Lanesboro Area – Experience the Art of Living Well!
In Lanesboro, the "Little Town in the Valley," there is something for everyone. The area is best known for its spectacular Root River Trail. This old railroad bed has been transformed into a paved trail for bicycling, groomed cross-country skiing, in-line skating and hiking. The trail winds more than 60 miles through the valley with Lanesboro at the center. It provides a beautiful journey along the river, through peaceful small towns, towering limestone bluffs, upland prairies, 48 bridges, dense hardwood forests and working family farms. Bicycle, canoe, kayak, tub and ski rentals are readily available.
But, the trail is only one of the great variety of attractions - explore the possibilities below:
- DINING: There are a variety of restaurants to choose from, with foods ranging from pizza, pastas and hamburgers to steak, walleye and fine continental foods, some with outdoor seating – some restaurants remain open in the winter on a limited basis. Always check with us before making your dining decisions ! With all the restaurants, we encourage guests to plan their dining experience ahead of time by checking out restaurant menus and their reviews on Trip Advisor. We provide menus and updatedweekly specials (when we receive them) to our guests at check-in.
- Intermission Restaurant is located next to the Commonweal Theatre, serving dinner Thursday through Sunday. Nancy's enjoyed Chef Dave's smoked duck, but the menu changes weekly. Reservations are strongly recommended because this is a tiny place...eat here before attending the Commonweal Theatre play, but make reservations for 5:30 PM so you can eat and enjoy before the 7:30 PM performance next door.
- The Old Village Hall in downtown Lanesboro has a small menu of continental food with a full cocktail bar with excellent wines (www.oldvillagehall.com). They have outdoor deck dining (very casual) during the summer months, as well as air-conditioned dining upstairs. They serve lunch (burgers) on the weekends, but otherwise are only opened for dinner seven days a week during the main season (they start increasing the number of nights they're open from weekends-only to five days a week and then eventually seven days a week during May). Reservations recommended.
- QUARTER/quarter isa wonderful addition to dining options, located in nearby Harmony (an 18 minute drive from here, and features delicious familiar foods with a twist at a very reasonable price. It has a wine bar with some lovely, inexpensive wines and beers. Nancy and Dave love this place, which is owned and operated by Chef Steven Larson, with his wife Lisa, who is bakery chef. These folks owned their own cooking school for years.Their hours change seasonally, so check their website for current information. They also serve lunch on weekends. Check their web site at (http://quarterquarter.com/). Reservations are really helpful if you don't want to have to wait if they get a big group in. Our guests praise us for recommending this restaurant. Chef Steven Larson is offering meals that are inexpensive and not your usual fare. The service staff are all excellent.
- Pedal Pushers Café in downtown Lanesboro is is family-run and uses local products when possible (http://www.pedalpusherscafe.com/Lunch.html). They are open for lunch and dinner but they are not open late, so check with us it you want to have dinner there to ensure that you'll get to eat. They offer burgers, fries, sandwiches, liver and onions, (they use local products as much as possiblea), ice cream sundaes and they roast their own coffee.
- Riverside on the Root (closed in the winter) overlooks the Root River and which has primarily outdoor dining and their Dirty Martini Lounge indoors upstairs. For dinner, don't be in a hurry to get served and dine, especially if you're going to the theatre. They do offer outdoor live music a couple evenings a week, but no reserved seating is available those nights. Ask us to make you upstair balcony our patio reservations for other nights.
- Brett's Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe (no web site but here's the Trip Advisor Reviews link if you need convincing to go there for lunch - they close at 2 PM) - http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g43245-d1225236-Reviews-Lanesboro_Pastry_Shoppe-Lanesboro_Minnesota.html ) many locals consider this the best lunch spot in town, but don't expect a fancy atmosphere. The menu is on the wall. Pick up a giant cookie for dessert as you're leaving...
- Rhino’s (pizza, subs, broasted chicken and soft-serve ice cream) has recently updated their decor.
- Chat n' Chew has burgers and small-town typical cooking for lunch - you may have to get your own coffee! Nancy loves their burgers and fries - the best of any in town.
