Romantic Getaway in Minnesota : An Itinerary for a Weekend Getaway Lakeside in Harris and Chisago Lakes Area

Beautiful sunset from our view at the Goose Lake Getaway cabin in Harris, MN.
Beautiful sunset from our view at the Goose Lake Getaway cabin in Harris, MN.

I will admit- I have driven through the Chisago Chain of Lakes area (about 30-50 minutes north of Minneapolis) on my way to Duluth or the North Shore. I never thought twice about visiting this unique area. What a big mistake I was making! Over the past couple of years, I have explored towns I consider hidden gems such as Taylors Falls, Lindstrom, North Branch, Forest Lake, Osceola (Wisconsin) and Harris. The best part? These wonderful towns are not too far of a drive from the Twin Cities, yet make the perfect family or romantic getaway in Minnesota!

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Looking for more Minnesota road trip or day trip ideas? Explore these articles: 4 Day Itinerary to North Shore of Minnesota, Itinerary to Explore Voyageurs National Park, 15 Favorite Day Trip Activities in Northfield and Your Ultimate Guide to Stunning Scenic Byway Drives in Minnesota.

Where to Stay: A Romantic Getaway in Minnesota

Are you wanting to have a romantic getaway in Minnesota, family or girls getaway but only have so much time to be away? The Goose Lake Getaway is a romantic getaway in Minnesota that is also filled with family fun! Located 50 minutes north of Minneapolis not far from I-35, Goose Lake Getaway has a convenient location while still being away from it all.

Unique features of this cabin are the priceless from from from Lakeview from every room in the house, 150 feet of private lakeshore with a dock, kayak, paddle boards and yard games provided, a fire pit with one firewood bundle provided, fireplace with a lake view and a grill.

Goose Lake Getaway can host up to 4 guests with a maximum of two dogs. There is one bathroom, one bedroom & two cozy cots that can be set up in the living room. Other amenities include a washer/dryer, binoculars for birdwatching, record player, kitchen items, TV, WiFi, ac/heating and an easy self check in.

Book your stay at Goose Lake Getaway to make your own memories! Average nightly stay is $195 per night.

Goose Lake Getaway Activities for a Romantic Getaway in Minnesota

Goose Lake Getaway sunset.

Goose Lake is very calm & has perfect waters for taking the kayak out on the lake or taking the paddle boards. Life jackets are provided and they must be worn for any water activities. There are two chairs located at the end of the dock. We enjoyed watching the sunset in this spot while listening to the birds. We saw a bald eagle, flock of pelicans, deer, muskrats and loons.

I enjoyed playing board games and reading books by the fire place with a lake view. We also had the best view of Goose Lake from the kitchen table & first thing when we woke up in the mornings! The kitchen was fully equipped & we had fun cooking.

If you have nice weather, I highly encourage using the grill and having dinner by the fire pit, followed up with roasting some S’Mores while gazing at the lake.

Do you enjoy hiking? Save my articles, Your Ultimate Day Hike Planning Guide and 15 Best Hiking Trails in Minnesota for a Family Adventure.

Activities in Harris & North Branch

If you enjoy wineries as a romantic getaway in Minnesota activity, you are in luck! Located 6-8 minutes from the Goose Lake Getaway cabin is the North Folk Winery, where you can go wine tasting and jam out to live music. About 12-15 minutes from the cabin is the North Ridge Winery located in North Branch.

About 20 minutes away in Pine City is the Snake River Fur Post, which is open June 2, 2023 to September 30, 2023. Here you can take guided tours along the Snake River, tour the fur post and Ojibwa Camp and learn about the fur trade (a great pick for kid and adults!). Also check out the amazing view of Horseshoe Lake in North Branch.

