Emily Seppelt – Opinion Columnist
As we reach the end of our first week of class, I am sure you are looking towards the weekend for things to distract you from your growing pile of homework. While there are many options for entertainment on campus, there are also a ton of great options both right here in Saint Peter and outside Mankato to satisfy your thirst for procrastination.
If you and your new study buddy are looking for a coffee place to refuel on caffeine, there are some fun local coffee shops for you to check out. If you’d like a short walk, Diamond Dust Bakery and Coffee Shop is located right across the street from Coed and offers an adorable study space and endless sugary treats.
Another Saint Peter coffee staple is River Rock located right on the main drag, on the corner of South Minnesota Ave. and West Nassau St. Many Gusties have reported that the maple latte to be found there is well worth the trip down the hill. Handmade from scratch every day, their breakfast and lunch menu is also amazing.
If your appetite demands a more substantial meal, Nicollet Cafe on Third Street has a great menu of hearty breakfast items, including sweet and fluffy pancakes and killer omelets. Also, on Third Street are Third Street Tavern and (the Gustie favorite) Patrick’s Bar and Grill. On the menu at Patrick’s is a “Gustie Burger” which I highly recommend.
My personal favorite place to pick up lunch on the weekend is the Saint Peter CoOp. The CoOp has a fantastic variety of delicious hot sandwiches to choose from as well as a burrito bar and a soup bar. You can construct your own lunch with a sandwich, a very large variety of organic drinks, and plenty of interesting and healthy snacks. My go-to order is the pesto aioli sandwich with raspberry-flavored kombucha and kettle potato chips.
Looking to get away from the stressors of class and homework? While we no longer can enjoy the amazing highs and lows of amateur bowling, Saint Peter has a variety of beautiful parks and trails to choose from to soak up the beautiful weather. Although I do recommend that you visit the ashes of the former bowling alley and pay homage to a place where generations of Gusties had awkward dates before you head out to enjoy nature.
While the Arb is also great, the parks and trails of St. Peter may offer a short reprieve from the winds that the Hill is so well known for. Just a short drive down the hill is Minnesota Square park which offers beautiful gazebos and open green spaces to have a picnic. They also have plenty of swings and slides if you want to escape the pressures of being a college student and return to your childhood roots.
Just outside Saint Peter is 7 Mile Creek. If you are looking for a longer trail walk or hike this park is the place for you. 7 Mile is a personal favorite of mine for the bubbling creek that winds its way through the park, as well as the tall hills of the valley that the trails of the park highlight.
If you are looking for a more educational visit to nature, the Treaty Site History Center is located right off highway 169 past the newly renovated McDonald’s. The Treaty site has a variety of trails to choose from which contain information about the wildlife and plant life native to Southern Minnesota. The Site also houses a museum about the history of European settlers in the region. The site serves as an opportunity to open up a conversation about the history of colonialism and Native Americans who inhabited the region.
One of the great things about our campus community is the connection that we have with the Saint Peter community and the pride that we have in this tiny little town. Supporting local businesses and community areas is the perfect way to show our appreciation for the residents of Saint Peter. Not to mention the fact that no matter how passionate you are about Gustavus, we all need a break from campus life once in a while. I hope these recommendations help you to explore our town a little more, or even to discover a new favorite place.