CANNON FALLS, Minn. (WCCO) — WCCO’s summer road trip continues for the fourth week, and this time we’re Goin’ to the Lake just south of the Twin Cities metro to the small town of Cannon Falls with Frank Vascellaro, Amelia Santaniello and Dave Lee.
It’s an important part of summer in Minnesota — Going to the lake, or in this case a river. What better way to cool off on a hot day then to take off to the Cannon River in Cannon Falls. The city of about 4,000 is about an hour south of the metro in Goodhue County.
Cannon River Winery
In the heart of downtown Cannon Falls is one of the top wineries in Minnesota. It’s a growing industry in the state, and the Cannon River Winery is a staple of the town. The downtown winery looks like it was always a part of Mill Street, but it started out as a livery stable for horses. Now, tasters line up at a former soda fountain bar to try Cannon River’s Minnesota-inspired wines.
Head Winemaker Sam Jennings says their grapes are special, developed at the University of Minnesota to survive Minnesota’s harsh winters.
Cannon Falls Historical Museum
Small towns are full of a lot of big stories. We stopped by the Cannon Falls Historical Museum, where we learned about a devastating fire, a couple of presidential visits and why an oversized pair of overalls were a reason to party!
Related: Cannon Falls Historical Museum
Folks here get to enjoy the Little Cannon, as well as the Cannon River. It flows 112 miles, starting at Lake Tetonka near Waterville and ending in Red Wing, where it joins the Mississippi. The river is moving fast right now after all of the recent rain we’ve been getting. But, people are still fishing and wading along the river – just be careful!
Mill Street Tavern
If you’re looking for a great place for lunch or dinner in Cannon Falls – swing by the Mill Street Tavern. The historic building dates back to the 1880s when it was a livery stable for horses. The owner Holly says they serve up darn good sandwiches. There’s also a nice big patio out back – with a big shaded area, perfect for hot days like today. The Mill Street Tavern is open for lunch and dinner.
Lake Byllesby & ArtOrg
Besides the Cannon and the Little Cannon River, folks here can also enjoy Lake Byllesby. Early evening is the perfect time to get out on the lake. A fast moving boat and some waterskiing will certainly help cool you off in this hot weather. Or, just sink underwater and enjoy a nice swim. The lake borders both Dakota and Goodhue counties.
Here’s something you might now know if you don’t live in Cannon Falls – there’s a statue here that was created by a former Minnesota Viking. The statue is by Ed White — he was a part of the team in the 1970s. The statue is part of a five-sculpture project by ArtOrg — a group that brings artists together for collaborative projects. They’ve been creating all kinds of different art for 12 years here in Cannon Falls.
There are plenty of opportunities for boating and floating in Cannon Falls. We spent some time earlier today with the Douglas Family – their huge floating dock is so impressive -it’s nicknamed “The Beast.” Watch the video above to see The Beast in aciton!