Plymouth, Minnesota 5/19 – 6/5

Plymouth, Minnesota:  Population =  75,907 (Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area = 3,520,000), elevation = 971 feet, Average January low temp = 3º, Average July high temp = 83º, average days below freezing =  76.2, average days over 90º = 15,  average precipitation = 29.4”, average snowfall = 56.3”

Plymouth is essentially a bedroom community to the West of Minneapolis.  Its big square outline encompasses homes, businesses, parks, theaters, and restaurants.  But mostly homes.  These are nice, well-landscaped middle class homes lining streets with tall canopies of trees.  It is a good place for home and family and, if you work nearby, an easy commute.  If you do not work nearby, Highway 494 is a slow grinding daily crawl into and out of the heart of the anthill.  494 is also the main route to the outstate getaways “up north”, so Summer Friday afternoons are a brutal slow moving traffic torture.

A big shiny office building in Plymouth
Driving through Plymouth. Not rush hour.

But it is not necessary to flee the Metro Area for a little R&R.  Right there in the heart of the city is Medicine Lake.  On the West side there is a small beach area with a playground, some trails, and benches from which to contemplate rippling water and roaring speedboats.  On the North end of the lake is French Regional Park, which has a full range of sports and games for all seasons.  (Closed due to road construction)

A little early for swimming, but there are plenty of hikers and bikers out enjoying Medicine Lake.
Big houses and fast toys abound on the lake

Otherwise, Plymouth is not a real exciting place to visit.  It is a good place to hang our hats for a while so we can meet up with the family and friends we have been missing for the past year.  Rather than sightseeing this time around, we are mostly people seeing.  Every day we are off to restaurants and homes to meet up with old friends.  You know who you are and we love you.  We also value your privacy so we won’t post photos of everyone here.

Just outside Plymouth, the Ridgedale Mall has kind of a dome
Part of an art display in the mall

There was one place in Plymouth the did get me a little excited: the post office.  We use a mailing service based in Sioux Falls, SD.  Every month or so we request our mail, which is then sent out to where we request it.  This month I chose General Delivery in Plymouth.  I slogged through the USPS web sites until I located the main Plymouth office and it said “General Delivery” under services, so I had the mail sent there.  I used the Tracking Number to see where my mail was until it got delivered to Plymouth.  Then I went to claim it…

“I am here to pick up some General Delivery mail”, I said, showing my ID.

“No General Delivery here”, the postal troll squawked.

“Your web site says General Delivery is here”, I pleaded.

“No General Delivery here.  You go downtown!”

“The web site said here.  The tracking number says it is here”, I moaned.

“No General Delivery here.  You go downtown!”  the troll gibbered.

Then he turned and walked over to a bin, reached in, and pulled out my envelope.  Handing it to me he says, ““No General Delivery here.  You go downtown!”

“OK”, I say, “I go downtown!”

You go downtown!

Enough to drive me to drink.  There are no breweries in Plymouth, but fortunately, there are several nearby.  We found some old favorites and some new places to explore the brewer’s art.  For some reason that escapes me, sours are more common now.  I still like beer flavored beer.

Besides seeing all of the friends and family, the most fun part of this visit was the Segway Tour.  We did the Magical History Tour, which starts in the historical St. Anthony Main district.  Our guides were fun and knowledgable and pointed out the many historic sites along the way.  Riding a Segway is amazing!  It takes just a few minutes to get the hang of it and then it seems natural and intuitive and effortless.  You get to pity the poor people who have to go about on foot.

St. Anthony Main historical district
Marylu leads the way
The Stone Arch Bridge with old flour mills in the background
Since 1940, the iconic Grain Belt Beer sign has been a part of the Minneapolis skyline

The past two weeks have been a blur.  While it was fun seeing the familiar sights again, it is really the people that make this area “home”.  Great to see everyone!  Whenever somebody asks us where we are from, Marylu and I always say, “Minnesota”.  Maybe after we have settled someplace for a while, home will be there, but today, and for a long time to come, this will be “Home”.

Next up:  Crossing the Plains


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We are two recent retirees who decided to sell the house, pull up stakes, and explore North America. We are both being tourists and looking for the right blend of people, place, and geography that makes for the perfect place to retire.

2 thoughts on “Plymouth, Minnesota 5/19 – 6/5”

  1. I’m still a Minnesotan. Living across the river in Fargo for the past 12 years hasn’t changed that. Family and friends and memories make “home” but one can settle in quite nicely almost anywhere…and you guys get to pick! 🙂


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