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Best Day Trip Minneapolis 2014 - Loop through Stillwater

Start your day wandering around Franconia Sculpture Park — the communal artist-run sculpture park that houses gigantic and surreal works of art you can interact with among fields of tall, green grass. Next, take Lake Boulevard a few miles over to Taylors Falls and Interstate Park for an easy hike, a gander at the glacial potholes in the park, and river views that'll take your breath away. Rest up in the car and drive down 95 on your way to downtown Stillwater. There, you can stop in at any number of cute boutiques, but our favorite is one just outside the center of the city — away from most of the very tourist-oriented shops — at Staples Mill Antiques. They've got 10,000 feet of stuff, and we're talking literally everything from Hummels and silver spoons to mid-century furniture and old-school Coca-Cola refrigerators. Set aside a couple of hours to check out the goods here — there are floors and floors of retro and antique wares that make walking around the shop like being in a museum where you can actually take stuff home. Afterward, fill up at one of the many eateries in downtown Stillwater, recharge your batteries, and take a walk by the town's famed lift bridge. Finish the day off with a pint or a tasting flight of freshly brewed beer from Lift Bridge Brewery, just a short drive outside town off of 36. You can bring your own food into the place, or just nosh on their always-popping supply of popcorn while you play some of the many games available. Friends trivia, anyone?

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