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Why vacation in Alexandria, MN? It's only the best vacation spot in Minnesota!

Updated: Apr 25

Sure, I might be bias, but living in Alexandria has it's perks. Not only do we have 1,204 lakes (yes you read that right) but we have state parks, the central lakes walking trail, VRBO's and resorts for the family, a vibrant downtown, golf courses at every turn and the best restaurants, breweries and diners around.

With that said, I want to share what my dream vacation would look like in Alexandria, and if you're on the search for your next vacation spot or day trip, our small town has you covered!

I would book my vacation at Lake Darling Resort

Luxury villa's anyone? I would book my stay here. It's the epitome of TREAT YO' SELF and what better time than vacation to do that. You will love the Lake Darling Resort for a friends get-a-way weekend or a big family vacation! The resort is set on Lake Darling which is a part of the Chain of Lakes in Alexandria, (I'll get into that next) and you are steps away from the Central Lakes Trail and not too far from Brophy Park! Lake Darling Resort has an indoor pool and hot tub, pontoon rentals, kayaks, sandy beaches, rec room...literally you will make this your yearly vacay spot after spending some time here. Then, book a photo session with me and you'll have the best back drop and space for capturing this beautiful time together!

Want to be steps from downtown?

This house is like ' living in your sourdough era' #IYKYK Ok you really don't have to make sourdough while you're here in Alexandria because Jenny & Roscoe from Full Circle Farms got you covered...but if you are looking for a ONE OF A KIND, dreamy, historic estate...look no further than the Starling House. Legit the owners carefully and artfully preserved the Starling House that was built in 1909 and features 9 bedrooms, on the shore of lake Winona and the decor is unreal. Gorgeous. Beyond your wildest dreams. Bonus your are STEPS from downtown Alexandria which would make for such a fun week!! Go ahead, go on and book it!

Best Breakfast Spot, Travelers Inn, Duh.

After a slow morning waking up at the resort, I would head to the most eclectic, vibey spot; Travelers Inn in downtown Alexandria. Pro tip: get their early cuz it's fills up faster than my coffee cup! Travs (you can call it that now, you're basically a local...) is known for it's exceptional service, delicious food and witty Facebook posts. ;) My fav is their breakfast quesadilla and a runner up is their caramel rolls and bottomless coffee! They have a fabulous lunch menu, made from scratch soups and a salad bar that tickles your tastebuds. It's family owned & operated and has been an iconic, Alexandria spot since 1926! Oh, and they also own Nice Juicery just down the block...YUM.

Shop Til' Ya Drop...

Ok you had a good nights sleep, the best breakfast and now it's time to shop the historic downtown in Alexandria to shop! Most stores open at 10am, and it is so fun to be downtown in the summer with all that is going on! A few of my favorites are Creative Touch Boutique, Bazara, Hello Beautiful, Kindred People, The Edge Co. (they have garage doors that open to the street where you can sip coffee, mimosa or a brew!), The Scandanavian Gift Shop, Lulie, Minnesota Market, The Dashery & Yesterdays! After you work up an appetite shopping, stop into La Ferme - the best kept farm to fork eatery in downtown Alex...thank me later.

The Chain of Lakes

If you're not from here, get ready for this...We have a chain of 11 area lakes that span more than 20 miles...and 9 of them can be navigated through channels. Let's just say it's a destination for many in Minnesota, and if you are staying on one of the lakes that make up the chain, let's just say you'll make the sound of the waves your soundtrack for the day. If you're up for a weekend on the water, here is what I would do on the chain, in no particular order:

  1. Head to Le Homme Dieu beach and grab some ice cream and snacks at Trio Treats (bonus there is a public bathroom!)

  2. Zip on over to Zorbaz for a Minnesota Margarita & Nachos as an appetizer...sitting out on the patio of course.

  3. Then, walk across the street to Lure Lakebar for some outdoor music (usually they have an acoustic artist playing the sounds of summer for you to enjoy) while enjoying a lunch of fish tacos, lobster roll or their famous le homme dog. :) #IYKYK

  4. Roll on up to Carlos State Park and dock the pontoon for some hiking around the park and campground. Our state park is 1,232 acres is a mix of hardwood, prairie and coniferous's worth the trip! Oh, and they have public bathrooms at the beach too! lol

  5. The Deck Bar at Arrowwood Resort is a spot to stop at too, it beckons you with it's laid-back charm, scenic views, and the ideal summer ambiance for socializing. The open-air setting lets patrons soak up the beauty of the season, relishing their favorite drinks (Banana Cabana is my fave) and bites in the warm sun and refreshing breeze.

  6. The channel & beach between Lake Carlos and Lake Le Homme Dieu is where 'everyone' parks their pontoons & boats for an afternoon of socializing and fun in the sun. It's like a backyard BBQ on the water and everyone is invited.

  7. House peepin' - ok it's not as creepy as it sounds. Spend some time trollin' the shores of the chain and seeing homes built from 1919-2024 that are beautifully displayed for your own little house lovin' boat parade.

What's for dinner?

After a busy day shopping and on the lakes, I would stop at Fired Up for their Green Olive Burger with fries and smokey ranch dipping sauce, or their Giant Pretzel (the dough is made at our local bakery...Roers is the best, go get donuts there!!) I also love Copper Trail Brewery, stop in to try a locally brewed bevvy, i love their sours and stouts. Pike n' Pint is another MUST STOP restaurant that consistently serves up the best food and ambiance and killer service. If you're in the mood to do some grillin' & chillin' - stop by Lake Country Meats and get the best cuts of meat...they have a little bit of everything in there from specilty cheeses, pies from Country Blossom Farm (oops, you need to go there too with the kids!) and all the little fixins' you might need for a grillin' by the lake vibe.

Book some photos...

I would LOVE to document your family vacay while you are here in my 'neck of the woods!'

Let me capture your family's sun kissed skin against the vibrant summer landscapes of Minnesota. With picturesque lakeshores and charming downtown scenes, your Alexandria vacay offers the perfect backdrop for relaxed and genuine photos. Booking your family photos during your summer vacation also means you'll get your Christmas card photo done 6 months in advance...just sayin'.

I hope to see you around Alexandria this summer!

If you're local and reading this, share your fav things to do in Alexandria...I know I missed so many memory making things BUT I did share my dream vacay must-do's and I want to know what YOU would choose. If you just stumbled across this, I hope you clicked the linked spots and it sold ya' on a trip here! It's easy to get to, and hard to leave.

Love ya!


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6 comentários

Jacki Suchy
Jacki Suchy
18 de jan.

Love the Scandinavian Gift Shop... so many good finds! La Ferme is a can't-miss with their unique flavors and local goodness! ♥ Can't beat Casa Jalisco for the best damn mexican food north of the border. ** and if visitors are in the mood for a little scenic drive, the best brewery in the area is Thousand Lakes Brewery - just a quick drive north to Parkers Prairie!

Respondendo a

Yesss I love Thousand Lakes Brewery too! So many places to visit and see in our area!!


Everyone needs to go and print this out and USE it as their actual freaking itinerary! So many of my favorite places on earth are right HERE at home!

Respondendo a

Seriously could go on and on and plan so many things in our little town!!


This was fun to read!

Missy Jones
Missy Jones
16 de jan.
Respondendo a

Thanks Jordan!! 📸🫶

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