Summer is the time to kick back and relax and there is no better place to do just that than Lindstrom and the Chisago Lakes area of Minnesota. A quick 45 minute drive north from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, this area takes you back to the idyllic Summers of your childhood. This is one of my favorite places to unwind for a weekend retreat or for an extended stay. The Lindstrom area offers natural pursuits that will please people of all ages, as well as families. This is a place I return to again and again.
Here is my top list of things to do in the Lindstrom area:
Stay in a historic Bed and Breakfast
Summit Inn is a historic home that is over 100 years old. Inside, the rooms have a quaint charm, harking of a time long gone. Outside, rustic beauty. The service is impeccable, and the four course breakfast scrumptious! This is where you happily can get away from it all. 208 Summit Ave., Center City, 651-257-4987
Go Strawberry or Apple Picking:
Pleasant Valley Orchards, a family owned farm, is a short drive off of Highway 8. In the early part of summer, pick up some sensational fresh strawberries, or go out and pick your own! There is nothing that tastes better than a freshly picked strawberry. In the late summer, the gorgeous orchards are thick with over a dozen varieties of apples to choose from. Starting as early as August, bite into a zesty Minnesota favorite, the Zestar apple. Or take along some luscious gourmet apple products. This is one of my favorite places to visit and enjoy that slice of country heaven. There are tables and a small petting zoo to relax and have some coffee and a pastry before you venture off to other sites. Special tip: fresh apples make great gifts! 17325 Pleasant Valley Road, Shafer, 651-257-9159.
Enjoy fine dining:
Tangled Up in Blue is one of the best kept culinary secrets in Minnesota. Start with the spicy Blue Crab California Rolls or sensational Beef Carpaccio and then delve into an incredible Beef Wellington or Coubulliac of Salmon. End your meal with the classic Bananas Foster. This restaurant is only open Thursday through Sunday evenings, but they will open for special parties and events of 12 people or more-for no extra charge. $15-$40 per entree. 425 Bench Street, Taylors Falls, 651-465-1000
Take in some local wine tasting and music
Chateau St. Croix is a picturesque winery about 20 minutes from Taylors Falls. The gardens are gorgeous, the building, a dreamy French Chateau. On most Friday nights, they offer wine tasting and music. What a romantic way to start an evening out. In addition to selling their own wine, they operate a deli and sell local and imported cheese, salami and chocolates-perfect ingredients for a luxury picnic along the gorgeous St. Croix. Wine tours start at $6.00. 1998 A Highway 87, St. Croix Falls 715-483-2556
Take a Scenic Boat Tour
The beautiful St. Croix is best seen on a Paddleboat. There is incredible scenery including the rock formations that inspired the name, St. Croix, as well as amazing wildlife, including Bald Eagles. Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours is a family run company who has been taking people out on boat tours every day between early May and mid-October. Picnic and Dinner cruises are available for Wednesday and Friday nights. This is something I do each and every time I come up to this area. This is fantastic! Boat tours start at $13.50 220 South St. Taylors Falls, 651-465-6365.
These tips are just a taste of what the Lindstrom and Chisago Lakes area has to offer. Fishing, canoeing, biking, hiking, exploring the Swedish trails, shopping, antiquing and hanging out at the farmer’s market are also some of my favorite things to do in this beautiful area. No matter what you do, you will find LIndstrom, in the Summer is eclectic and wholesome. old-fashioned and creative. This is where you can go back in time and recreate the vacation of your youth.