Planning a day trip in Minnesota from the Minneapolis area? Look no further than the quaint town of Chaska! It’s under 30 minutes and a great option if you’re short on exploring time! Chaska offers a nice blend of history, culture, and fun that makes it a great option for everyone. From coffee shops to beautiful city parks, read below for some of my favorite stops. As of summer 2023, there is some main road construction however, the city of Chaska does a great job of making all businesses accessible to everyone. So don’t let that deter you from visiting 🙂 You can also visit Downtown Chaska’s Website for more info and ideas to help plan your trip!
Red Bench Bakery
Begin your Chaska adventure with a visit to the Red Bench Bakery. While they have a couple of different locations, this Chaska location is my favorite. Step inside this charming brick bakery and be greeted by the aroma of freshly baked pastries, bread, and coffee. My top choice is a pastry and iced vanilla latte and if available, I always snag a fresh loaf of bread to bring home with me too! If the weather is nice out, cozy up outside on their patio tables!
Fireman’s Park and Veteran’s Park
After indulging in your morning treats, head to Fireman’s Park for one of my favorite nature retreats in the city. The park features walking trails, a serene pond, and picnic spots, making it an ideal place to start the day or take a relaxing break. They even have a shallow swimming beach, weather permitting so great to wade in or jump in a paddle boat. Walk over the bridge over the pond and up the hill to Veteran’s Park, located nearby. It offers memorial sites that honor the brave individuals who served the nation. Take a leisurely stroll or pack a picnic lunch and head over to the picnic shelter for great views of the pond too!
Hike or Bike the Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail
If you’re looking for a longer option to stay outside, consider hiking or biking the Minnesota River Bluff Regional Trail! It’s mostly paved, with some unpaved spots that offer breathtaking views of the Minnesota River Valley and the surrounding bluffs. Just think of the fall colors to be seen! It also has great shaded options for during a hot day. PRO TIP: There’s a small gravel lot that you can park off Bluff Creek Driver – Just plug in Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail on Google Maps (it’ll come up Chaska for the North + South Corridor. Once parked safely cross the road to the paved trail and you’ll be about 3 miles to Chaska town (Fireman’s park!).
Chaska Historical Society
For history buffs, a visit to the Chaska Historical Society is a must. Just check hours as it’s open sparingly, or for special town events. Immerse yourself in the town’s rich history through captivating exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of Chaska’s past. The society’s guides are always happy to share fascinating anecdotes that bring history to life.
Tommy’s Malt Shop
If you’re looking for your classic diner fare, make your way to Tommy’s Malt Shop, a classic establishment that takes you back in time. Enjoy burgers, crispy fries, and of course, their signature old-fashioned malts and shakes. The retro ambiance and friendly service make it a popular spot for locals! I opted for a classic cheeseburger and fries and had an absolutely delicious peanut butter + chocolate malt. They have seasonal rotating options as well so it’s always fun to pop back! PRO TIP: if you want the full diner experience with the classic malt glass – make sure to grab a spot INSIDE as they don’t allow glass on the patio!
Shop Local at Carver Junk Company and 501 Antiques
For those with an eye for unique finds, Chaska has a treat in store. Explore the Carver Junk Company and 501 Antiques, two treasure troves of modern, vintage, and antique goods. Roam through 501 Antiques charming aisles filled with furniture, home decor, and more. It has an amazing selection of Minnesota-inspired pieces too that I definitely had my eye on! I ended up purchasing a nice stack of vintage postcards to add to my collection.
Pop into Carver Junk Company on the weekend for some fun shopping with more modern selections. They have amazing apparel, and home goods – definitely a great option for gifting too. Add them to your list during the holiday season too as they go all out! Make sure to check their socials as well as they have fun pop ups and events that are hands-on and community-driven! Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or a hidden gem, these shops offer a delightful adventure in shopping.
Sip at Schram Haus Brewery and Dolce Vita Wine Shop
As the day progresses, it’s time to unwind (or cool off!) with some local libations. Head over to Schram Haus Brewery to sample a variety of craft beers brewed right in Chaska. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, their selection rotates frequently and they usually always have some fun ones brewing! They have a great indoor and outdoor space as well and offer a small menu of food too!
If wine is more to your liking, pay a visit to Dolce Vita Wine Shop. Browse through their curated collection of wines from around the world and indulge in a tasting experience that will delight your senses. Tastings are usually held on Friday nights! If you can’t make their wine tasting, it’s worth a visit anyway as not only do they have an amazing selection of wine but also spirits and locally brewed beer too!
Chaska Cubs Game
If you’re a sports enthusiast, catch a Chaska Cubs game at the local ballpark in the Summertime. Experience the excitement of Townball and cheer for the home team and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow fans. We loved attending and were impressed with the crowd!
Chaska Curling Center
The Chaska Curling Center is home to one of the largest curling memberships in the country! Located right next to Fireman’s Park – the center is open year round and offers plenty of opportunities to participate in curling too with their public learn-to-curl classes and private group events too!
I hope this sparks a little adventure in you for a last-minute summer day trip or even for an early fall adventure! It’s great if you only have a morning or an afternoon to explore and you can do a choose-your-own adventure day too! So, whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or simply in need of a fun little getaway, Chaska is the perfect destination for your next-day trip adventure.