Saturday, December 24, 2011

SOS: The Honeymoon is off -- where can we mini-moon in Minneapolis next week??

Dear ESB,

This last week, I was in a horrible car accident on the way home from picking up my wedding dress. I am lucky to be alive (I have 4 fractures in my pelvis, 2 cracked ribs, and a tear on my liver). We have to decided that the wedding will go on, despite the fact that I will not be able to walk down the aisle on my own (crutches or a walker, not sure which yet).

We also decided that the SUPER FUN honeymoon we had planned for Hawaii, cannot go on. I can't be in a car for that long, and I wouldn't be up for the hiking, snorkeling, & general adventures to be had in the sunshine.

So here's where I'm hoping you (or your readers) can help. Any suggestions for a cool "mini moon" within 2 hours of the Twin Cities, Minnesota? I know it's a long shot, but also worth a try.

Thanks for any help you can provide! And by the way, we're getting married January 1st, so the help is needed ASAP.  :)



I'm so glad you're okay.

I don't know anything about Minneapolis/the Twin Cities, but I'm throwing this out to anyone who does. You deserve a spectacular mini-moon (obvs).

Keep in touch, will you?


Image via Pinterest. Does anyone know who the artist is?


  1. Yikes! Good on you for getting up and hobbling down the aisle. Sorry I can't help with honeymoon suggestions but good luck.

  2. Ohhh! My family used to drive around Lake Superior during the summer and I used to love LOVE the Blue Fin Bay hotel, even as a kid. The condos are AMAZING.

    There are lots of little inns and such in the area, like Surfside on Lake Superior, Temperance Landing and a bunch in and around the towns of Tofte and Two Harbors. Try VRBO and look for vacation rental homes and cabins in the area too. They are all around Duluth which is about 2.5 hours north of Minneapolis.

    How about the Graves or W Foshay in Minneapolis? I have stayed at the W and it was unique and lovely.

    A friend also stayed at the Nicollet Island Inn and loved it. He said it was super romantic.

    Good luck, little lady. Hawaii will wait for you.

  3. Yes, Blue Fin is lovely!

    But I second a nice comfortable hotel in downtown Minneapolis! Looks like there are some good rates these days. Holing up with your honey could be heavenly! There are many good restaurants, a movie theater, the Walker Art Center, and the Weisman Art Museum (which just opened a new Frank Gehry-designed expansion) nearby if you feel up to venturing out. There's also a Target, I think with a pharmacy, downtown in case you need anything practical.

    Best wishes!!

  4. City proper is lovely- but if you want a honeymoonish time, try Stillwater!

    Full of b&B's with room service and lovely views out the window. It's your honeymoon and you want to stay in more than adventure a city, right? :)

  5. i don't know who did that particular mishmash of neighborhoods, but i'm pretty sure it's a copy of this ork poster.

  6. when my husband and i were in still in the throes of having just met we made a little trip up to duluth in february and stayed here: - it was incredibly romantic and had everything you could hope for in a b&b including scrabble since it is so cold out that you won't want to do a lot of sightseeing.

  7. Is driving to Duluth an option? If so, AG Thomson Houseis super romantical and awesome.

    If staying in MSP, St Paul Hotel in St Paul or someplace fancy in downtown MPLS, Graves or something of that sort?

    Go to dinner at La Belle Vie! Get the 10 course tasting menu. It's your honeymoon.

    Stillwater would also be fun and they have lots of B&B's.

    Happy Wedding and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  8. I used to live in Duluth, and it's beautiful there. Bentleyville in Canal Park is a spectacular Christmas-lights display that you can walk through with a mug of hot cocoa and your new husband. There are several really nice hotels and B&Bs to choose from. Good places to eat and drink. The gorgeous lake. And a drive up the North Shore would be breath-taking with the huge ice-shelves that form along the lake.

  9. wow ! scary stuff ! you certainly have a good attitude -- kudos !

    this might be cheesy advice, but maybe check out the 'No Reservations' episode about the Twin Cities. surely Mr. Anthony Bourdain, in all of his booze addled obnoxiousness, will have some good advice.

    Best wishes, and get well soon. :-)

  10. There is a fabulous Russian restaurant in St. Paul called Moscow on the Hill. Excellent martinis and bar selection, delicious food, and the place has a very red, romantic vibe. Perfect for a mini-moon.

  11. Canoe Bay luxury resort is in Chetek, WI which is two hours from Minneapolis. I haven't been, but I am originally from MN and I have heard good things--they have also had a good amount of national press. It looks super romantic--they cater to couples and the resort is adults only. Breakfast is delivered to your room :). It is tres spendy, but maybe since it is close to the booking date and winter you could see if they would be willing to offer a discounted rate?

    Minnesota Monthly Magazine did a great feature this summer on where to stay/eat in lake country.

    Wishing you a fast recovery and a beautiful wedding/mini-moon.

  12. Anyone have a lovely family cabin in MN/WI to offer up to this couple? Someone has got to!

  13. I wish I could offer up our family cabin but it's all closed up for the winter (it's a three season cabin). But there *are* lots of lovely resorts in the area, like the one we were married at:, that would be very romantic, quiet, and peaceful this time of year.

  14. Bluefin Bay has a buy 2 nights get the 3rd free special during January. They have a spa, restaurant, and bakery.

  15. Best wishes and right on for having such a great attitude!

    Thank God you are ok!


  16. In Minneapolis: get a suite at the hotel ivy, have a fab dinner at Porter & Frye, lots of room service, and some spa/relaxation time. Bonus: you can walk around downtown and have a ball.

    In St Paul: Stay at the St Paul Hotel, loads of restaurants and museums around, perhaps have high tea and take in a show. Dinner at Meritage is a must.

