Faribault has a legacy of innovation, hard work, and solid craftsmanship and when combined, world class creations come to life.
Started in 1865, the Faribault Woolen Mills is one of only two remaining vertical woolen mills in America. Irreplaceable century-old machinery stands side by side with modern technology in our “new” mill, which was built in 1892. During World War I in 1917, the Woolen Mill supplied 100,000 olive drab army blankets for the troops and continued to make Army blankets for World War II and still does today. The Faribault Woolen Mill sits along the banks of the Cannon River in Faribault, and fifth generation craftspeople take raw wool and create blankets, throws, scarves and accessories of remarkable comfort and quality. Tours of the mill are available, and a retail store is open to the public. Learn more about the Mill’s history here, and plan your visit to the Mill here.
Originally built as an opera house in 1885, the building burned in 1929 and the Paradise Center for the Arts was built on the foundation. The Paradise is a treasure for residents and visitors alike. Walking into the building, you enter into a lobby designed as a Moroccan Courtyard. Stepping into the doors of the auditorium, you’ll see castle like walls and a deep blue ceiling to imitate a night’s sky. The Paradise auditorium has 280 seats on the floor with a balcony above. There are three art galleries where creations by local and national artist are on display and rotate regularly throughout the year, and a gift shop showcasing work from area artists for purchase. The Paradise Center for the Arts hosts a combination of plays, music, and comedy throughout the year. Plus, they offer a wide array of classes where you can learn pottery, glass fusing, painting and more. Learn more about the Paradise Center for the Art’s 2019 performances and events here.
America’s first blue cheese was made at the Caves of Faribault in sandstone caves carved from the river bluffs. This sandstone is geologically rare and is uniquely qualified for aging cheese and lagering beer. The caves began serving this purpose in 1854 the caves were used to brew and age their beer made at Fleckenstein Brewing Co. The Prohibition of Alcohol forced the operation to close, and in December 1936, Mr. Felix Frederiksen purchased the caves for the first blue cheese to be made in the United States. Today, Caves of Faribault is the only U.S. cheese maker still curing and aging blue cheese exclusively in caves. The Cheese Cave Restaurant, the Caves of Faribault storefront and restaurant, is a mecca for cheese lovers and culinary connoisseurs. The store offers a chic and unique setting for visitors to enjoy gourmet tastings of over 40 premium cheese labels and pairings as well as attend culinary demonstrations and gourmet events. Click here to see hours and more information.
Vintage Escapes Winery and Vineyard officially opened summer of 2019, but the dream to open a winery had been in the works for years. Wine Flights, wine by glass, wine by bottle, wine & food pairings along with shareable plates and desserts. The wine selection includes whites, reds, and a decadent raspberry dessert wine. The winery offers a quaint and charming atmosphere, much of which was hand crafted by the owners, and a patio perfect for spending summer days looking over the countryside and lake. Learn more and plan your visit here.
Located in downtown Faribault, 10,000 Drops Craft Distillery is dedicated to distilling and aging the highest quality Whiskeys and Rums. It was founded with the goal of crafting the highest quality American spirits, in the spirit of the American craftsman. The hundred-year-old warehouse that is home to the distillery has been renovated with great care and attention to detail using many refurbished materials. The space includes the distillery where the product is crafted, as well as a cocktail room that you’ll want to settle into and try a few beverages. Visitors are be able to choose from several options made with the Silver Rum, spiced rum, barrel aged dark rum, naked whiskey, gin and barrel aged bourbon. And don’t forget to try a drink from their delicious craft cocktail menu. Tours of the distillery are available by reservation on Saturdays, Learn more here.
Plus, Faribault has an ever growing local art scene. With shops like the Fleur De Lis, Glass Garden Beads, Upper East Side, Savvy Brush, the Nook and Cranny and Junk Monkey you can see the work of skilled hands in a variety of mediums from chain link, beading, silk dying, painting, sign making, see a demonstration of participate in a class and learn yourself. Plus, there are beautiful murals showing parts of area history along with pop up installations occurring throughout the summer. And great events like the Creative Crawl on select Friday evenings and the Studio ArTour in the fall. Keep up to date here.
Spend a day or two taking in all of the wonderful locally crafted options, and fill up with local bites from the Farmer’s Market or on of the many local dining options! Learn more about places to eat here. And find a great selection of lodging options here.
We hope to see you soon here in Faribault, were we’ve been crafting American stories since 1852.