Category Archives: Minnesota

Tasty summer finds along the Great River Road

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Summer is an excellent time to explore some of the tasty finds along the Great River Road. Here are some can’t miss stops in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Photo courtesy of Winona Farmers Market

Winona Farmers Market, Winona, MN

The Winona Farmers Market is one of the best along the Great River Road. It happens every Saturday, rain or shine, from 7:30am to noon at Levee Park in Winona, Minnesota. Produce that’s debuting in July includes cabbage, cucumbers, corn, peppers, potatoes, raspberries, tomatoes and zucchini. You can also find baked and canned goods, honey, eggs, teas, flowers, bread, coffee, meats, plus prices that can’t be beat!

Photo courtesy of Elmaro Vineyard

Elmaro Vineyard, Trempealeau, WI

At Elmaro Vineyard in Trempealeau, Wisconsin, the views are just as amazing as the wines you’ll sample. Enjoy the landscape of nearby Perrot State Park and the Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge while you sit on the patio and sample any of their nearly two dozen varieties of wine. Their grapes are grown in Wisconsin and Minnesota and their wines are made from delicious fruits like apples, raspberries, cranberries, cherries and plums. You can even arrange a picnic here, with wine, cheese, crackers and sausages on a private picnic site with a blanket and umbrella.

Photo courtesy of Piggy’s Restaurant & Blues Lounge

Piggy’s Restaurant & Blues Lounge, La Crosse, WI

Piggy’s Restaurant has called La Crosse, Wisconsin home since 1980. This hot spots is nationally famous for BBQ baby back ribs, but also for their pork chops, prime rib and steaks. If you like smoked meat, this is the place for you! Their hardwood smoker does its magic with hickory and Minnesota Applewood from the nearby hills and bluffs. Don’t miss live blues music in the Blues Lounge downstairs on Saturday nights, and check out their wine cellar, with more than 60 options to choose from!

Photo courtesy of Isles Bun & Coffee

Isles Bun & Coffee, Minneapolis, MN

Isles Bun & Coffee is an itty bitty bake shop just a couple blocks from Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They’re known for their morning rolls, especially cinnamon, caramel and caramel pecan rolls, but are also famous for their Puppy Dog Tails, which are smaller versions of their cinnamon rolls, twisted up. Here they use only real ingredients, no food starch or corn syrup and everything is made from scratch. Don’t be afraid to go for the extra frosting on your rolls – you won’t be sorry you did!

Notes from an epic adventure

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

While many people travel part of the Great River Road every year, a select group drives the entire 3,000-mile route. Here are some stories and photos from people who have taken on the whole 10-state route. Sound like fun? Order the free Great River Road 10-State Map, the Drive the Great River Road App and start planning your own adventure. And let us know when you’re done – we’ll send you a certificate!

 

I received the map and I thought that this would be a nice trip, so I got in my car by myself and took off on one of the most enjoyable trips in my 82 years. I could write a book on this trip all good things about the trip. This summer I am going to finish the trip from St. Louis down to Venice, LA.. To sum it up, FANTASTIC,” – Robert B, St. Louis

 

We have visited the USA on many occasions and our plan was to visit those state we had not visited. Our road trip started in Nashville, TN. We then traveled through KY, WV, OH, IN, IL and WI before commencing our adventure down the Great River Road in MN. The river was covered in snow for many miles through MN, WI, IA, IL, MO, KY, TN, AR, MS and LA – despite the extreme weather, there were many wonderful sights and places to visit. We have now visited all 48 states and Hawaii – only Alaska to go!” – David and Cathie M., Queensland, Australia

My favorite part of the drive involved travel on the levees… from the area between Baton Rouge & Natchez, up the Mississippi Delta, from Memphis to Cairo, IL, the Cahokia mounds, and the Driftless Area.” – Lucas P., New York, New York

My husband and I spent periods of time in several river towns when he was working temporary jobs in them and were enchanted by the river. Decided to one day drive the Great River Road. He passed away before we could, but I drove it accompanied by our little rat terrier, Buck. It was a beautiful drive and I loved visiting with people and learning the history of different areas. I have a 50,000 words journal with pictures of the trip and am looking for a publisher.” – Pat W., Manhattan, Kansas

