GRANT, Minn. (WCCO) – All this week, the WCCO Morning Show is touring the Twin Cities in their Suburban Spotlight.
On Thursday, Natalie Nyhus headed east. Though she said she’s originally from the eastern suburbs, she had never heard of Grant before. In fact, a lot of people Nyhus talked with said they had never heard of Grant. But she said it was fun discovering this city that few seem to know about.
Grant is nestled between White Bear Lake and Stillwater, just 20 minutes from downtown St. Paul. It became an official city in 1995, primarily to protect the rural nature of the city. Its population stands at just more than 4,000.
There are no strip malls, gas stations or downtown areas there, which is by design. Instead, it’s known for golf courses, horses and farms like the popular Aamodt’s Apple Farm and Axdahl’s Garden Farm and Greenhouse, which was established in 1854.
Primarily a produce farm, Axdahl’s has fresh fruits and veggies in the summer and fall, pumpkins and Christmas trees during winter and an expansive greenhouse in the spring.
Also in Grant is the Gateway Trail, which runs from St. Paul to the Pine Point Lodge. Adjacent to the 18 miles of paved trails is an unpaved trail for horseback riding and carriage driving.
Perhaps some of those carriage riders are heading to another Grant gem: the Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter. The restaurant even features a sign near the entry that says, “No horses beyond this point.” Yes, they have parking for horses.
Owner Kim Quade’s father-in-law Carl Senior built the German restaurant in 1966. She said a lot of the restaurant’s customers go there for their “old world hospitality, comfort food and, of course, great beer.”
Sprinkles, the goat out back, is pretty popular, but Gasthaus is best known for their Oktoberfest celebrations, which Quade says attracts about 5,000 people for the weekend — a “party in the pines.”