The Ultimate St. Joseph and Collegeville Day Trip

Featuring po'boys, cider, and Brutalist churches

What can you do in Minnesota on a single tank of gas? That’s what Minnevangelist co-founder Andrew Parks is answering in his new “Trip on a Tankful” series for Explore Minnesota. Here, a few to-dos from our day trip to St. Joseph and Collegeville:

🍞 Buy Johnnie Bread at the Saint John’s University bookstore. Saint John’s students bake thousands of loaves each year using a rye flour recipe that dates to the Benedictine monks who founded the school. Loaves sell out fast, so make this your first stop.

🥾 Hike to the secluded Stella Maris Chapel, nestled in the nearly 2,500-acre Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum and whose three-mile trail follows the curves of Lake Sagatagan.

⛪ Bask in the Brutalism of the Marcel Breuer-designed Saint John’s Abbey, which architect I.M. Pei called one of the 20th century’s greatest achievements. Whatever you think of the hulking exterior, there’s no arguing with the beauty of its stained glass.

⚜️ Board a flight to NOLA at Krewe, where chef Mateo Mackbee makes po’boys with Gulf shrimp the size of golf balls. Afterward, load up on creative sweets like “pookies” (pie crust sandwich cookies smooshed together with buttercream) from Flour & Flower Bakery, run by Krewe co-owner Erin Rae.

🇯🇵 Learn the art of Japanese hospitality at Saint John’s Pottery, where artist-in-residence Richard Bresnahan has led the ceramics program since 1979. His masterful approach takes inspiration from legendary Japanese potter Takashi Nakazato. Visit at 3 p.m. for tea poured around a traditional irori table.

🍎 Sink a few heirloom ciders at Milk & Honey, a farmhouse-like taproom plonked at the edge of an apple orchard.

🛍️ Buy all the pretty, minimalist things at W | R Home Company (née Weathered Revivals), a new home store specializing in #MNmade goods.

🛏️ Wanna make a night of it? Bed down at Saint John’s Abbey Guesthouse, which offers peaceful retreats no matter what your religion (or lack thereof). The suggested offering of $135 per suite, $105 for a double, or $75 for a single-occupancy room includes breakfast.

To scope Andrew’s full itinerary, head over to Explore Minnesota. And stay tuned for his next “Trip on a Tankful” adventure — Waconia!