Look what I found! Luverne, MN is the best kept secret in the midwest.

Look what I found! Luverne, MN is the best kept secret in the midwest.

In the deep southwest of Minnesota lies the city of Luverne. It is known throughout the musical world as the home to the Tri-State Band Festival.

BUT WAIT! There is far more to this charming community than their marching band festival.

I’ve just returned from a weekend in Luverne and I had a blast exploring the city with my grandchildren (ages 7 and 10)

The Blue Mounds State Park is known throughout the region for its buffalo herd but Wait! there is far more to the park than buffalo (bison bison).

The city of Luverne has gone to great lengths to connect the community with the park. A bituminous bike path offers an amazing pedal from Luverne to the Blue Mounds State Park. A three mile path is a delight as it ever-so-slightly progresses towards the Mounds.

The return trip is exhilarating because most don’t realize their change in elevation.

The quarry is a place of wonderment and attracts both climbers and free climbers from throughout the West and Midwest.

We’ve met people from Denver, New Mexico and Fargo climbing these three billion year old rocks. From the interstate you can’t imagine the specular view offered by this marvelous outcropping of rocks.

I have fixated on this choice promontory for years and from the top you can see South Dakota and Iowa.

Unbeknownst to most everybody……with a spotting scope and a map you can see the water tower in Worthington Minnesota, thirty miles distant, it hovers like a ghostly apparition on the distant horizon.

The city itself has followed a path of careful progressive planning and offers and incredible amount of amenities for everyone.

Few communities of this size can offer an intact Main Street, Luverne can!

The Palace Theatre is the featured launch site for the nationally famous KEN BURNS MOVIE – GREATEST GENERATION.

This theatre is an unblemished architectural master piece and is situated just across the street from Southern Minnesotas best restaurant/grill called Sterlings Cafe.

Sterlings offer a real chef, a real meal and an incredible atmosphere at affordable prices.

Luverne, MN - Hinkley Museum
Luverne, MN – Hinkley Museum

Our grandkids wanted to see the “Hinkley” lions so they got to see and saddle master stone carvings.

Just a block of two from there we show them the monument dedicated to the pioneers of this region.

On the other side of the stone is a mirror finish , we have used it for decades to entertain and amuse.

Luverne, MN - Reflection Stone
Luverne, MN – Reflection Stone

Luverne has a real drive up- drive-in I regret not knowing the name….we used to call it the Dippy Whip.

It is family owned and operated and it is the real deal from the early 1960’s.

Your money is well spent at this establishment.

Few photographers in the world and few cities in the world can lay claim to a Brandenburg Gallery.

Jim Brandenburg/National Geographic Photographer/BBC Wildlife photographer of the Year (x2) has a gallery in Luverne and is a native of this community.

The gallery is housed in the historic National Registry Court House Complex in conjunction with their Chamber of Commerce.

He has also (along with like minded others) gifted the National Wildlife Service & the United States with “TOUCH THE SKY PRAIRIE” , an untrammeled prairie preserve of UnCommon Merit.

The prairie is located about two miles N.W. of the Blue Mounds State Park and there are also surface eruptions of Sioux Quartzite on this expanse.

My observation only touched on a few of the amenities of this beautiful community…and I didn’t even talk about the public food park, the Herreid Military Museum, the “Take 16 Brewery” and all sorts of other curious and groovy amenities.

Take 16 Brewery - Luverne, MN
Take 16 Brewery – Luverne, MN

As people crowd to the North Shore of Minnesota this summer it should be noted that there are many more places untrammeled and just as curious and scenic.

I recommend you sling your ankle in a southerly direction and consider the Deep South West of Minnesota – LUVERNE.



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