Sons of Norway Distrikt 8


Tur til USA i august 2018

Skrevet av Tor Arild Halvorsen

I forbindelse med den internasjonale kongressen i Minneapolis er det blitt arbeidet med å arrangere en rundtur i USA.

Nå har tilbudet kommet fra Brekke Tours.

Forslaget ser veldig bra ut. Det inneholder 3 dager i Minneapolis hvor besøk på den internasjonale kongressen er et av høydepunkta.

Deretter blir de 9 dager på tur i Minneapols, Wisconsin og Illinois før turen ender opp med 2 dager i Chicago.

Ta en titt på tilbudet. Vi har ikke fått noen pris ennå, men vi ønsker at de av dere som er intereserte i turen, melder interessen til president Per Mikalsen eller visepresident Tor Arild Halvorsen, så er dere i køen når pristilbudet kommer.



16 AUGUST – 26 AUGUST, 2018


Day 1:  Thursday, 16 August, 2018 -  NORWAY – MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MN

Arrive at the MSP International Airport.  After clearing US Customs and collecting luggage, meet guide and charter bus for transfer to hotel.  Rest of day is free for shopping as desired at Mall of America, the largest indoor mall in the US.         

Overnight in Bloomington, MN.

Day 2: Friday, 17 August, 2018 -  MSP

See some of the vast ‘green’ spaces of the Cities, as you cross over the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers to visit historic downtown St. Paul, capital of the state.  Tour the newly renovated State Capitol, opened in 1905, and recognized as one of the most beautiful capitols in the country.  Visit the magnificent St. Paul Cathedral, modeled after the historic St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome and positioned to look over the city of St. Paul.  Drive down historic Summit Avenue, with the longest stretch of Victorian homes in the US, followed by lunch in the area.

Option: See the Old Muskego Church, the first Norwegian Lutheran church built in the United States.  Constructed by Norwegian settlers in 1845 in Wisconsin, it was moved to the campus of Luther Seminary in St. Paul in 1904, and is on the National Register of Historic Sites.

In the afternoon, learn about the region occupied for centuries by Native American tribes and eventually explored by fur traders and land dealers while visiting historic Fort Snelling.  See costumed guides that portray the era of the Fort built in the 1820’s, and the time when protection was needed for the immigrant settlers moving into the new territory.

Relax at the hotel prior to enjoying dinner with the group.  Overnight in Bloomington.

Day 3: Saturday, 18 August, 2018 – MSP

Learn more about the “Twin Cities” during a bus tour of modern downtown Minneapolis where you will see structures such as the US Bank/Vikings Stadium, Target Field (home to the “Twins” baseball team), and multiple skyscrapers with indoor ‘skyways’ connecting many kilometers of office buildings.  Walk along the Mississippi River where St. Anthony Falls creates a beautiful background to the flour mill buildings that were an important operation in the growth of the Cities. 

Stop at Mindekirken, (Den Norske Lutherske Mindekirke) built in 1922, and still holding church services in the Norwegian language.  See the newly developed “Norway House”, a center for promoting the culture and heritage of Norway. 

Free time for shopping or relaxation upon return to hotel.

in the evening, join the celebration of the International Sons of Norway convention. 

Overnight in Bloomington.

Day 4:  Sunday, 19 August, 2018 -   MSP - DECORAH, IA – LA CROSSE, WI

Drive through the rich agricultural land of southern Minnesota and through the world-renown medical clinic city of Rochester.  Travel through Amish community around Preston and Harmony, MN.  Arrive in Decorah, IA for a tour of the celebrated National Vesterheim Norwegian- American Museum & Heritage Center.  View some of the 12 buildings and thousands of artifacts collected over the years.

   Option:  Lunch meal at Luther College (if available)

Departing Iowa, imagine the many emigrants from Norway traveling in this area of Minnesota where they created the first settlement at Spring Grove, MN in 1855. 

Option:  As time allows, stop in Spring Grove, MN for a visit at the “Giants of the Earth Heritage Center” that celebrates the history and culture of the many Norwegian emigrants who made this town their first settlement in Minnesota                       

Cross the mighty Mississippi River and continue to LaCrosse, WI.  Free time in the evening to explore downtown La Crosse.   

Overnight in La Crosse.