If you are looking for some delicious nearby food options, The Merchant’s Cafe was our North Branch pick for breakfast or lunch. Are you in a hurry? Grab a coffee or drink at Higher Grounds- they also have a drive thru! The Fort is a perfect dinner spot with craft beers and handcrafted cocktails. We have also had the Walleye Sliders at The Muddy Cow along previous road trips & they are delicious!

Seventeen minutes away from Harris is the Wild River State Park, which is nestled along the banks of the St. Croix River (18 miles to be exact). This is a great place to access the St. Croix River if you want to kayak or canoe. Access points are Sunrise River access or southern park river access. Land acknowledgment goes to the Dakota and Ojibwe Indians, who called this valley home for thousands of years. There are a variety of trails available to hike, which can be found in the Wild River State Park Trail Guide.

As always, please practice the 7 principles of Leave No trace while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Read more in my article, 10 Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day.

Things to do in Lindstrom

Lindstrom is known as “America’s Little Sweeden” in Chisago County. Located about 25 minutes from the Goose Lake Getaway in Harris, you won’t be short on things to do here! Of course, make sure you view the Swedish coffee pot water tower!

First, let’s talk food! Lindstrom has great options for Sweedish-inspired breakfasts. Try Swedish pancakes at Gustaf’s Eatery, a breakfast cafe in a historic, Victorian house. Another delicious option is the family friendly Swedish Inn, which also serves lunch. If you are on the go & looking for coffee, smoothies or bagels, the Northwoods Roasterie is a MUST TRY. My favorite signature drinks are the “Umlatte” with steamed milk, honey, almond & your favorite blend of coffee. Glacier with maple syrup is also delicious, hot or iced.

Located downtown Lindstrom is the unique Lindstrom Bakery. If you only have a few minutes and can’t fully explore Lindstrom, I’d say make this a place you check out! They put a Swedish spin on any pastry you can think of, with everything made from scratch (including the icing or frosting). They also have delicious options for bread if you don’t have a sweet tooth!

Outdoor Activities

Next, check out some fun outdoor activities in Lindstrom. We visited Farmaste Animal Sanctuary, a 30 acre farm that rescues abused and neglected farm animals. Make sure to check out their Visit page to plan your trip to visit some friendly farm friends.

We enjoyed all the outdoor activities Lindstrom had to offer. We visited the Ki Chi Saga Park which is home to 98 acres of land for recreational use. The most interesting part is the 19th century Swedish immigrant house, the Karl Oskar House, which you can view at the park.

Beach Park has access to water for recreational activities, a pavilion and beach volleyball court. We really enjoyed walking the Allenmansratt Wilderness Park– the park is home to THREE lakes, countless trails and has over 10,000 feet of shoreline. Also, Allenmansratt Wilderness Park is home to a preserved homestead from 1853.

Do you want to plan a trip to Taylor’s Falls? Check out my Taylors Falls Day Trip Itinerary.

The Best of Taylors Falls for Romantic Getaway in Minnesota

I actually have an entire blog post dedicated to Taylors Falls, so I will highlight my favorite things here & encourage you to read my article, 12 Reasons to Visit Taylors Falls: The Hallmark Town of Minnesota.

First, if you have limited time, I suggest visiting Interstate State Park. This is one of my favorite state parks in Minnesota. Interstate State Park is nestled alongside the St. Croix River and is the place for you if you’re looking for cliff top views, diverse trails, rock climbing and kayak or canoeing.

The park is also known for it’s interesting rock formations and glacial potholes, with ancient fossils and the sediments in the rocks telling a story of what the world was like millions of years ago. They also offer St. Croix River Boat Tours.

We enjoyed hiking River Trail because of the stunning, cliff top views we were able to take in. We parked at the ranger’s station (entrance right before you hit downtown Taylor’s Falls), and entered the trailhead that neighbors the campground entrance. This hike was easy and was about 2.3 miles. If you are looking for a shorter hike, consider Sandstone Bluffs Trail (0.9 miles) or Saint Croix River Lookout (0.7 miles).

