This is in a series of 50 posts we are putting out throughout the years in anticipation of the celebration of our 50th Anniversary in 2015. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for the top things YOU love about Minnesota as well!
Summer in Alexandria…a great season to enjoy a favorite destination! The city’s slogan, “Easy To Get To, Hard To Leave.” It perfectly sums up my feelings for this adopted hometown. An easy drive from the Twin Cities on I94. Whether you come to enjoy one of the many lakes, shop at the quaint shops, eat at some lovely restaurants, or take in a festival or theatre event…this city has it all! Come explore Alexandria!
There are over 300 lakes to enjoy in this great city and the surrounding area! The city even boasts their own Chain of Lakes – Lake Darling, Lake Carlos, Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Geneva, and Lake Victoria – all connected with channels to get your watercraft through. With so many lakes to choose from, it’s easy to spend the day boating, fishing, swimming, waterskiing, jet-skiing, kayaking, and stand up paddle-boarding! Clean lakes + great beaches = lots of summertime fun!
If you want a change of pace from playing on or in the water, try Carlos State Park for great hiking. They have trails, campsites, and cabins. Located right on Lake Carlos, there is much to do and explore. (In the winter, they have luminary walks – simply beautiful! Smores around a campfire, skating on lake, and a hike where you follow the trails lit by the twinkling luminaries.)
A rainy day while you’re vacationing this summer? No problem. With great museums – The Runestone Museum and the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum – you’ve got interesting places to step back in time and learn about the city and the history of boating. The infamous Runestone – was it created by the Vikings? The Runestone has led researchers from around the world and across the centuries on an exhaustive quest to explain how an artifact, dated 1362, could show up in North America. It was discovered in 1898 at a farm near Alexandria. At the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum, the goal is to recognize lake traditions and display this love through collections of boats and memorabilia.
Looking for a neat photo opportunity? Don’t forget to have your picture taken by “Big Ole.” This statue was built in early 1965 as a second-year addition to the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. He stands over 28 feet tall.
Carlos Creek Winery is another great place to visit, rain or shine. Try local wines, appetizers, and shop their indoor showroom.
Looking for great shopping? Just head to the quaint shops along Broadway. Antiques, home décor, clothes, accessories, etc – there is no shortage of shops to check out. The Viking Mall – great indoor shops and close to the movie theater.
Yummy places to eat…Alexandria has that covered too! On Broadway, there is LeFerme means “the farm” in French (locally sourced, farm to table), Bella’s (Italian). Off Broadway, there is 6th Street Wine and Ale – great selection of appetizers, an extensive wine and beer list. Looking to eat in an old railroad car? Westin Station offers dining in its quaint railroad car – a unique dining environment.
If you are on the lake and want to dock your boat, try Zorbas, Bug-a-Boo Bay, and Radisson Arrowwood’s outside cantina or indoor restaurant. Interlachen Inn located near Lake Le Homme Dieu and Lake Carlos is one of our family’s favorites. Great food for the adults plus the kids will enjoy it too!
Summer events, festivals and theatre – there is a great line up of activities, here is just a small sampling: History Live in Fort Alexandria (Runestone Museum) is held on June 26th & 27th.; Art in the Park (July 25th & 26th) is a wonderful outdoor event with art, food, and fun; the Resorters Golf Tournament held at the Alexandria Golf Club (August 2nd through 8th); the Grape Stomp (Carlos Creek Winery) held September 18th through 20th, and Theater Le Homme Dieu’s summer stock theater.
Alexandria, a great destination – come find out why it’s “Easy To Get To, Hard To Leave!” While summer is a great time to explore Alexandria, there is always something fun to do in this city year round! Here’s to a Minnesota treasure.
Alexandria selected as one of the “22 Best Small Town Destinations in the country for family weekend getaways.” www.vacationidea.com
Information on Alexandria: www.choosealexandriaMN.com