Day 5:  Monday,  20 August, 2018 -   LA CROSSE, WI – COON VALLEY, WI excursion – LA CROSSE, WI

Depart for Coon Valley area.  Spend the morning at Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center  with a tour of the authentic farm buildings on the Bekkum homestead, the displays in the Thrune Visitor Center, and the scenic grounds.  Enjoy coffee time with Scandinavian treats.  Return to LaCrosse for shopping and lunch on own. Option: visit to River View Winery.               End the day with a relaxing dinner cruise on the mighty Mississippi River.

Overnight in La Crosse.

Day 6:  Tuesday, 21 August, 2018  - LA CROSSE, WI -- SPRING GREEN, WI - STOUGHTON, WI

Travel through the beautiful countryside of Wisconsin and visit Spring Green. Enjoy the unique “House on the Rock”, an amazing work started in 1945 as a man-made retreat with a breath-taking view.  After touring the complex with its unusual collections and architecture, drive to Stoughton, Wisconsin, settled by Norwegian immigrants who sought new land beyond the populated Fox River Valley in Illinois.  Possible connection with the local SON Mandt lodge.

Overnight in Stoughton.

Day 7:  Wednesday, 22 August, 2018  -  STOUGHTON, WI

Make a visit to the unique “Livsreise” and learn about the history of emigration from Norway.  The interactive exhibits allow each guest to imagine what an emigrant from various parts of Norway experienced in the long journey to America and the challenges of settling in a new home.

Other Options for the remainder of the day:

- Drive in the countryside outside of Stoughton and visit the East Koshkonong Lutheran Church, founded by the first settlers from Norway.

- Tour the Stoughton Historical Society, a treasure of collected items from the area. 

- Stroll the streets of the charming downtown, and stop by the “Viking Brew Pub”, the “Nordic Nook”, and a local Wisconsin Cheese store to experience the Nordic heritage influence. 

Overnight in Stoughton, WI.

Day 8:   Thursday, 23 August, 2018 - STOUGHTON, WI  (EXCURSION TO MADISON, WI)

Enjoy a day excursion to Madison, Wisconsin, capital of the state.  Tour the architecturally unique Capitol building with its 43 varieties of stone, including some from Norway.  A statue of Colonel Heg, commander of the all-Norwegian 15th Wisconsin Regiment in the Civil War, is located on the grounds.  Time for shopping at one of the large Malls in Madison. 

Return to Stoughton for overnight.

Day 9:   Friday, 24 August, 2018  - STOUGHTON, WI – NORWAY, (Sheridan) IL – CHICAGO REGION

Explore the Midwest region as you travel to the Fox River Valley, where the first permanent Norwegian settlement was created in 1834.    

Tour the “Norsk Museum” in Norway, IL.  Stop at the “Norway Store” nearby.  View the Memorial for Cleng Peerson, brave explorer from Norway, that founded this location and others for the many people who immigrated from Norway to find prosperity in a new land.  (local SON group have provided lunch to other tour groups in past)      

Continue to learn about Norwegian influences as you drive to Good Templar Park in Geneva, IL.  View the Viking skipet (ship) built in Norway and sailed to the U.S. for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. This full-size replica of the “Gokstad” is still impressing people with the ship-building skills of the long-ago Vikings, and is now being preserved by the “Friends of the Viking Ship” organization.

Overnight in Chicago suburb (such as Warrenville)




Day 10:  Saturday, 25 August, 2018  –  CHICAGO, IL

Tour the highlights of Chicago, the windy city, with a local guide (half day). 

   Additional Options in the City: 

- Visit Minnekirken, (the Norwegian-Lutheran Memorial church)

- The 108-story Willis Tower with its famous ‘Skydeck’

- Take a River cruise and view the architecture of the Chicago skyline.


Option during return to hotel:  Stop at Oakbrook Center (shopping Mall).

Celebrate the memories made on tour with a farewell dinner.

Evening Option (Day 9 or 10):  Connect with Polar Star SON lodge that meets in Montgomery, IL.

Day 11:   Sunday, 26 August, 2018 – CHICAGO, IL - NORWAY

Pending flight departure time, activities per choice, for relaxation, sightseeing, or last minute shopping.

Transfer to the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, IL for flight home.



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