Shop til you drop in Lindsborg title

Shop ’til you drop in charming Lindsborg

Charming: Pleasant or attractive. (Of a person or manner) Polite, friendly, and likable. For examples, see Lindsborg, Kansas.

Lindsborg is rightly called Little Sweden USA. Its strong Swedish heritage provides an anchor for the city’s identity. But Lindsborg offers much more than Swedish-themed stores and activities. Downtown Lindsborg is full of unique shopping and eating opportunities. So shop until you drop and eat until you pop in Lindsborg.

Visit Hemslojd, the Lindsborg dala horse headquarters

Hemslojd, Inc., (pronounced HEM-sloyd) is the best place to start your Lindsborg shopping excursion. “Hemslojd” means handicrafts in Swedish and the store is full of Scandinavian handicrafts. Whatever you need to make you feel Scandanavian is in this store. But the main attraction is their dala horses. The horses are a symbol of all Swedish handicrafts. Their origin comes in the long, frigid¬†Scandinavian winters. To occupy their time, carvers cut toys for their children. Call ahead for a tour of the dala shop and learn the dala horse story. Then take home your own. Since dalas are everywhere in Lindsborg, they are the perfect Lindsborg souvenir.

Lindsborg is very walkable, but if you want to try a different means of transportation, Hemslojd rents quadricycles.

Buy your toys from a Lindsborg trollslanda

A trollslanda (pronounced trolls-LAND-uh) is a dragonfly in Swedish, not a type of troll. Whether troll or dragonfly, they know how to pick high-quality toys. When we were in the toy-buying stage of being an aunt and uncle, we often shopped here. Many of the beautifully crafted toys come from Scandinavia and Germany. They have active learning toys, science kits, and stuffed animals. So don’t be a troll; shop at Trollslanda!

 

Items for sale at the Good Merchant, Lindsborg
The Good Merchant is the store where vintage and modern connect.

Find your goods at The Good Merchant in Lindsborg

If your house needs that little extra something to make it come alive, come to The Good Merchant. If you like rustic, shabby-chic decor, this is the store for you. Plus, add that little extra pizzaz to your person with their accessories. The store has an interesting combination of farmhouse finds, found objects, accessories such as scarves and jewelry, gourmet food, cards, and baby gifts. Browsing here is fun, but bringing home something fun is even more fun.

Experience the world in one Lindsborg shop, the Small World Gallery

Jewelry at Small World Gallery, Lindsborg
Jewelry made from Swedish tokens and military buttons
glass beads
Glass beads ready to be included in jewelry

Lindsborg’s Small World Gallery is two shops in one. Small World Gallery features the artistry of National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson. Buy his spectacular prints, posters, and cards to bring life to your walls and your friends’ mailboxes.

Kathy Richardson’s IBISWoman Jewelry features fabulous pieces from around the world. The jewelry pieces are often set in silver designs created by Briana Zimmerling, the in-house silversmith. Zimmerling also creates luscious handmade books. In an age of reading on devices, holding a handmade book gives me a special resonance. Ask the staff to tell you the stories behind the items.

Time vanishes in this store full of visual and tactile delights.

 

Rendezvous in Lindsborg
Rick and Julie Bodenhamer own Rendezvous Adventure Outfitters in Lindsborg.

Outfit yourself for adventure at Rendezvous Adventure Outfitters

Rendezvous canoe in Lindsborg
This canoe was rescued from the Smoky Hill River. It’s so long that I could not fit it into the picture.

Rick and Julie Bodenhamer were spending lots of time in Lindsborg. They enjoyed the community so much that they decided to move there. Rick has many years of experience in outdoor retailing and they opened an outdoors paradise in Lindsborg. Rendezvous Adventure Outfitters offers top-notch gear and apparel for those who are eager to “gear up for their next adventure.” Rick said the Lindsborg store is the only one between Manhattan, Kan., and Denver. This is a shop to experience. Just looking at their wares entices you to head for a rock-climbing wall.

The store is bedecked with vintage outdoor gear, including an upside-down canoe in the rafters. One of Rendezvous’ customers found the canoe sunk in the Smoky Hill River with a hole in it. He fished it out and repaired it. The canoe is like new, except the yoke has a bend in it for easier handling. The original was straight. Rendezvous also has vintage snowshoes, skis, and oars on the wall, each with a story. Make sure to ask.

Courtyard Gallery
Looking from Courtyard Gallery’s balcony into their bakery area.

More shopping in Lindsborg

Shhh, don’t tell anybody, but I bought one of my Christmas gifts at the Artshirt.

Finding women’s clothing in small towns can be difficult, but not in Lindsborg. Village Clotheslane will fix you up in style.

Buy gifts from around the world at Connected. The store’s mission is to support artisans and farmers and “create a more just production industry.”

To shop Swedish, head to Anderson Butik (boutique).

Visit the Courtyard Gallery and support local and regional artists, then stop at their bakery to fortify yourself for more shopping.

Where to eat in Lindsborg

Brent Nelson at the Ol Stuga
Another delicious bite of the Brent Nelson is heading to its destination.

The Ol’ Stuga

The Ol’ Stuga (pronounced ool stoo-GAH) has all the college pub atmosphere anyone could ever wish for. And the food is great. The name means ale cottage in Swedish.

