By Brian Fischer   |   July 19, 2020  
unique places to stay in mn weekend getaways

Unique Places to Stay in MN: Getaways

Unique Places to Stay in MN: Weekend Getaways

Northern Rail Traincar Suites: Two Harbors, MN

Zoom Image Stay the night in a train car at Northern Rail
Train Car Suites in Two Harbors, MN.

Zoom Image The renovated train cars still include
original features – like the graffiti.

Upper Sioux Agency State Park, Granite Falls, MN - Tipi Camping

Zoom Image On the prairie, plan a weekend
stay in an authentic tipi.

Upper Sioux Agency State Park, Granite Falls, MN

Zoom Image Upper Sioux Agency State Park is an ideal
spot to enjoy the MN prairie.

Zoom Image The state’s first lighthouse is now a unique
weekend getaway in Two Harbors, MN.

Zoom Image Check in to jail – literally – at the
Wykoff Jail Haus Inn.

Moonstone Farm, Montevideo, MN

Zoom Image Spend a weekend on a working farm
at Moonstone Farm Stay.

Among Minnesota’s many Weekend Away destinations are unique places to stay. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, try one of these five stays on your next Weekend Away.

Train Car: Northern Rail Traincar Suites, Two Harbors
Stay the night in a renovated train car in Two Harbors, on Minnesota’s North Shore. The inn’s 18 suites are all built out of authentic boxcars that have been renovated into themed rooms.

“The suites have the original boxcar ceilings, and the inner walls facing the hallway still have the original markings that were on the cars,” said Angela. “Even the graffiti is still here! The rooms maintain as much of the original boxcar as possible, but still offer the full comfort of a suite.”

King or queen-bed rooms include full bathrooms. Some suites also have sleeper sofas and electric fireplaces for a cozy stay.

“Who wouldn’t want to stay they stayed the night in a boxcar?” said Angela. 

Tipi: Upper Sioux Agency State Park, Granite Falls
Near Granite Falls, Upper Sioux Agency State Park offers one of the state’s most unique stays. Here, spend the night in a real tipi overlooking the waving grasses and prairie bluffs.

The park has three tipi sites for rent, so plan early to reserve your preferred day. The 18-foot diameter tipis are built to mimic authentic Native American tipis and are placed on the edge of the prairie on the park’s Yellow Medicine Campground.

Inside, a wooden platform keeps tipi guests of the ground. It’s best to bring a sleeping mat or cot for a more relaxing stay. Outside, the campsite includes all of the typical park amenities like a fire ring and a picnic table.

Upper Sioux Agency State Park offers an opportunity to learn about our early state history and the lives of Native Americans who call the land home for thousands of years. Experience a glimpse of that history by spending the night in a tipi. 

Lighthouse:  Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast, Two Harbors
The first lighthouse in Minnesota was built in 1892 on the cliffs at Two Harbors to help guide ore ships to shore. With the help of that small beacon, Two Harbors became a major international shipping harbor. The original lighthouse was built with living quarters to house U.S. Coast Guard members, who operated the lighthouse until 1981.

Today, the lighthouse continues to flash in 20 second intervals. Now privately owned, the same living quarters U.S. Coast Guard lived in has now been converted into one of the state’s most unique bed and breakfasts.

The Lighthouse offers four guests rooms with a shared bathroom, plus a detached guest house on the property called the Skiff House that includes a private bath. Most importantly, the Lighthouse offers spectacular views from the shore of Lake Superior. Check in for a unique North Shore Weekend Getaway.

Jail House: Jail Haus Inn, Wykoff
Believe it or not, Minnesota is home to three different jail house inns. But the one in the tiny town of Wykoff, near Lanesboro, is especially distinct.

Built in 1913, the old Wykoff town jail is now a two-room inn, including a queen sized bed, plus two of the original jail cell bunks – complete with the bars! But don’t worry, you won’t be served breakfast on a tray at this inn. Enjoy breakfast the next morning at nearby Gateway Inn. The jail inn also comes with full bath.

This jail house in southern Minnesota may just make you want to spend a night in jail!

Farm House: Moonstone Farm, Montevideo
In Montevideo, stay the weekend on a working farm at Moonstone Farm. A growing number of travelers are seeking out opportunities to reconnect with nature and with a simpler way of life. Farm stays provide that kind of escape.

At Moonstone, guests can stay in the one room “broodio” – a former chicken brooder that was first converted to an art studio before it became a cottage. Guests are invited to participate in farm chores (but don’t worry, you’re not required to!).

During the day, experience life on the 240-acre organic farm. The farm raises free-range chickens, grass-fed beef and even has a small vineyard. An on-site farm store sells products from the farm like beef, as well as locally made cheese and other products.

“People come here to get away from the busy city life,” said Audrey Arner, owner of Moonstone. “They’re cherishing more of what’s in their own backyard and not traveling so far anymore. And they’re finding a lot of value in solitude and quite. We hope we can help them do that – help them get back to the land.”





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