Alexandria was settled in 1858 and incorporated as a city in 1909. Since its inception it has been a tourist magnet. Part of its preserved heritage reflects this. The other major historical claim is that Vikings explored the area around the Middle Ages and left artifacts as proof. Alexandria lies on the 55-mile long stretch of the abandoned Burlington North Railroad track that has been paved and made into the Central Lakes Trail, ideal for cyclists, hikers and snowmobiles. Annual events include the Grape Stomp, the Apple Fest and the Vikingland Band Festival. Every season is distinct and has its attractions. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Runestone Museum, Alexandria, Minnesota
© Runestone Museum
When the Runestone Museum opened in 1958, it had one artifact, a Nordic rune stone, carbon dated to 1382. It had been found in 1898 on a farm 15 km away. The museum now has several other Nordic items, dating back to the Middle Ages, that have been found in Minnesota. The Scandinavian Heritage exhibit, includes a replica of a Viking trading ship. Nine historic buildings, including a fort from the Civil War, depict fort life between 1860 and 1910. The children's discovery room encourages learning by playing, dressing up and reenactment. The museum is open 7 days a week in summer and 6 days in winter.
206 Broadway, Alexandria, MN 56308, Phone: 320-763-3160
2.Copper Trail Craft Beer, Alexandria, MN
© Copper Trail Craft Beer
The Copper Trail opened in 2011 after the Surly law was passed in Minnesota which allowed beer to be made and consumed on the same premises. The owners pride themselves on being able to offer patrons fresh beer, 20 feet away from where it was made. The tap list changes frequently and there is an opportunity to tour the brewing facilities. There is seating for 60 people in the bar, lounge and picnic areas with plenty of board and card games to play. Bar snacks and pizzas are available in-house or food can be ordered in from local restaurants. The shop sells beer and branded merchandise. Copper Trail is open 7 days a week.
205 Broadway St, Alexandria, MN 56308, Phone: 320-219-6688
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3.Legacy of the Lakes Museum, Alexandria, Minnesota
© Legacy of the Lakes Museum
This museum was established in 2004, after 10 years of planning, in order to showcase Minnesota lake life, traditions and legacies. The Boat House has an indoor venue where events are held and private groups hold functions. The sumptuous lifestyle of the wealthy summer visitors is one of the exhibit themes. Fishing, including gear from 1800 to the present, legendary catches and guides, is another. Rare wooden boats, more modern fibreglass models and birch bark canoes are on display. The boat show and musical evenings are annual summer events. The gardens with their structures, plantings and walkways, are a recent addition. The museum is open 7 days a week from late in May to the end of October.
205 3rd Ave. W, Alexandria, MN 56308, Phone: 320-759-1114
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4.Things to Do in Alexandria, Minnesota: Central Lakes Trail
This 55-mile long, paved track follows the line of the abandoned Burlington North Railroad corridor through 10 communities, from Osakis to Fergus Falls. It is 14 ft wide with a shoulder on each side, totaling 100 feet. It travels through wooded areas, lakesides, wetlands and farm country. It undulates, allowing for scenic views of the countryside, wildlife and wild flowers. Snowmobiles are permitted on the trail during winter, otherwise no vehicular traffic is allowed. Visitors can spend a couple of hours or a couple of days on the trail. There are restaurants, lodgings and a return bus service at the community stops along the way, and picnic stops and benches in between.
206 N. Broadway, Alexandria, MN 56308, Phone: 320-763-3161
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5.Theatre l'Homme Dieu (TLHD), Alexandria, Minnesota
© Theatre l'Homme Dieu (TLHD)
Since 1961, TLHD has been presenting live theatre and fine art at the north end of Lake l'Homme Dieu. The former resort has a lodge with an industrial kitchen that provides accommodation for 38 people. Almost every week, a new production is brought to the venue. The theatre seats 272 people and is set in 22 acres of thick woodland and lake shores. In summer a music series adds to the attraction. Throughout the year the theatre puts on fundraising events and conducts an education outreach.
1875 County Road 120 NE, Alexandria, MN 56308, Phone: 320-846-3150
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6.Douglas County Historical Society, Alexandria, Minnesota
© Douglas County Historical Society
The Society was founded in 1976. It is housed is in the historic former home of the only foreign-born governor of Minnesota, Knute Nelson, and his family. The house was bequeathed to the Lutheran Church to be used as a care home. In 1985 it was threatened with demolition so it was moved it to its current position on the original homestead land and became the Society's headquarters. The Society focuses on the history and genealogy of the Douglas County. Court records, family genealogy, oral history and business history have been kept. There are slide shows of the history of every village in the county. The museum is open from Monday to Friday.
