’re looking for, there’s one place in Minnesota that is the best. This isn’t the kind of place that will make you jump with fright, but it may make your skin crawl.
The football field at NRHEG High School in New Richland, surrounded by a sea of corn, is home to the best cheer team in Minnesota. The NRHEG Cheer Team’s 20 members practice up to five days a week, sometimes twice per day. “It might be a little cheesy, but we’re definitely like a family,” said cheer team member Jessica Nafe.
When baking the best apple pie in the entire state of Minnesota, there must be some kind of secret ingredient. Pine Tree Apple Orchard has been in the Jacobson family since the 1950s, and today it remains a family business — run by six Jacobson siblings. “There’s something about this piece of ground,” said Bill Jacobson.
Whatever you like in a landscape, we are lucky enough to have thousands of spectacular views in Minnesota. And if it’s falls colors you’re looking for, there’s one spot you keep ranking the very best. For the second year in a row, your votes sent us to Taylors Falls for the best view in Minnesota.
In the town of New Ulm, Minn., you might notice a slight German influence. OK, a lot of German influence! If you want to know New Ulm’s Oktoberfest and why it’s the best, just look for the guy in lederhosen. His name is George Glotzbach, and he’s as German as they come. Ask him anything you want, but be ready for more than a short story.
Rosemount High School is known for their fine arts, and music in particular. Their marching band has played at the Rose Parade in California, for the world-champion Minnesota Lynx and even at last year’s We Day at the Xcel Energy Center.
Matt Brickman has taken WCCO viewers to see the Best of Minnesota: A lot of great food, interesting places, but most of all, interesting people.
You might see malts elsewhere on the fairgrounds, but if you want the best, you’ve gotta go to the source–the Dairy Building.
For bargain hunters, flea markets are a gold mine. No matter how odd the item you’re looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find it at a flea market. So we wanted to find the best in Minnesota. Your votes sent me about an hour northwest of the cities to the Wright County Swappers’ Meet near Annandale.