East Metro/WI: Scenic Ride with Quirky Photo Ops, Good Food, and Biker Hangouts
Click here for the route details and step by step turns
Minneapolis - Rosemount - Hampton (2 quirky places worth the stop along the way)- Miesville (Kings Burger Place, anyone?) - Welch Village - Hager Heights, WI - Nauti Hawg @ Diamond Bluff, WI - No Name Saloon/Monkey Bar @ Prescott, WI - and back to Minneapolis
Minneapolis - Hampton *2 stops off of County Rd 50 in Hampton:
1- Wat Munisotaram - Be respectful, knees, shoulders, and elbows must be covered. Remove shoes when walking in any structures, including the open air platform with the Buddha's on the upper level of the driveway. People live on site and their culture respects calm, tranquility, and peace. Please also be respectful by turning off your music as you enter the driveway, by NOT revving your pipes, and by presenting yourself in a calm, peaceful manner. https://religionsmn.carleton.edu/exhibits/show/wattmunisotaram/introduction
2. Beach Dude - just a couple miles past the Wat on 50 - its at Eilen & Sons Trucking. Quirky Photo Op. https://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/6425
Continue on County Rd 50 - which turns into Highway 61. If you have an appetite, don't miss King's Place - home of the best burgers in MN (claim to fame). Their food is amazing and worth the wait. Its a great pit stop with curbside/front door bike parking. http://www.kingsplacebar.com/
From there, turn right onto County Rd 7 - commonly called Welch Village Road - you can't miss it - just keep an eye out for the SUPER tall church steeple on the right side of the road, and turn there. Caution - there is almost ALWAYS gravel on that turn due to gravel shoulders.
This is a short, albeit fun, twisty road. At the stop sign, continue straight, past the ski hill, and onto many more corners - some sweepers, some tighter, all fun! Then take a left on 19 and head towards Red Wing, where you will cross the bridge into Wisconsin. The four way stop over the bridge is Hager Heights. If you couldn't smell the roasted chicken when crossing the bridge, you surely can now at the 4 way stop. Hungry? Go straight through the stop sign and its the white building, with the big chicken, on the right side. They offer drive up and walk up only. Portions are HUGE. They only accept cash, but have an ATM on site. Amazing chicken and delicious root beer floats!! Grab some food and head over to the tables in the grass for lunch and a view. On nice days, you will hear the constant rumble of motorcycles cruising up and down the river roads. https://www.facebook.com/Hager-Heights-Drive-In-140174882683829/
From there, go back to the four way stop, and if facing Red Wing direciton, turn right. If you want to see where bikers hang out, stop by Nauti Hawg Bar in Diamond Bluff, WI. Adhere to the speed limit postings in Diamond Bluff! And beware the turn from the highway to Nauti Hawg - the railroad crossing can be quite rough. Once you cross the tracks, take a right - doesn't matter which one, all rights lead to the Haug! There will be hundreds of bikes on nice days - maybe even a band with outdoor grills going on weekends. The bathrooms are TINY and each are one stall. So if you really have to go, and you can bear it, try the outside porta potty's instead. https://www.nautihawg.com/
Continue north towards Prescott, WI. *For an AMAZING overlook spot - stop at Freedom Park on top of the hill - you will see a little sign just after the speed limit hits 25mph - the turn will be on your left. It's a short walk, and very well worth the views! https://www.freedomparkwi.org/
Then head north a 1/2 mile into Prescott and you will surely see the line of bikes on the main drag - stop by the Monkey Bar/No Name Saloon for food or a drink and mingle with other bikers. There is a gravel parking lot just past the bar, or if you are lucky, you might find street parking. As you come down the hill into Prescott, you will first see the ginormous American Flag. That is the parking lot! https://www.facebook.com/NNSMB/
There are tons of other places to stop along the way for views, food, drinks, or hikes! This is just a summary of the well known (and maybe not so well known) detours!!