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Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

Lees Summit
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Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

We will be in Minneapolis the end of July. Looking for some cute towns with good shopping to explore close to Minneapolis--which is where we are staying. Not much in to antiques, however.

Also would like some input on good golf courses around Minneapolis for two guys who are good golfers. Any ideas?

Tennessee
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1. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

Buffalo and Red Wing are both enjoyable.

Stillwater...
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2. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

Stillwater is a nice town. Birthplace of MN. Shops run the gamut from antiques, clothes, knickknacks, to travel, jewelry etc. Lots of restaurants and bars, a brewpub, and a winery.

And it's only 45 minutes from Mpls. On the scenic St. Croix River.

http://discoverstillwater.com/home.php

I am not a golfer, but there are many around. Here is a link to a list of them;

www.golflink.com/golf-courses/state.aspx…

Minnesota
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3. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

Hudson, Wisconsin is just across the river and close to Stillwater so you could do both towns. Make sure you go into the downtown area. Along the freeway on top of the hill it's nothing but big box stores, strip malls, fast food, etc. The "old" part has restaurants, galleries, and shops. Same can be said for Stillwater.

Lots of decent golf courses around. Red Wing has Mississippi National which is well thought of. My favorite by Stillwater is Logger's Trail. A top notch one by Hudson is Troy Byrne.

Saint Paul...
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4. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

Wayzata also has a cute downtown less than an hour away and near the lake. Maybe fewer antiques? Not really a small town - but the Grand Avenue area of St Paul has good shopping and nice bars and restaurants. Pretty much anywhere along the St Croix is nice in July.

Burnsville, MN
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5. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

Another nice small town is Hastings, midway between the Twin Cities and Red Wing.

You might be surprised how hot golf is in Minnesota. It might be due to the fact that sometimes golfers only have 6 months for their favorite game, but not this year. December-February was the only off time this season, and it's going strong in March. You can find a lot of choices by just googling "best golf courses in the Twin Cities,"

Minneapolis...
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6. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

LeesSummit, my wife and I always enjoy New Ulm. Its about an hour west of MLPS on the MInnesota river. It is an old German settlement with a lot of history and a lot of small shops(downtown). The brewery is still going strong(with tours sometimes)and there are a lot of interesting homes to look at. If you are not looking to drive to the country we also like the West End Mall in St. Louis Park. Its new with different shops and plenty of restaurants.

You said you are staying in MLPS. If you have the option of staying somewhere else for a couple of days look at staying in the Brainerd area(2 1/2 hour drive) and you can get stay and play deals at a couple of resorts. I have stayed at Craguns resort and Maddens get good reviews and the courses are some of the best in the USA. Enjoy Minnesota, ziggyppop

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

LeesSummit, if you decide to visit Buffalo, this golf course is great and is located in the country a few miles from Buffalo. Very quiet setting and pretty views. http://www.albionridges.com

Minneapolis...
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8. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

Stillwater does have a reputation for antique shops but there are a lot of other things to do, and it has a pretty good nightlife and restaurant scene.

Also, it puts you in a pretty solid area for choices of courses. Probably the most intriguing to you would be Troy Burne across the river in Wisconsin, with a Tom Lehman-designed course (tho I don't know about availability).

Has a championship course as well and I believe an executive.

Maybe 25-30 minutes from Stillwater. Other courses off the top of my head in the area are Sawmill and Oak Glen. Have not played either.

Of course our most famous course is Hazeltine in Chaska, which is about an hour's drive from Stillwater on the other side of Minneapolis. Several majors have been played there.

I would also second Red Wing, a wonderful river town (like Stillwater) with good access to some good fishing charters and exploration of Frontenac State Park to the south.

Like britphile said, I think you might be surprised how big golf is here for an area that's frozen almost half the year. Lots of great courses here.

Minneapolis...
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9. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

OK, so my post above was under the assumption you were looking for a place to stay, not just explore. If you are staying in Minneapolis (as it clearly says in your post!) then you are open up to the courses on the west side of the metro area (including Hazeltine).

You might think about exploring Excelsior (which you could pair with downtown Wayzata to make a day of it) and perhaps a boat ride on Lake Minnetonka and pull into Lord Fletcher's for a drink or two on the water. Not far from Chaska/Hazeltine.

Edited: 02 April 2012, 14:26
Plymouth, Minnesota
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10. Re: Small towns to explore close to Minneapolis

Just to clarify: Hazeltine is private.

But the Chaska Town course is nearby and from what I hear, pretty darn good. It hosted the US Amateur in 2006, according to their website.

I think you can find great golfing near any shopping area you pick.