I drove the entirety of the GRR from North to South – covering almost every mile on both sides (a few were underwater thanks to the flooding last Autumn). I can be mobile for work, so I’ve started driving the long roads in the Lower 48 in an RV – it was your 80th, so I took the opportunity to explore. It was a 90-day trip, including all the loop backs – I started on the 7th of Sept at the Headwaters and wrapped it up south of the Venice Marina on the 6th of Dec.” – Sara N., Land O Lakes, Florida

I traveled the first half of the GRR in 2016, from Venice, LA to St Louis, and back to NOLA… then in 2017, from St Louis to Grand Rapids, MN and back to Chicago. I have spent the past five years documenting the scenic backways of the United States. My favorite part of the drive was finding dirt roads, old abandoned routes, remote places, and especially driving up on levees. Mississippi Delta, Driftless Area and Cahokia Mounds were some favorite parts.” – Randy R., New York, New York

We traveled the Road last Summer from 8/9/18 to 8/25/18. The reason – just wanted to experience the whole trip from North to South. Plus, we like road trips that include lots of 2 lane highways…from the beautiful Headwaters of Itasca State Park, where we could walk across the Mississippi, all the way down to Venice, LA where it ends into the Gulf of Mexico, it was a spectacular road river ride!” – Howard B, La Quinta, California

“I love road trips. Having done Route 66 a few years ago, this seemed like a natural. At the end of each day, I did a thumbnail sketch of the day which I shared with friends via email and FaceBook…BTW: This epic journey was done by myself, my wife, and my sister. We drove the entire length, from Lake Itasca to the Gulf. – Ronald B., Clovis, California

Plan a Great River Road getaway

Monday, December 10, 2018

There’s no better place for a driving adventure than the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, the best scenic drive in America. There’s so much to take in—the 3,000-mile route travels through 10 states, from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Here are some tools to help you plan the perfect trip.

Get the app

An ideal resource for navigating the byway fits in your pocket. The Drive the Great River Road app is available for Apple and Android devices and includes scenic overlooks, museums, historical sites and more.

Get the map

The Great River Road Travel Map is a full-color map for exploring the byway. The map guides travelers along the official route and includes information about Great River Road Interpretive Centers. Order your own free copy here.

Find flavors

Some of the country’s best food can be found along the byway, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Travelers on the Great River Road have submitted some of their favorite flavors—see them here.

Tailor your travels

Are you an art lover or music fan? Are you planning a short trip, or do you want to drive the whole route? See sample Great River Road itineraries that will give you some great travel ideas here.

Discover Interpretive Centers

The byway has a network of more than 70 museums and historic sites that showcase fascinating stories of the Mississippi River. Make plans to visit some of these centers to learn about the river and find useful travel information. See the full listing of interpretive centers.

Explore activities and recreation

There’s a lot to do along the byway. Take a road trip. Hit the hiking trails. Take a canoe or kayak trip through the secluded backwaters of the Mississippi River. Go fishing for walleye, bass and catfish or hunting for ducks. See some more things to do here.

Venus in Fur

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dark, witty, and incredibly thought-provoking.

“This ain’t about love. It’s about getting a piece of me. You want the piece, you gotta put up with the rest of me. Isn’t that what this play’s all about?”

Thomas is a playwright-slash-director, desperately in need of an actress. A young-ish actress. A beautiful-slash-sexy actress. A sexy-slash-articulate young actress with some classical training and a particle of brain in her skull. Enter Vanda. The resulting action is more complex, and more important, than any audition.

Venus in Fur, by David Ives, is a play that has only grown more relevant since its debut in 2010 – a provocative exploration of gender roles and the intricate dynamic of artistic collaboration. The question is: can Vanda trust Thomas to open up his eyes, and see the woman standing next to him?

Who should I bring?
This is an exciting and challenging play. Bring a friend who is ready to discuss the show afterwards. This acting tour-de-force is only 100 minutes long (no intermission), but it packs quite a punch. Contains very strong language and sensual content. Suitable for people aged over 16. The performance will begin at 2:00

Venus in Fur

Dark, witty, and incredibly thought-provoking.

“This ain’t about love. It’s about getting a piece of me. You want the piece, you gotta put up with the rest of me. Isn’t that what this play’s all about?”

