The Growler’s Tourism Guide 2019

There’s nothing like a long, brutal winter to make a Minnesotan dream of escape. It’s been a lifetime, it seems, of scraping and shoveling and waddling along icy sidewalks like a penguin, shoulders hunched, lips chapped, cursing your hardy ancestors who thought this might be a good locale to set up shop. To make things … [ Read more]

New City, Great Grub: Tracking down the best eats in a strange place

Having good “restaurant radar” is a wonderful thing for anyone who loves to travel and eat—it means that you can parachute into just about any new city and dine well. As a professional food writer, I’ve spent years honing my ability to guess my way into a great meal. You can leverage the same sort … [ Read more]

It’ll Fit: A Master Course in Packing

You never need as much as you think you will when traveling. A travel pillow, your electric toothbrush and charger, that cute outfit you swear you’re going to wear that needs matching shoes: it’s all extra, and it’s all going to add up in weight and bulk.  Successful packing starts with a few considerations:  Check … [ Read more]

Portable Potables: Traveling With Booze

Your feet are sore, your camera card is full, and you’ve checked off all the places on your sightseeing list. Yep, you can chalk this vacation up as a grand success. But now it’s time to pack your bags again and head back to the daily grind. Thankfully, being the wise person you are, you … [ Read more]

Eight Travel Must-Haves (and Two You Should Ditch)

It’s easy to slip into “what if” mode when packing for a trip. What if the temperature does a nose dive and I didn’t pack anything appropriate? What if I lose my cell phone? What if my luggage gets lost? While there are some things, like the weather, that you simply can’t control, there are … [ Read more]

Cheap beer and humility: Lessons from a 22-day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip

The Grand Canyon is an amazing geologic feature. Cutting through the Colorado Plateau on its way to the Gulf of California, the Colorado River drains the western slope of the Southern Rockies and, over millions of years, has carved a 277-mile long, 6,000-foot deep chasm, at the bottom of which is one of the most … [ 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]

Freedom of limitations, or ‘How Germany took away my options in all the best ways’

What beers do you have on tap?” I’ve always been a firm believer in the overused cliche “There’s no such thing as a stupid question,” but at that moment, sitting at a bar in Munich with the question I’d just asked echoing in my head, I was considering amending it slightly to: “There’s no such … [ Read more]

The Unnecessary Categorization of Everything (Or Why I Love Shibuya Crossing)

My buzz has completely worn off. Throwing back Asahi, Japan’s rice beer equivalent to Budweiser, the entire 12-hour flight over seemed like a good idea at the time, but now, standing in line at Japanese customs, I was beginning to rethink my decision to make friendly with the flight staff. When you’re flying with a … [ Read more]

Winter Weary? Staycation Ideas for the Fancy and the Frugal

For the Frugal By Bill Lindeke No matter how many generations your roots stretch back, winter is the true test for any Minnesotan. By the time February rolls around, the months of shortened days, numb appendages, icy streets, and long, cold nights take their toll. To make it through the last seasonal stretches, we often need … [ Read more]

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Soaking in Beer: Stepping into Budapest’s thermal beer spa

I’m deep inside the Széchenyi Thermal Baths in Budapest, a sprawling 67,000-square-foot menagerie of heated indoor and outdoor pools and baths, encased in Neo-Baroque architecture. Despite the grandeur, I’m feeling slightly naked while wrapped in my bath towel and swim trunks. Snaking through the private changing cabins, the scent hits me: Is that hops I … [ Read more]

The Plan to Have No Plan

Finding the spontaneous, yet scheduled, happy medium that (almost) guarantees getting the most out of travel Accidentally walked 14.5 miles today. Not saying that in a humble brag way, rather an “I have no sense of direction and got lost multiple times and confused Google maps with my poor decisions and ended up in neighborhoods … [ Read more]

9 Cheap Cities to Fly to from MSP in February

February may not be the first month you flip to in your calendar when planning your annual vacation. But don’t underestimate the value of the shortest month of the year—it’s usually the slowest period for travel. With low-season rates and fewer crowds, it’s the ideal time to sneak in that much-needed first getaway of the … [ Read more]

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Culture in a glass: Lessons learned drinking through South Asia

Picture this: It’s 7,000 B.C. in the Henan province of northern China, and someone has just mixed up a concoction of hawthorn berries, honey, and rice into a bowl. After leaving it out for a few weeks, whether on purpose or by accident, the liquid spontaneously ferments into something sweet, pungent, and that, when imbibed, … [ Read more]

Sun Country awarded non-stop flights to Cuba

Sun Country Airlines has been approved to fly nonstop from the Twin Cities to two cities in Cuba, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today, reports The Star Tribune. The agency said Sun Country will be able to fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Santa Clara, the capital of Villa Clara province in central … [ Read more]