- The new Ice Cream Shoppe offers ice cream, Caribou coffee drinks and chocolates – (they’re closed in the winter) - it's the pretty pink building downtown Lanesboro. Don't be in a hurry when you go in there.
- In nearby Preston there’s The Branding Iron Supper Club (closed Mondays). A local favorite with a salad bar (2 kinds of lettuce!!!!), daily specials and their basket of garlic toast.
- For Mexican food, try Los Gables in Fountain. Be sure to ask for spicier, since it's pretty mild seasoning to start with.
- Ask us about the Smokey River Barbeque Thursdays through Sundays.
- FINALLY, the newest eatery in town called Spud Boy (a diner) has opened for lunch next to the Lanesboro Arts Center Downtown.
- Winter restaurant hours are limited, and during the main season May through October please confirm with us in advance about specific restaurant hours.
- Whalan's Pie Shop - open Thursday through Sunday during the main season. This is a must-stop-and-eat-pie spot for bikers along the trail, located only 4.5 miles east of Lanesboro. BUT this year (2013) the bike trail is being worked on to rebuild the bridges, so you may have to drive to Whalan (east on Hwy. 16) and start your bike trip from there.
- Biking along the asphalt covered Root River Trail which has been recently repaved and widened to the west. The east path will be updated in 2011. Ride down our country roads for a nostalgic glimpse of rural life and to view the spectacular autumn colors of the State Hardwood Forest. We recommend renting your bikes from The Little River General Store, which has all kinds, sizes and shapes - tandem, recumbant, double tandem, surries that accommodate 4 people, regular uprights, and more. Look at buying their current season's inventory at the end of the year at tremendous savings. Bike to Whalan, 4.5 miles or so east of Lanesboro, and be sure to stop to play mini-golf and to have a piece of pie down the road from the golfing at the world famous Pie Shop.Yummy!
- Canoeing, kayaking and tubing on the Root River (rentals readily available). We recommend renting canoes and kayaks from Kenny Soiny's River Rats Outfitters. He provides personalized service and guidance regarding the river route and conditions, all at a very reasonable price. He also provides shuttle service for river and biking activities. We'll help you make reservations, or call him direct at 507-429-7202. Click here for his web site: River Rats Outfitters. For tube rentals, we recommend the Root River Outfitters. Call them at 507-467-3400 or go to their web site for pricing information at www.riversideontheroot.com/rro-tube.php
- Horseback Riding - check with us and we'll see if we can find this, but as of 2013, there's nothing available.
- Fascinating, educational "Old Order" Amish tours, where you can witness what it was like to live in simpler times, and have an opportunity to purchase hand-crafted quilts, baskets and furniture from the makers. Check with us for schedule - no tours are operated on Sundays. We recommend Bluffscape Amish Tours, offering 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM tours during the spring, summer and fall. Here is their link: www.bluffscape.com
- Some of the finest hunting and trout fishing in Minnesota - visit the Trout Fish Hatchery just outside of town for an educational and informational tour. Trout fishing is out there for you fisher-fiends...
- Hike miles of groomed trails at the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center and then try their high-ropes confidence course or guided Eco-Tours. Their phone number is (507)467-2437 or Toll Free: 888-800-9558 and their web site is www.eagle-bluff.org
- Golf at Lanesboro's beautiful and challenging 9 hole course, or the 18 hole course at the Old Barn Resort. Check with us about rates.
- Bird lovers — enjoy some truly great bird watching and then get supplies and information from Bob at Avian Acres, an aviary with all the trimmings. Bob is very knowledgeable and truly conversational! 507-467-2996. Here is the link to his web site: www.avianacres.com
- Snowmobile enthusiasts and cross-country skiiers — ride some of the most scenic snowmobile trails in the state and cross country ski on the groomed bike trail. Cross country ski equipment is available for rent at the Cedar Valley Resort (advance reservations required).
