It's time to start thinking about a spring trip! The April issue of Minnesota Monthly explores a trio of river towns.
Let's start with Eau Claire, Wisc., just 90 minutes across the border from the Twin Cities. It's long been a sleepy college town, but in recent years it's seen some major revitalization. A couple of successful entrepreneurs from the community have chosen to stay there to pursue their careers and open two new boutique hotels, The Lismore and the Oxbow — each with a very hip, big-city feel.
Both have great restaurants for foodies and music lovers will be interested to know that Eau Claire native Justin Vernon of the Grammy-award-winning music group Bon Iver is an investor in the Oxbow. There are record players in each room (his latest album is in the room, but you can check out other discs, too) and also live music at the restaurant.