Plan Your Day Trip to Northfield, Minnesota
Northfield, Minnesota is the perfect place for your next day trip. It’s a quaint town located about 40 miles south of the Twin Cities. Around 1914, Northfield declared its official town slogan “Cows, Colleges and Contentment.”
In 2014, Northfield ranked number two for the best small towns in the country. This charming river town has beautiful parks, great restaurants with outdoor patios, farmers’ markets, and a handful of very trendy shops. Start your visit at the Northfield Historical Society and learn about the town’s unique history and the James-Younger gang bank raid that happened in 1876.
Walk around Division Street and the College Campuses
The main street, called Division Street, runs parallel to the Cannon River. In the summers there are farmers markets set up in the town square selling baked goods and coffee, along with handmade crafts and home goods. You can also walk to Carleton College or St. Olaf College. Both have beautiful buildings on campus and Carleton College has a massive arboretum everyone is welcome to walk or bike through.
You can also spend a good chunk of time looking around the gift shops on Division Street. Some of my favorites are Northfield Olive Oil and Vinegars, the Rare Pair, which sells gorgeous wool sweaters, shoes, and jewelry. There is also an antique and yarn shop. Content Bookstore is another great place to check out.
Grab a Bite to Eat Along the Cannon River
Northfield has a wide variety of food options. There’s the Contented Cow with a great outdoor patio facing the Cannon River. They often have live music. Chapati is an Indian restaurant with very cool decor and big portions.
We also love going to Fielder’s, which is classic American food, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. They have a huge menu so there is a great variety. Reunion is a new upscale restaurant. The prices are a bit more than the surrounding restaurants, but it’s nice to have a fancy option in town. We also love Froggy’s, which has a large outdoor seating area right on the water.
Grab Some Drinks in Town
For drinks, we love visiting Imminent Brewery. They always have great food trucks and recently started serving food in-house. This is our go-to spot, and I love getting a flight to try their ever-changing beer list. We’ve also been to Tanzenwald Brewing Company on the other side of town. It’s a small space, which I think is intimate and nice. They have great beer and incredible burgers! My husband said his burger was one of the best he’s ever had in Minnesota. Lastly, check out the tiny Chapel Brewery for some brews away from the crowds.
Practice Yoga and Pick Berries
One of my favorite places in Northfield is the Heartwork Yoga studio. They often partner with other local businesses for events, like the time they offered a free yoga class at a blueberry farm. Family-owned Little Hill Berry Farm offered the first pound of blueberries free to all yogis after class. The farm was large and the berries were so sweet! Filling your pail with fresh berries is definitely a fun activity to do with friends and family.
Have a Picnic at a Pizza Barn
Picnics in general are a fun way to be outside, but why not do it at a pizza farm! When we went to the Red Barn Farm in Northfield, we brought our own chairs, blanket, wine, and dessert. The pizzas are prepared in a wood-fired oven and served piping hot! There are also horses and chickens and they encourage visitors to walk around and enjoy the property.
A Quaint River Town
Northfield is one of my favorite places in Minnesota. Every time I visit I’m reminded of how adorable this quaint river town is and there always seems to be something fun to do!
You can easily pack a lot of fun into a day trip here. And if you have the time, spend a weekend. It’s a really lovely town.