Finding the semi-secret getaway that is Marine Landing b.o.t.m. (“back on the map”) requires an acute sense of direction.
The journey demands the navigation of a series of increasingly less-traveled roads, each turn vying to be labeled “Wrong.” But the payoff is enormous.
The final destination, a modest, weather-beaten marina, is perched on a bucolic stretch of the St. Croix River, one that feels more hill-rimmed lake than flowing waterway.
Soaking up this mini-vacation abundance of sunshine-dappled water and breezes — it’s just 40 miles from downtown Minneapolis — is as restorative as a spa visit.
The no-frills menu resides entirely within the short-order universe, and the low prices are in diametric opposition to the priceless setting.
All-day breakfast goes from eggs-any-style to crisp, golden waffles smothered in berries and a crown of whipped cream. Lunch is a half-dozen plays on hot dogs, a hearty pulled pork sandwich and burgers paired with a laundry list of select-your-own toppings. The week’s sole dinner is a Friday-only rib-fest.
The nicest people, too. Like most sleepaway camps, Marine Landing b.o.t.m. maintains a calendar — Memorial Day through Labor Day — that’s as depressingly brief as a Minnesota summer.
Marine Landing b.o.t.m.: 10 Elm St., Marine on St. Croix, Minn., 651-433-4577. Open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.