New book details what you can do “in the north”


ST. PAUL – Can’t afford to fly to Mexico or Europe? Julie Larson provides places to visit closer to home in “100 Things to Do in Minnesota Northwoods Before You Die.”

Admitting a deep sense of adventure, the author leaves her home in Brainerd’s countryside to explore with her “motley team of women” called the MsStorians, who “roam the Northwoods of Minnesota in search of history, fun. and tasty drinks “.

This handy paperback is divided into topics: Food and Drink, Music and Entertainment, Sports and Recreation, Culture and History, Shopping and Fashion. Suggested itineraries and activities are offered by season.

Do you know the jams and jellies from the Butkiewicz family farm near Kettle River? Everyone has heard of Betty’s Pies at Two Harbors, but did you know there are wineries in Lutsen, Alexandria, Laporte and Brainerd? Would you like to see falcons at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth? How about watching a wild rice demonstration at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum?

Larson includes phone numbers and web addresses for all sites, so you can check what’s open in these days of changing COVID restrictions.

There are plenty of travel guides in Minnesota, but if you’re heading north for a weekend getaway, you’ve got to have this easy-to-use little gem.

To whet your appetite for “the north,” see if you can answer these five questions asked by Larson.

  • What is Minnesota’s most visited historic mansion?

  • What are the “40 lost” among Minnesota’s 17.4 million acres of forest land?

  • Which city was ranked among the Best Places to Live and Smartest Cities of 2018 by Outdoor Magazine?

  • When you dine at the Palmer House Hotel & Restaurant in Sauk Center, which famous auteur street is just steps from your table?

  • Name the longest ship on the Great Lakes.


  • Glensheen in Duluth.

  • A survey error in 1882 is attributed to the Lost 40 Science and Natural Area near Northome, which now has a trail loop that leads visitors past over 230-year-old white and red pine trees.

  • Crosby, Minnesota.

  • Main Street in Sinclair Lewis.

  • The Paul R. Tregurtha, at 1,013.5 feet, can often be seen from the outer deck of the Lake Superior Marine Museum in Duluth. Visitors can listen to him “conversing” with the overhead lift.

“100 Things to Do in Minnesota Northwoods Before You Die” is published by Reedy Press, $ 17.


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