Top 15 Must-Do Activities In Northfield MN

Things To Do In Northfield MN

Exploring the charming corners of small towns can often feel like a treasure hunt, especially when it’s Northfield, Minnesota we’re talking about. Nestled just 30 minutes south of Minneapolis, Northfield is steeped in rich history and bustles with a vibrant community spirit.

Through careful exploration and genuine curiosity, we’ve unearthed some top must-do activities that perfectly capture this town’s essence. From outdoor adventures and historical explorations to local culinary delights, get ready for an intimate journey into what makes Northfield truly unique!

Key Takeaways

  • Hike through Caron Falls & Nerstrand Big Woods State Park to enjoy nature and explore 11 miles of trails.
  • Pick berries and practice yoga at Lorence’s Berry Farm, experiencing the mix of outdoor activities and relaxation.
  • Taste local brews at Imminent Brewing and explore Division Street for shopping and dining options.

Things To Do In Northfield MN – Exploring Nature & Outdoor Activities

Things To Do In Northfield MN - A peaceful forest scene at Caron Falls with a vibrant berry farm in the background.

Embark on a hike at Caron Falls and Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, experiencing the beauty of nature. Enjoy the tranquility while berry picking and practicing yoga at Lorence’s Berry Farm.

Hiking at Caron Falls & Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

We love exploring quiet towns and finding spots full of nature, like Caron Falls & Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. These places offer us a chance to enjoy the outdoors and take a break from our busy lives.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Nerstrand Big Woods State Park has 11 miles of trails waiting for exploration. This park is perfect for those who love long walks surrounded by nature.
  2. You will find the Hidden Falls trailhead in the picnic area parking lot. It leads to a beautiful waterfall that’s worth the walk.
  3. The park welcomes visitors in fall, winter, and summer, making it a year-round destination.
  4. For those who love camping, there are 51 campsites available. Even in winter, you can camp here at one of the 7 sites open during the colder months.
  5. Getting into the park requires a permit, which costs $35 annually. This small fee supports park maintenance and ensures it stays beautiful for all visitors.
  6. While at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, keep your eyes open for rare plants and wildlife. It’s home to many species not found elsewhere in Minnesota.
  7. After hiking, head over to Caron Falls for more breathtaking views.

This journey through woods and waterfalls offers us all an escape into nature’s marvels right in Northfield MN’s backyard.

Berry picking and yoga at Lorence’s Berry Farm

Lorence’s Berry Farm offers a unique mix of activities that combine the joy of berry picking with the tranquility of yoga. Located at 28556 Foliage Ave, Northfield, MN, it’s a must-visit for anyone looking to enjoy the simpler pleasures in life.

  1. Drive to 28556 Foliage Ave to start your day amidst nature.
  2. Grab a basket and wander through rows lush with strawberries and raspberries. This farm lets you pick your own juicy berries right from the plant.
  3. Take part in an outdoor yoga class among the fields. These sessions blend relaxation with the beauty of agriculture.
  4. Chat with the owners who have earned a customer satisfaction rating of 4.7 based on 145 reviews, proving their dedication to your experience.
  5. Visit during May to mid-June for pre-picked asparagus—an added treat for early visitors.
  6. Enjoy fresh air and sunshine while collecting berries that you can take home or eat on the spot.
  7. Join community events occasionally held on-site, perfect for those looking to connect with fellow berry enthusiasts and yogis.
  8. Leave with not just baskets full of berries but also olive oils & vinegar sampled at their quaint farm shop.
  9. Before heading out, call +1 507-645-2528 to check berry availability and yoga class schedules ensuring your trip is well-planned.

This charming farm combines physical activity with calm moments, making it an ideal stop for our journey through Northfield’s offerings.

Picnic at Pizza Barn

Picnics at Pizza Barn bring a unique twist to dining out in Northfield, MN. This family-run business has been serving up smiles since 2012 on their sprawling 10-acre farm. You won’t find just any pizza here.

They offer in-house vegan dough and gluten-free cauliflower crusts that cater to all tastes. Imagine biting into a fresh slice of pizza while sitting under the sun’s warm glow.

During June, July, and August, the farm becomes even more lively with scheduled music events. It turns a simple meal into an experience—combining great tunes with delicious food.

Just keep in mind, they love animals but ask you to leave pets at home to keep the grounds safe for everyone.

