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Feb 9, 2007 09:24 AM

Twin cities day trips-road food

Does anyone have any suggestions for local, out of the way spots that would make for a good weekend day trip? I was thinking within an hour or hour and a half of the twin cities.

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  1. Hey, what a great question. I can't wait to hear the answers. I don't know any in winter, but for leaf-peeping in the Fall, here's an interesting thread:

    And, I hate to say it, but the only other "road trip" I can think of off the top of my head that I've taken is a trip to the Spam museum in Austin, MN. It is chowish, in its own way. There's a restaurant across the street from the museum that serves spamburgers, which, I have to say, is really a treat under the circumstances. (Only because it's across from the Spam museum.



    1. I do! I do. The Trempealeau Hotel in Trempealeau, Wis., about 1.5 hours down the Mississippi on 61, though I prefer to cross over in Red Wing and proceed down beautiful 13. That way, you can also hit the original Nelson Cheese Shop in Nelson, Wis., and have a homebrew (not sure if it's a brew pub, but they seem to have their own brew) at the Monarch Bar in Fountain City, Wis., (home of the Wurst Pizza, with bratwurst and cheese and onions, though I've never had one). There's also a "quaint" restaurant in an old Exxon or Mobile station in Stockholm, Wis., though it's changed hands and I can't vouch for it.

      I do this one twice a year and also need to branch out (thus will be reading the replies with interest). Heartily recommend the Tremealeau. It's kinda hippy dippy, but I have a very low tolerance for that, and I can stomach it.


      2 Replies
      1. re: jeanmt

        Jean, is that related to the Nelson Cheese Shop you can see from Snelling as you're driving over the Energy Parkway overpass (in St. Paul)?


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I think they are related. The Nelson's you're referring to is actually at Como and Snelling. They recently remodeled, and are going to be expanding the menu.

          Their sandwiches are among the best in the Twin Cities, although some are big enough for two people.

      2. It's hardly unknown or out of the way, but the Harbor View Cafe is a must. The drive down the river is beautiful, and there are lots of nice places to stop along the way. They're closed for winter, but will reopen in March.

        And I hear good things about Nosh in Wabasha, but I also hear that they're moving to Lake City soon.
        Warning: This web site has possibly the most obnoxious use of Flash ever. And there's no info on the upcoming move. For move info, see .


        1 Reply
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          I'm going to add a link in here to a post I made about The Olde Triangle (Irish pub) in Wabasha. It makes a great day trip from the Twin Cities for eagle watching in winter and very early spring in particular--and now there's a bonafide chow stop in town!


        2. Recently some folks I know have been raving about The Norton's:

          About an hour from the Twin Cities.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mill City Modern

            We went to The Norton's about a year ago when we headed down to Red Wing for a weekend getaway. I remember being pretty disappointed, especially since based on online reviews it seemed like the best place around Red Wing. I can't remember at this point what turned me off exactly but I do remember that the food was subpar considering the prices. The dining room is not nearly as romantic or cozy as the website makes it seem and the night we were there there was a VERY loud table celebrating someone's birthday. We ran into a couple at our B&B who were also there for dinner the previous night and the noise was really disrupting to them also.

          2. The Norske Nook in Osseo for pies! The dinner fare is nothing to write home about (Dear Mom, the food is boring. Love, Chomp Chomp) but the pies are amazing!

            1 Reply
            1. re: chompchomp

              Glad to hear that the pies are still good. I haven't been to the Norske Nook in about 10 years. I used to travel between Madison and the Twin Cities a lot and often made stops there. I've been concerned that the place may have gone down hill as they expanded.