Metro Staycation Trip and Tour Ideas

J. Carver Distillery

Summer is travel season. Friends’ social media accounts fill up with photos from fabulous vacation destinations. But there are plenty of great “staycation” destinations around the metro area. Here are a few spots to check out that aren’t in Edina but are definitely worth the drive for a day trip.

White Bear Lake
For years the Midwest Ski Otters water ski team has been providing family entertainment on Goose Lake in White Bear Lake. With easy access and evening shows on most Sundays in the summer, this is a great reason to make the trek across town.

Go early and check out all of the fun shops in downtown White Bear Lake.

Or stay late and enjoy a lovely dinner at Acqua Restaurant & Bar located right on White Bear Lake’s western shore. There, you’ll enjoy a lakeside view and excellent Italian dishes created by executive chef Chris Whalen. This restaurant is regularly voted as a Best of White Bear Lake finalist in our sister publication, White Bear Lake Magazine.

Southwest Metro
A short drive southwest of Edina will open up a variety of entertainment options. Take a tour of the J. Carver Distillery in Waconia, including visits inside the production facility and barrel room. You’ll learn about the science and art of distilling and the aging process. You can even sample the spirits or a signature cocktail.

Afterward, consider taking in a show at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre where a production of Newsies runs through September. There is also Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret on weekends.

For some low-key afternoon entertainment, take a tour of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum or relax on the quite beaches of Lake Riley or Lake Ann in Chanhassen.

St. Croix Valley
Take a trip across the Miss-a-sip to the breathtaking St. Croix River Valley. You’ll find fantastic shopping and dining in historic downtown Stillwater, riverboat rides or outfitters for canoeing and kayaking as well as scenic parks and hikes.

Travel northeast to St. Croix Falls, Wis., for a tour of the beautiful Chateau St. Croix Winery. Then head over to the Franconia Sculpture Art Park to take in some public art and relax while listening to music in the Earthen Amphitheater.