Visiting Carleton Soon. Any Suggestions?

Any suggestions to get a real feel of the school and
surrounding area? We are also thinking of stopping by Macalester.

I have never been to this part of the country, so blank slate.
Worth visiting Mall of America?

I assume you will be traveling in the next few weeks, but if you go in September, you can enjoy the Defeat of Jesse James Days in Northfield:

If you are outdoorsy, be sure to walk the Arboretum at Carleton and maybe paddle down the Cannon River: Paddling the Cannon River – The Gear ReSource Outfitters!

In Minneapolis, take in a Twins game maybe.

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Also, there is some really cool silo art in Mankato, but that’s probably too far off the beaten path.

If you are into the music scene, you could check out First Ave in Minneapolis, made famous by Prince.

There’s a fun Renaissance Festival in August-September:

Lots of art/culture options in the Twin Cities that I find more fun than the Mall: Arts, Culture & Heritage | Explore Minnesota

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If you are heading that way, add St Olaf to your visit list.


Definitely walk around the arboretum. When we were there we saw a crane, and it was just beautiful. Stop by Goodbye Blue Monday coffeehouse and then walk behind it to sit at a table on the Cannon river to enjoy your coffee. If you’re going to be in Northfield anyway (and you obviously like small LACs), I highly recommend that you also visit St. Olaf. This may be up for debate, but I think that St. Olaf’s campus is prettier than Carleton’s - it’s up on a hill and has beautiful trees and gray stone buildings. We were super impressed with the school as a whole on our tour. If you/your kid is competitive for Carleton, then St. Olaf might be a match or even a safety and you’d likely get merit aid money.

I would also definitely recommend touring Macalester while you’re close by - another school we loved. My son sat in on a class there, and we spent most of the rest of the day talking about what the class had been discussing. Great school in a neat neighborhood in St. Paul. If you like Macalester, it offers early action admission where you find out in December, which was awesome for us in decreasing stress in the process. My son got in, and was 1) able to eliminate a few last minute applications to schools he liked less than Macalester, and 2) go into the rest of the admissions cycle with almost zero stress, as he knew he’s be going to a school that he loved no matter what.

Mall of America is just a huge mall. If you like going to malls, then you’ll probably like it.


We toured all of the mentioned schools in April. I agree with the other post - visit St Olaf if you’re going to Carleton. It’s in the same (very small) town and the campus is gorgeous! It also gives great merit money (Carleton only gives need based financial aid) It’s a “College that Changes Lives” school, and highly rated. In my opinion, the most beautiful college campus we have visited.

I recommend you definitely visit Macalester. It’s a great school and even though they are always mentioning how it’s in the city, it’s in a nice residential neighborhood. We loved how it’s so close to the airport and so much to do in the cities. It’s a contrast to the others which is great to compare. We also liked how you can walk off campus to stores and restaurants within a block or two.

Another one worth adding is Gustavus Adolphus College. It’s in St Peter, about 45 mins or so drive from the city, similar to St Olaf and Carleton.

Yes, visit the mall of America. We did and my daughter loved it.


If you’re going to be in that part of the country, I ‘d make the 4 hour drive down to Grinnell. I think it does the most interesting things with students of any of the colleges mentioned.


We did Grinnell on the same trip to see those other schools, and my kid really loved it.


Hey thanks all. We are planning to stay near the airport, so should be a nice drive to Carleton. We will swing by St. Olaf and Macalester. Grinnell is a bit out of the way, but will consider it. I doubt we will ever be back to this part of the country if these schools do not work out. My D really wants to go to the Mall of America. She has the restaurants and shops planned out. Shrug. I am the chauffeur and wallet.


Check out Minneapolis too. One of the nice aspects of Macalester is access to the greater Twin Cities. Near Mac, go to Groveland Tap for jucey lucies. Drive up and down Grand and Summit Avenues and see the Mississippi River. Walk across the Mill Street bridge to St Anthony Main, for example.

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