I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Minnesota is a lovely place to be in the summer. Even when I lived in California, I always made a week-long trip back to Minnesota during the summer months to enjoy the great weather, beautiful lakes, hiking and biking trails, cabin weekends, and more.
This month, in particular, I started exploring a bit more again and found many new, fun spots (all pretty close to me) that I had never been to before! Some I researched beforehand, and others were happy finds I stumbled upon while on my way to another location. So, in my photo journal this month, I wanted to highlight some of those new finds for you.
A lesser-known spot in the Twin Cities, the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is one of my favorite places to check out in the spring and summer to enjoy a quick hike through a forest full of wildflowers. It’s incredibly peaceful, and you’ll no doubt find folks on the trail enjoying taking photos, referencing foliage, or even reading a book. I went in early July this year but would recommend visiting in the springtime when all the wildflowers are in bloom.
If you’re looking for another great hike, the Wood Lake Nature Center is another spot that I frequent. This beautiful nature preserve is usually not busy and has a variety of trails to explore. Plus, there is a ton of wildlife to stumble upon, which makes it a popular spot for bird watchers and photographers.
Technically this happened last month, but a new life update: I finally adopted a dog. World, meet Sully. He’s a sweet, smart, and goofy boy that has brought so much joy into my life. Can you guess what his breed is?
One of my favorite spots for when I need to “get away” for a bit is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. It’s very peaceful to roam around all the various gardens. And they even have longer hiking trails, which I’ve enjoyed. I’d recommend the Ridge Trail via the East Side Trails if you’re looking for something to try.
NEW! A cool find I recently discovered is the The Old Log Theatre in Greenwood, Minnesota. Make a reservation for dinner and a show. Or, if you’re short on time, pop in for a drink by the rustic cabin and enjoy a warm summer night. Fun fact: Around Christmas, the cabin turns into a pop up Jingle Bar, which you’ll definitely want to check out this holiday season. It’s certainly on my list of to-dos this year.
NEW! Another new find was this adorable frozen custard shop called Adele’s in Excelsior. I drove by it on my way to The Old Log Theatre and had to do a double-take because it was such a cute little spot. I loved all the flowers on their patio and had to go back.
NEW! If you want to see my dream neighborhood, drive around the streets near Arden Park in Edina. It’s full of older, charming homes, all with immaculate landscaping. And smack dab in the middle runs Minnehaha Creek, which is a great spot to bring the kiddos or dogs to cool off on a hot day. There are many access points right from Arden Park, most being very shallow and sandy, which makes for a fun spot to hang out and enjoy the cool water. Fun fact: You can tube down Minnehaha Creek, so make Arden Park your launch spot.
NEW! Speaking of Minnehaha Creek, I’ve found a few other access points near me that I’ve been taking the pup to explore. I won’t give any details on where this one is, as I like that it feels secluded. But I’ve been lovin’ me some Minnehaha Creek this summer.
NEW! Last but not least is a place that has been on my radar for a good year and that I finally visited! Ladies and gentleman, meet St. Paul Brewing. The coolest brewery I’ve ever been. Situated on the grounds of the historic Hamm’s Brewery, their whimsical patio nestles between layers of bluffs, which creates such a fun and unique vibe to enjoy some handcrafted beer. Plus, there are so many fun little nooks to explore that it feels like an adventure just finding a spot to sit. You 100% need to check out this brewery.
Let’s go places,
All photos on this blog are mine. Feel free to share but please credit me with a link back to the blog. Much appreciated, and thank you for your support!