The Not-So-Far Weekend Getaway: Northfield
By Colby Johnson, Minnesota Monthly
You won’t believe you’re less than an hour away from the bustling Twin Cities when you spend the weekend in Northfield. Quaint yet lively, this little button of a town has a little something for everyone.
Home to two of Minnesota’s famed colleges, St. Olaf and Carleton College, and to a Saturday art fair every week (while the weather is tolerable), Northfield holds plenty of options for shopping. From locally owned art galleries to vintage shops to designer boutiques, you almost have to go into the shops more than once to take everything in.
Strolling up and down the Cannon River will take you through a myriad of food and drink options. The Contented Cow Pub has a small town feel with a big city beer list. The First National Bank is a piece of history: Jesse James and his gang tried to rob the bank in 1876, and the raid has been known to some as one of the last events of the American Civil War.
Just outside of downtown is the newly remodeled Ole Store Café, an upscale dinner spot with an extensive menu. Tucked into a cozy Northfield neighborhood, the comfortable ambiance and Minnesota-nice staff will leave you with a smile and a full belly. Or if you’re in the mood for something more casual, stop at J. Grundy’s Rueb ‘n’ Stein.
After a day of taking in the history, quaintness, and pleasure of Northfield, your room at the Archer House River Inn awaits. More than 100 years old, each of the 36 guest suites are decorated uniquely and recently updated. Don’t forget to stop at the Restaurant and Tavern Lounge for breakfast.
As you pull away, feeling refreshed and car packed full of purchases, you’ll once again be pleased when just 50 miles later you pull into your driveway at home.