Hotels and Restaurants
The rooms at Coffee Mill Motel and Suites (50 Coulee Way, 651/565-4561, www.coffeemillmotelandsuites.com, $59–149) are an excellent value for the money, with more charm than a basic chain hotel. “Chalet rooms” have vaulted ceilings under the eaves, and some have whirlpools.
The Bridgewaters Bed and Breakfast (136 Bridge Ave., 651/565-4208, www.bridgewatersbandb.com, $130–185) has six guest rooms—some share a bath—in a lovely 1903 Queen Anne Victorian. The location couldn’t be better: right off the main street, near the river and the Eagle Center.
The cheapest rooms in town are at the small Wabasha Motel (1110 Hiawatha Dr. E., 651/565-9932 or 866/565-9932, $59). There are also seven RV campsites here ($32 full hookup).
The Kruger Campground (Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest, 651/345-3401, $12), five miles west of town along Highway 60, is a peaceful primitive campground with 19 shady and widely spaced sites. Nine miles of hiking trails, including a 0.75-mile wheelchair-accessible path, lead through the forested bluffs.
Your fanciest dining choice in Wabasha is Vinifera (260 Main St. W., 651/565-4171, www.viniferarestaurant.com, $10–18), a wine store, wine bar, and fine restaurant. The menu is brief, but varied, and changes seasonally. You might find a hearty Argentine-inspired beef plate or lighter seared scallops. Definitely get a seat on the patio to watch the river float by.
Though not the actual bar from the Grumpy Old Men movies, Slippery’s (10 Church Ave., 651/565-4748, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun., $6–16) did lend them its name. The casual boat-in restaurant has an outside deck, while interior decoration includes several set pieces from the movies. The menu has Putz burgers, Catfish Hunter sandwiches, Italian dishes, and they also do a popular Friday-night fish fry.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition