Having Another RV Baby in Minnesota
One of the best things about RVing that I think isn’t talked about enough is family time. When I was working as an executive out in Southern California I hardly spent any time with my family in Minnesota.
It was expensive and while I was there often my mind is back on my life in California or I’ve got a team I’m running that I need to check in on how the performance is going, etc.
Now, we’ll just pull our house up and park in my parents yard for a few months and Yamp (Yard Camp).
Here’s How We Hookup:
- They installed Electric hookups
- We use the water from the hose connected to the house
- We tap into the septic tank for the gray and black tanks
Minnesota is known for a lot of things but did you know apples were one of them?
It’s very fertile farmland and particularly the Honey Crisp Apple was invented in Minnesota which is often considered one of the best apples in the world. We’d have to agree and you can pick them and eat them in Minnesota.
Usually, these places have a variety of things to do like a big potato gun, corn mazes, animal rides, petting zoos, restaurants, and more!
RV Trip to Bemidji
We LOVE this town. It’s large enough to have big box stores but it’s small enough to have an incredible quality of life. It draws in a steady amount of outdoors-people and people looking to enjoy a beautiful and relaxing lake vacation.
We will often stay at Hamilton’s on Fox Lake which is just north of town. You’ll enjoy the Lake Life and can head out whenever you want to reel in some supper. Make sure you check out Bemidji State Park and walk on the Bog.
This lake is located on a chain of lakes and even lets you take their kayaks and canoes out whenever you want. The water is really clear so it’s always fun to paddle out on calm evenings with the kayak.
Restaurants in Bemidji are top notch and you’ll find quite a few that reflect the “Up North” culture of Juicy Lucy’s and Cheese Curds. Keep an eye out for the art that is plentiful around this town. Sculptures are on many of the downtown blocks.
They have a few good coffee shops to hammer out some work or grab some wake up juice. Minnesota has a cool chain called Caribou Coffee that’s very popular up here. They have one in Bemidji but I enjoyed coming to the The Cabin, probably because it felt like a cabin…
Visiting Brainerd Lakes Area
This is yet another famous and popular Minnesota town. They call it the “Brainerd Lakes Area” because there are 460 lakes within 25 miles of Brainerd. I lived in Brainerd for one year when I was 19 and my older brother lived here with his family for many years.
It’s a fantastic town with a lot of history and INCREDIBLE Lakes!
There’s a lot of great resorts in the Brainerd area like Madden’s and Cragun’s Resort.
We stay at Family Camp and get to do all the things that make us feel young again like wiffleball, archery, learning about animals, lake surfing, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, zip lining and so much more!
AirB&B in Brainerd
We rented a house in Brainerd on Gladstone lake through AirB&B. It was a gorgeous house with an Up North feel for the decor. We highly recommend renting this exact AirB&B House if you’re looking to wake up to the calls of the loons and enjoy a relaxing experience on a calm and clear Minnesota Lake.
It’s just outside of town where you’re near the big boxes but far enough out to feel like you’re in the forest (because you are).
The fishing was FANTASTIC! We consistently reeled them in and many of them had some size to them. Mainly we were going after panfish but caught a very large Largemouth Bass and a few decent size Northern Pikes. Pikes are ALWAYS exciting to reel in!
If you’re going to visit MPLS, you’re going to have a good time. It’s a clean city with nice people and great restaurants. It has more hiking and biking trails than ANY other major city in the USA!
Spend time at the Lake or on the Mississippi River Downtown while enjoying the scenery of the skyline of Minneapolis.
A few of the places you should make sure to visit while you’re here are:
The Stone Arch Bridge
Walk the historic stone arch bridge for a beautiful walk and incredible skyline views of the city.
As you’re going across it you’ll notice the lock and dam systems. If you are in a boat or a kayak they will raise or lower the water for you so you can cross these sections.
Mill City Ruins
Nearby the Stone Arch Bridge, the Mill City Ruins is a historical part of MPLS where a lot of flour Mills controlled the area and even large companies like General Mills. You can take a tour of the ruins or check some of it next to them on a scenic walk.
Of course, you can take any type of tour you want in this city like a Segway, Bike, Kayak,
Minnesota Nice Ride
Renting a bike in a big city is always a blast! You are able to explore a city quickly and have a ton of flexibility on where you can go.
