Have you been to Lanesboro? I’m quite sure I was one of the last few Minnesotans to visit. It’s a postcard-worthy town tucked into the base of the river bluffs where the pace is slow and everyone knows each other. Maybe I stayed away for so long due to my aversion to bed and breakfasts. Heads up – Lanesboro is dubbed the “Bed and Breakfast Capital of Minnesota.” I typically crave anonymity in my accommodations and B&Bs sound like a nightmare. I always imagined it like staying at a distant great-aunt’s house. She’s kind enough to let you stay in her country chic guestroom, and in return you’re obligated to spend time small-talking while sitting on wicker furniture and politely eating a too-precious Martha Stewart meal before continuing with your vacation plans.
“Fine. We’ll stay at a bed and breakfast,” I told myself and started my online digging. I perused several before landing on a comfortable, affordable fit. Here’s what sold me – the innkeeper bakes bread every morning. Yes, please. Maybe all B&Bs do this. I don’t know. I don’t want to find out. All I know is, we stayed at Hillcrest Hideaway, and innkeepers Carol and Marv had fresh maple nut bread and warm berry, white chocolate scones waiting at the breakfast table when we woke up. Carol has a whole book full of recipes for purchase, too. She’s proud of her creations, and should be. Everything was simply delicious and crafted with care. Oh, and when Marv showed us to our room, he handed us our own personal jar of chocolate chip cookies. That’s a thing here.
We loved our Lanesboro adventure and encountered nothing but friendly, humble folks who have made this fairytale village their home. Some have lived in the area for years; others are transplants seeking a simpler life. If you’re looking to disconnect and feel a million miles away from your daily routine, this is an easy and satisfying place to escape.
A few things about Lanesboro:
- If you like to ride a bicycle, you’ll be way into the Root River trail.
- If you like to lie in a tube and float down a river while drinking, you’ll dig the Root River. You can rent tubes and bikes at the outfitting shops in town. We went to the Little River General Store to rent bikes, and they were very friendly.
- If you like browsing, check out the antique shop at the end of Beacon Street which is like Grandma’s house mixed with your dad’s garage mixed with an abandoned theater warehouse. There were a lot of “omg-remember-this?” pics sent to Sissy. (see Care Bear game below. OMG remember that bad guy?!)
- If you like to eat, Lanesboro has some top-notch places. We grabbed a quick dinner at Pedal Pushers Cafe, a farm-to-table comfort-food spot specializing in local, seasonal ingredients. Our food was fresh and flavorful, and the service attentive. The decor is Pinterest-precious, and tables have butcher paper for doodling. Don’t forget to peek at the chalkboard featuring their daily desserts. Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe is also a must-see. The chef cooks on a whim, and you won’t find a menu. They have a small pastry case as you walk in with a few oversized treats. I picked up a blueberry scone for the road. It was thick and cakey with a rich buttermilk flavor.
- No, we didn’t go to the Commonweal Theater. It’s the top attraction in Lanesboro and from what I hear, puts on an impressive show. Next time.
- If you don’t know what to do, stop by the Visitor’s Center. Homegirl knows everything.