AAA Editor Notes
Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum is downtown at 205 3rd Ave. W. The museum salutes both the state's long-standing reputation for producing master boat builders and its grand era of lakeside hotels. In the early 20th century people flocked to these lakeside resorts not only to fish and relax but to escape the stress and sickness that plagued cities. The Pete and Mado Peterson Gallery displays photographs and memorabilia associated with lake resorts not only in Alexandria but throughout Minnesota.
The museum's highlight, however, is its large collection of immaculately restored boats. The 22-foot-long Frieda, a Naptha steam engine launch boat from the 1880s, is in amazing condition and is thought to be one of only four remaining in existence. Displays change periodically and focus on well-known Minnesota boat builders like Larson and Gar Wood. Visitors will see classic and rare restored wooden boats, canoes and outboard motors, all lovingly preserved in mint condition. A Chris-Craft exhibit chronicles the company's history. Two acres of landscaped garden rooms are on the site.
Time: Allow 1 hour minimum.