Other Fun Activities

Second, we really enjoyed Fraconia Sculpture Park. It’s unlike anything I had ever seen before (I would rate it alongside the House of Rock in Wisconsin for weirdness). Explore a 50 acre, inclusive outdoor art museum. Many of the sculptures towered over me- the entire place is so immersive and it feels like you are stepping into someone’s mind. There are unique opportunities besides simply walking through the exhibit. During the winter, visitors are able to snowshoe through it. There are also tours, youth camp and paint & sips available. This is a MUST SEE if you are in the area.

Next, Wild Mountain offers a family fun adventure or romantic getaway no matter what time of year it is.  If you go during the winter, consider snow tubing, skiing, snowboarding and hiking. For summer time, there are 5 activities you can buy tickets to attend: Wild Island Adventure Water park, Avalanche Alley Water slides, Arctic Rush Slide Alpine, Go Karts at the Tall Timber Raceway and the Free Fall Experience (you get to jump off an 18 to 27 feet tower onto a bean bag).

Summer attractions at Wild Mountain are open May 27, 2023 to September 4, 2023. Times are 11 am to 6 pm, but I encourage you to check the website in case there are changes made due to weather. Super day season passes go for $99, and you can enjoy any attraction in the park. A day pass is $39 and you can enjoy any attraction in the park for one day.

Places to Eat

Some delicious food places in the Taylors Falls area are located in the adorable downtown, like The Juneberry Cafe, Coffeetalk, Schoony’s Malt Shop and Pizzeria and The Vegetarian. If you are interested in some wine flights, I suggest Wild Mountain Winery. (They also have a campground called Wild Vines Campground) or Rustic Roots Winery.

Are you interested in more hallmark towns to plan a romantic getaway in Minnesota ? Check out my article, Explore Minnesota: 17 Must See Charming Towns.

Instagram Worthy Coffee Shop in Forest Lake

Are you a bona fide coffee lover? Choose from four different coffee flights at Coffeesmith in Forest Lake, MN, about 30 minutes south of Harris. We stopped at Coffeesmith on our way to Harris (it was not far from I-35). We tried the Painfully Trendy flights and Barista Signature flights. The entire coffee shop is such a vibe with a Victorian house turned into a trendy coffee shop!

Although we did not spend a lot of time here, it is worth noting Forest Lake also has the Tamarack Nature Center, which is worth exploring!

Looking for more delicious coffee shops in Minnesota? Read and save my article, Best Coffee Shops in Minnesota and Near Minneapolis.

Explore Osceola, Wisconsin

Make sure to add a stop to Osceola, WI to your romantic getaway itinerary. Osceola is 15 minutes away from Lindstrom. During our adventure, we viewed the Cascade and Wilke Glen Falls, located downtown Osceola. The staircase down to the falls was closed off, but you can still view them from the overlook. Another option is to hike the Eagle Bluff trail, which is accessed by hiking the Cascade Trail (1 mile, intermediate to advanced level hike).

There is also a bridge that goes the behind the Watershed Cafe, which is delicious by the way! Watershed Cafe has the most beautiful location by the falls. They have a great selection of signature coffee drinks, smoothies, ales, and cocktails. I suggest you try their walleye, Risotto bowls or Sunday Brunch.

Within walking distance to Watershed Cafe are the downtown shops. We visited a few of them and really enjoyed The Looking Glass Antiques (they have ice cream too), Coming Home, The Sleepy Thicket and the Chocolate Gnome.

Travel Wild with These Adventure Ideas!

  • Sunset on the docks of the Goose Lake Getaway.

    Romantic Getaway in Minnesota : An Itinerary for a Weekend Getaway Lakeside in Harris and Chisago Lakes Area

  • Sunset on the docks of the Goose Lake Getaway.

    Romantic Getaway in Minnesota : An Itinerary for a Weekend Getaway Lakeside in Harris and Chisago Lakes Area

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