STOCKHOLM, Wis. (KTTC-DT) -- Life moves at a slower pace on the eastern side of the Mississippi River.
"It's what we call the west coast of Wisconsin."
That's where you'll find Wisconsin 35, otherwise known as at the Great River Road, with a sprinkling of small towns nestled along the route.
One of those towns is Stockholm, with barely 100 people.
"The first time I saw it - you're drawn to it."
Stockholm is a village in Pepin County. It lies directly across the river from Lake City. If it conjures up thoughts of Sweden, you're on the right path. It was founded by immigrants from Karlskoga, Sweden, in 1854, and you'll find Scandinavian notes all around town.
"The way I describe Stockholm is best as, it's like going to your grandma's house, only your grandma has a funky, quirky style," says resident and merchant Colleen Flynn.
This artist-town is best seen from foot, so park your car immediately upon getting into town. Pick up one of these blue bicycles, part of the Blue Bike Project - it's the 5th year of it - they're free to use while you're visiting.
Downtown is comprised of only a few blocks, but it's brimming with arts and crafts; cafes, bakeries, and restaurants; a museum; antiques; clothing; and old-world lodging; all with a Scandinavian feel.
And when it's time for a break from the mainland, come out along this 700 foot rocky pier that juts into the Mississippi River, and try your hand at wetting a line.
You'll find numerous spots to fish along this pier, and out on Lake Pepin. The lake is roughly two miles across, the widest point of the Mississippi River, and offers tremendous boating, water skiing, and other recreational opportunities.
"There's something so alluring about a riparian life on this river," adds Flynn.
"We like watching the barges out on the river, the migrating birds in the fall when we come here, the pelicans coming through are one of our favorite times to be here," says Twin Cities resident Paul Schulte.
But perhaps one of the things Schulte enjoys best about this place is just being by the river with his banjo. Chances are, you'll catch his notes floating through the air as you stroll in the village park.
"Life on the river is great. Get out and enjoy it."
For some people, one visit finds them here permanently.
"Like so many people in Stockholm, we came for a visit, and bought a house," explains new Stockholm resident Paul Larson.
Larson and his wife retired here in August of 2009. Paul says there's lots to do, not just in town, but along the entire Great River Road.
"One of the things we already appreciated before moving here was how many small towns there were just all six miles apart, but all very different from each other."
Maybe one of the hardest decisions to make here isn't where to go or what to do, but what kind of fudge to choose. And there is a lot of it in town.
And if you do end up going home, let the vibrant sights and sounds draw you back again.
Stockholm is also known for its fairs! There are many that take place during the warmer months. The 37th annual juried Art Fair will run July 17th; and it's the first-ever Tales and Tails, a celebration of dogs and reading, coming up August 12 through the 14th.
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