Take a Little Trip: Northfield, Minnesota


Northfield, you sly little fox, you.  Where did you come from, where have you been hiding, and why are you so stinkin’ cute?!

A couple of weeks ago, I took my mom and my seven-month-old son to Northfield to shop, get fresh air, and to take in the charm of this small – but not so small – town.  First of all, I love that the drive from Rochester is perfect for my son’s napping schedule and for my sanity.  Not too long and not too short.  Second of all, I love that you drive right into the main drag: Division Street, which is likely my new favorite small town main street.  Division Street has free two-hour parking, which is very convenient for heavy shoppers of unnecessary items, like myself.

A Trip Down Division Street in Northfield, Minnesota

The highlights of Division Street (in my opinion) are, as follows:

Stop #1: Goodbye Blue Monday Coffee House (319 Division St S)

goodbye blue monday coffee, northfield, northfield minnesota coffee, take a little trip, rochester mn moms blog day tripGoodbye Blue Monday is an adorable coffee shop that resembles an ice cream parlor, but with plenty of comfortable and intimate seating options.  It was busy, but not terribly loud, making it a very relaxing yet social environment.  I could see myself spending hours upon hours here.  And of course I love the signage.

Stop #2: Tagg 2 (314 Division St S) Tagg 2, northfield, northfield minnesota shopping, take a little trip, rochester mn moms blog day tripLOVE Tagg 2!!!  Just when you think the sign couldn’t get any cuter, try walking into the store.  I almost died.  I wanted everything I laid my eyes on.  This boutique carries everything from adorable baby clothes and items to unique gifts and clothing.  I bought my husband a t-shirt, some sunglasses for my son, a ceramic bowl for my friend, and my mom bought a puzzle for my daughter.  I loved all of the colors and patterns in this store and cannot wait to return.  It is, hands down, one of my favorite stores in ALL of Minnesota.

Stop #3: The Sketchy Artist (300 Division St S) sketchy artist, northfield, northfield minnesota art, take a little trip, rochester mn moms blog day tripThis art store carries a whole lot more than art supplies and if I hadn’t had my son with me, I would have spent hours sifting through everything.  My favorite part of the store is an ode to Japantown in San Francisco – think Hello Kitty’s deranged cousins.  Lots of great stationary and fun pens and pencils.  This shop also carries unique gift items and is absolutely on my list of stores to return to (sans child in tow).

Stop #4: Content Bookstore (314 Division St S)  content bookstore, northfield, northfield minnesota bookstore, bookstores in minnesota, take a little trip, rochester mn moms blog day tripThere is nothing I love more than independent bookstores and this one showcased some great items right at the front of the store.  I totally judged the above book by its cover (no brainer) and snatched it right up for the coffee table that doesn’t exist due to child proofing.  In all seriousness, this book store is adorable AND independent.  Nothing is better than that.

Stop #5: Tandem Bagels (317 Division St S) tandem bagels, bagel shop in northfield, northfield minnesota restaurants, take a little trip, rochester mn moms blog day tripI loved this adorable little bagel store.  It’s almost as if you’re walking into Chip and Joanna’s living room, and honestly, who can pass up an energy bomb with chocolate chips in it?  Not me.  And it was yummy.  I love the logo too and could easily be convinced to purchase a coffee mug and/or other Tandem Bagels adorned items just for the sake of it.

Beautiful scenery in Northfield… Cheaper than Division Street!

So, clearly we spent most of our time on Division Street (did I mention the quaint little green space on Division Street where we ate our lunch?!).  However, on our way home, we drove up to St. Olaf, and I’m so glad we did.  I had completely forgotten just how beautiful the campus is and how nice (and less expensive) it would be to stroll its grounds on our next visit.  I also noticed a lot of parks and trails in and around Northfield, making it a very family-friendly destination.

Northfield is beautiful.  The old homes, the neat architecture, the river, the small independently owned stores and boutiques (I could go on) all work together in creating a downtown atmosphere that feels homey, artistic and loyal to its people.  I absolutely loved our day visit to Northfield and cannot wait to return.

Heeeeeeeello, Northfield in the Fall.  I bet you are beautiful.

{Throughout the summer, Rochester MN Moms Blog contributors have been sharing their best day-trip ideas to help you find local fun, good eats, and places to play for your kids.  For other posts in the series, please click here.}