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Northfield is the perfect college town—set with dozens of coffee shops, breakfast bakeries, bookstores, and lots of art!

One of my favorite parts about the town is reading the poetry that lines the sidewalks all the way through. The project started through the Arts and Cultural Commission of Northfield, and represents the winners of a poetry contest throughout the town. Here are two of my favorites!

Northfield poems
“Of what exotic journeys/ to what forbidden shores/ do sidewalks dream/ when the moon is dark/ and the night cold?”
Northfield poems
“September — Sept—The sound of summer/ striking its last match/ to burn a few more bright days/ down to the ember of October”

My roommate says: “I think they’re neat, and very indicative of Northfield’s open and artsy community!”

Other ~just college town~ things in downtown Northfield:

The Sketchy Artist! This shop is the essence of Northfield, home to a ton of art supplies, homemade (and gorgeous!!) paper, and other stationary and artsy gadgets.

Content Books, because every college town has to have a cute bookstore! Content is filled with stuffed animals, succulents (the only plant I’ve been able to keep alive in my dorm), Ruth Bader Ginsberg pins, artsy/bookish games, a variety of tarot cards, and, of course, books. Content also has the best kids section, and is attached to Northfield Yarn, which I also recommend!

The Blast: a new ice cream shop that just opened up! It’s (literally) a little hole in the wall right next to Cannon River, which means it’s a fantastic place to grab dessert, then sit on one of the many picnic tables surrounding the river.

Coffee (of course). There are so many breakfast and coffee shops in Northfield, which is amazing, especially for college students during finals week! These include… Goodbye Blue Monday, Tandem Bagels, The Hideaway, and Hogan Brothers.

There are lots of other artsy events happening in Northfield too, including farmers markets and festivals for special occasions, like the Earth Day festival I went to in April! I love living in such a tight-knit community; Northfield really is the best college town.


Erin grew up catching salamanders, recklessly climbing trees, and running around barefoot in the Appalachian Mountains in a small town in North Carolina. This is her first year at Carleton, and she’s looking forward to meeting new people, exploring campus (especially the arb!), and experiencing her first Minnesota winter. She is currently interested in studying psychology and gender, women’s, and sexuality studiesMeet the other bloggers!