1219 Nokomis St, Alexandria, MN 56308, Phone: 320-762-0382
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7.Things to Do in Alexandria, Minnesota: La Ferne
© La Ferne
La Ferne is a farm-to-fork restaurant in downtown Alexandria. Ingredients are sourced fresh, in season, from local farmers. There are separate lunch and dinner menus. Meals are cooked from scratch and accompanied by craft beers and an extensive range of wines. Daily specials include 'Fish and sushi on Friday', and multi-course events are held periodically. The atmosphere is rustic and the restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and Thursday to Saturday for dinner. It is closed on public holidays. Cooking classes are offered by Chef Matthews. Group bookings are welcome.
613 Broadway Street, Alexandria Minnesota, Phone: 320-846-0777
8.Depot Express Restaurant and Saloon, Alexandria, Minnesota
© Depot Express Restaurant and Saloon
The Depot Express was formerly known as the Great Northern Railway Depot. It was built in 1907 and purchased in 1984 by Bill Seykora and Ken Neumann who restored and refurbished it. The trail that was formerly the rail track runs right past the front of the building. The venue, with its lake views and laid back atmosphere is popular with hikers, cyclists, students, locals and tourists. The pizzas are renowned and the steaks, burgers and seafood are popular. There are weekly daytime and evening specials and an express menu for those who cannot stay long. The Depot is open 7 days a week and there is a live DJ on weekends.
104 Broadway St, Alexandria, MN 56308, Phone: 320-763-7712
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8 Best Things to Do in Alexandria, Minnesota
- Runestone Museum, Alexandria, Minnesota, Photo: Runestone Museum
- Copper Trail Craft Beer, Alexandria, MN, Photo: Copper Trail Craft Beer
- Legacy of the Lakes Museum, Alexandria, Minnesota, Photo: Legacy of the Lakes Museum
- Things to Do in Alexandria, Minnesota: Central Lakes Trail, Photo: LoloStock/stock.adobe.com
- Theatre l'Homme Dieu (TLHD), Alexandria, Minnesota, Photo: Theatre l'Homme Dieu (TLHD)
- Douglas County Historical Society, Alexandria, Minnesota, Photo: Douglas County Historical Society
- Things to Do in Alexandria, Minnesota: La Ferne, Photo: La Ferne
- Depot Express Restaurant and Saloon, Alexandria, Minnesota, Photo: Depot Express Restaurant and Saloon
- Cover Photo: James Reininger/stock.adobe.com
Venue Spotlight: Carlos Creek Winery
Carlos Creek Winery is situated in the Lake Country of Minnesota, offering a unique venue for weddings. The offers excellent food for weddings of all sizes in both indoor and outdoors event spaces year-round. Located on 160 acres of land, the remarkable natural scenery around the venue offers an excellent backdrop for any wedding, as well as great wedding photo opportunities.
The Carlos Creek Winery specializes in both outdoor and indoor events for wedding ceremonies and receptions, as well as other social gatherings. The venue offers a broad variety of food options that can fit well into any budget or style of dining. The menu for events is paired well with the winery’s award winning wines. The winery prides itself on excellent service, and only hosts one wedding event on any given day in order to provide the best service and most attention to a wedding ceremony and/or reception.
Amenities and Facilities
Anywhere from twenty to four hundred guests can be accommodated at Carlos Creek Winery. Larger weddings of 100 to 400 guests, and more intimate wedding with 20 to 75 guests can be accommodated during the summer months, while weddings of 20 to 300 can be accommodated for elegant winter weddings. The Carlos Creek Winery offers seven different even spaces for outdoor weddings ceremonies and receptions. These include a terrace overlooking the venue’s apple orchards, as well as a natural amphitheater nestled into a hillside surrounded by row upon row of grape vines. The recently renovated winery reception hall offers a unique setting for indoor ceremonies and receptions, featuring rich hues of tans, browns, and reds, along a large stone fireplace and mahogany wood accents.
The Grand Stable Events Center is great for weddings with 100 to 400 guests. It’s the largest event space at Carlos Creek Winery, featuring a true winery atmosphere. Numerous wine barrels, dark wood accents, and a stone fireplace give the space its great setting.
The Wine Tasting Room is best for small to moderate sized weddings, able to accommodate anywhere from ten to one hundred guests. This space offers more of an intimate atmosphere than the Grand Stable Events Center. The Creekside Room at Carlos Creek Winery is the smallest event space, being able to accommodate only ten to fifty guests. This particular space, however, typically isn’t available on Fridays and Saturdays from May until October, making it a better venue for bridal showers or bachelorette groups.
Wedding packages at Carlos Creek Winery include a variety of services. Floral decor inclusions feature a Floral and Design Specialist, flowers for ceremony decor for the aisle and arbor, and floral centerpieces for any style of wedding reception. The winery also provides tables, chairs, linens, and a cake cutting service. Other services include a shuttle service for guests from May through October, a Wedding Coordinator, a winery inspired menu, security, parking attendants, wine barrel decor, and lawn games.
Carlos Creek Winery is located at 6693 County Road 34 NW in Alexandria, is wheelchair accessible, and provides on-site parking.
6693 County Road 34 NW, Alexandria, MN 55101, Phone: 320-846-5443
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