Biking in Inver Grove Heights: Regional Bike Trails

Pine Bend Bluffs
By Stacy Brooks

Inver Grove Heights is a top-notch biking destination, thanks to its miles of trails, parks, and Bike King, a full-service bike shop.  It’s also a convenient place to connect to some of the Twin Cities’ best regional bike trails and stop for a bite to eat along the way. 

Mississippi River Trail Bikeway (U.S. Bicycle Route 45) 

Minnesota’s segment of the Mississippi River Trail Bikeway runs about 620 miles from the river’s source in Itasca State Park to the Iowa border.  Located mostly on the shoulders of paved and low-traffic roads, the route also includes segments of state and regional trails.

Rock Island Swing Bridge regional bike trials
Photo Credit: Visit IGH

Inver Grove Heights’ portion of the trail passes through the heart of the city, running along Concord Boulevard, 80th Street, and South Robert Trail.  Stop at Swing Bridge Park for panoramic views from the 680-foot walking pier that juts halfway across the Mississippi River.  The park also has a trailhead facility with bike fix-it stations, restrooms, water, and benches.

Several locally-owned Inver Grove Heights restaurants are located on or near the Mississippi River Trail Bikeway.  For river views and elevated bar fare, visit the Mississippi Pub, which has two outdoor patios overlooking the river and a glass-walled dining room.  Other local favorites include Jersey’s Bar & Grill, Turitto’s Pizza, Iwa Sushi, and Dominick’s Pizza.  In the mood for something healthful?  Check out Oyevida Lifestyle Cafe for sandwiches and salads.

Mississippi Pub

 

Mississippi River Greenway- Regional Bike Trails

Extending 27 miles along the Mississippi River from St. Paul to Hastings, the Mississippi River Greenway runs through Inver Grove Heights, with trailheads at Swing Bridge Park and Pine Bend Bluffs.  The paved trail has scenic views of the river and is also connected to other local parks and trails.

Regional Bike Trails
Photo Credit: City of Inver Grove Heights

Salem Hills Park/Harmon Park Reserve Mountain Biking Trail

Looking for a beginner-friendly mountain biking trail?  Check on the 4.3 miles of trails in Harmon Park Reserve.  The one-way trail system includes three loops.  A Loop (Singletrack Sawmill) starts from the parking lot, and is less than a mile long, with a twisting route through the trees.  B Loop (Foul Pond) features two wooden bridges and goes in and out of the woods.  C Loop (Prairie Fire) also incorporates both wooded and prairie areas, with a bridge and an optional rock obstacle. 

Mountain Biking at Harmon Park Reserve

Make Inver Grove Heights your base for a weekend of biking in the Twin Cities!  Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Enjoy amenities including complimentary breakfast, free parking, indoor pools, and more.  Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today!

Stock up for Spring Planting at Gertens in Inver Grove Heights

Gertens Garden Center
By Stacy Brooks

Spring is in the air, which means it’s time to start planting!  Take a trip to Inver Grove Heights to stock up on spring planting supplies from Gertens, Minnesota’s destination garden center that has everything you need to make this season blossom.

Gertens Garden Center items for spring planting
Photo Credit: Gertens Garden Center

Minnesota’s Destination Garden Center- Shop Locally Owned for Spring Planting Supplies

Gertens is a fourth-generation family business that has been supplying customers with high-quality plants and trees since the early 1900s.  Not only does Gertens offer the largest selection of annuals, perennials, and nursery stock in the Twin Cities, they are one of only a handful of garden centers that grows the majority of the plants and trees they sell.  Whether you’re looking for ornamental shrubs, fruit trees, succulents, hanging baskets, rose bushes, or annuals in almost any color, you’ll find it at Gertens. 

Since the Gertens retail store is over 40,000 square feet, it’s a one-stop shop for your garden, lawn, and outdoor living needs.  You’ll find gardening supplies and tools, landscaping materials, patio furniture, grills, fire pits, and planters, plus gift items for garden lovers. 

Pansies at Gertens Garden Center
Photo Credit: Gertens Garden Center

Gertens is known for its excellent customer service.  Trees, shrubs, and perennials are warrantied for one year from the date of purchase, and there’s also warranty coverage for roses, houseplants, and annuals.  Customers can take advantage of the Gertens Rewards Program, which includes earning points that can be used on future purchases, warranty tracking, and special offers.

