Nestled within the rich farmland of Le Sueur and Scott counties, the New Prague area was settled in 1856 by a Bavarian, Anton Philipp. Shortly thereafter, a group of Bohemians arrived somewhat by accident. Seeking a Catholic community near St. Cloud they mistakenly followed the Minnesota River and ended up near Shakopee, where they were directed to Philipp's settlement. Agriculture and milling were key to the town's early success and are celebrated each year on the third Saturday of September during Dozinky Days, a Czech Harvest Festival.
New Prague is 45 miles from the Twin Cities. Travel south on Interstate 35 to County Road 2, the Elko/New Market exit. Drive west to Hwy. 13, then south to Hwy. 19. Take Hwy. 19 west into downtown.
More bed-and-breakfast than hotel, Schumachers Hotel (212 W. Main St.; 952-758-2133; www.schumacher hotel.com) offers six suites in the historic 1898 Broz Hotel building.
John and Kathleen Schumacher's newly reopened restaurant in Schumachers Hotel, Grill 212, has a cozy, Old World feel. The restaurant's menu features "uncomplicated cuisine" and includes American fare as well as fall specials such as sauerbraten and spaetzle. Many patrons remember dining at Schumachers years ago and share memories about special occasions they celebrated there.
Fishtale Bar & Grill (200 E. County Road 37; 952-758-8000) is great for casual, family-friendly dining. Known for their burgers made with ground beef, turkey or veggies, and their vomacka, the restaurant has a cabin-like decor with a fishing theme.
Before you head out of town stop at one of Minnesota's best known dairies, Cedar Summit Farm (25830 Drexel Av.; 952-758-6886; www.cedarsummit.com). Family-owned since 1926, Cedar Summit sells organic cream, milk and other farm-fresh foods in their on-site Creamery Store.
Visit the Chamber of Commerce's website at www.newprague.com or call 952-758-4360.
Several businesses are closed on Sundays and Mondays; be sure to check on hours before you plan your trips.
MYRNA CG MIBUS