Minneapolis has the Minnesota Nice Ride System of Bike Rental. I rented the bike while we were staying for the weekend at the Tallest Sky Scraper in MPLS, the IDS Tower! If you’re coming to MPLS, you can’t beat this location and view from the rooms! Highly recommend staying here.
The Northern Lights
Every summer in Minnesota I make sure to enjoy this incredible spectacle. My best friend since the 3rd grade lives around 15 minutes away and his house is surrounded by farm country so it’s easy to step into the field and watch the Northern Lights.
My company does social media for RV Dealerships and Campgrounds so I had him pull his camper near the fire and set up a staged “Lifestyle” photoshoot that we’ve used for some of our clients.
At other times we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy them right at the RV in the yard while we’re Yamping (Yard Camping)
Fishing on Platte Lake
Just a short drive north of Princeton is Platte Laka. The drive is beautiful and the access to the lake is on a forest filled dirt road.
Even if the temp is cold, the fishing here can be hot! My brother Mike and I started slammin em in right away! We caught a variety of fish but my brother was the one crushing the Northern Pikes!
While we were there the leaves were changing colors and the foliage was peaking. It was GORGEOUS and we found a few people who bought waterfront lots and then put a camper with hookups on the property so they have their own mobile cabin for the season.
Things To Do in Princeton Minnesota
While we stayed in Princeton in the RV we had plenty of things to keep us busy in the nearby area.
This year my parents set up their above ground pool and got to enjoy it steps from the RV. But there’s a lot of options on a warm sunny day to get wet.
Princeton has an amazing splash park for kids and Danielle took Ella quite a few times during the day.
Our kids take swimming lessons at the local high school in the summer but they also have an open swim for anyone wanting to swim in a controlled environment.
The Rum River cuts right through town and Riverside Park has a small beach for you to play around in. Riverside Park has RV Camping Spots.
There’s plenty of other great spots too. Pioneer Park on the North Side of town has some great swim spots too.
Of course, we can’t forget the local lakes like Green, Spectacle, Blue and so many more.
Eat at K-Bob Cafe
A true staple of town and has been for many years. My older brother Adam use to work here as a Busboy and Dishwasher while we were in high school. I grew up lucky enough to eat their food and enjoy going back there when we’re in town.
The food is fantastic but if you get there early you’ll get to listen to all the local farmer old timers telling their stories and chatting it up!
The Mille Lacs County Fair
The fair comes to Princeton and it’s actually a pretty good turnout for being a small town in Central Minnesota. They have events happening often at the fairgrounds like a Chili Fest, Demolition Derby and a lot more.
Thunder Blades Roller Rink
The local roller rink Thunder Blades is still open in my hometown. We have great memories of this place as kids. It had shut down for a while and opened up as a liquidation warehouse retail store but a few years back new owners turned it back into the roller skating rink. They have all the games we use to play as kids and of course, if you save up your tickets you can get a pretty “cool” prize.
Minnesotans Love to Golf
Minnesota ranks at or near the top for household participation in Golfing at roughly 27% of households. That means Minnesotans love their golfing!
It’s easy to find relatively inexpensive courses around the area like the Stone Creek Golf Course in neighboring Foley, MN. To me, the best part of Golfing is driving around in the Golf Cart.
The Hockey Rink
Minnesota is the Hockey State. I think every kid grows up knowing how to play pond hockey. Luckily for me, roller blades were still cool when I was growing up so all of the neighbor kids would get together and we’d play roller hockey in the summer! What a blast!
They have a few programs at the rink and one of them is open skate and you can bring in kids to have fun and learn how to navigate themselves on the ice.
Local Programs for Kids
There’s a lot of things for kids to do. Danielle and Grandma Hannan would take Ella to story time at the Library along with special events like painting and playing musical instruments for the little ones in the community.
Mark Park is another great park in the area and we spent a lot of time playing ball there as kids. In fact, back in the day, we’d bike all the way across town every day to get to the park.
My Dad Broke His Back
We were all getting ready to head out with my parents to my older brother Adam’s in Iowa. We were at the point where we were all excited and anxious to hit the road waiting for my Dad to get off work early. Once he got to the house we were already completely packed and all he would do is jump in and we’re on the road…
Except there was an accident. And that accident caused my Dad to check it out and BAM! He rear-ended someone and totaled his car.
