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This Is Our Story


Photo credit: Nicole Zempel

Authentic Excursions was formed out of a genuine appreciation for the warmth, creativity, and natural beauty of the Granite Falls community and the desire to share it with others. Our founder, Melissa, moved to Granite Falls just a few years ago, after she became a member-owner and board member of the local cooperatively owned pub, the Bluenose Gopher. She fell in love with lazy afternoon kayak floats on the Minnesota river, the lichen patterns on the ancient granite bluffs, the awkward-looking pelicans bobbing under the dam, the sounds of laughter and live music at the pub, the incredibly buttery popcorn at the 100 year old popcorn stand, and above all, the growing community of people creating a movement of art, creativity and possibility by being brave enough to say yes.

Granite Falls is truly a special place, currently in the midst of a downtown renaissance and a renewed appreciation of the natural beauty of this region. Melissa has met so many incredible people with a myriad of talents and knowledge and the willingness to share it. Those conversations and collaborations led to the birth of Authentic Excursions, created as a way to introduce others - the perpetually curious, engaged and fascinated - to a place that is still real, still wild, still rural, and still authentic. 

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