Today is shopping day, exploring the small town boutiques and specialty stores in Pequot Lakes, Pine River and Crosslake.
Start your shopping along CSAH 11 (Main Street) in Pequot Lakes boasting retail shopping "squares" and individual shops. At the North Lakes Center you'll find outstanding shoes at Expressions. Down the road at Just Your Style in the lower level of the Pequot Professional Building enjoy a wonderful array of personal indulgences including beautiful pedicures and renowned therapeutic massage. Catering to your floral and gift needs. Across the street is Leslie's, well known in the lakes area for its women's clothing and accessories. On the west side of town, don't miss a stop at Weise Craft and Variety where time melts away as you poke into nooks and crannies, one more interesting than the next. Step into Merritt Jewelers for fine jewelry and gifts, and don't miss the Paul Bunyan and Lucette display where the couple's enormous engagement ring is showcased.
Onward north through Jenkins, poke around in little antique and bric-a-brac shops. Pop into Underdogs for an award-winning burger. On to Pine River, a place that bills itself as 'still a real town' and it lives up to that phrase! Downtown's main street, Barclay Avenue, is 5 blocks of glimpses of yesteryear with shops featuring indented sidewalk entrances, old-fashioned customer service and touches from past generations in display styles and store marquis. Don't miss wandering around in the basement toy department at Gardiner's Hardware or grabbing a Paul Bunyan cookie at the Pine River Bakery!
Next it's on to Crosslake where you can stop at the new Town Square and pick up a perfect gift or get your treasured photo or art piece framed at Lakes Area Gallery and Frame Shoppe. Step next door for a piece of chocolate with a taste so good and big, the store was named after Paul Bunyan's blue ox...the Chocolate Ox. Turn the corner (just past the blue ox disguised as a fish) and you'll find a cool store that has tons of fun decor and home accessories — There's Room Home Decor. Next, visit Judy's House of Gifts for fine collectibles and a stunning assortment of gifts and kitchen accessories. Then on your way north out of town on CSAH 66, stop at the Bait Box. The building stars in a tall tale, known in that story as Paul Bunyan's tackle box that he wearied of carrying and just plopped it down in the spot it now occupies on the channel. Besides lively bait, a vast array of tackle and pontoon and houseboat rentals, you can also shop for extraordinary oil paintings and prints created by the owner, or request a customized painting for your home or as a very special gift. Several Byway art pieces have been done by this artist. Across the street, visit Al's Marine to view a wide array of watercrafts available for purchase or rent.
South out of Crosslake on CSAH 3, visit North Wedge Greenhouse for strong, beautiful plants and appealing yard accessories. At the intersection of CSAH 3 and CSAH 11, roam around the Mission Mall on the southeast corner.