Romantic Victorian-Style Lodgings in Small River Town
Husband-and-wife innkeepers Dick and Pam Thorsen have a knack for giving old objects a new lease on life. After they bought and renovated the Thorwood Inn, a century-old Second French Empire building, they saved another 19th-century home just a few blocks away from demolition. They revamped that one with marble recycled from Minneapolis's Sheraton-Ritz Hotel.Today, these sister properties exist as Thorwood Condos and Classic Rosewood Inn and Spa; the condominiums here feature luxurious guest rooms and are within walking distance to downtown Hastings and just a half hour’s drive from Minneapolis-St. Paul.
All Rosewood rooms have a two-person whirlpool and wood-burning fireplace, but each has its own distinctive decorative scheme. The St. Croix room is dressed up with Victorian-style decor, deep-teal hues, and lace accents. In the Solarium room, a wall of glass windows stretches to the ceiling above an iron canopy bed entwined with faux grapevines. The windows let in ample sunlight and look out to the Hastings Bridge. The Thorwood building's penthouse condo is roomier; it boasts two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and three fireplaces.
Each morning at The Rosewood Inn property, there’s a full breakfast spread made with local, organic ingredients. In the past, the spread has included Minnesota wild-rice quiche, sour-cherry buttermilk muffins, decadent french caramel-apple pudding, and fresh fruit. Feel free to eat in the antique-laden dining room, the library, parlors, private tables or have the staff deliver breakfast to your room in a basket. Throughout the day, you can also snack on an unlimited supply of ice cream and homemade cookies. The chefs can prepare a gourmet dinner for two for a nominal fee.
The penthouse condo option does not include breakfast.
Hastings, Minnesota: Small-Town Charm and Majestic River Scenery Just Outside Minneapolis-St. Paul
The tiny town of Hastings is situated about a half hour south of Minnesota's Twin Cities, overlooking the Mississippi River. Downtown, the streets are lined with historical Victorian buildings that now house antique shops, galleries, and a candy shop that sells handmade chocolate truffles.
Fall is a great time to come to Hastings; many visitors take hikes or bike rides along the Hastings loop to see brilliant autumn leaves on oak trees. The 15-mile trail meanders through the downtown area, past rocky gorges along the Vermillion River, and over a wooden bridge that leads to the brink of Vermillion Falls. Just north of Hastings, Afton State Park rests along the St. Croix River, and you can rent fishing poles and tackle onsite.
For a change of pace, take the easy drive up to Minneapolis-St. Paul. The famous Twin Cities are home to such attractions as the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Minnesota Zoo, which is open year-round. A little farther north, in Bloomington, you can visit the Mall of America, a massive shopping complex with more than 400 stores, a giant aquarium, and Nickelodeon Universe, an indoor amusement park that features roller coasters, bumper cars, and costumed Nickelodeon characters.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.