Lanesboro Named One of the Best Small Towns in America

Posted at: 03/28/2014 7:07 PM
By: Hannah Tran

(ABC 6 News) -- What is known as the bed and breakfast capital of Minnesota is now recognized as one of the top 20 small towns to visit in America by magazine the Smithsonian.

Smithsonian Magazine announced its top 20 list earlier this month, confirming what many of us already know.  

"The arts have been a huge engine, a huge economic engine for Lanesboro," said Hal Cropp, executive director of Commonweal, a nationally recognized and unique theater for its size, innovation, and performance for rural or small regional areas in America. It sees as many as 22,000 people a year.

"This is probably one of the finest professional theaters located in a rural setting that you will find in the country," said Cropp.

After enjoying the vibrant art scene or exploring the large network of bike trails, visitors can also have a cozy stay when the sun dips back down into the rocky cliffs that surround the city.

"It's a town that focuses on quality experience," said Peter Torkelson, one of the many owners of a breakfast and bed stop for tourists. 

Currently, Lanesboro is known as the bed and breakfast capital of Minnesota. Many of them are in old, Victorian homes.

"We have an amazing number of homes of this quality in this town of less than 800 people," said Torkelson.

Lansboro was also named as one of America's top small town art places in 2013. The Lanesboro Arts Center has a hundred pieces from regional artists, all of which are seen by eyes from around the world.

"People who come from 500 miles away, people from Belarus, Ireland, Scotland, you name it," said Robbie Brokken, Gallery Director at the Arts Center.

At Crown Trout Jewelers, a local casting and gold-smithing shop, worldwide attention is no surprise here either.

"We're internationally known if you could believe it, for our design work all the way from Italy to Iceland," said Liz Bucheit, one of two owners of Crown Trout jewelers.

International recognition for a town of 745 is something to be proud of for locals. The Driftless Area of rocky ridges and wonders is a landmark for tourists worldwide.