Restaurants Near Gertens

After you’ve stocked up on plants and gardening supplies, grab a bite to eat at these locally-owned Inver Grove Heights restaurants.

Mallards focuses on globally-inspired, seafood-based cuisine, from jambalaya to Maryland-style crab cakes to fish tacos.  There’s also a selection of sandwiches and salads.  Check out the brunch menu on Sunday, which features sweet specials like brandy French toast and savory items such as shrimp and grits or lobster quiche.

B-52 Burgers and Brew specializes in over-the-top burgers like the award-winning “Trashy” burger topped with deep-fried pickles and cream cheese and the Truffle Shuffle, which is loaded with pancetta, smoked gouda, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and truffle aioli.  The menu also includes salads, sandwiches, and ice cream shakes, and burgers can be made with a vegan patty or gluten-free bun by request.

Burger Flight and B52 Burgers + Brew
Photo Credit: B52 Burgers + Brew

Los Portales Bar & Grill serves up a full menu of authentic Mexican food. Known as a quality and relaxing Mexican Bar and Grill with freshly prepared food specials including tacos and other popular Mexican dishes. Los Portales has regular weekend entertainment too including karaoke, live music, and DJs too. Salsa!

Stay in Inver Grove Heights

Inver Grove Heights isn’t just a great place to shop for gardening supplies, it’s also a great place to stay!  Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Enjoy amenities including complimentary breakfast, free parking, indoor pools, and more.  Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today!

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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Inver Grove Heights

Los Portales Molcajate
By Stacy Brooks

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Inver Grove Heights! On May 5, Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory in the Battle of Puebla.  Today, it’s an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to enjoy delicious eats from Mexican-owned restaurants, shop local for Mexican products, and experience live Mexican music and dancing.

Locally-owned Mexican restaurants in Inver Grove Heights 

Los Portales Molcajate
Photo Credit: Los Portales

Los Portales Bar & Grill is hosting a Cinco de Mayo celebration with a live mariachi band, karaoke, and folk dancing.  Savor traditional Mexican specialties including tacos, pozole (pork and hominy soup), and guacamole.  Enjoy drinks like strawberry and mango margaritas, palomas, and tequila, or try some refreshing, non-alcoholic agua frescas (blended fruit drinks).  Festivities start at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5, 2023, and additional details are available via the restaurant’s Facebook page.  

5816 Blaine Avenue E, Inver Grove Heights; 651-200-3349; losportalesmn.com

Rincon Mexicano Restaurant
Photo Credit: Rincon Mexicano Restaurant

Rincon Mexicano serves fresh, made-to-order tacos and Mexican street food.  Create your own taco platter with meats including asada (steak), barbacoa (slow-cooked beef with herbs), and tinga (marinated shredded chicken), or try one of the vegetarian options like veggie chorizo or soy-based meat.  Other specialities include elote (corn on the cob), burritos, and quesadillas.  Save room for dessert—the churros and flan are delicious.  Pair your meal with a traditional drink like horchata or try a Mexican soda. 

3064 65th Street E, Inver Grove Heights; 651-457-2755; rinconmexicanorestaurant.com

La Dulceria Piñatas y Mas
Photo Credit: La Dulceria Piñatas y Mas

La Dulceria Piñatas y Mas stocks all the sweets you need to host your own Cinco de Mayo celebration.  There’s a huge selection of classic Mexican hard candies, gummies, chocolate bars, and sweets.  Buy a few pieces of each to create your own assortment, or purchase candy by the pound to fill a piñata.  The shop sells traditional star-shaped piñatas, plus kid-friendly cartoon character-shaped piñatas.  Adults can pick out fun alcohol-themed piñatas that double as party decor.

3058 65th Street E, Inver Grove Heights; 651-274-2339; ladulceriashop.com

Taqueria El Girasol
Photo Credit: Taqueria El Girasol

Taqueria El Girasol is perfect for a quick bite, with tacos, tortas, burritos, and more.  Be sure to try one of the birria dishes, made with perfectly slow-cooked, seasoned meat.  In addition to traditional birria tacos, the menu includes a massive cheese-stuffed quesabirria.  Taqueria El Girasol also offers kid’s meals—choose from a kid-sized burrito, taco combo, or quesadilla.

