The school year has ended, signaling the start of summer (even if the calendar does not agree). That means it’s time to take advantage of all the opportunities to enjoy the resources our great state provides.
Gas prices have drifted downward from some of the spikes we’ve had the last couple of years, making it even easier to get out and check out various statewide events and points of interest:
? Split Rock Light Station in Two Harbors is one of Minnesota’s best known landmarks and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this summer. In addition to simply taking in the North Shore’s beautiful scenery, you can climb the lighthouse, take a hike, hear the foghorn, see photo displays and artifacts, and create a one-of-a-kind hat that’s also a 3-D lighthouse diorama. More information – including trip-planning tools - is available at http://www.mnhs.org/places/sites/srl/index.htm.
? Living History Day at the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site in Little Falls will be June 26, July 24 and Sept. 4. Visitors will see how tenants performed much of the work on the Lindbergh family farm a century ago, from 1901 into the 1920s. Check out this Web site for more: http://events.mnhs.org/calendar/Results.cfm?EventID=4208&CFID=19014325&CFTOKEN=53675710.
? The Nooks and Crannies Tour will allow you to take a behind-the-scenes look at the historic James J. Hill House in St. Paul. The guided tour will allow you to explore the back staircases, dust chutes, silver vault and more on this 90-minute excursion in the Hill House. Visitors will see the top-floor attic with original theater, take the back stairs to the basement, view the coal storage area and take a tour of the gate house overlooking Summit Avenue. This event takes place several times this summer and more information is at http://events.mnhs.org/calendar/Results.cfm?EventID=2690&CFID=19014325&CFTOKEN=53675710.
? Traditions of the Trading Post: From Deer Hide to Rawhide to Leather will take place at North West Company Fur Post in Pine City a number of times through June. This is a chance to learn how to turn a deer hide into a pair of moccasins and see how Ojibwe crafters produced fine buckskin for clothing and footwear using a process called "brain-tanning." Details are at http://events.mnhs.org/calendar/Results.cfm?EventID=3222&CFID=19014325&CFTOKEN=53675710.
? An exhibit called “Ben Franklin: In Search of a Better World” is open at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul through July 4. Founding father, scientist, diplomat, humorist, philanthropist, entrepreneur and rebellious teen, Franklin is one of the most remarkable and influential Americans of any generation. It is fascinating to discover his incredible impact on our world in this exhibit. Find out more by logging on to http://www.benfranklinexhibit.org/.
? There are tons more events and exhibits taking place throughout our state, but I we also have the opportunity to make more informal trips. I encourage folks to visit any of the numerous state parks dotting our state. A complete list is at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/index.html. We also have an abundance of lakes in our area and more golf courses than you can count on your two hands.
Keep in mind many people in our area and throughout Minnesota depend on tourism to make a living. Those folks really appreciate our support.
Enjoy the summer,