Things To Do In Northfield MN – Visiting Historic Sites

Explore the rich history of Northfield by touring Carleton College and Cowling Arboretum. Step back in time at the Northfield Historical Society and Jesse James’s bank site, uncovering fascinating stories of this small town.

Touring Carleton College and Cowling Arboretum

When visiting Carleton College, we can explore the expansive Cowling Arboretum which covers over 800 acres on campus. As part of our visit, here are some key attractions:

  1. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the serene Japanese Garden, offering a peaceful retreat within the lively college environment.
  2. Explore the Garden of Quiet Listening, designed to provide a tranquil space for meditation and contemplation amid lush greenery.
  3. Engage in outdoor activities such as hiking and bird-watching while reveling in the beauty of nature at Cowling Arboretum.
  4. Visit Lyman Lakes, perfect for picnics or simply unwinding while taking in stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape.
  5. Take advantage of educational opportunities such as bird identification walks and ecological restoration initiatives within the arboretum.

Visiting Northfield Historical Society and Jesse James’s bank site

When visiting Northfield, exploring the Historical Society and Jesse James’s bank site is a must. Below are the activities and details for your visit:

  1. Explore the meticulously restored First National Bank, the site of the notorious September 1876 robbery.
  2. Engage in guided tours that recount the thwarting of the infamous bank robbery during the Annual Defeat of Jesse James Days.
  3. Immerse yourself in historical context, as guides share intriguing facts about the Jesse James-Cole Younger Gang bank raid site.
  4. Delve into exhibits at Northfield Historical Society to unlock captivating secrets from Northfield’s past.
  5. Experience firsthand accounts of local history through interactive displays and artifacts from bygone eras.
  6. Embark on a journey through Northfield’s rich history that underpins its character today.
  7. Uncover tales of courage and resilience as you navigate through this ever-changing world of historical significance.
  8. Discover how this small town played a pivotal role in historical events that shaped Minnesota’s trajectory.
  9. Enhance your understanding and appreciation for Northfield by interacting with these fascinating historical entities and landmarks.
  10. Be amazed by how these sites bring history to life, adding depth and dimension to your exploration of quieter, smaller towns.

By integrating these unique experiences into your visit, you’ll develop a richer perspective on Northfield’s heritage while enjoying its serene charm and allure.

Strolling through the Japanese Garden and Garden of Quiet Listening

When visiting Northfield, don’t miss out on strolling through the serene Japanese Garden and Garden of Quiet Listening. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the meticulously crafted Japanese Garden, designed by architect Takao Watanabe.
  2. Explore the stunning array of Minnesota-hardy plants that thrive in even the coldest climates, enhancing the peaceful nature experience.
  3. Engage your senses in the Garden of Quiet Listening, designed to enhance visitors’ mindfulness and connection with nature.
  4. Take a leisurely stroll amidst carefully curated landscapes, creating a bespoke environment for relaxation and contemplation.
  5. Discover harmonious elements tailored towards fostering a sense of peace and calm within an ever-evolving natural realm.
  6. Leisurely wander amid the artful complexities of these gardens, seeking more than just a typical outdoor experience.

These gardens offer visitors a first-hand experience encapsulating timeless tranquility and beauty, providing an oasis away from the bustling world.

Things To Do In Northfield MN – Enjoying Local Food and Drinks

Savor the local flavors on Division Street, from unique dining spots to charming shops, offering a delightful culinary experience. Get ready to embark on a tantalizing food journey through Northfield’s historic downtown! For more details, stay tuned.

Shopping and dining on Division Street

When visiting Division Street, you can experience a blend of historic charm and modern amenities. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Division Street offers a mix of unique and locally-owned businesses, providing a diverse shopping experience.
  2. Explore an array of dining options, from casual to upscale restaurants, showcasing Northfield’s vibrant food scene.
  3. Enjoy a variety of culinary delights, including regional specialties and international flavors.
  4. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere that makes Division Street a must-visit destination.

So come and explore all that Division Street has to offer!

Tasting local brews at Imminent Brewing and Loon Liquors Distillery

When visiting Northfield, MN, be sure to taste the local brews at Imminent Brewing and Loon Liquors Distillery. Here’s a detailed look at what you shouldn’t miss:

  1. Imminent Brewing is known for crafting exceptional beers in a cozy atmosphere, making it a perfect spot to relax with friends and enjoy handcrafted brews.
  2. Meanwhile, Loon Liquor Distillery specializes in organic spirits, offering a unique experience for those looking to explore local flavors.
  3. Northfield is home to an array of breweries such as Tanzenwald Brewing and Chapel Brewing Company, making it a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts.
  4. The town features a blossoming brewery and distillery scene that provides visitors with an opportunity to savor the rich variety of locally produced beverages.