- The Commonweal Theatre Company has been built a new theatre and it’s great! Five shows run April through December. This professional theatre company has been in existence for more than 25 years, and has built a solid reputation for fine plays and acting. Nancy performs with the Commonweal Theatre Company again in 2013, playing the role of the kooky psychic medium in the comedy, Blithe Spirit, running May 17 through Labor Day. The Commonweal Theatre's new space is amazing, complete with the seats and lighting donated by the Guthrie Theatre from their original space in Minneapolis. Five shows run from April through December. We are happy to make reservations for you and provide you with our special $5.00 discount per adult ticket, bringing the price down to $25.00 per ticket. We also arrange for our guests to have preferred, VIP reserved seating at no extra cost! Let us make your reservations at no charge to you so that you can enjoy these special benefits! For more information on the theatre season, go to their web site at www.commonwealtheatre.org
- The Lanesboro Arts Center showcases local talent and a growing regional art community, has art in every shape and size, and features constantly changing displays by artists spotlighted in the gallery - wonderful hand-made jewelry, silk work, blown glass, ceramics, pottery, wood, paintings in all mediums, photography art, and more! The Center also programs concerts and events at the St. Mane Theatre Open year round. Here is their web site www.lanesboroarts.org
- The Lanesboro Community Theater performs 2-3 productions annually in the St. Mane Theater, located next door to the Commonweal Theatre Company, on our main street, Parkway Avenue. Nancy and Dave will let you know what the current production is. There are also concerts performed there - go to Lanesboro Art Center's web site (see below) for upcoming performances, including the once-monthly Over the Back Fence Radio Show.
- Sunday After Hours features shops that are open until 7 PMon Sundays, and feature specials to catch your attention.
- The Lanesboro Historical Museum provides a look at Lanesboro's past. Open Saturday and Sunday afternoons, they have 3 floors of exhibits. Located on the bike trail on Parkway Avenue, next to the Riverside on the Root Restaurant
- There is a Farmer’s Market held on Saturdays during the warm months (9-12 noon) and several Amish families are also present (9:30 AM or so until around 4 PM) selling their wares in Sylvan Park. On Wednesdays, the Farmer’s Market is also available from 4-6 pm.
- Shop our interesting stores including the Lanesboro Arts Center, Crown Trout Jewelers (international design award-winning Liz Bucheit is amazing!), Amish Experience, Olivia's Attic, Bittersweet, Frank Wright’s Spoon Shop, Olivia’s Attic, Essence of Lanesboro, Slant Avenue Mercantile, the Windy Mesa (Native American art and jewelry), Lanesboro Local (featuring foods and other items from the region, and more. Many stores are closed in the winter.
- The Scenic Valley Winery makes fruit wines from an old German method – enjoy samples and take home a case! Browse the section of the store dedicated to antiques and collectibles.
- Therapeutic massage in a variety of Eastern-based techniques are available at Prana Healing and Massage. Certified therapists Sue Betts will take good care of you, either at her home studio nearby, or she will bring her table to you if you are staying in the Carriage House here at the Habberstad House (the other rooms are too small). Call Sue directly for an appointment at (507) 259-4309. Also check out the Stone Mill Suites Day Spa for massage therapy with one of their massage therapists.
- Work out at the Coffee Street Fitness Center – day passes are available.
- Explore Niagara Cave in nearby Harmony or Forestville State Park and the Living Historical Museum in Forestville during the summer months. Here is the link to Niagara Caves: www.niagaracave.com. Forestville Stae Park and the Living Museum links are: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/forestville_mystery_cave/index.html
- R&J Woods Amish Furniture Store and Warehouse is located on the left side of Highway 52 just as you get to Harmony. Reuben and Jacob were Amish but left the Amish Community and became Mennonites. They have a fantastic supply of Amish-made furniture and décor items.
- ANTIQUES: Generations Antique Mall, which is located on the left side of Highway 52 as you approach Harmony, is an hour's worth of antiquing fun for you! There is also an antique shop in Harmony, and several shops that feature Amish gifts, located on Harmony's main street.
- The JEM THEATRE is located in downtown Harmony, and shows first-run movies on weekends. It's a family-run theatre, complete with popcorn giveaways at the beginning of the show if you can answer the trivia questions. We love this place! Check with us about the movie schedule during your stay with us.
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