This downtown inn ranks among the oldest in Minnesota, dating back to 1877 when it debuted with three stories, arched windows, a mansard roof and a grand portico. Today, the Archer House remains an attractive focal point of Northfield’s vibrant downtown. It’s also gone through a $1.25 million renovation since 2009 to refresh decor, add flat-screen TVs and create two large suites on the fourth floor. There are still some signs of wear and tear, though—why beat-up room doors weren't replaced during the renovation is something of a mystery.
Rooms ($90 to $250) feature four-poster beds, luxury linens and decor that complement the inn’s historic feel. A few distinctive rooms stand out with interesting touches like black-and-white striped wallpaper and toile bedding, homey patchwork quilts and pine siding. (The website includes photos to help guests decide on accommodations.) For the best views, request a room on the third floor overlooking the Cannon River.
The inn also includes two shops, Paper Petalum and A Bag Lady, and several dining options. Chapati Cuisine specializes in Indian food; Bittersweet Cafe offers baked goods, sandwiches and soups; and The Tavern serves three meals a day and houses a lounge with a riverside deck that gets crowded on summer evenings.