Everyone deserves a summer getaway, and Rochester is perfectly situated for a summer brew-cation. Whether you’re a beer lover or an adventure seeker, here are the hot spots you need to visit this summer.
Wabasha (45 miles from Rochester)
For the beer aficionado: Turning Waters Bed, Breakfast, and Adventure is unique in that it not only offers a beautiful space to relax, but also offers amples of homebrewed beer that will be available at an upcoming brewpub located adjacent to the inn at the end of the summer. In fact, it’s the only Minnesota B&B with homebrew on the menu. If you’re looking strictly for beer, Reads Landing Brewing Company is close by and serving up suds.
For the non-beer traveller: The Mississippi River is the most obvious attraction. Aside from fishing and wonderful cerulean vistas (OK, maybe brown-ish vistas), there are plenty of wild berries to pick while you’re out hiking the wilderness. And you absolutely can’t miss the National Eagle Center.
Decorah, Iowa (71 miles from Rochester)
For the beer aficionado: 71 miles south of Rochester you will find the highly rated Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. It makes some of the best hoppy beers around, including citra hop brews like the PseudoSue Pale Ale and King Sue Double IPA. Plus, just across the street is new Pulpit Rock brewery. Opened by previous Toppling Goliath assistant brewers, this place is finally coming into its own with Double IPAs like Loopy Lynn.
For the non-beer traveller: Dunnings Spring Park is a two-minute drive from both breweries, and features a green landscape, rushing water, and even some fun climbing. If that perfect lunch spot isn’t your cup of tea, right next to it — and accessible by hiking trails — is an ice cave. It’s small, but a nice way to cool off in the summer heat.
Insider tip – Don’t forget to hit up the Whippy Dip before you leave town. The cookie dough tornado is where it’s at.
New Ulm (96 miles from Rochester)
For the beer aficionado: August Schell Brewing Co. is one of the oldest breweries in the country, and the estate screams of its ties to German-style brews. It’s beautiful and welcoming. If you love beer and Minnesota, you need to experience this brewery’s storied history.
For the non-beer traveller: Drive downtown and breathe in the German vibe. If you’re a runner, take a stroll through Flandrau State Park. It’s hilly, but it’s quiet, green, and features a sand-bottom swimming pond, a perfect way to beat the heat.
Northeast Minneapolis (112 miles from Rochester)
For the beer aficionado: OK, so this one is a no-brainer trip, but it bears repeating: Northeast Minneapolis is a hotbed for fantastic beer. Indeed Brewing Co. is the ringleader there — especially when it comes to their seasonal beer releases and a burgeoning sour beer program.
For the non-beer traveller: Take your pick: you can walk to The Anchor Fish & Chips for a slice of England (minus the terrible footy the national team plays), or take a short drive to Minnehaha Falls where you’ll not only see an urban waterfall, but what an urban raccoon looks like (hint: it’s all about being chill and unabashedly eating trash).
Insider tip: Grab a bite to eat at Sea Salt, open April through October, and enjoy some exceptional seafood.