6550 Cahill Avenue S, Inver Grove Heights; 651-457-2652; taqueria-el-girasol.square.site

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo on St. Paul’s West Side

Inver Grove Heights is closer than you think to St. Paul’s West Side, which is home to a vibrant Mexican community.  The District del Sol cultural district is committed to preserving the neighborhood’s Latino roots, and you’ll find several Mexican restaurants, grocery stores, and bakeries.  

Wrap up your Cinco de Mayo celebration with a stay in Inver Grove Heights!  Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Enjoy amenities including complimentary breakfast, free parking, indoor pools, and more.  Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today!

Explore the Great Outdoors in Inver Grove Heights

Attractions Rock Island Swing Bridge

If you’re looking to spend more time in the great outdoors this summer, Inver Grove Heights is the perfect destination. With miles of scenic biking and hiking trails, recreational activities, and a host of restaurants offering alfresco dining options, this charming city has something for everyone.  

Rock Island Swing Bridge
Photo Credit: Visit IGH

Whether you’re a casual rider or a seasoned pro, Inver Grove Heights is a hidden gem for avid bikers with its extensive network of trails and picturesque surroundings. One of the most popular routes is the Rock Island Swing Bridge, a former railroad bridge converted into a pedestrian and bike path. This iconic structure provides breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and is a popular spot for photos. Another must-see trail is the Mississippi River Greenway, which stretches 10 miles along the riverfront, offering riders a mix of paved and unpaved paths. For those seeking a longer ride, the Mississippi River Trail  offers a scenic 26-mile stretch from Inver Grove Heights to Hastings. Additionally, Harmon Park Reserve Mountain Biking Trail provides a thrilling off-road experience, with a 4-mile loop that winds through dense woods, rocky terrain, and challenging obstacles.  

Inver Wood Golf Course
Photo Credit: Inver Wood Golf Course

With a variety of courses and activities available, Inver Grove Heights is a great destination for golf enthusiasts. The Inver Wood Golf Course is a popular option, with its 18-hole championship course featuring rolling hills, tree-lined fairways, and water hazards. In addition to traditional golf, Inver Wood also offers Foot Golf, a combination of soccer and golf that is fun for all ages. Another nearby option is the Arbor Pointe Golf Course, which offers a challenging 9-hole course with beautiful views of the surrounding area. For those looking for a different kind of golfing experience, the North Valley Park offers a disc golf course with challenging holes set amidst a scenic natural setting. 

Salem Hills Park
Photo Credit: MN Bike Trail Navigator

Thanks to its abundance of stunning parks and outdoor recreational opportunities, Inver Grove Heights is a paradise for nature lovers. Salem Hills Park is a favorite among locals, with its winding hiking and walking trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Similarly, South Valley Park boasts a variety of trails, including paved and unpaved options, as well as an impressive array of pickleball courts. For those seeking a more rugged adventure, the Pine Bend Bluffs hiking trail offers a challenging trek through a mix of prairies and woodlands. Fishing enthusiasts can head to Smiley Island Pond, City Hall Pond, and McGroarty Pond, all of which are stocked with an array of fish species. These peaceful spots are perfect for a relaxing day spent casting a line and enjoying the scenery. The Heritage Village Dog Park (separate areas for large and small dogs) offers ample space, shaded spots, and water stations for furry friends to exercise, socialize, and have fun in a safe and controlled environment. 

B52 Burgers + Brew Rooftop Pation
Photo Credit: B52 Burgers + Brew

When the weather is warm and sunny, there’s nothing better than enjoying a delicious meal while basking in the great outdoors. Inver Grove Heights offers a variety of excellent restaurants with outdoor dining options, perfect for a casual lunch or a romantic dinner. For those who crave burgers and beer, the Rooftop at B52 Burgers & Grill offers both, along with breathtaking views of the city skyline. At the Mississippi Pub, diners can savor delicious food while enjoying a front-row view of the mighty Mississippi River. Seafood lovers can head to Mallards Restaurant, where they can savor delicious seafood dishes while taking in the sights and sounds of the surrounding nature. For those who enjoy a cold brew, Inver Grove Brewing offers their brewed beer and woodfired pizza. Jerseys Bar & Grill boasts an outdoor fireplace for cool nights, while Drkula’s 32 Bowl offers casual dining and courtside views sand volleyball courts for some fun in the sun.  

https://youtu.be/4GFXd70I3xM

Make Inver Grove Heights your base for a weekend of exploring the great outdoors in the Twin Cities!  Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Enjoy amenities including complimentary breakfast, free parking, indoor pools, and more.  Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today! 

