Call it a summer pass time, call it a back to school necessity, call it whatever you have to so that you can get out and explore the myriad of fun shops surrounding the Whitefish Chain of Lakes in beautiful north-central Minnesota.
Summertime deals are heating up! Nisswa is celebrating Crazy Days this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 9-10. Throughout downtown Nisswa, businesses will line the sidewalks with great deals. Go early to find the best deals of all.
In Pequot Lakes, shopping keeps getting more and more fun with new shops. Check out the Nest in the Jack Pine Center, and while you're there visit J's Woodworking, Seeds of Sommer (a health foods store that has a whole lot more) and Serendipity Art Gallery, which showcases local artwork and talent.
Other new stores in Pequot Lakes include Red Ruby Art Gallery and Gifts, Timeless Appeal (a consignment and antiques store), and a clock shop. Can't-miss favorites include Leslie's for ladies' clothing and Fun Sisters, which is loaded with jewelry and clothing for all ages. Fun Sisters is now located on Government Drive in a new, larger location. Next door is a new candy and ice cream store!
Pine River is a great spot for thrift store shopping, as there's several on the main road (Barclay Ave). You'll also want to stop by the Pine River Bakery for some homemade donuts, and another great way to pass the time is at the bowling alley, which is well known for its pizza. Stone Woman Herbals is your natural remedy go-to. All of these businesses are on Barclay east of Hwy. 371.
Crosslake is home to the long-favorite Judy's House of Gifts, which has collectibles and glassware as well as toys and a kids section. Over in the Town Square you'll find Crosslake Drug, Lundrigan's Clothing, Honeyed Boutique and The Lake + Co. Shop. There's also Rafferty's, famous for it's pizza, and Jitterz has coffee, candy and ice cream. Curious Belongings has antiques galore. Zorbaz, Riverside and Bourbon Room are all great options for lunch.
While retail brick-and-mortar stores are great, you might want to add local farmers' markets to your shopping list! Now that we're in high summer, the harvest just keeps getting better and better. Nisswa's farmers' market is Thursday mornings at the American Legion, and Ideal Corners has a great market on Saturday mornings outside the Ideal Green Market Cooperative. Pine River has a farmers' market on Friday afternoons from 2:30-5:30 p.m. The market is located on Barclay Avenue at the intersection of Barclay and 3rd Ave.