Local Treasures in the City of Faribault
By Julie Buchwald Haley
Faribault sits at the confluence of the Cannon and Straight Rivers and boasts international businesses beside long-run mom-and-pop shops, a lovely historic downtown, a sprawling uptown district with malls and megastores and several beautiful parks.
The Alexander Faribault House was built by the city’s founder in 1853 overlooking the river, where it stands today as a museum and history center in its original location near the southeastern edge of the downtown district. Along with the Rice County Museum of History, located near the Rice County Fairgrounds, it’s worth the time to stop by for tours and learn more about the city’s and region’s histories.
The River Bend Nature Center is a beautiful place to discover the area’s natural beauty. It has walking trails, guided tours, even waterfalls, and a summer camp. It is open during the winter months for skiing and snowshoeing.
Paradise Center for the Arts on Central Ave in historic downtown is home to an uplifting cultural center for local area artists creating visual and performing arts. I remember it as a movie theater long-ago, and it is fun to see that it has been renovated to include classrooms, art galleries, clay and textile labs, rehearsal spaces, and even a gift shop. They have a lot to offer for all ages and abilities.
Some of my favorite places include the new Janna’s Market Grill, where you’ll find freshly made, delicious meals-to-go, as well as grocery items to stock your pantry.
If you’re looking for a gift for a family member, friend, or to treat yourself, you can’t go wrong with Finally A Gift Store. It is warm and inviting with colorful displays and whimsical wares from games and snarky stuff to gifts, kitchen and bath, and apparel, including an impressive selection of cute leggings.
Be sure to check out Glass Garden Beads, where you’ll find friendly help and a impressive selection of beads for necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and even miniaturing.
Down the hall, you’ll find gorgeous, locally handmade items sure to please at the Fleur De Lis Gallery and step across the hall for the mixed berry-filled pastry and chai latte from Good Day Coffee.
Rice County Habitat for Humanity has built many homes in Faribault and has several set to build in the next few years. It is making a difference for those in need of stable housing. Ruth’s House and HOPE Center are both places of refuge and hope for those in need of a safe haven.
There are beautiful parks on the rivers, downtown shopping, several strip malls, historic sites, and many thriving, reputable businesses. The Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce is a great place to visit to find information on the city and all the good things to do, see, shop, stay, and play.
I recently found myself driving along previously unknown roads and discovering more than I ever realized was there. It truly is a Local Treasure to be explored!
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