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June 1, 2024

2024 Twin Cities Summer Guide (With 18 Recipes)

What’s your favorite part of summer? It’s so hard to choose, right? With all the travel, activities and great food, there is so much to enjoy about our too-short Minnesota summers. If there’s one thing we know as Minnesotans, it’s how to make the most out of the warm months. So here is my Twin Cities summer guide, which includes some of my favorite picks, travel and recipes.

Summer Picks

  • Festivals, festivals everywhere. Summer is when you can find a festival, fair or event just about every weekend within driving distance. One of my favorites is the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. As a side hustle I program their Culinary Market with tons of cool Makers. June 15 and 16
  • Art In Bayfront Park is also a favorite in Duluth – Art, another Culinary market (programmed by me of course) and food and Wild State Ciders made in Duluth. Aug. 17 and 18
  • The festival season, of course, ends with the main event—the Minnesota State Fair. Get a head start on planning by enjoying my rundown on the best state fair classic foodsAug. 22 to Sept. 2
  • The hot days call for cool drinks. Canned drinks have become all the rage the last few years, and my round up of summed canned drinks features all my favorites. 
  • Want to go out for your drinks instead? Hit up a brewery to enjoy a nice patio. There are a bunch of taprooms around town, but Surly Brewing is the gold standard in Minneapolis and we also like Bad Weather brewing. Waldemann’s Brewery in St. Paul is super cute too. We’re not picky around here, though, so find your favorite taproom and enjoy happy hour on a patio.

Summer Travel

  • You know how much I love Ely, right? It’s, of course, where my cabin and garden reside, but it’s also a wonderful Northern city to visit on a road trip. Check out my guide to Ely for all the fun tings to do around town. And then check out the True North Cabin Cookbookwhich is full of cabin recipes.
  • Duluth is a classic place to visit in the summer. I put together a guide to Duluth eats and drinks a few years back, but there are always new places opening! It might be time for a return visit, so let me know if there are places I need to check out!
  • Summer is also a great time for our #VanLife. Check out our conversation on The Jason Show about cooking in an RV and making food while on the road.
  • If you’re looking for a fun getaway with all kinds of outdoor activities, try True North Basecamp. It’s a great resort with cabins and camping, and all kinds of family friendly outdoor fun.

Two smashburgers on red and white checkered paper

Summer Food

  • I love planting my Ely Hilltop Garden, and I rounded up all my tips and tricks plus favorite recipes in this garden guide.
  • Rhubarb is the first produce of summer, and I have 18 rhubarb recipes that include some favortie sweet treats and so much more.
  • Grilling is the best way to cook in the summer. My grilling guide features some of my favorite butchers and meat shops, plus 15 recipes.
  • A fun grilling idea is to do a hot dog bar with a variety of toppings. Here are some ideas:
    • Pesto Dogs: Pesto spread and a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese
    • BBQ Dogs: BBQ sauce and BBQ potato chips
    • Pickle Dogs: Pickle spears and pickled banana peppers topped with pickle chips
    • Classic: Ketchup and mustard and onions
    • Kimchi Dogs: Kimchi with sriracha mayo
    • TapenoliveDogs: Olive tapenade 
    • Taco Dogs: Salsa and taco chips with cheddar cheese
    • BLT Dogs: Lettuce, tomato, mayo, bacon

Four hot dogs lined up with a variety of toppings

15 Favorite Summer Recipes