How to Plan Your Day Trip to Faribault, Minnesota
I’m so excited to help you plan your day trip to Faribault, Minnesota. I spent three years living in F-Town and was able to check out a ton of restaurants, bars and hikes over those years. It’s a cute town located at the convergence of the Cannon and Straight Rivers. Located just one hour south of the Twin Cities, Faribault is a small town rich in character and history.
Faribault doesn’t have a huge food scene, but there are a couple of great options. The Depot is a restaurant built inside an old railroad station. The railroad tracks are outside and run along the back of the building. They have a huge menu and do the basics really well.
Get a Tour of the Cheese Cave
The Cheese Cave is a great spot to either have a meal, or grab some cheese to bring home. They also offer tours of their underground cave.
Lastly, there is a Thai restaurant, called 1st of Thai, if you’re looking for something other than a typical burger or sandwich. When we went, I had Pad Thai and shared fried bananas for dessert with my mom. The food is pretty cheap and the portions are generous.
Grab Drinks in Town
If you’re looking for drinks, head over to 10,000 Drops Craft Distillers. They focus on drinks made with whiskey, rum and gin. The old building has a lot of exposed brick and a very cool industrial feel.
There’s also the F-Town brewery, which was established in Faribault. It’s a tiny little brewery built inside a firehouse. Update: unfortunately this location has since closed, but you can find their beer in liquor stores.
I recently took a tour of the Faribault Woolen Mill. The history alone is impressive, and the products they create are high quality. Tucked along the Cannon River, their 150+ year old story is still going strong.
The Woolen Mill’s History
Founded in 1865, Carl Klemer started the woolen mill and used horses to power it. As their website says, “The Faribault Woolen Mill endures as one of the last vertical woolen mills in America. Here, fifth-generation craftspeople take raw wool and create blankets, throws, scarves, and accessories of remarkable comfort and quality. Irreplaceable century-old machinery stands side by side with modern technology in our new mill, which was built in 1892.” The “new” mill of 1892 was built after a fire destroyed the original mill.
The guided tour was loud, impressive and vivacious. The employees take meticulous care and produce stunning masterpieces. Each item goes through a 22-step process including separating, dying, yarning, carding, spinning, plying, weaving, inspection, washing, drying, fringing and sewing. Throughout the tour you are able to see all 22 steps in action. The tour is just $10 for adults, $5 for students, and kids are free, and it lasts a little over an hour. Definitely worth it!
Visit Hidden Gems Outside Downtown
Walk Around the Shattuck-St. Mary Campus
If you have extra time, there are a few hidden gems just outside the downtown area you’ll want to check out. Walk around the campus of Shattuck-St. Mary, a coeducational boarding and day school. The architecture is gorgeous!
Hike at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park
If you want to get into nature, just outside Faribault is Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. Take a walk through a heavily wooded path with a waterfall right at the entrance. I’ve been there many times and it’s never that crowded since the park is so expansive.
If you’re looking for some fun on the water, head over to Circle Lake. There is a public access parking lot on the north side. Tons of people are always out fishing, kayaking and lounging around on their pontoons.
I hope this information helps you plan a great day trip to Faribault, Minnesota. And if you have the time, make it a weekend visit!