Hastings is a city in both Dakota and Washington counties. It is also on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin and at the confluence of the Mississippi and St Croix Rivers. In 1895, a spiral bridge, designed to slow down horse drawn traffic as it entered town, was built across the Mississippi River. It became a tourist attraction but was torn down in 1951 because it was not suitable for motor vehicles. The varied landscape limited the city's growth and farming potential but has provided opportunities for skiing and wildlife conservation. Vineyards, apples and strawberries do well in the area.
1.Afton State Park
Ten miles from Hastings, on the banks of the St Croix River is Afton State Park. A glacial moraine formed the deep ravines that characterize the park. Very little of the land was arable so minimal rehabilitation was needed to restore the prairie. Sandstone formations, a bluff and old oaks add further interest. Campsites and the shore line are accessible by hiking only. Trails have been laid out for cycling, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. Picnic areas and shelters have been provided. Birdwatching is popular in the diverse terrain. Water and firewood are free.
In December 1963, farmers in the St Croix Valley set aside 300 acres to develop a ski resort. Since then Afton Alps has grown to 50 ski and snowboarding trails, made possible by state-of-the-art snow-making machines. There are 18 chairlifts servicing the slopes. At the landing area, skiers can enjoy light meals from the food truck while they watch the action. There is a dining area and chalets for those who wish to stay over. In milder weather, visitors can play golf or go mountain biking. The facilities are for hire for weddings and other functions.
6600 Peller Ave. S., Hastings, MN 55033, Phone: 651-436-1320
3.Alexis Bailly Vineyard
David Bailly started experimentation with fermentation by making beers, ciders and apple wines. In order to finance regular trips to the European continent, he determined to enter the wine industry. He grew grapes in his yard and researched winter hardy varieties. In 1973 he planted a vineyard and four years later, he and his daughter produced their first commercial vintage wine. The vineyard, “where grapes suffer”, is open Fridays and weekends. Regular wine-related events are held, the highlight of which is the First Wine of the Season in November. There is a shop on the premises and visitors are welcome to bring their bicycles and pets.
18200 Kirby Ave, Hastings, MN 55033, Phone: 651-437-1413
4.William G. LeDuc House
© William G. LeDuc House
William LeDuc was an attorney and a civil war veteran. He was given the land on which the house stands as payment for his legal services. The house, carriage house and ice house designs were chosen from designs in Andrew Jackson Downing's catalog. The house was built in the Carpenter Gothic style and completed in 1866. It was restored and opened to the public in 2005. Events include candlelit tours and a Victorian Holiday Tea in December. The gift shop sells memorabilia. The premises are open for tours from Thursdays to Sundays, from mid-May to mid-October.
1629 Vermillion St, 55033-3139 Hastings, Minnesota, Phone: 651-438-8480
5.Afton Apple Orchard
© Afton Apple Orchard
There are 14 varieties of apples grown at Afton Apple Orchard, along with strawberries, raspberries and pumpkins. Other varieties of fruit are brought in from elsewhere for resale. The picking season starts with strawberries in June and July and continues till October with the apples, raspberries and pumpkins. The Orchard is open 7 days a week in season. There are several fun activities for children, including a Moo Choo train, hay rides, a petting farm, a corn maze and various play areas. The premises are available to hire for weddings and other functions.
14421 So. 90th St. · Hastings, MN 55033, Phone: 651-436-8385
6.Carpenter St Croix Valley Nature Center
The Center is situated at the confluence of the St Croix and Mississippi Rivers and straddles the state line between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The 10 miles of hiking trails takes visitors through prairies and up and down ravines and bluffs. The fauna and flora are equally diverse. The initial parcel of land was made available by Thomas and Edna Carpenter. Their homestead and outbuildings now serve as visitor and interpretation centers. The Center has several school outreach programs in order to raise environmental awareness and provide outdoor experiences. School and family groups are welcome and admission is free.
12805 St. Croix Trail S., Hastings, MN 55033, Phone: 651-437-4359
7.Wiederholt's Supper Club
© Wiederholt's Supper Club
This establishment has been owned and run by the same family since the 1920s. It started as a general store, tavern and filling station. The second generation of Wiederholts added a dining service in 1932, and by the 1960s the restaurant had taken up the entire facility. Excellence has come with continuity and the Supper Club has received several awards for its homely cooking and atmosphere. The family tradition of serving country suppers continues. There are also daily and holiday specials. The lower floor banquet area is for hire for functions. The restaurant is open 7 days a week.
14535 - 240th Street East, Hastings, MN 55033, Phone: 651-437-3528
Lawrence William Yanz opened the Bierstube (beer parlour) bar and grill in 1962, selling bratwurst and beer on tap. Other staples such as grilled steak and garlic bread followed. Larry started to expand his concept but did not live to see the results. His friends and sons have grown the enterprise to include four additional beer parlours in the same vein, at Inver Grove Heights, Oakdale, Red Wing and White Bear Lake. The menu includes German and American food. Each year, an Oktoberfest is held and prizes include a trip to Germany. The restaurants open 7 days a week and there are daily specials to be had.
109 W. 11th Street Hastings, MN 55033, Phone: 651-437-8259
9.Dugarel's Bar and Grill
© Dugarel's Bar and Grill
Dugarel's is named after a place in Mexico. It was established in 2003 and currently opens 7 days a week. There are three menus - the main menu, a lunch menu and a $7 late night menu which is served after 9 pm. There are nightly specials and a range of lagers, ales and ciders to drink with your meal. A large outdoor area and an area with video games, darts and a pool table provide entertainment in all seasons. From Thursday to Saturday there is either a DJ or live music. The monthly Minnesota Meat raffle is held to benefit local charities.
3475 Vermillion Street, Hastings, Minnesota 55033, Phone: 651-480-0003
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9 Best Things to Do in Hastings, MN