Continuing my summer of road trips and day adventures, I decided to check out a place that has been on my list for some time, Taylors Falls! I’ve heard of the amazing State park there and how beautiful it is but I haven’t really heard much else so I wanted to see for myself! All I can say is this trip is all about the journey to get there! There were so many fun places to stop along the way and around the area.
All I can say is I had an absolutely wonderful time and I already can’t wait to make a return trip come this fall! Read on below to see what we all did in one day!
Stop in Lindstrom
Depending which direction you are coming from, you might end up driving through Lindström, Minnesota. Well first things first, don’t just drive through it – make sure to stop. It is the cutest little Swedish town and it actually has a sister town in Sweden too which makes sense since it’s dubbed America’s Little Sweden.
Caffeinate at Northwoods Cofee
I always have to start my adventure with a maple latte of course so we popped into Northwoods Roasterie + Coffee Shop. It made for the perfect cozy morning as it was raining outside because this shop is built just like a log cabin! I made sure to order my usual and then check out their selection of coffees and merchandise. The staff was super friendly too!
Try a Scandinavian Donut at Lindstrom Bakery
Obviously you can’t have a coffee without donuts, right? Walk across the street and up a couple of blocks to the Lindstrom Bakery for a Scandinavian Donut! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these were a real delight. Choose from their 4 options of plain, cinnamon sugar, glazed, or chocolate drizzle. They also have other bakery delights and cookies! Just remember to bring cash – they are a cash only establishment. It won’t set you back much as I purchased 4 cookies and 2 donuts and it was $3!
Have the Wurst time at Deutschland Meats
Hehe, see what I did there? But in all honesty I had the BEST time at Deutschland Meats! I’m a sucker for brats, especially specialty brats and wow they had an amazing selection here! I ended up getting cheddar franks, wild rice brats, and german mustard brats along with some of their beef sticks and salami. Their prices are reasonable too and they offer hot lunches as well if you’re looking for a meal on the go!
Get weird at Franconia Sculpture Park
Right outside Lindstrom is the popular Franconia Sculpture Park. It’s definitely a unique experience! Free and open to the public every day from 8am-8pm, tt’s a large area spanning 43 acres with a rotation collection of 120 sculptures! A great activity for social distancings and everything is very spaced out nicely. There is definitely cool photo ops around every corner!
Hike the Bluffs at Interstate State Park (Wisonconsin Side)
As you come in Taylors falls you’ll notice the signs for the Interstate State Park in Minnesota. We chose to drive through actually, cross the river and go on the Wisonsin Side in St. Croix Falls. Their seemed to be no park officers on duty at the time but do know you do need a State park pass. You can pre-purchase one online or they have a sign with a telephone number where you can purchase over the phone too. They are NOT doing daily passes for Wisconsin at this time so you have to purchase a full year pass. MN residents are around $38. Once you’re in, there are several signs and a map showing all the different trails you can hike! There are plenty of options ranging from beginner to advanced. We decided to head up a quick loop called the Summit Rock Trail as it was pretty slippery and humid from the rain but the views did NOT disappoint! I would consider this a moderate hike – it’s short but steep!
Have a Deer time at Fawn-Doe-Rosa Wildlife Park
After exploring the State Park head east a couple of miles to Fawn-Doe-Rosa. It is a wildlife education park and it’s great for ALL ages. My friend and I were probably the only ones there without kiddos but we still had a blast! Admission fees are around $9 and then you can purchase food to feed the animals on property! They just ask that you don’t feed any of the babies that are at knee-height or smaller. You can have a bag for $2 or a souvenir pail with shovel for $8 (a popular option for the kids). Once you enter you can roam free around the park! They were deer all out ready to greet you and they are very friendly and gentle. Throughout the park you can see deer, birds, and baby goats roaming free and then they aslo have additional fences with porcupines, hedgehog, bagder, peacock, mini ponies, elk, a gray wolf and more! This was one of my favorite stops of the day and I highly recommend it! I would come during the summer months as the late springtime is when all the babies are born so there were plenty of baby animals running around when we went.
Fuel up at Juneberry Cafe
After our busy morning we were hungry for lunch! We popped into Juneberry Cafe right in the heart of downtown Taylors Falls. They are only doing take our right now but there is plenty of seating outside along the sidewalks! Their tagline is meals and snacks for local adventures and I couldn’t love it more. I ended up getting their signature pesto panini made with fresh bread that was baked in house!
Admire the historic and quaint Streets of Taylors Falls
After lunch, get some steps in and just take a walk down the main road! It’s not far but there are a lot of cool shops and historic houses. The library has the sweetest book drop and situated right next to it is a cute little coffee house! There are also some antique shops and vintage stores as well. Most places are closed during the week so we weren’t able to shop, but it was fun exploring!
Treat your Sweetooth at the Drive In
It really is a quick walk through town and you’ll know when you’re about done because you’ll run into the large rotating root beer mug signaling you made it to the Drive-In! An original since 1956, the Drive in is a the spot to go for hand packed patties, Frostop Root Beer, and milkshakes. We actually drove to the drive-in but they have walk ups and seating on their outside patio available. Turns out all the drive up spots were full when we went so we just sat outside in their large backyard space and ordered milkshakes. I had the hardest time deciding whether to choose a chocolate shake or a rootbeer float but I went for the milkshake and it didn’t disappoint. My favorite part was it came in a frosty mug too! It was a scorcher that day so it was the perfect cool treat.
End your day with on the water with Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours
Is there anything better than ending your day next to the water? I would say ending it ON the water actually would be the perfect ending! We decided to do just that with a fun excursion on the Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours! They have several options to choose from and are conveniently located right when you enter town. There is parking to the left or if you have a state park pass from MN you can park at the Interstate Park parking lot too and walk down. You will receive additional parking information if you buy tickets online. They have great protocols for social distancing and cleanliness. There are plenty of options to cruise during the day as well as sunset cruises and other special dining cruises and if you book online you are able to save a few dollars too! They also just scan your ticket code – very contactless! You start up the river to see some of their most famous rock formations and then turn and head back down the St Croix for the remainder of your trip. It is narrated as well so you can learn the history on both sides of the river and they will point out some interesting fun facts! I am already about to book my fall cruise because I know it will be absolutely stunning during the fall.
If you haven’t been to Taylors Falls yet I highly suggest it! It’s just about an hour away and an easy drive out of the city. There are several restaurants and wineries in the area too that I didn’t even get to so a repeat trip is a must. 🙂