One of the coolest little towns I've been to. As I have posted in the past, I had the opportunity to help Sarah photograph the Pardon Fashion show in Menomonie in February 2011. This summer I had the chance for a more relaxing visit to Menomonie, and got to see some of the things that make the town such a cool place to be.
With a population of only about 18,000, Menomonie has that small-town charm a lot of so-called small towns lack. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and was listed on Smithsonian's Best 20 Small Towns, in 2012.
Within the park area along the Red Cedar River, there is an animal preserve where you can get close to some pretty big animals!
Although you can get close to the Elk, too, they tend to be a bit more standoffish.
In town you will find a lot of historical places, as well as the new up-and-coming. There is a natural food co-op that has an outstanding selection of locally grown and produced foods. There is the Raw Deal, which is a vegetarian and organic cafe. The Menomonie Log Jam is a popular pub and restaurant that features a great selection of local craft beers from Menomonie and the surrounding area.
And in the middle of it all is Stout University and the Mabel Tainter Theater. The theater was built in 1889, and Stout University was founded in 1891. Both cornerstones of proud history of this small, northern town.