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Get Outta Town!: 48 hours in Alexandria

Summer is all about weekend getaways to Lakes Country. Here’s our guide to the perfect 48 hours in Alexandria

Photos provided by Explore Alexandria

The Alexandria, MN Lakes area is home to more than 350 lakes, plus shopping, dining, museums and the state’s largest winery! For a wide variety of activities and events, Alexandria is a safe bet for a full weekend of fun.

Friday

3 p.m. – Check-in
Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center has a variety of housing options, depending on what kind of weekend you want and whom you are bringing along with you. Choose from guest rooms or a full townhome or cottage if you’re bringing a larger party, or just want your space (hello honeymoon cottage!) At Arrowwood, you can enjoy a whole weekend without having to leave the resort (although we do recommend you explore the whole town.) From golf at their 18-hole Atikwa Championship Golf Course to their indoor Big Splash Waterpark to their Darling Reflections Spa, they have it all.

5 p.m. – Dine on the Water

With as many lakes there are in Alexandria, there are almost as many restaurant patios. Watch the sun begin to set over the water and enjoy some dinner in the breeze. On the grounds of Arrowwood Resort is the Deck Bar & Grill’s beautiful and spacious patio. In the summer there is often live music on the patio, too, so before you dine, check and see if there will be entertainment alongside your meal.
7 p.m- Begin your SKÅL Crawl
Celebrate the start of your weekend by starting your official Alexandria crawl! Join in on the “SKÅL Crawl,” Minnesota’s first wine, liquor and beer trail, featuring Carlos Creek Winery, Panther Distillery and Copper Trail Brewery. Start your crawl at Copper Trail Brewing and purchase your $15 pass, which includes $2 off each location’s sampling, a tasting glass and t-shirt. This pass can be used over any period of time, so we suggest starting at the brewery on your first night, since it is open until 11 pm, whereas the other two locations close at 6 p.m.
Deck Bar & Grill at Arrowwood, photo provided by Explore Alexandria Tourism

Saturday

10 a.m.- Tour the waters
Rent a boat from the resort marina and explore the Chain of Lakes. Start at Lake Darling (where the resort is) and make your way around to Lake Carlos, Lake Le Homme Dieu, Lake Geneva and Lake Victoria.If you want to try your hand at fishing, Lake Darling’s clear waters are full of walleye, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, northern, and more. Bring your own supplies, or rent them from the resort. For a more structured adventure, contact one of the area’s many fishing guides to show you the ropes of the local waters.
1:30 p.m.- Dock up for Lunch
Once you’re feeling warm from the sun, dock up and have lunch at one of the many lakeside bars and restaurants, like Zorbaz or the brand new Lure Lakebar, both on Lake Le Homme Dieu.
3 p.m. – Dry off and Get Shopping
It’s never good to spend TOO much time in the sun. After a full morning on the water, take to dry land for some shopping. Alexandria’s downtown is full of enchanting shops and unique finds. Score some antiques at Yesterday’s upscale collection or explore three levels of treasures at Now & Then Antiques. Shop more modern findings at Kindred People or Flourish Boutique, and even find cute goods for the kids at Little Darlings Children’s Boutique.
photo provided by Explore Alexandria Tourism

5:00 p.m. – Dinner is Served
The Garden Bar on 6th is downtown’s best spot for fresh and healthy dining. This restaurant’s colorful dishes range from a Mediterranean Zucchini Saute to Center Cut Sirloin to Falafel Medallions. Compliment your meal with one of their many signature cocktails. Their Lavender Lemondrop or Cucumber & Elderflower Gimlet are just refreshing enough for a warm summer’s day.

7:30 p.m. – Catch a Show
Drive about 12 minutes north of downtown to support local theater with the 59th season of shows at Theatre L’Homme Dieu. Their Summer 2019 season includes Bright Star (June 25-30), Shapeshift (July 9-13), Til Death: A Marriage Musical (July 16-20), Kevin Kling (July 23-27) and The Church Basement Ladies in You Smell Barn (August 6-10). Break a leg!

Sunday

8 a.m.- Begin the Day Downtown
Start your day off right with breakfast at Alexandria’s oldest eating establishment, Traveler’s Inn. After filling up, walk over to Broadway to see the famous 28 foot tall “Big Ole” statue guarding the shores of Lake Agnes in Big Ole Central Park. It’s not a trip to Alexandria without saying “hi” to the town’s largest Viking!

10 a.m. – Bike the Trail 

Head over to Jake’s Bikes to rent some wheels to cycle the famous Central Lakes Trail. Enjoy the trail and even bike down to Kensington Runestone Historical Marker for some local history. This trail spans from Fergus Falls to Osakis and was built on an abandoned railroad line, so the paved path is flat and passes through some beautiful landscapes.
photo provided by Explore Alexandria Tourism

12 p.m.- Down to Earth Lunch
After you’ve gone your desired route on the trail, circle back to downtown to return your bike and grab some lunch. The Depot Express is a designated National Historical Site nestled in a former train depot. Sit inside the old station or on their ivy-covered patio to watch the cyclists on the trail.

2 p.m. – Beach and Brews
Spend some of the afternoon soaking up in sun at one of the many public beaches. Before leaving town, be sure to stop by Copper Trail Brewing to use your punch from your SKÅL Crawl and pick up some cans to take back home.


Plan Your Trip

Any weekend you choose is going to be a good time, but if you’re looking for a specific event going on in town, here are a few events to catch:

Ole Oppe Fest 2019, May 25

Kick off Summer officially with some Memorial Day weekend festivities. Join in for sidewalk sales downtown, live music, food, activities, a wing competition, beer garden and more!

Awake the Lakes Ribfest, June 29
Great food. Live music. Beer Garden. Fireworks…and more! This annual fest is one that locals and visitors alike enjoy celebrating.

Big Ole SUP-athon 2019, July 13
The Big Ole SUP-athon is a charitable paddleboard/canoe/kayak festival promoting paddling on Alexandria’s Chain of Lakes and the Long Prairie River. With multi-lake courses of 6, 12 or 26 mi, and river courses of 8 and10 mi, this event has a bit of something for everyone.

Carlos Creek Winery 20th Anniversary Bash, July 28
Alexandria staple, Carlos Creek Winery, celebrates its 20th year in business with wine and plenty of fun. Lawn games, drink specials, live music, a bonfire and more can all be expected.

Alexandra Martin

Written by Alexandra Martin

Alexandra Martin is the editor of Fargo Monthly. She hails from Huntsville, Alabama, but graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri with a degree in Fashion Communications. When she's not in the office, she is busy taking care of her small zoo of pets, cooking up vegetables, or listening to true-crime podcasts.

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