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That's So Minnesota Road Trip: Wabasha

Made famous by the movie "Grumpy Old Men", Wabasha is a quaint town nestled along the Mississippi.

WABASHA, Minn. — Located just 70 miles southeast of the Twin Cities, this little river town has a lot to offer, but it's most notably known for the 1993 movie "Grumpy Old Men."

"It wasn't all filmed here, but the story originated from Wabasha for a grandson who would come and visit his grandfather every summer," said Lori Glomski of the Wabasha Chamber of Commerce. "His grandpa would tell him stories about ice fishing and it just came to be a very popular movie."

So popular that the town has a Grumpy Old Men Festival every year during the last weekend in February, filled with ice fishing and Righetti spaghetti!

BUT, that's not all the town is known for.

The scenic bluffs make for beautiful hikes along the Mississippi River and while you're there, you can stop by the National Eagle Center to get a close-up view of these incredible North American raptors.

"People who have been here during the winter time and have just seen dozens of eagles in the trees... they know that this is the time of year to come," said Ed Hahn of the Eagle Center. 

The historic downtown has plenty of cute shops and boutiques, but the Chocolate Escape caught my eye. They have everything from handmade truffles, to varieties of chocolate-covered turtles.

As we gear up for the holidays, just down the road in Kellogg, Lark Toys is truly a hidden oasis for toy lovers of all ages

Not only does this massive toy store have a hand-carved carousel you can ride, but local craftsmen, aka elves, are hard at work behind the scenes creating and carving one-of-a kind toys and puzzles.

Since Wabasha is such a small town they could only film a few seconds of Grumpy Old Men here, but they do make a lot of references to places like Slippery's right along the river. Unfortunately, Slippery's is closed for the season but should reopen just in time for the spring.

Here are 11 must see spots in Wabasha according to the locals:

  1. National Eagle Center
  2. LARK Toys
  3. Chocolate Escape
  4. Historic Walking Tour
  5. Slippery's
  6. Live Music 
  7. Silver Star Saloon
  8. Seasonal Downtown Boutiques
  9. Stacy's Kitchen
  10. Mississippi River Tours
  11. Grumpy Old Men Festival

RELATED: That's So Minnesota Road Trip Giveaway!

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