Try the “Brent Nelson“, which was named a finalist in Good Morning America’s “Best Bites Challenge: College Edition”. The sandwich is a grilled and split Polish sausage with barbecue sauce, onions, smoky sharp cheddar, and hot pepper cheese on a submarine bun. The sandwich originated when Nelson ordered the “trust me” option on the menu. The last time Eric and I went to the Stuga, we ordered the “trust me” option. It was delicious.

Currency hangs from the Stuga’s ceiling and it all goes for a good cause. Support an end-of-the-year cook-out for Bethany College seniors by sticking a dollar bill on the ceiling. Here’s how: Poke a thumbtack through a dollar bill, wrap it around the billfold and throw it to the ceiling. In theory, the tack will hit the ceiling and hold the dollar bill in place, while dropping the wallet. Some people have to try more than once.

Farley’s Bar & Grill

Drinks at Farley's
Beer flight at Farleys. From left: Winterbock, KC Bier Co., Kansas City, Mo.; Wingman, Aero Plains Brewery, Wichita; Tart Vice Raspberry Wheat, Aero Plains; Locomotion Stout, Kansas Territory, Washington, Kan. My favorite? The raspberry beer. I love everything raspberry.

Farley’s Bar & Grill describes its fare as multi-cuisine. Its menu features a range of burgers — and avocado caprese. On the night I was there, they offered an extended menu. I had the Kansas beer flight and the beef stroganoff. That was the best beef stroganoff I have ever eaten. I even ate all the broth.

The building dates to the late 1800s and has been beautifully renovated, but quarters can be a bit cramped. The couple next to me had to move over a bit to make room for another couple. When the second couple sat down, the first couple laughed. They said, “If we’d known who was going to sit here, we’d have stayed where we were.” The first couple moved their table to its original position and the couples chatted the rest of the evening.

That’s why I love small-town living.

Swedish meatballs at The Swedish Crown Restaurant
Swedish meatballs at the Swedish Crown Restaurant

The Crown & Rye

How could I visit Little Sweden USA without eating my favorite Swedish dishes, yellow pea soup, Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce, and ostkaka? The answer is, I can’t. There’s no place like The Crown & Rye¬†for scratching your Swedish cuisine itch. And those items listed above are exactly what I ate for supper. Yum! The service was wonderful, with the waitresses attentive to everything I could want.

Try the lingonberry margaritas.

What’s ostkaka? Ostkaka (pronounced oost-ka-KA) is hard to describe, but it’s somewhere between cheesecake, custard, and premium ice cream. It’s topped with lingonberry sauce. My Swedish grandmother made it for Christmas and we looked forward to eating it.

The Swedish Crown was a Lindsborg institution for 53 years. When the owners, Roy and Donice Applequist, decided to retire, Lindsborg residents feared the city was losing the local favorite. Instead, the Applequists donated the restaurant to Bethany College. Business, marketing, and communication majors polish their skills at the restaurant.

The White Peacock

The White Peacock is a fair-trade, organic coffee shop with a relaxing ambiance. If the weather’s nice, bask in the sun in their courtyard. I like the Euro and the White Peacock sandwiches and the frozen hot chocolate. The drink sounds impossible, and it tastes divine.

Walk off your meal on the Valkommen Trail

Valkommen Trail sign in Lindsborg
The Valkommen Trail sign lives up to its name and welcomes visitors.
Valkommen Trail footbridge
The footbridge is a converted railroad bridge.

“Valkommen” (pronounced veel-KOH-men) means welcome in Swedish. The trail lives up to its name; it is very welcoming. The paved trail is 4.5 miles long and runs along abandoned railroad lines. The trail is quite flat and well lit with Lindsborg’s signature street lamps. Every so often, a sign tells part of the community’s story.

I walked it in the evening and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. All I heard that evening were my footfalls, fans drying grain in the elevators, occasional cars passing, muted voices, and laughter. Ah! The sounds of silence. I didn’t intend to walk the entire trail, but the evening was so beautiful that I kept going. I had nearly convinced myself to turn around and return to the Viking Motel when I saw a lighted bridge. The sight drew me on until I reached the bridge and listened to the quiet, soothing gurgling of the river below. By the time I reached the motel, I was pleasantly tired and ready for a night’s rest. I slept very well.

Where to stay in Lindsborg

Viking Motel sign
Thumbs up at the Viking Motel

I stayed at the Viking Motel. You cannot get a better rate nor better service than at this motel. The staff worked hard to make everything comfortable. I checked in on a cold, windy day and the heater was already on. Making sure I entered a warm room was such a considerate touch.

The new ownership is working to renovate the property one room at a time. They are doing a good job. My room combined 21st-century amenities with the quaintness of the original construction.

Kom igen til Lindsborg

The last thing visitors see when they leave Lindsborg is a sign reading, “Kom Igen”, “come again” in Swedish. My response to that is, “Gladly!”

We return to Lindsborg over and over because it feels like home. You’ll feel that charm when you visit, too.

Thanks to Lindsborg for hosting me. I had a wonderful time and all my opinions are my own. Read more about my Lindsborg visit. Learn more about Kansas.

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