Crooked Creek Retreat is a place tucked away in the valleys forged by the St. Croix River in Hinkley, Minnesota. In route to this secluded space in the woods, travelers will pass by St. Croix State Park, Minnesota’s largest state park with over 34,000 acres to explore. The drive is an hour distance from the Twin Cities and just a short jaunt from Duluth and Wisconsin.
Located just 4 miles out from Grand Marais, one of Minnesota’s North Shores most revered towns is Água Norte. A short jaunt up Highway 61, it’s the perfect distance from your favorite beer at Voyaguers Brewery to the ten acres of evergreens that surround this tiny timber frame cabin. It’s a coastal drive you’ll want to take slowly as it shows you just a taste of what Minnesota truly has to offer.
Just past your slew of rural farm land in Central Wisconsin is a quaint little village called Nelsonville. Situated near by is the villages historical Rising Star Mill, post office, local town shops, and Ruby Coffee Roasters is a homestead with a pulse on the local community and a mission that offers all travelers an inclusive stay in rural America.
Driving up and along the scenic North Shore, one will pass through one small town to the other, one State Park to the other until you reach one of Minnesota’s most revered small towns, Grand Marais. Bending roads running deep into the north woods lead you up and away from the towns Lake Superior shores to Hungry Hippie Hostel where Superior’s views are admired by travelers from above.
Fewer folks make the final trek of 17 miles past Lutsen to make it to the far-going Lake Superior harbor village of Grand Marais. A rural community known as the gateway to the Gunflint Trail, a trail that leads adventurers and moose seekers to the Boundary Waters Canoes Wilderness Area.
Beloved for its scenery, donuts and folksy art vibe, this Midwestern up north beach town is home to artists, adventurers and those seeking a dose of their favorite Minnesota getaway town. Planting his roots and timber posts in this North Shore community, world renowned Arctic Explorer Lonnie Dupre invites travelers to stay in his one his many hand built cabins.
Spanning across southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and northwestern Illinois are foothills of cornfields and broad green valleys known as the Driftless Area. A progressive current pervades the area, marked by ethical farming practices, farm-to-table cafes, craft breweries and Luther College, the folksy charm that runs through Decorah Iowa sets the tone for ones arrival at The Pepperfield Project.
A pass by of rivers and creeks, reserves and parks, one will find their way six miles west outside of Viroqua in Vernon County, Wisconsin as they make their way along a scenic ridgetop that leads you to the Garden Cottage. Located in the Driftless Area, the destination fits the bill for life in the rolling hills surrounded by its known concentration of organic farms and Amish communities. Its central location makes it convenient for all those traveling from Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.
If you travel far west with the winds from Chicago to a town called West Dundee comprised of pastoral views mixed with suburban conveniences, you will have nearly arrived at Springbird. Tucked away in a pocket of woods past farms, lakes and rivers is Springbird.
Surrounded by rolling farmlands and open road, a drive to Fairfield, Iowa feels as timeless as an American Gothic painting, which can be recreated at the house itself located a few short miles out from Fairfield. Set outside just 2 miles north of the charming Fairfield Square, the Sweetwater Guesthouse sits on 15 acres amongst organic farms and the Sustainable Living Education Coalition campus.
Driving up and along the scenic North Shore is like traveling through Narnia or an open world role-playing video game; where as a traveler you're truly living the role of your character. With every bend in the road, it's majestic, it's a quest through lush forests, open waters, and small rural towns. The journey north leads you to Kah-Nee-Tah cottages in Lutsen, Minnesota, a refuge amongst the tall trees of Lake Superior.
Travel along miles of verdant farmland where electrical lines come and go as you pass in and out of Amish communities. As you arrive closer to the farm, you will pass one-room schoolhouses, decaying barns, and large scale commercial farms, all that make-up the beauty of the landscape. The rural community of Brantwood, Wisconsin was settled in the late 1890's as a logging community, a true gateway into a Palmquist stay experience.
As you make your way northwest of Duluth, Minnesota in route to Biwabik, you will experience the area known as the "iron range", which has long been valued for it's rich ore deposits. Roads leading to Green Gate are lined with dense forests, rolling hills and ridges. A quick pass through the Bavarian themed-town, your trip will lead you into the enclave of Green Gate Guest Houses.
Pass through river communities, towns and cities along the picturesque drive comprised of state wildlife areas, nature preserves and river bluffs. Arrive at Trade River Retreat Center in Grantsburg, Wisconsin by following a short curved driveway back into an isolated sanctuary lined with tall trees and a flowing river.
A few miles past the bluffs of St. Croix and into the rolling hills of western Wisconsin sits an active farmhouse that serves as a hub for regeneration, education and celebration. Stepping out onto the grounds of Lily Springs puts you at the heart of what makes up the Midwest, a composition of woodlands, wetlands, open fields, and a lake.
Spanning across southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and northwestern Illinois are foothills of cornfields and broad green valleys known as the Driftless Area. Travel back into a place where wagon tracks are not uncommon, dirt roads lead you home and where expansive blue skies meet the hills of Decorah Iowa, home of Fern Hollow Cabin.