Heaven knows we hate to agree with ourselves, let alone with each other, but why mess with a good thing? There are a million different reasons for leaving the Twin Cities, but when you just feel like going someplace else and you don't have all the time in the world, there's still no better destination than tiny Pepin, Wisconsin and the Harbor View Cafe. The 90-minute drive alone will work wonders on the lousiest of moods. Once you pick up Highway 61 South just east of downtown St. Paul you'll already be feeling better, and by the time you cross the river into Wisconsin at Hastings you'll feel like you're...well, definitely someplace else. There are plenty of motivations to mosey along the Great River Road (Wisconsin Highway 35)--the little towns along the route offer local character in spades and junking opportunities galore. But you'll want to make sure you hit Pepin in time to have dinner at the Harbor View. Pepin's one of those insanely civilized and picturesque throwback villages that you'll find in the Northeast, and with its prime location at the convergence of the Mississippi and Lake Pepin and its casually gentrified old-world vibe, it's not hard to imagine you're thousands of miles away from the strip malls and freeways of the Twin Cities. There can be long waits at the Harbor View, where the always-changing menu and creative cuisine encourage regular pilgrimages, but don't sweat it. It's well worth the vigil, and you can easily and agreeably pass the time out front watching the action on the lake and checking out the trains that roll through frequently on the tracks across the road. One final recommendation: Be sure to hit the Harbor View during morel mushroom season.

Location Details

314 First St.
Pepin WI 54759


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >