Musical Minnesota: Visiting 8 destinations around the state immortalized in song

Planning a Minnesota road trip? Check a local landmark off your bucket list—specifically, one of these places made immortal by shout-outs in song. Get your playlist and your map app ready! Red Wing “Kelly’s Bar,” Trampled by Turtles Our musical road trip starts on Old West Main Street in Red Wing, Minnesota, where a particular … [ Read more]

A Roadside Diversion That Makes Roadside Diversions: It’s a meta wonderland at the FAST moldyard

A lifeless mermaid sits on an anchor in a field just north of Sparta, Wisconsin. Behind her looms a menagerie of bears, cows, fish, pirates, and the 12-foot-tall hindquarters of a sitting dog. His giant head is some feet away, casting a blank stare toward a trunkless elephant. Travelers on a quiet stretch of highway south … [ Read more]

Homeward Bound: We quit our jobs, sold our house, and spent 112 days on the road

In 2015, my husband Brian and I quit our jobs, sold our house, and left our life in Seattle, Washington, in search of a new home. We’d spent years trapped in a never-ending cycle of long commutes, longer hours, and seemingly shorter weekends to afford our life in this beautiful part of the world and … [ Read more]

Whirlwind Tour: The food scene is booming in Eau Claire

Music festivals notwithstanding, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, isn’t generally considered a required stop for interstate travelers heading southeast from the Minneapolis–St. Paul metro area. It’s too early to be a halfway point and it’s simple enough to blow past its exits. It’s time to reconsider that attitude. Eau Claire is the beating heart of the fertile … [ Read more]

5 Weekend Drink Destinations in the Midwest Worth a Road Trip

May is the perfect month to leave daily life behind, hit the road, and enjoy some new drinks with new friends in new places. You don’t have to go far to escape; there are several destinations with exciting craft beer and cocktail communities within a day’s drive of the Twin Cities. So buckle up: it’s … [ Read more]

Roads to the Past: One man’s mission to document Minnesota’s historical highways

Andrew Munsch steers a blue late-model Honda Civic to the shoulder and stops beside a snowbank as tall as his car. He zips up his black jacket and slings a Canon EOS digital camera over his arm. After checking the laces on his boots and straightening a pair of black sunglasses, he kills the engine … [ Read more]

Get in the Van: VanGo Automotive’s vintage camper van rentals are one-size-fits-all

Drive far enough down West 7th Street and you can find pockets of St. Paul that haven’t yet fallen in step with the capital city’s gentle amble toward modernity. Past the faux food trucks and industrial upcycling, you’ll find steakhouses that still sport cigar burns from “legitimate businessmen” and lunch-counter diners with checkerboard on the … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: The Minnesconsin Old Fashioned – A “compromise” cocktail

Ask born-and-raised Minnesotans and they’ll give you an extensive list of differences between them and Wisconsinites or North and South Dakotans. Ask bartenders in the Twin Cities and they’ll tell you numerous confused-out-of-stater stories. Living in different states can feel like living in cultures as different as night and day, but for bartenders on the borders, … [ Read more]

Bayfield or Bust: Our 10-Stop Dining Roadtrip to Wisconsin’s South Shore

If you’re one of the thousands of people heading north and east to Wisconsin’s famous Bayfield Apple Festival this weekend, wear some stretchy pants—the crescent-shaped land of Chequamegon Bay has a lot more than fruit to offer its visitors. The South Shore community is relatively small—about 30,000 people living in the coastal counties of Ashland and … [ Read more]

Five State Parks across the Heartland for your road-tripping pleasure

Looking for some summer or fall road trip inspirations? The Growler has you covered with these Heartland destinations. ■ ■ ■ West on I-94: Lake Sakakawea State Park near Pick City, North Dakota Stretching 178 miles in length from Williston, North Dakota, to the Garrison Dam near Pick City, North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea is a … [ Read more]

The Midwest Craft Beer Camping Road Trip

Presented by 50 Campfires If you’re looking for an epic camping road trip, we have it all lined up for you. Camping and a Craft Beer tour, what could be better than that?! Some of the best breweries in the country are right here in the Midwest, along with some spectacular camping locations. If you’re … [ Read more]

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Sierra Nevada Invites All U.S. Craft Breweries to a Seven-Stop, Cross-Country Beer Festival

Leave it to Sierra Nevada to start a movement in craft beer. The brewery was a major factor in the U.S. craft beer resurgence in the 1980s when there were just eight craft breweries in the country and an aggressively hopped pale ale (by 1980s standards), like Sierra Nevada’s flagship, was a rarity. Now, Sierra Nevada is inviting … [ Read more]