Lanesboro, MN


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Lanesboro is a charming town with its downtown listed on the National Register of Historic Places, nestled against river bluffs, with the Root River running right by it. It's an ideal destination for people who want to get away from it all and relax--whether your idea of relaxation is browsing through boutiques, enjoying a glass of wine at a bed-and-breakfast, or kayaking or biking along the river. The residents are friendly and welcoming, and the restaurants better than average.

Must see in Lanesboro
The Root River is one of the big draws here, and the Root River Trail that goes along it is great for bikes and hiking. The main street of Lanesboro is full of small shops and art galleries. Stroll through the residential area to see the old Victorian houses, many of which are bed-and-breakfasts now.

Where to stay in Lanesboro
Lanesboro calls itself the "bed-and-breakfast capital of Minnesota," and with good reason. There are several historic homes that host guests within walking distance to Lanesboro's main street, and there are even more a short drive away. There is also a more traditional hotel right on the main street, and larger-scale resorts outside of town that would work well for families. There are also a number of campgrounds in the vicinity.

Best and worst time to go to Lanesboro
Summer and fall are prime seasons for visiting Lanesboro, as the trees are first vividly green, then turn to fall colors, making any expeditions along the river wonderfully scenic. If you can travel midweek, all the better--you'll miss the larger crowds that arrive on the weekends. The winter months are less scenic, and although there is still outdoor recreation, some of the shops and cafes may be closed or have limited hours.

Where to get lost in Lanesboro
Lanesboro is small enough that getting lost isn't much of a possibility, but it's a town that's thoroughly enjoyable to wander around. Meander along the main street and off into the residential areas, or along the Root River.

The best deal in Lanesboro
Lanesboro's Commonweal Theatre is a professional theater with several live performances each season, and at a much lower cost than you'd pay in the Twin Cities for comparable quality.

Transportation in Lanesboro
You'll need a car to get to Lanesboro, but once there, you can walk or bike to most everything the town has to offer. There is no public transportation.

Getting in from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport
You'll need a rental car to travel from the airport to Lanesboro.

Local tip for visitors to Lanesboro
The Lanesboro Historical Museum may be small, but it has some interesting items, including Buffalo Bill memorabilia. It's a good stop on a bad-weather day.

Amy C. Rea is the author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer's Guide, and Backroads & Byways of Minnesota. Her third book, Camping Minnesota, comes out in 2016.