Hotel at a Glance: The Outing Lodge
Before it was a bed and breakfast, The Outing Lodge was a prize-winning dairy farm. Built in 1858 amid 360 acres of forests and rolling hills near Stillwater, Minnesota, the main brick building on the property has since been beautifully restored. Inside are seven enormous fireplaces, exposed fir beams, and wide-planked pine floors that are a century old. Near the property, 18 miles of paved paths crisscross the landscaped grounds, including a path that stretches all the way to St. Paul. The property also has 5 miles of dirt trails that can be used for horseback riding.
- Celebrity status: Guest rooms are named for famous people, and some include fireplaces and jetted tubs; the Pablo Picasso room also has a three-season sun porch.
- Included breakfast buffet: Head to the dining room to enjoy items such as pastries, cheese, and eggs.
- Art-studio package includes a two-hour open art session for two with a glass of wine and a cheese plate. Art sessions begin at 3 p.m. on the first day of your stay. This package is included in your Groupon.
- Curl up with a book on a couch by a 7-foot-wide fireplace in the knotty-pine-paneled library.
- Resident canine: a friendly chocolate lab named Choco
Stillwater, Minnesota: Historic Territory Town near the Twin Cities
Downtown Stillwater, Minnesota, dates back to 1848, making it one of the oldest towns in the state. Many of its 19th-century buildings are still standing—more than 100 restaurants and shops line the downtown, tucking into what were once brick factories and warehouses. Nearby, steamboats chug down the St. Croix River, which forms the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin.
In the nearby Twin Cities—about 18 miles away—the paved Gateway State Trail is a popular choice for bicyclists and stretches from Pine Point Regional Park into St. Paul. Neighboring Minneapolis is more than just the geographic epicenter of the city; it’s the cultural heart, too. Sports venues for the Timberwolves, Vikings, and Twins are neighbors to the lively nightclubs of the Warehouse District and the neon-lit marquees of the Hennepin Theatre District.
In recent years, the city’s arts scene has gotten a lot of attention, and for good reason: Minneapolis has more live theater shows per capita than any other US city except New York. Additionally, dozens of eclectic galleries complement the wide-ranging exhibits at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which showcases everything from Japanese woodcut prints to turn-of-the-century European advertisements.