Minnesota is renowned for the incredible bike trails that are both scenic and well-connected. While we’ve always loved spending time on local bike trails, this past year we’ve biked so much more as we sought new ways to create adventures. Until recently most of our bike adventures had been day trips. However, that just changed as we experienced an incredibly unique way of biking. A Minnesota Bike Staycation from Lakeville to Bloomington!
For this adventure, we started in Lakeville and biked to Bloomington with many fun stops along the way. After spending the night in Bloomington, we biked back via a different route with even more fun stops. Read on for our route, recommended stops and top tips for creating a biking staycation too!
Day One: Lakeville to Bloomington (~25 Miles)
Our adventure began at the Holiday Inn in Lakeville which is a beautiful hotel with an indoor waterpark. If you do the route in reverse, this would be a great overnight option.
From there, we went to downtown Lakeville which has so many fun restaurants and businesses, all fairly close to each other. Here’s what I’d recommend:
Brunch at Lakeville Brewing Company
To fuel up for a full day of biking, enjoy a meal and beverage at Lakeville Brewing Company! I wanted a lighter meal so enjoyed the crepes with French toast nuggets (a must get!) and it was perfect. The Cucumber Cooler was also a super refreshing drink (available as a mocktail too). Ryan loved the French toast chicken sandwich and beer. SO many good options and we enjoyed our meal in their backyard beautiful patio under trees with nice shade. Perfect for parking your bike along the fence too!
Dessert at Dairy Delite
For dessert, a classic choice is ice cream from the fun Dairy Delite ice cream shop! I loved the ice cream sundae and Ryan equally loved his malt. There are also fun murals that support both Lakeville area high schools!
Walk Around the Lakeville Area Arts Center
If you happen to visit the Lakeville Area Arts Center on a Saturday, you’re in luck! The farmer’s market is held on Saturdays in their parking lot. You can buy fresh produce, honey and bread (just make sure you can bike with it!). Additionally, you can check out some beautiful art pieces around the outside of the building (even on non-market days). This is a great place to walk around and let your food settle before continuing on.
From downtown Lakeville, we started our bike trip north to Bloomington. Have Fun Biking did a great job mapping our route on sidewalks and trails so we felt safe.
Bike along the Old Cedar Bridge
The next stop we made (besides water breaks along the way!) was in Bloomington. We enjoyed views of the Minnesota River Valley just before heading further west to the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge. It’s incredible how scenic and peaceful the river area is despite a major highway being so close!
A big highlight for me was biking across the recently restored Old Cedar Avenue Bridge. After years of driving across 77 and seeing the old bridge to the west, it was so fun biking across it! The views from and of the bridge are also beautiful.
Activities at Mall of America
Because the hotel is so close to the Mall of America, we were able to walk there for some evening fun after showering and relaxing a bit! We started with a fun 10-minute Flyover America experience where we enjoyed an interactive “flight” over Hawaii! The videography, seat movements and scents gave us the great sensation of actually flying over beautiful parts of Hawaii!
Day Two: Bloomington to Lakeville (~25 Miles)
Our first stop just east of the hotel was The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge has some of the best views I’ve seen in the Twin Cities and is a great place for hiking and picnicking. After locking up our bikes at the bike racks, we hiked part of the Long Meadow Lake Trail and the Hillside Trail. It was a peaceful and scenic place to spend part of the morning. The Refuge is actually one of 14 priority urban wildlife refuges in the US – a pretty special designation!
Visit a historical home from the 1800’s
After some snacks overlooking the scenic views, we continued west to the Gideon and Agnes Pond House: one of the first homes in the area built in 1856 by missionaries. The home, which is part of the National Register of Historic Places, is on lush green property overlooking the valley but within a neighborhood – you’d never guess it was there just driving by! Well worth the stop, especially if you enjoy history.
The next part of our route took us along scenic views of the river valley, in addition to a brief ride on a protected sidewalk along I-35W. We were amazed during this section how incredibly connected the cities are!
The toughest part of the ride was going from the river valley back towards Lakeville since it was uphill. We stopped frequently for snacks and water breaks, especially because we were biking in hot temps.
Picnic at Casperson Park
Once we were back in Lakeville, we picked up a delicious picnic lunch including wraps and salads from Rudy’s Redeye Grill and tasty cream cakes from Cream of the Cakes. The meal was so good, healthy and filling and the red velvet cheesecake cream cake was one of the best desserts I’ve had! We enjoyed the (well-earned!) picnic at the beautiful Casperson Park overlooking Lake Marion. The water is very clear and blue! If you’re up for a swim, this would be a great spot after the bike ride. Another great and popular spot to check out for a picnic/lake access is Antlers Parks.
Also at Casperson Park is the West Lake Marion Mountain Bike Trails. There are options for beginner, intermediate and advanced mountain bikers and the single tracks go for about 5 miles. Since we had hybrid bikes, I only biked part of it but would love to go back! The trails are really well maintained too.
The picnic was the perfect way to wrap up two incredible days of biking! We had a wonderful time on our staycation checking out so many fun places – most of which we hadn’t seen before. We already can’t wait to plan our next bike staycation in Minnesota and explore more of Lakeville and Bloomington.
If you’d like to do a similar Minnesota Bike Staycation from Lakeville to Bloomington, here’s a link to the full route Have Fun Biking planned for us.
Note – because we were biking in extreme temps on the second day (95 degrees) we had our car dropped off in North Lakeville. From there, we drove back to the Holiday Inn to pick up our delicious picnic lunch prepared by Rudy’s and Cream of Cakes. Always listen to your body, especially in tough conditions!
Tips for planning a biking trip:
- Carry lots of water and sunscreen
- If you have saddlebags for your bike, it makes it much easier to carry extra water, layers, etc.
- Drop off your overnight bag at the hotel prior to biking so you don’t have to carry as much
- Make sure someone knows your plan for the day
- Carry a spare phone charger so you can always contact someone if you need help
If you’d like more bike day trip ideas, check out my favorite spots here.
Note – this experience and post is sponsored by Bloomington CVB and Visit Lakeville. Special thank you to Have Fun Biking for planning our route! As always, opinions are my own.