Are you a Twin Cities or St Cloud resident who is looking for an excuse to get out of the city? Maybe you are hunting for a reason to get out there and explore your State some more? Possibly, you just don’t know where to go next.
Never fear, Twin Cities Kids Club has the answer to all of that and more; New London! If you are looking for a little bit of that Old New England Charm right here in Minnesota, look no further than New London.
Also known as ‘The City on the Pond’ or the ‘Gateway to the Glacial Lakes,’ New London is one place you sure don’t want to miss. With such amazing offerings like recreational activities, a rich history, shopping, fine art, fine dining, and fantastic community celebrations, New London has a little something for everyone.
New London is an easy, breezy two-hour drive from St. Paul/Minneapolis and an even easier forty-five-minute drive from St. Cloud. It is surrounded by ten lakes which are all less than ten minutes away. So, if you are a fan of water sports or activities, New London is the place for you.
How about shopping and dining? Downtown New London is practically filled to the brim with some of the cutest boutique shops, delectable restaurants, and fabulous artist studios. There is enough here for you to have plenty to do and see, but not too much that it loses its quaint, small-town feel.
While it’s impossible to come to New London and not find something you love doing, how about we make your life easier and give you our list of the Can’t-miss attractions of New London? Check out our tips for road-tripping with kids and head over to New London!
New London Bakery
New London Bakery specializes in bread, buns. Donuts, pastries, bars, cookies, and cakes. They are a community bakery located in the heart of Downtown New London.
New London Bakery is a must-stop for anyone with a sweet tooth. Bring the kids and pick out some delicious baked goods.
Middle Fork Cafe
The Middle Fork Cafe serves fresh, homemade favorites with a gourmet flair. You can always find amazing daily specials as well as some quality classic dishes.
Coffee enthusiasts can rest easy as they offer a full line of espresso drinks. Be sure to save room for dessert too. Their sweets menu is killer!
The Middle Fork Cafe is ideally located on vibrant Main Street. You will be sure to find something to tickle your fancy.
If you love farm to table restaurants, have we got a treat for you. Model Citizen believes in seasonality and sustainability. Located inside the Goat Ridge Brewing Co., their menu is ever-changing and evolving.
If you enjoy a real culinary adventure, you have adventurous taste buds, or you believe that seasonal ingredients make the best meal, you need to become a Model Citizen patron.
In the summer, make sure you make plans to stop at Deep Freeze. This quaint shop is family-owned and perfect for cooling off in the summer. Walk-up or drive through for their delicious treats.
As a bonus, you can get an awesome lunch of BBQ in the process. You don’t want to miss out on Deep Freeze!
Goat Ridge Brewing Co.
At Goat Ridge Brewing Co, you will find good beer, food, and music. They have nine unfiltered craft beers on tap. You will also find house-made sodas for the kids.
Coffee lovers, don’t worry, they haven’t forgotten you. Try the delicious cold-press coffee; you won’t be disappointed.
Glacial Ridge Winery
When you visit Glacial Ridge Winery, you might be in for double the fun. This winery is located in the Jimmy Appleseed Orchard. Depending on the time of year, you might be able to enjoy fresh apples with your wine.
Bring your kids and make a day of it!
Mill Pond Salon
If you live for luxury, Mill Pond Salon is the place for you. Mill Pond Salon is more than just the usual salon. From the second you walk in, you will be blown away by the friendly hospitality and bohemian farmhouse atmosphere.
Here, you will find advanced treatments once reserved for expensive salons only found in big metropolitan centers. Some of the highlights include permanent makeup and malibu treatments.
For all your skin, hair, and beauty needs, Mill Pond Salon is the only place to go.
Sibley State Park
Sibley State Park is one of the top parks in Minnesota. Comprising over 2500 acres, Sibley has something for everyone.
Do you like nature walks? There are walks led by knowledgeable naturalists every day. Do you enjoy water sports? You will find five lakes in Sibley State Park. Pick your favorite activity, from swimming, fishing, boating, and more; you can find it all here.
Glacial Lakes State Trail
The Glacial Lakes State Trail is a fantastic way to witness the unique topography of central Minnesota. The beautiful landscape was created over 10,000 years ago by retreating glaciers.
Here, you will find a prime example of virgin prairie and wetlands, with some scattered woodlands. This pristine wilderness is home to numerous animals, including the majestic whitetail deer. The nature-lover in your group will be thrilled with the sights and sounds.
The water lovers in your group will also discover much to satisfy them here. There are many lakes along the 22-mile paved trail. You will find several rest stops and access points in the towns along the trail if you need a quick break.
Glacial Ridge Scenic Byway
Glacier enthusiasts, yes they do exist, will put the Glacial Ridge Scenic Byway on their Can’t-miss list. This part of central Minnesota was shaped by two massive glaciers, the Wadena lobe and the Des Moines lobe.
Around 30,000 years ago, a massive amount of ice, which was full of tons of rock material, stopped and melted in what is now known as central Minnesota. The resulting landscape is littered with boulders and fascinating rock material shapes.
The lakes that you find in this area are what is left of that ice. It melted and formed the many bodies of water you will find here.
The Glacial Ridge Byway trail is a choose your own adventure. You can tailor-make your trip with your family or friends’ desires in mind. Plan a truly unforgettable day.
Just For Fun
Little Crow Ski Team shows
The Little Crow Water Ski Team puts on a great show. The only catch, the shows only run through the summer months, so you have to be in New London at the right time to see them.
If you can catch one of their shows, though, do it! They are totally worth it. These shows are fun for the whole family and will become a memory you and your loved ones cherish.
As you can see, New London offers a taste of everything. No matter what you are looking for, you can find it here.
There are also a variety of places to stay if you want to make a weekend of it. Check out Dickerson’s Lake Florida Resort, Island View Resort, or Diamond Lake Resort for a fun weekend on one of the beautiful lakes in the area. Of course, there are many hotels and houses for rent, as well.
Don’t forget to join the Twin Cities Kids Club. You will find discounts on activities and destinations and a community of new friends with which to share.