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Minnesota Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Minnesota vacation

Jefferson's bar and grill 3 stars
Jefferson's bar and grill is a family restaurant which happens to be a local watering hole in the evening. As far as food is concerned I wouldn't say they win any awards, however, compared to Perkins or Country Kitchen (which I would consider their main competitors), they are the winner. The restaurant itself is just off of the Mississippi river at a dead end and looks rather nice.

The bar has a good selection of high-end to dirt-cheap liquors. Their beer selection is actually quite nice with several imports that the nearby college bars do not have. The prices, however, are not that cheap.

There is also a game room upstairs which has a couple pool tables, a dart board or two, and a couple arcade/pinball games.

I recommend Jefferson's bar and grill as a reasonable place for a meal and maybe to meet people for a drink before heading to the "real bars".


Highway 61, near Winona, MN 5 stars
Highway 61 which runs on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi river from the twin cities down to, well, it eventually runs all the way to New Orleans, but especially between Red Wing Minnesota and La Crosse Wisconsin, the drive along highway 61 is one of the most scenic drives I've ever seen in the U.S.A.

Some people picture Minnesota as a large flat state for some reason and especially the eastern side of MN is exactly the opposite. There might not be any mountains, but the bluffs on either side of the Mississippi are quite large and beautiful. In the fall when the leaves are changing (september/october) is definately a good time to make the drive, but really any time of year is nice.


Eden Prairie Center, Fan of the movie Mall Rats? 4 stars
I know this is a little off-beat, but there are a lot of off-beat tourists I know. Eden Prairie Center is a large shopping mall in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Eden Prairie is a south-western suburb of the twin cities and is a good alternative to the Mall of America if some some reason huge malls scare you.

The Eden Prairie Center was also the location of the movie Mall Rats. For people like myself who like to go to the locations of some of their favorite movies just to have a look and take a few pictures if nothing else, then a stop by this mall would be good for any fan of Mall Rats.

The "anchors" of the mall are J.C. Penny, Sears, Kohl's, Target Greatland, and Von Maur. You can use those as an excuse to check it out.


Mall of America, Bloomington, MN 5 stars
So you like to shop, have been all the best malls before and don't think you'll be impressed, right?

Well, the sheer size of this mall should impress you, but also the prices and convenience for the locals.

When this mall opened, most locals were (and some still are) afraid of going to the Mall of America because they thought it would be a hassle all around. My guess is that I've been to the mall at least 50 times over the years and have always found it easy to park (free parking ramps on both sides of the mall, easy access for any level of the mall), lots of selection at good prices, and lots of food choices as well.

In the middle of the mall is camp snoopy, which is also fun, but a little spendy. It includes a pretty fun flume ride as well as a fairly decent roller coaster, so that even if you're not a big fan of shopping, you might enjoy the visit just for this reason. Also, where else can you go on water rides in MN in the middle of winter? (don't worry, you don't get very wet...they want you to shop afterwards)

Anyways, it is a major thing to check out while you're in Minnesota and I highly recommend it.


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