Northfield's major historical claim to fame is the "Defeat of Jesse James". On September 7th, 1876, the James-Younger Gang rode into town intent on robbing the First National Bank of Northfield. Tipped off due to their suspicious actions, the citizens of Northfield engaged in a quick but heavy firefight with the gang that left two citizens and two gang members dead. The other six gang members sustained a range of injuries and fled south. Four were captured two weeks later only fifty miles from Northfield.
Northfield sits at the intersection of highways MN 19 and MN 3. The quickest way to Northfield from the Twin Cities is taking Interstate 35 south to MN 19 (Exit 69) and go east on 19. The downtown area is on the east side of the Cannon River.
There is not much of a public transit in Northfield, but it is a very walkable town. However to get out to the more commercial shopping area down Highway 3, you'll probably want a bike or car. There is a smaller taxi service(507-645-4447).
Care Tenders is airport shuttle service (the only service of its kind in Northfield). It also provides service in and around Northfield. 1-888-492-RIDE (7433)
There is also Northfield Transit and Dial-A-Ride(507) 645-7250 that operates during the day.
Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, State Highway 3, 800-658-2548, . The Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau helps visitors plan trips to Northfield. The offer information about attractions, featured events, local history, arts and culture, recreation and group tours.
Carleton College, One North College Street, 507-646-4000, . Carleton College was founded in 1866. The campus is 950 total acres, including the 880-acre Arboretum, a nature preserve and park which is accessible to the public. The Arboretum was named Minnesota’s best running trail by Runner’s World magazine. Walking in the arb is highly recommended. The Gould Library, also open to the public, houses over a million volumes.
Northfield Historical Society, 408 Division Street 507-645-9268 (www.northfieldhistory.org), . Site of the bank raid, restored to original condition. The bullet holes in the wall are genuine. Tours and souvenirs.
St. Olaf College. St. Olaf College is located on a hill on the west side of Northfield. The college was founded in 1874 by Norwegian immigrants and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Defeat of Jesse James Days,. First weekend after Labor Day. A rodeo, midway and local celebrations, including live reenactments of the bank raid.
St. Olaf Christmas Festival, . First Thursday after Thanksgiving. St. Olaf College has been giving the festival since 1912, one of the finest choral events in the nation. It is nationally broadcast on public radio and television. Tickets are difficult to come by, so plan ahead.
Plays and Exhibits sponsored by the Northfield Arts Guild, . Art exhibits and a gift shop featuring pottery, jewelry, cards, and other locally made crafts. Plays at the Northfield Arts Guild (NAG) Theater. See the website for current plays and exhibits.
Rueb N Stein, Downtown on Division. Try a Grundy Burger, single, double or triple! Add any topping. Best Burger in the world. They do great Malts too.
Hogan Brother's Hogies, Downtown on Division. Super tasty sandwiches. Super super tasty.
The Tavern, Located downstairs in the Archer House Hotel. A local favorite featuring a wide variety of choices.
Chapati, in the Archer House hotel. High-end Indian food.
Kurry Kabob, On Highway 3. Another Indian restaurant. Very good.
El Tequila, On Highway 3. Good Mexican food.
Basil's Pizza A Greek pizzeria. Try the Gyro pizza with Taziki sauce. Seriously. Located in the old downtown on 4th street.
B and L's, On Division St. Another Greek Pizzeria.
George's Vineyard Another pizzeria located on Highway 19, serves Greek food.
The Quarterback Club, Highway 3 and 4th street. Delicious and reasonably priced burgers.
The HideAway Coffeehouse and Winebar, 421 Division Street, ☎ 507-664-0400, . Located in the heart of downtown Northfield, The HideAway offers outstanding coffee, made to order sandwiches, appetizers, wine and beer. Friendly staff and beautiful decor make this a "must" in Northfield.
Goodbye Blue Monday Blue Monday is right downtown on Division street. It serves good coffee in a friendly atmosphere. There are lots of tables and couches, an internet connection, and usually some great music. It is a favorite coffee shop of college students.
The Ole Store The Ole Store is similar to the Blue Monday, but provides caffeinated goodness to the other side of town. Located just short of St. Olaf College on St. Olaf Avenue.
James Gang Coffeehouse & Eatery This place serves people around the Highway 3 shopping areas. Great coffee, sandwiches, and soups, in a relaxed atmosphere. Free WiFi internet connection.
The Contented Cow This British pub is a local favorite. Classic pub food is available as well as a wide range of international beers amongst other beverages. Local bands (mostly of the folk variety) play there regularly. This place tends to attract a mellow crowd of all ages.
The Rueb N' Stein On the corner of 5th street and Division, this place has more of a sports bar feel. The place features a game room with pool tables and the like. The Rueb attracts a younger college-aged crowd.
The Tavern Lounge This establishment is located inside the Archer House hotel. It's a relatively quiet place with an outside terrace. The lights are kept low and it attracts an older college/ post-college crowd.
Froggy Bottoms On the banks of the Cannon river, Froggy Bottoms has a very trendy feel and serves food as well as drinks. This place attracts a varied kind of crowd.
The HideAway Coffeehouse and Winebar, 421 Division Street, ☎ 507-664-0400, . Located in the heart of downtown Northfield this is a great place for outstanding coffee, made to order sandwiches, wine, beer and appetizers. Friendly staff and beautiful decor make this a "must" stop in Northfield
The Archer House, 212 Division Street. The Archer House is a French Second Empire Inn located along the Cannon River. 36 individually decorated rooms, two restaurants, a coffee café, and retail shops all located within the building.
Froggy Bottoms River Suites, 309 South Water Street. Along the west bank of the Cannon River in the heart of historic downtown Northfield, the Froggy Bottoms River Suites feature a wide range of amenities and can be rented by the day, week or month.
AmericInn Suites, 1320 Bollenbacher Dr, . This hotel is located on highway 19. Each room is nicely appointed and reasonably priced. There is a free breakfast.
Country Inn and Suites, 300 South Highway 3, Located very close to the downtown, this convenient hotel offers a free breakfast.
Magic Door Bed and Breakfast, 818 Division Street South, this charming home offers three different suites. The bed and breakfast is within walking distance of the downtown area and Carleton College.