Best Day Trip (2009)

Lanesboro, Minnesota

There are moments in the summer when you crave a simpler way of living, even if just for a day. You can find that simpler life just a couple of hours' drive south of the Twin Cities, in the most precious small town in Minnesota. Lanesboro sits deep in the valley of southeast Minnesota's Root River, in the heart of Minnesota's scenic bluff country. The town's population is less than 800, but on busy summer weekends it can double with visitors, drawn to Lanesboro's quaint main street and the breathtaking 60-mile Root River bike trail that cuts right through town. You can also spend the day canoeing, kayaking, fishing, or tubing on the Root River. If you aren't into the outdoors, take in a performance at the Commonweal Theatre, or browse the shops that line the main drag, where you won't find a single chain store. In the mid-afternoon, look for the townies sipping coffee on the bench outside Pedal Pusher's cafe. They'll give you the real history of the place. If you're just too tired to make it home, you'll surely find something open in Lanesboro's countless and beautiful B&Bs.