Trying out Northfield Olive Oils & Vinegar

When exploring Northfield, one of the unmissable experiences is visiting Northfield Olive Oils & Vinegar. Owned by Joe and Sherry Morgan, it’s a haven for those who appreciate quality olive oils and vinegars from around the world.

You can find this gem at 18 Bridge Square in Northfield, MN; contact them at (507) 645-8886 if you have any questions or inquiries about their products. This unique spot focuses on educating its customers about the exceptional quality of olive oil.

Prepare to be amazed by the variety available and take your taste buds on a journey through different flavors from across the globe when you visit Northfield Olive Oils & Vinegar.

Things To Do In Northfield MN – Additional Activities and Amenities

Looking for more to do? How about exploring the unique stores in downtown Northfield or unwind at Blue Sage Spa? Seasonal events and festivals also await, offering a chance to immerse in local culture and connect with the community.

If you’re planning a day trip, grab a visitor’s guide to make sure you don’t miss anything!

Shopping at unique stores in downtown Northfield

When visiting downtown Northfield, you can explore a mix of historic charm and modern amenities for shopping. Here are the unique stores that you shouldn’t miss:

  1. Rare Pair – A boutique featuring a variety of unique shoes, clothing, and accessories from different eras.
  2. The Measuring Cup – Offers an assortment of kitchenware, gadgets, and specialty foods that cater to all cooking needs.
  3. Swag of Northfield – This store boasts a diverse range of gifts, jewelry, home decor, and handcrafted items by local artisans.
  4. Monarch Gift Shop – A must-visit for those seeking distinctive gifts, stationery, cards, and art supplies.
  5. Guild 18 Handcrafted Furniture – Discover exquisite handcrafted furniture and home decor pieces blending traditional techniques with modern designs.
  6. Eco Gardens – Showcases an array of environmentally-friendly products including garden supplies, natural body care items, and sustainable living essentials.
  7. Oolala – Find stylish women’s clothing along with accessories such as scarves and jewelry at this chic boutique.
  8. Content Bookstore – Explore an independent bookstore offering a curated collection of literary works for all ages alongside unique gifts.

Head to downtown Northfield for a memorable shopping experience at these distinct locations!

Relaxing at Blue Sage Spa

Nestled in Northfield is Blue Sage Spa, a top-rated wellness center that offers massages and pedicures. Located at 305 Division St S, it’s the ideal spot to unwind after exploring the town.

The professionals here bring years of experience to ensure your relaxation is prioritized with bespoke treatments tailored just for you. It’s not merely about the services; it’s also about experiencing tranquility.

Moreover, we can enjoy other amenities such as shopping and dining on Division Street or even attending seasonal events and festivals during our visit to Northfield. Soothing our senses at Blue Sage Spa could be an essential part of our small-town exploration experience!

Attending seasonal events and festivals

Northfield MN hosts a variety of seasonal events and festivals throughout the year, offering something for everyone. Here’s what you can look forward to:

  1. Crazy Daze: A popular summer event featuring sidewalk sales, food vendors, live music, and entertainment for the whole family.
  2. Defeat of Jesse James Days: A historical reenactment commemorating the infamous failed bank robbery in 1876, with parades, rodeos, and arts and crafts fairs.
  3. Winter Walk: An enchanting holiday tradition where downtown Northfield transforms into a winter wonderland with carolers, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and festive decorations.
  4. Music and Arts Festivals: Enjoy outdoor concerts, art shows, and cultural celebrations showcasing local talent and creativity.
  5. Food Festivals: Indulge in culinary delights at street food fairs, farmer’s markets, and specialty food tastings featuring regional flavors.

These events provide a vibrant glimpse into the community spirit and cultural richness of Northfield MN throughout the seasons.

Getting a visitor’s guide and planning a day trip.

When it comes to exploring Northfield, getting a visitor’s guide is crucial for uncovering the best spots. Upon arrival, we recommend stopping by the local convention and visitors bureau to pick up a comprehensive guide filled with maps, event calendars, and essential information about attractions.

This will assist in meticulously planning our day trip around town, ensuring that we don’t miss out on any must-see locations! Additionally, seeking recommendations from locals can unlock the secrets of hidden gems that might not be listed in standard tourist guides – providing us with a tailored and bespoke experience.

Once armed with our trusty visitor’s guide, delving into the heart of Northfield’s charm becomes much more accessible. We are able to acquire firsthand experiences of Northfield’s ever-evolving realm by following along its historical trails featuring sites like Jesse James’s bank as well as indulging in seasonal events such as The Defeat of Jesse James Days.

Planning ahead ensures we enjoy every moment without feeling rushed or missing out on the multitude of activities available.

Exploring the Best Small Towns in Minnesota

Minnesota is rife with charming small towns, each offering a distinctive experience. One such gem is Red Wing, renowned for its scenic bluffs and the fascinating history of Red Wing Pottery.

Another noteworthy stop is Lanesboro, an idyllic spot famed for its Root River State Trail and thriving arts scene. Lastly, don’t miss out on Grand Marais, boasting stunning Lake Superior views and opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking in the Superior National Forest.

These sought-after destinations are nestled amidst serene landscapes and provide ample opportunities for relaxation and exploration. With their unique offerings and rich histories, these small towns promise a delightful escape from bustling city life.

Discovering the Best Small Towns Near Minneapolis

Just 30 minutes from Minneapolis, Northfield is a charming small town with a population of over 20,000 residents. Apart from its bustling downtown area, it’s also home to two prominent colleges – Carleton College and St. Olaf College.

This bustling small town offers an ideal escape for those seeking tranquil surroundings without venturing too far from the Twin Cities. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in history, nature, and community while still being close to the conveniences of city life.

After exploring Northfield MN thoroughly, we set our sights on nearby towns like Red Wing and Stillwater that promise equally captivating experiences amid serene settings. Each presents its own unique blend of historic charm and scenic beauty, making them perfect destinations for those who prefer quieter but enriching getaways.

Whether savoring the river views in Red Wing or strolling through historic streets in Stillwater or Hastings – these quaint communities offer refreshing retreats that are just a short drive away from Minneapolis.

This marks the start of discovering more about Minnesota’s hidden gems – offering new adventures beyond city crowds and giving us delightful glimpses into what makes each small town special.

Uncovering Small Towns Near Rochester, MN

Nestled near Rochester, MN are charming small towns waiting to be explored. From the scenic beauty of Lanesboro to the historical allure of Preston and the artistic vibe of Chatfield, these towns offer a delightful escape.

Lanesboro, known as the Bed and Breakfast Capital of Minnesota, is perfect for a relaxing getaway with its picturesque setting along the Root River. Preston hosts lively events like Trout Days celebrating its renowned trout fishing streams while Chatfield boasts unique art galleries and antique shops to peruse at leisure.

These quaint towns promise an authentic experience away from bustling city life.

Things To Do In Northfield MN Conclusion

In Northfield, MN, there are numerous must-do activities. Whether it’s hiking at Caron Falls or indulging in local brews at Imminent Brewing and Loon Liquors Distillery, the possibilities are endless.

Visiting historic sites like Carleton College and exploring small towns near Minneapolis will surely pique your interest. With a growing community and plenty of parks, Northfield is an inviting destination for those seeking relaxation and adventure.

So why wait? Plan a visit to this vibrant city today!

Things To Do In Northfield MN FAQs

1. What are some must-do activities in Northfield, MN?

In Northfield Minnesota, you can enjoy a variety of activities from kayaking on the Cannon River to exploring Carleton College and visiting the historical First National Bank of Northfield.

2. Is there any place for craft beer lovers in Northfield, MN?

Yes! Craft beer enthusiasts will have plenty to explore in Northfield with several local breweries offering a wide selection of brews.

3. Can I experience outdoor activities like canoeing or kayaking in Northfield, MN?

Absolutely! The Cannon River offers great opportunities for paddlers who want to go canoeing or kayaking while enjoying beautiful natural surroundings.

4. Are there good places to eat lunch and grab coffee in Northfield MN?

Northfield is packed with quaint cafes where you can get your caffeine fix and also enjoy delicious meals for lunch during your travel.

5. How far is it from Bloomington’s Mall of America or St Paul’s Minnehaha Falls to Northfield?

Northfield is conveniently located within an hour’s drive from both the Mall of America in Bloomington and Minnehaha Falls near Saint Paul.

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