That’s never a fun phone call to get and my Mom was obviously quite upset so I jumped in the driver seat and we took off fully packed, but now we were heading to the Hospital on very little knowledge other than he called from the Ambulance and he was hurt. Of course, he said he was ok but we weren’t sure if he was just saying that to keep everyone calm.
So now my Brother Adam’s family in Iowa had to pack cause they were zipping up to visit the Hospital and my Brother Mike and his Wife came too.
Luckily everything is supposed to heal fully and so far everything looks great!
Local Minnesota Food
There are a few things Minnesota is known for, food is one of them. Probably the best thing that comes out of Minnesota for food is a Juicy Lucy.
You may want to get some fresh Walleye or some cheese curds. If you’re going to be in St Paul, Mickey’s Diner is a famous spot to get some diner food in the big city.
Kunkel Wilderness Area
Kunkel is a relatively unknown area. I grew up less than a mile from here. It sits on Rice Lake but is a large area with a lot to offer.
This is my go-to spot when I’m visiting my parents to “get away”. It’s so close and like I mentioned, I don’t think many people know about it because I rarely see other people.
They just recently expanded their land and bought out a local farmer who retired. The new area is almost finished and I’ve checked it out and it’s very cool!
Many people hunt back here and the local secret is that there are a lot of Northern Pikes in the Lake. I’m going to go Kayaking here next on Rice Lake in the Kunkel Wilderness Area and check out the fishing! If I want to enjoy some nature and get away for a quick scenic drive I’ll often head over here by myself or with the family. It gets a lot more exciting when the snow starts to fall and the roads get nice and mucked up.
Sherburne County Wildlife Area
This is a local highlight. The Sherburne county wildlife area is huge and has plenty of camping options.
My favorite part is driving through the area. It’s so large that a scenic drive gives you the chance to cover a lot of ground and see the wide variety of nature. If you’re looking to do some hiking there are plenty of trails that take you on incredible adventures.
Explore the Small Town of Stillwater
This is a town that should be on everyone’s radar to visit if you’re coming to the Twin Cities for an extended period of time. It is very convenient to get here from the cities and is GORGEOUS. It’s a hill town overlooking the gorgeous St Croix River which splits Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Make sure you walk downtown and check out all the shops. There’s a trail that takes you up on the hill overlooking the town. The River Walk is probably the biggest highlight and while we were here there was a big fall festival going on.
They raced down the river in giant pumpkins!
Teddy Bear Park
This is a must stop if you have kids in Stillwater, MN. The Teddy Bear Park is a FREE adventure for the kids to enjoy and you can sit back and relax for a moment. It’s just a few blocks away from the River up the hill. There’s a maze of tunnels and slides for the kids to burn off their energy in this well-built park. You can rent out sections of the park to host events also.
Once you’re done playing with the kiddos it’s time to drop someone off at the Day Care Center.
Except there’s a twist, it’s a Husband Day Care Center. You can drop off your husband here and go shopping knowing they are going to be well taken care of while they’re here.
This entire town has a neat vibe. There’s a lot of boating and the town gets a lot of people coming here on day trips or for the weekend from the nearby Twin Cities.
Take a River Boat Cruise
An absolutely top-notch River Boat Cruise is on the St Croix River in Taylor’s Falls. The same company owns the Wild Mountain Ski Area that I grew up going to.
The River Cruise is fantastic. The views are beyond incredible, the narration gives you all the info you could want about the river, the food is great, and the band was fun!
Minnesota is on one side and Wisconsin is on the other.
Having The RV Baby
Well, that’s our 2nd baby in an RV. Both times we’ve swung into the Maple Grove Hospital. It’s one of the best in the country for giving birth and the first time Danielle had a high-risk pregnancy and they aced it.
We had such a great experience we decided we’ll swing in and have all our babies here so BAM here we go with Ava Brie Hannan. We had the same doctors as before and they did a fantastic job again!
Now we’re getting ready to take off on our next BIG Adventure which is expanding out social media business to providing social media to campgrounds. We’ll be staying at a brand new high-end RV Resort in South Carolina, stay tuned…