Do you want your kids to say, “Mom! Dad! Look at this?” Do you want them to appreciate history and learn about Minnesota’s fascinating past? Do you want them to be exposed to other cultures? And do you want to post pictures from one of the most Instagramable spots in Minnesota?
Then you’ll want to visit one of the last, best, uncrowned places in our state, Pipestone, Minnesota. Pipestone is a quaint little town of 4000, just a three hour drive to the southwest corner of our state.
Pipestone is named for the stone that Native American’s have dug out of a nearly naturally quarry for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. It was a sacred site where tribes from all over the area came for fashioning the stone into small animal shapes, beads, and of course, pipes.
Today, only Native Americans are allowed to quarry the pipestone, which they carve right there onsite and sell to visitors. I’ve personally bought a small buffalo, a turtle and a pipe. The prices are reasonable, the artistry is amazing and the experience is quite unforgettable.
You’ll want to take your family on a short, ¾ mile walk through the quarries and a canyon where you find a beautiful rocky waterfall surrounded by old-growth trees. You’ll even find the name Joseph Nicolette, yes, that Joseph Nicolette carved into a nearby rock in 1838 and still visibletoday. One of my favorite spots is a column of rock that stands about 8 feet from the canyon’s edge. Legend has it that young natives would make the frightening and dangerous leap from the ledge to the rock to show their bravery.
Make it a day trip or stay overnight at the Calumet Inn, a fully restored castle-like hotel built in 1888. The Calumet features a full service restaurant and bar and is within walking distance of the Pizza Ranch restaurant.
Avoid the crowds this summer and visit beautiful Pipestone, Minnesota. I’m sure it will become one of your family’s favorite places in Minnesota.