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WHERE TO EAT
Grab an easy, tasty meal at Tandem Bagels, where you’ll find breakfast bagels and bike-themed sandwiches including the tasty Bent River with a slab of fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper, tomato, spinach and a tangy vinaigrette (200 E. Walnut St.; 1-507-720-6533; www.tandembagels.com).
Number 4’s temptations include the Hot Mess (a slab of meatloaf on grilled sourdough topped with beer cheese soup, bacon cracklings and fried onions), a molten butterscotch cake with caramelized bananas and chunks of cashew brittle, and weekend-only Bloody Marys so packed with cheese, meats, shrimp, pickles and vegetables that it’s basically a sandwich in a glass (124 E. Walnut St.; 1-507-344-1444; www.num ber4mankato.com).
WHERE TO SLEEP
The Hilton Garden Inn sits in the heart of downtown near the riverfront (1-507-344-1111; mank atodowntown.stayhgi.com) while the Butler House Bed and Breakfast is tucked among the historic hillside homes on Broad Street (1-507-387-5055; www.butlerhouse.com).
Campers can find 61 sites on a bluff above the Minnesota River and one camper cabin at Minneopa State Park (1-507-389-5464). County-run Rapidan Dam Park and Campground includes 20 rustic sites with several on the Blue Earth River (1-507-546-9997). The state park offers fishing rods and tackle (no fishing license needed), birding kits and kids’ activity bags.
IF YOU GO
Get more travel details from Visit Mankato: 1-800-657-4733; www.visitmankatomn. com.
St. Cloud-based Lisa Meyers McClintick (lisamcclintick.com) wrote “Day Trips From the Twin Cities” and the travel app Minnesota Lake Vacations.