Lanesboro, Minnesota: A City Guide

To be honest, I had never heard of Lanesboro before. It was only through a random article on the ‘cutest towns in America’ that I first discovered it. And man, I’m so glad I did, because I fell in love with it.

Lanesboro is a charming little town (pop. 754) that is nestled in the beautiful Root River Valley. Like River Bluff country, the drive through the Root River Valley is quite lovely. I could have driven around for a few hours if time would have let me.

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But alas, I didn’t get into town until early afternoon, so, unfortunately, I didn’t get enough time to explore the area. Especially since I was only staying for one night. If I were to do it all again (and I will do it again), I’d get their early on a Friday afternoon and plan to stay until Sunday afternoon. That’s the right way to do Lanesboro. Now I know. 🙂

One of my favorite things about Lanesboro is that the Root River runs right through town. Imagine being able to hear the sound of running water everywhere you go when you’re downtown. I bet the locals sleep well. 🙂

When I arrived, the town was celebrating 150 years, so a lot was going on around the city. They had a farmer’s markets in Sylvan Park, live music at various locations, a baseball tournament, picnics, and more.

Things To Do In Lanesboro, Minnesota:

  • Rent a bike at the Little River General Store ($12 for two hours; $20 for the day) and head out on the Root River Trail. Depending on how far you want to go, you could travel to several different cities, including Whalen, Peterson, and Rushford.
  • Stroll around the main street of downtown Lanesboro. There are all kinds of small stores, boutiques, and restaurants that you can hop into.
  • Stop at the Stone Dam for a photo opp. It was built in 1868, so it’s old and thus registered as a historical spot.
  • Drive along 16 out to Amish country near Harmony and Canton, MN. Not only is it beautiful farmland, but you’ll see horse-drawn buggies, and Amish churches and stores along the way.
  • Just head to the main drag to find live music at one of the joints in town. High Court Pub and Riverside On The Root are both good bets.
  • The Commonwealth Theatre has live professional performances/plays throughout the year. Check out their website to see what shows might be there when you’re in town.

Where To Eat / Drink In Lanesboro, Minnesota:

  • Drive over to Whalen in the morning or evening and grab a piece of fresh, homemade pie from the Aroma Pie Shoppe. There are 24 choices; some of them unique.
  • Riverside On The Root is a great spot for lunch and/or a drink. Try to get a spot on their balcony so you can get views of the river running under the bridge below. High Court Pub and Old Village Hall Restaurant are great options for dinner.
  • If you’re looking for a healthier option, head to Pedal Pushers Cafe. Everything that they bring in is local. And they have vegetarian and gluten-free options.
  • Four Daughters Vineyard is a bit of a drive (36 minutes from Lanesboro) but I hear that it’s very good. Great for wine tasting, lunch, or dinner.
  • In the morning, head over to Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe for some bakery goods and coffee for breakfast. Coffee drive, anyone?
  • Pro tip: Restaurants close fairly early in Lanesboro, so make sure you check restaurant hours before making dinner plans.

Where To Stay In Lanesboro, Minnesota:

As I was driving around town, I saw so many B&Bs. I think Lanesboro is known to be a bed and breakfast hotspot. But two specifically stood out to me; one of them I even got the opportunity to stay at!

James A. Thompson House: This B&B is an 1870’s Italianate-style home on the Root River. Depending on the room, you’ll either have views of the river and dam, Sylvan Park, and/or the flower gardens on the property. And I must say, the spiral staircase is quite beautiful.

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Habberstad Bed & Breakfast: This beautiful 1897 Queen Anne Victorian B&B is currently owned by Mark and Elaine Edwards. And this is the spot I decided to stay for an overnight while I was in the area.

The first thing you notice, of course, is the delightful colors of the house. And then the cozy front porch, and finally the old antique door. After ringing the bell to get in, you’ll be welcomed by Miles, the resident Golden Doodle (he’s so sweet) and Elaine, the owner, who will check you in. With a complimentary glass of wine of course. Which was perfect after a long day of driving.

I booked the Heather Suite – For two specific reasons: The view from the room, which looks down into the gardens, and the large bathroom that comes fully stocked with a Jacuzzi tub, a raindrop showerhead, and cozy robes to feel pampered.

The front parlor and the sitting room on the first floor are lovely, with original oak woodwork, a fireplace, and decorated with antiques from another time.

This area, as well as the front porch, are perfect spots to read a book, grab a cup of coffee or tea (complimentary) in the morning, or a glass of wine in the evening.

And let’s not forgot about the lovely fountain in the garden. I loved the bright blue water against the pink flowers along the edges. It made for quite a pretty scene with the B&B in the background.

Alas, my Lanesboro adventure came to an end far too quickly. After a yummy breakfast the next morning with a few of the other guests staying in the B&B, I had to start heading back for the Twin Cities.

Before I said goodbye, I promised Elaine, the owner, that I would be back. Because there was more to do in Lanesboro, the charming little Minnesota town that I had never heard about before, but will recommend now.

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Once I make the trip back, I’ll be sure to update this post so that everything is in one spot. I’m thinking a good time to go back will be in the fall. I’m envisioning beautiful autumn colors as we drive around the Root River Valley. Stay tuned!

Let’s go places,


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What’s your favorite city in Minnesota? Share your recommendations with us in the comment section below.

I have collaborated with Habberstad Bed & Breakfast for this post, but all opinions are mine.

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!

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