Family-Friendly Spring Break in Inver Grove Heights

Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America®
By Stacy Brooks

Time to spring break in Inver Grove Heights! With budget-friendly accommodations, kid-friendly restaurants, and activities the whole family will enjoy, here’s your guide to fun spring break getaway.

DAY 1

The Grove Waterpark- Spring Break in Inver Grove Heights
Photo Credit: Inver Grove Heights Park & Recreation

Start off your spring break by splashing around at the VMCC Aquatic Center.  The indoor water park has two large water slides, splash features, a dumping bucket, and a floating log crossing.  There’s also a pool available for recreational swimming and a dive pool with regular and high dive boards.   Day passes are available for open swimming.   Check out the open swim schedule here.

Next, zoom across the ice at the VMCC Ice Arena.  Day passes are available for ice skating, and skate rentals are offered for a small fee.  Find the open skate schedule here.

Iwa Sushi in Inver Grove Heights
Photo Credit: Visit IGH

Wrap up the day with dinner at a local restaurant that has something tasty for the entire family.  Los Portales Mexican Restaurant serves up traditional Mexican favorites including street tacos, tortas, enchiladas, and fajitas.  At Iwa Sushi, enjoy sushi and hibachi meals, with kid-sized junior hibachi meals available for kids under 10.  Inver Grove Brewing has a family-friendly taproom with high chairs and carrier holders, kids’ games, and a kids’ menu with pizza, chicken tenders, burgers, and pasta.  Adults can enjoy locally-brewed craft beer and a menu of elevated pub fare.

DAY 2

Strawberry Pancakes at Cahill Diner
Photo Credit: Cahill Diner

Fuel up for another day of fun with breakfast at Cahill Diner, which has retro 1950s-inspired decor and serves breakfast all day.  Specialties include the apple fritter French toast, Cajun omelet, and Tex Mex hash browns.

AMC Movie Theater in Inver Grove Heights
Photo Credit: AMC Movie Theaters

Catch a movie at AMC Inver Grove 16 and enjoy recliner seating, a full food and beverage menu, and special discounts on Tuesdays and matinee screenings.  

Hometown Sweets, Inver Grove Heights
Photo credit: Visit IGH

Swing by Hometown Sweets for ice cream, flavored popcorn, and bulk candy.  Can’t decide which of the 16 flavors of ice cream to order?  Get the ice cream flight and try six!

Drkulas's 32 Bowl
Photo Credit: Drkulas’s 32 Bowl

Try a new spin on bowling at Drkula’s 32 Bowl, which has a state-of-the-art Hyperbowling system that adds a video game-style element to the classic game.  There are also automatic bumpers and ramps to make bowling accessible to bowlers of all ages and abilities.

Carbones Pizza Inver Grove Heights

Go out for a crowd-pleasing dinner at a local pizza spot.  Dominick’s Pizza serves both the classics and creative pies like a gyro pizza, plus homemade chocolate chip cookies baked fresh daily.  Serving up family recipes that date back over 50 years, Carbone’s Pizzeria menu is full of family favorites for everyone to enjoy, including pizza, hot hoagies, wings, soup and salads.  Turitto’s Pizza & Subs has a menu with tasty thin crust pizzas, submarine sandwiches, and pasta.

DAY 3 & BEYOND

Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America®
Photo Credit: Sea Life Aquarium

Inver Grove Heights is a convenient base for exploring the Twin Cities’ top family attractions.  Animal lovers will enjoy the Minnesota Zoo, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory (which offers free admission), and the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium at the Mall of America.  

Dinosaurs at the Science Museum of Minnesota
Photo Credit: Science Museum of Minnesota

Want to visit a museum?  Check out the Science Museum of Minnesota, Commemorative Air Force Minnesota Wing, Twin City Model Railroad Museum, Minnesota Children’s Museum, and Minnesota History Center for family-friendly educational experiences.

With over a dozen interactive attractions, 500 stores, and  50 restaurants, it’s easy to spend a day (or more!) at the Mall of America.

This winter, book a stay in Inver Grove Heights!  Inver Grove Heights hotels offer excellent value and are conveniently located to downtown St. Paul, the Mall of America, Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.  Warm up with amenities including complimentary breakfast, free parking, indoor pools, and more.  Book your stay at these Inver Grove Heights hotels today!