Prairie’s Edge Casino is in Granite Falls, Minnesota. It’s a small town by all means, but it’s one that boasts more than its fair share of attractions. And like many small towns in Minnesota, you’re getting history, scenery, and more scenery in the hot vacation spots on today’s list.
If you’re looking to take an afternoon or even an entire day to explore the area, this is a post you must read. And if you love history or nature, you will adore these vacation spots. Make sure you carve out enough time to visit all of them.
So, let’s go ahead and take a tour of Granite Falls, Minnesota. And discover everything this small town and the surrounding area offers so you can take a complete vacation in Southwest Minnesota.
1 – Andrew John Volstad House
As mentioned in the intro, you’re getting a lot of history in the areas surrounding Prairie’s Edge Casino. And it starts with a trip to a National Historic Landmark known as the Andrew John Volstad House.
Built in 1878, they added the house to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and it became a National Historic Landmark in 1976. It remained private property until they listed it on the National Register and was then converted into the museum that it has become today.
2 – Fagen Fighters WWII Museum
You’ll find the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum right in Granite Falls. So, if you’re looking for a cool place to spend a couple of hours away from the slots and table gaming over at Prairie’s Edge Casino, this museum enriched in history is where you will find it.
They have an incredible collection of WWII-era planes that to this day, remain fully operational. Plus, they have an outstanding library along with the displays, so you can even dig into some of your own research if you so choose.
Along with the planes, you will also find your fair share of military vehicles and other forms of machinery. It’s also a great place to visit if you’re in the area with your kids, as it offers them an outstanding educational experience.
So, what are you waiting for? Take some time away from the casino and embrace what may just be the finest educational experience in town.
3 – Granite Falls Suspension Bridge
It’s not every day that you will find a suspension bridge on a list of attractions in the area. The Granite Falls Suspension Bridge is an obvious exception to the rule.
But this bridge is one of the few walk suspension bridges in America, giving it props over your average suspension bridges. But there is so much more than this being your average, everyday suspension bridge.
Along with the falls, dam, and river rocks, you’re also in for an epic treatment of deciduous forest that radiates a fantastical flair in the fall months. If you’re in Minnesota when summer fades and the leaves are changing, bring your best camera and come on out to Granite Falls Suspension Bridge.
The surrounding park is also a fine place for a picnic. And why not grab a bite to eat over at Prairie’s Edge Casino and take your fare outside? Your taste buds and your eyes will have nothing but good things to experience!
4 – Upper Sioux Agency State Park
If your mind, body, and soul are craving an even greater dose of epic scenery, head on over to Upper Sioux Agency State Park and you will satisfy those cravings. Nestled right on the open prairie, this is yet another fine place to take the entire family.
Here, you’ll find stunning views of the Minnesota River and the entire Yellow Medicine River Valley. Some of those overlooks will allow you to see what lays beyond the horizon. And if you’re looking for the complete nature experience, be sure to trek across a few of those well-maintained hiking trails.
And better yet, if you planned on coming out to the suspension bridge, chances are, you’re right in the park. You can catch terrific views of the bridge at the far end and you’ll also catch a plethora of wild animals running around, including the famed white-tailed deer.
If you’re a fan of nature watching, hiking, and history, take a trip to the Upper Sioux Agency State Park. There is a lot going on here, and it’s worth taking a few hours from Prairie’s Edge Casino to visit.
5 – Yellow Medicine County Museum and Historical Society
If you’d like to take a tiny break from the slots and table gaming at Prairie’s Edge Casino, head over for some more history lessons at Yellow Medicine County Museum and Historical Society.
They open the museum from May until September 1st, so it’s more than worth taking the trip to before the staff boards the Hogwarts Express. Yeah, that’s sort of a cheesy line, but the September 1st closing date got me!
However, they do offer tours during the closed season, per the overview on TripAdvisor. You’ll just have to call or email ahead and make an appointment. With that, you’re in for a private tour of Yellow Medicine County’s storied history.
They offer a plethora of exhibits in this small location, including a military room, schoolroom, Native American items, a pioneer cabin, a doctor’s office, and a pioneer church. It’s a great way to experience what life was like from yesteryear, and a good way to learn about the area’s local history.
6 – Prairie Mercantile Antiques
If you’re into the old stuff, take a trip to Prairie Mercantile Antiques and you will find more than a few hot items for purchase. But you’re finding more than just well-preserved items from yesteryear; they hold a lot of hidden treasures within the walls of Prairie Mercantile Antiques.
It’s definitely worth taking the trip if you’re looking for something unique to commemorate your stay in Granite Falls, Minnesota.
They have so much in stock that one reviewer on TripAdvisor even stated that the location is packed with trailers full of hidden treasures. Plus, they have also acknowledged the reasonable pricing.
So, you’re getting a few steals here, even if you’re not spending any winnings from Prairie’s Edge Casino.
Come on in, join in the hunt for a few hidden treasures, and leave with something of value that you never previously knew existed. One reviewer on TripAdvisor noted that this place once housed a gas station. That’s not a bad way to put an old building to use, right?
You’re in for a real treat at Prairie Mercantile Antiques.
7 – Sorlien Park
If you’re looking for a fine place to watch the falls of which Granite Falls gets its name, Sorlien Park is the ideal spot. They have several awesome viewing areas to catch an awesome vantage point of the nearby falls.
But be careful though, this park is prone to spring and summer flooding. Proceed with caution if you’re heading over there after a recent rain storm.
While it doesn’t take too long for the water to recede, a few pics on TripAdvisor showed the floodwaters in action.
Luckily, the park also sits atop a small walkway, so even during the flooding seasons, you’re still on higher ground and it’s still a fine place to visit during the warmer months of the year.
Nature is always in action, whether it’s breathtaking like a flood or ducks hanging out on the riverbanks.
Take a seat, catch the falls, and be sure to capture a few photos of the surrounding wildlife along with floodwaters if the water had yet to recede. It makes for quite an impressive display of how powerful nature can become.
And there you have it! Those are the seven awesome vacation spots surrounding Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort, found in one of Minnesota’s most interesting small towns. And as with most small towns, you’re getting more than your fair share of nature and history, along with interesting attractions.
But as with even your larger areas, you’re getting enough here that will qualify for a weekend getaway. So, be sure to go on out into the area, explore Granite Falls, and return to Prairie’s Edge for an evening of casino gaming and entertainment.
Have you been to Prairie’s Edge Casino? If so, did you head over to any of the attractions listed above? Let us know in the comments and tell us your favorite part about Granite Falls. We are always looking forward to reading about your experience.