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Burnsville is a Great Town
With two breweries, many parks, tons of restaurants, a beautiful lake, a performance center, coffee shops, and a place for skiing and snow tubing, there’s so much to do in Burnsville! Located about 20 miles from both Minneapolis and St. Paul, Burnsville can be overlooked but there is much more to this unassuming town than initially meets the eye.
1. Burnsville Has Two Breweries
Burnsville has two great breweries and each one offers a unique experience. Ineffable Brewery has a wide selection of beers. They also have a food menu with a smoker on-site and a large indoor space with an even larger outdoor patio. My favorite beers at Ineffable are the Hefeweizen, Norwegian Farmhouse Ale, and the Coffee Blonde Ale for something unique.
Bricksworth Beer Co. is on the other side of Burnsville, and they have a small patio and a massive warehouse-feeling indoor space. Their pizza makes them a popular spot! The pizzas come on thick and filling Detroit-style dough, so sharing one is definitely an option. At Bricksworth, I most love Kinda Clever, a Belgian-style wheat beer, and Playboy Mansion, a Hefeweizen.
2. Check Out the Coffee Shops
Burnsville has two popular spots for great coffee. The Buzz Coffee is a great choice with high-quality coffee and if you order a cup of coffee while you stay at The Buzz to work or read, refills are free! They also have excellent food options like waffles and sandwiches. Just around the corner is a new spot called Arise Coffee. Arise is a bright and open space with plenty of seating options inside and on the patio. There’s even an indoor gas fireplace. In addition to quality coffee and lattes, they have scones, smoothies, ice cream, and root beer floats.
3. Enjoy Crystal Lake in Any Season
One of my favorite places to go in Burnsville is Crystal Lake. In the summertime, it’s a popular spot for fishing and swimming. There is a large playground for children and a roped-off swimming area. There is also a massive grassy space where people are often grilling or throwing a frisbee. I also love kayaking and watching the sunset from this lake. In the winter, I enjoy running around on the frozen lake with my dog. You’ll also see many people ice fishing and cross country skiing on the lake in January and February.
4. See a Show at the Ames Center
The Ames Center first opened in 2009 and was formerly called the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. It’s located in the heart of town and has Nicollet Commons Park, a large grassy space adjacent to the building. It’s a great spot for setting up a picnic or meandering through with kids and pets, there’s also an outdoor amphitheater that can seat 250 people. Be sure to check their event calendar for concerts and events!
Shop some of my favorite items
5. Ski and Go Tubing at Buck Hill
Buck Hill is a great spot for winter activities. It is a hill, not a mountain, so it’s a great spot for new skiers, or those wanting to practice jumps and turns. It’s also a great spot for snow tubing for kids and adults in the winter and mountain biking in the summer. They also host concerts and other events year-round.
6. Enjoy a Variety of Restaurants
Burnsville has a wide variety of food options and we’ve been lucky enough to try so many of them over the past few years. Our favorites include:
- Bricksworth, for excellent Detroit-style pizza
- Carbone’s, for pizza, sandwiches and 2-for-1 drink deals
- Jensen’s, a popular spot for brunch, but be prepared for a long wait on weekends
- JL Beers, for cheap and delicious burgers
- Mediterranean Cruise, for high-quality award-winning Mediterranean food and cocktails
- Olivia’s Organic Cafe, for healthy options
- Shogun, for fresh made-to-order sushi
- Saigon Palace, for excellent Vietnamese food, especially the Pho
7. Visit Donut Star for a Sweet Treat
Donut Star makes everything fresh the day of, and they close as soon as they run out of donuts, which I learned when I showed up at 9 a.m. on a Wednesday and there were only a dozen donuts left! I highly recommend you either place an order ahead of time or go very early in the morning.
8. Take a Walk at Rudy Kraemer Nature Preserve
This nature preserve provides a quiet escape from the bustling of Burnsville. Walk along the paved path or the meandering dirt path past wildflowers and bumblebees. The prairie includes 75 acres, and the trail is just a half-mile long. Along the walk, you’ll encounter eight stops with information. A printed trail guide should be available at the trailhead or scan the QR code for a digital copy.
9. Practice Your Golf Swing
Looking for a fun place to swing a golf club? Visit Birnamwood Golf Course, a nine-hole, par 27 public golf course that is owned and operated by the City of Burnsville. Or stop by Chalet, a driving range next to Highway 35 to practice your swing. I’ve been to the driving range many times and it’s never very crowded and a bucket of balls is pretty cheap.
10. Take a Walk at Alimagnet Park
Here you’ll find quiet wooded walking trails that go past a lake, canoe launch access, a disc golf course, and a dog park. I’ve taken my dog many times and there is a fenced-off section for little dogs and the main park for dogs of all sizes. There is a pond in the middle of the dog park that gets really bad algae during the summer, but it’s gated off from the rest of the park to keep dogs safe.
11. Enjoy Bicentennial Park
This little park offers a beautiful fountain where I’ve often seen weddings taking place! The gardens are also lovely and it’s a nice spot to sit and relax or meet a friend to catch up on one of the park benches.
12. Go Shopping
Burnsville has a massive mall for all your shopping needs. But if you’re looking for cute shops with awesome gifts check out Ficus and Fig, a cute gift shop with unique gifts and home decor, or Maleny Gifts for jewelry, shoes, and purses. Another fun spot to check out is the Minnesota Antiques store, which has been around since 1979. This is one of the biggest antique stores I’ve ever seen and they have thousands of quality items including furniture, serving platters, toy cars, and home decor.
Burnsville is a Great Town for a Day Trip
Burnsville is a really great town to visit for the day with a friend or the whole family. With a ton of locally-owned restaurants, two awesome breweries, great shopping and boutiques, and a beautiful lake there’s so much to discover!
Looking for more inspiration? Check out my posts on Mantorville, Waseca, and Stillwater. And if you’re looking for outdoor gear, I recommend checking out these Merrell boots, women’s sandals, Yeti Rambler, and a Fitbit. Stay active and stay safe!