S;;;;; ;;; ;; ;;; ;;;; ;;;;;; ;; ;;;; in northwest Minnesota, when resort owns such as Park Rapids, Walker and Detroit Lakes are in full swing. Tiny hamlets like Dorset, along the easy-to-bike Heartland Trail, buzz with activity
as shoppers seek books for dockside reading, comfy slip-on shoes and souvenirs that
remind them of life at the lake long a;er the fall winds blow trees bare.
Outside of summer, the region o;ers an enticing variety of year-round boutiques
and unique stores, from quaint and quirky to classy and chic. And don’t forget
practical: You can find everything for staying warm through the winter, whether
you’re seeking burly Paul Bunyan plaid or brightly colored snowmobile duds.
Here are eight northwest towns worthy of a shopping spree:
A rainbow of kayaks outside Reed’s Sporting Goods set the stage for outdoor fun
that begins less than a block away at Walker’s Leech Lake, one of Minnesota’s largest
bodies of water. The store is a good place to start for on-the-water advice, tackle and
outdoor gear (especially ice fishing or International Eelpout Festival essentials).
Walker’s downtown also a;racts shoppers with clothing boutiques, purveyors
of kitchenware and locally harvested wild rice, an old-fashioned candy shop, and
galleries featuring loons, north woods art and photography.
This town’s classic Main Street bustles
with up-north boutiques selling
everything from cozy flannel pajamas
and moose-themed decor to cribbage
boards shaped like local lakes. Anyone
craving their own “man cave” shouldn’t
miss Toys for Boys on Highway 34
west of town. It’s loaded with 1950s
and ’60s collectibles (think Betty Boop
and Elvis), jukeboxes, pedal cars and
vintage garage signs.
Few visitors can resist a selfie with
Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox
on the shore of Lake Bemidji, but don’t
miss a stroll across the street to stores
that reflect the city’s heritage and
Up North Finds
Seek out sweet souvenirs for every type of
shopper at these unique boutiques. | LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK
MAIN STREET, PARK RAPIDS