    Outstate- try a B&B in Stillwater, Bayfield WI, or Redwing/Winona for a more rural experience. Kind of hit or miss this time of year, but certainly with potential for snuggles by the fire time.

  17. Spider Lake Lodge in Hayward, Wisconsin. It's about a 2.5 hour drive from Mpls.

    Or Burntside Lodge in Ely. A longer drive, but worth it.

  18. The Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN is perfect for a relaxing and beautiful stay. I would recommend this to anyone!

  19. My new hubby and I just got married in Oct. at Bluefin Bay/Surfside in Tofte. We live in Duluth and the hour long car ride up to Tofte is is resort.

    As a thank you for having our wedding there, the resort gave us a gift card for 2 free nights in a honeymoon suite. The suite served us well on our night in October and I'd be more than willing to give you the gift card to use, should you decide Bluefin/Surfside is the place you want to go. From one "Minnesota Nice" bride to another.

    ESB, anyway you can put me in contact with the bride so she can get my gift card should she want to use it?

  20. I second (or fifth?) Bluefin Bay - lovely place. Grand Superior Lodge up the North Shore is pretty too.
    If that's too far to drive, the St. Paul Hotel is fantastic! Top-notch service, high tea, a nice walkable area. Their rooms are lovely. The couple times I've stayed at the SPH, I've felt very spoiled from the wonderful emplyoyees!
    Hudson, WI, is great too. Or Excelsior, MN. Both are a bit like Stillwater, but less well-known. Great restaurants, cute shops.
    Good luck with your wedding and hope you heal quickly!

  21. If you go to Minneapolis, I stayed at the Graves before and found it very nice, but also affordable. The area of town it's in is kinda lame, though.

    Best restaurant: 112 Eatery - yum!

    Walker is incredible. Might be my favorite art museum in the States.

  22. Friend, stay at a gorgeous lovely B+B or hotel, I don't care...

    ...just eat at Saffron. So F-ING TASTY, so romantic, such a lush interior.

    Just saying, when I went there, we had the best of all possible cocktails and some cream sherry and mindblowing sex in the hotel later.

  23. I second the rec for Spider Lake Lodge, I know they tend to be all booked up pretty far in advance but it's a really lovely place. We stayed there last January and loved it. Also, you should totally eat at 112 eatery. It's off the chain. Another favorite of ours is restaurant alma.

    Also, I've ALWAYS wanted to stay at the covington inn
    It's a floating b & b! (as in a ship!)

  24. check out this slightly dated but amazing design sponge city guide:

    Definitely stay at: nicollet island inn downtown. best brunch in town, cozy, splurge on the king size bed. Super comfy.

    For cute little boutiques you can't beat the Linden Hills area: 44th St & Upton, 50th & France. You can shop to your hearts content!

    Take in a show at the Guthrie downtown minneapolis or 1st Ave & 7th St entry. The Walker Art Museum can't be beat either.

    Really you can't go wrong in the twin cities. Also, has never steered me wrong for restaurants. I could list about 20 restaurants but it's so much easier to check out citypages! Good luck!!

  25. Adding my two cents to the above suggestions. Blue Fin Bay is amazing, if you can handle the car ride. It is an hour north of Duluth. The condos have a gorgeous view of Lake Superior and are designed for you to stay inside and relax. They have fireplaces and are stocked with firewood, board games, books, dvds, and relaxing cds. It was the most relaxing and romantic weekend my husband and I have ever had.

    Stillwater is also amazing, although it's very hilly so mobility might be a problem. It's scenic and quaint. If you love books and used bookstores, YOU MUST GO. It's the first Booktown in the US. There are also excellent bars, beautiful views of the river, tons of homemade fudge, and ice cream.

    If you're staying in the Twin Cities, the Saint Paul Hotel is excellent. Go to W.A. Frost. If you go to 112 Eatery, get the fried gnocchi. It's insanely good. I prefer the A.V. Club to City Pages.

    Warm wishes to you as you get married and heal from your car crash!

  26. ESB: The poster is by Ork Posters. She's awesome, based in Chicago (her Chicago was the first one she made). Her website has lots of rad things.

  27. Melissa in MinneapolisDecember 30, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    I am on the stay-in-downtown-Minneapolis train. The Graves, The Ivy, the W, the Westin - you can't go wrong. Go grab a coffee one morning on St. Anthony Main and walk across the Stone Arch Bridge - it's gorgeous. Once across the bridge walk up to the Guthrie Theatre and up the looong escalator to the Endless Bridge - stunning views. Also, eat at 112 Eatery, Bar La Grassa, Saffron or Travail (in a first ring suburb but I'm telling you it's probably one of the best meals I've ever eaten and I LOVE food). I am assuming the wedding is soon and if you are in town now hopefully you are enjoying the unseasonably warm temps. Good luck :-)

    PS - So funny you posted a pic of the Ork Poster. We saw some on display at The Low Brow in South Minneapolis this summer and asked the owner where they were from. Then, last week my fiance gave me a couple for our anniversary not knowing I had already ordered him some for Christmas, ha.

  28. Melissa in MinneapolisDecember 30, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    Oh and a great local food-loving website is

  29. I think @cevd is right, though. this is an etsy knock-off of the Ork.

  30. I'm rather late, have you considered the Wisconsin Dells? We're having a heatwave here, but generally the waterparks in the Dells provide a nice respite from winter.

  31. I agree with Duluth or a bit further away is Bayfield WI which is beautiful and there are easy day trips to Madeline Island from there. Also Stillwater was another great suggestion. There are lots of little fun towns all around all along the boarder of WI and MN that have some great views of the river.