Thomas is a playwright-slash-director, desperately in need of an actress. A young-ish actress. A beautiful-slash-sexy actress. A sexy-slash-articulate young actress with some classical training and a particle of brain in her skull. Enter Vanda. The resulting action is more complex, and more important, than any audition.

Venus in Fur, by David Ives, is a play that has only grown more relevant since its debut in 2010 – a provocative exploration of gender roles and the intricate dynamic of artistic collaboration. The question is: can Vanda trust Thomas to open up his eyes, and see the woman standing next to him?

Who should I bring?
This is an exciting and challenging play. Bring a friend who is ready to discuss the show afterwards. This acting tour-de-force is only 100 minutes long (no intermission), but it packs quite a punch. Contains very strong language and sensual content. Suitable for people aged over 16. The performance will begin at 7:30

Venus in Fur

Dark, witty, and incredibly thought-provoking.

“This ain’t about love. It’s about getting a piece of me. You want the piece, you gotta put up with the rest of me. Isn’t that what this play’s all about?”

Thomas is a playwright-slash-director, desperately in need of an actress. A young-ish actress. A beautiful-slash-sexy actress. A sexy-slash-articulate young actress with some classical training and a particle of brain in her skull. Enter Vanda. The resulting action is more complex, and more important, than any audition.

Venus in Fur, by David Ives, is a play that has only grown more relevant since its debut in 2010 – a provocative exploration of gender roles and the intricate dynamic of artistic collaboration. The question is: can Vanda trust Thomas to open up his eyes, and see the woman standing next to him?

Who should I bring?
This is an exciting and challenging play. Bring a friend who is ready to discuss the show afterwards. This acting tour-de-force is only 100 minutes long (no intermission), but it packs quite a punch. Contains very strong language and sensual content. Suitable for people aged over 16. The performance will begin at 7:30

Venus in Fur

Dark, witty, and incredibly thought-provoking.

“This ain’t about love. It’s about getting a piece of me. You want the piece, you gotta put up with the rest of me. Isn’t that what this play’s all about?”

Thomas is a playwright-slash-director, desperately in need of an actress. A young-ish actress. A beautiful-slash-sexy actress. A sexy-slash-articulate young actress with some classical training and a particle of brain in her skull. Enter Vanda. The resulting action is more complex, and more important, than any audition.

Venus in Fur, by David Ives, is a play that has only grown more relevant since its debut in 2010 – a provocative exploration of gender roles and the intricate dynamic of artistic collaboration. The question is: can Vanda trust Thomas to open up his eyes, and see the woman standing next to him?

Who should I bring?
This is an exciting and challenging play. Bring a friend who is ready to discuss the show afterwards. This acting tour-de-force is only 100 minutes long (no intermission), but it packs quite a punch. Contains very strong language and sensual content. Suitable for people aged over 16. The performance will begin at 7:30

Venus in Fur

Dark, witty, and incredibly thought-provoking.

“This ain’t about love. It’s about getting a piece of me. You want the piece, you gotta put up with the rest of me. Isn’t that what this play’s all about?”

Thomas is a playwright-slash-director, desperately in need of an actress. A young-ish actress. A beautiful-slash-sexy actress. A sexy-slash-articulate young actress with some classical training and a particle of brain in her skull. Enter Vanda. The resulting action is more complex, and more important, than any audition.

Venus in Fur, by David Ives, is a play that has only grown more relevant since its debut in 2010 – a provocative exploration of gender roles and the intricate dynamic of artistic collaboration. The question is: can Vanda trust Thomas to open up his eyes, and see the woman standing next to him?

Who should I bring?
This is an exciting and challenging play. Bring a friend who is ready to discuss the show afterwards. This acting tour-de-force is only 100 minutes long (no intermission), but it packs quite a punch. Contains very strong language and sensual content. Suitable for people aged over 16. The performance will begin at 2:00

The Art of Fine Furniture

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

An annual exhibit featuring the creations of professional and hobbyist studio furniture makers with our community curator Jamie Schell. TAOFF is made up of pieces of studio furniture that invite, and excite ones curiosity to explore the inner mysteries and workings of the pieces in the exhibit and the time honored skills kept alive with each piece.