BBOnline Member SINCE 2001

The Magic Door Bed & Breakfast

818 Division St. South, Northfield, Minnesota 55057
Innkeeper(s): Pamela Sanford
  • Introduction

    The Magic Door is a stately, three story, Victorian located on a spacious corner lot, just two blocks from downtown Northfield, Minnesota. It was built in 1899 by Henry Boe, the owner of one of Northfield's first hardware stores. The house had been both a private residence and a triplex before I purchased it in February 2001 to create the bed and breakfast.

    What makes a place magical? Is it vintage charm? Cozy beds? Endless ammenites can certainly contribute to a special experience, but real magic is something internal and intangible. It's a feeling you get when you're in a good place, and everything seems perfectly in sync. People create that magic, and they leave a bit behind when they go. This is why, after so many years, The Magic Door lives up to it's name. And it is why, as the innkeeper, I'm so grateful for my guests: those who have stayed, those who return, and those who will come in the future. You are the magic.

    Northfield is a friendly, historic town situatied 35 miles south of the Twin Cities on the Cannon River. It is home to St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges, two top-rated schools that draw students from all over the country. In addition to the attractions and activities available year round on each campus, Northfield also offers many recreational opportunities such as biking, canoeing, golfing, and hiking in the nearby Big Woods State Park. The downtown area contains many well-preserved historic buildings that house restaurants, shops, antique stores, and the town's museum.

    After enjoying a delicious, home cooked breakfast, you can relax in your whirlpool, take a nice nap, or cozy up in your room to watch a movie. The leather couches in the parlor are the perfect place to settle down with a good book, play a game of cards or Scrabble, or simply share some conversation and a cup of tea. In the warmer months, the front porch is best spot to sit and purge all thoughts of the winter cold.

    Just a short walk takes you downtown for dining, shopping, or a visit to the local museum, bakery, antique stores or coffee shops and micro-breweries. From June to October, on Saturday mornings, the downtown area features an outdoor farmer's market that includes crafts and artwork by local vendors. Stroll along the riverwalk at sunset, or sip a glass of wine on the outdoor patio of a local restaurant. The Magic Door is perfectly located; close to everything yet peacefully removed from downtown traffic in a quiet and charming residential neighborhood.

    In case you don't want to miss your workout while you're in Northfield, Magic Door guests have free access the the Anytime Fitness facility, just 2 blocks from the inn, or can attend a complimentary yoga or Barre class at the Heartwork Yoga studio, just 4 blocks away.

  • Amenities

    • Air conditioning
    • Flat screen LED TV
    • Cable and smart DVD players
    • WIFI
    • Extensive movie selection
    • Netflix in all rooms
    • Mini-fridges
    • CD Players & Bluetooth speakers
    • Afternoon fruit & cheese tray
    • Robes/hairdryers
    • Cozy parlor
    • Sitting nook
    • Front porch seating
    • Bottomless cookie jar, snacks and ice cream
    • Complimentary wine, beer and sherry, sodas and bottled water
  • Area Information

    Of the city's numerous annual events, The Defeat of Jesse James Days, a four day festival in early September, attracts the most visitors and publicity. The celebration ignites the town with a carnival atmosphere and features a daily parade and re-enactment of the famed James Gang robbery attempt of the Northfield Bank in 1876.

    For a small town, Northfield offers quite a variety of dining options. In addition to American cuisine, and the numerous pizza places you'd expect to find in a college town, we also have Indian, Mexican, and Chinese venues and even a Japanese Grill that serves fresh sushi for lunch and dinner. Blocks away from St. Olaf College, you'll find the Ole Store Restaurant, which features an upscale, casual atmosphere and an innovative menu that is a favorite of residents and visiting college parents. We also have two local micro-breweries: Imminent Brewing (just blocks from inn) and The Tanzenwald Brewery. Both offer thier own unique selection of taps and live music on the weekends. Martini fans should check out Loon Liquors, Northfield's very own bar and distillery tucked away on the edge of town but popular with the locals.

    The Downtown area is quaint and inviting, featuring a wide variety of unique shops, a coffee house, Cupcake cafe, antique stores, bakery, museum and even a town square. It's a great place to wander around, shopping, snacking...relaxing by the river. Live music is often available downtown at the Tavern Lounge, The Contented Cow, and The Grand Event Center, and also in nearby Dundas at Dawn's Corner Bar. The colleges frequently offer free concerts throughout the year, as well as sporting events, lectures and seminars. Theater performances are presented by the Northfield Arts Guild and other independent theater groups.

    For a complete list of local events, contact the Northfield Chamber at (800) 658-2584 or check their websites: or

    If you are interested in renting kayaks or paddleboards for use on the Cannon River, or attending snowshoeing adventures in the winter, please contact The Gear Resource in nearby Dundus at 507-407-GEAR;; [email protected].

    Northfield HighlightsThe Magic Door Bed and Breakfast buildings with sky view

    • Picturesque, historic downtown area
    • St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges
    • The Cannon River
    • Shops and Antique Stores
    • Hiking, Biking, canoeing & golf
    • Snowmobiling & skiing
    • Numerous Parks
    • Carleton's Japanese Garden & Aboretum
    • The Christmas Festival
    • The Winter Wall
    • Local Art & Theater: (507) 645-8877Northfield Arts Guild
  • Guests Comments

    The Magic Door Bed and Breakfast

    What are Guests Say

    "Our room was so delightful we didn't even go out for dinner! So pretty, so comfortable, and every amenity one could imagine so why go out?!"-Adina & Kevin Overbee St Paul, MN

    "Thank you for the amazing food and hospitality. The room is exquisite. Of the B&B's we have traveled, we've found yours to be the most relaxing and inviting."-Quinn & Amy Bissonette Stewartville, MN

    "As frequent patrons of B&B's.. and the former manager of a gourmet restaurant and B&B.. I can confidently declare The Magic Door to be exceptional! It's like taking the best luxuries at each place we have stayed and combining them all in one perfect room!"-Kimberly & Christopher Mikla Stillwater, MN

  • Recognitions

    Voted the #1 Bed and Breakfast in Southern MN by Scene Magazine

    • Novemer 2016 isuue

    Minnesota Monthly Magazine

    • Features as one of nine great weekend getaway B&B's

    Minneapolis Star Tribune's Travel Section

    • Featured as a favorite retreat for a romantic weekend
    • The Magic Door has a "reputation for amenities and attention to detail."
  • Gift Certificates

    A Gift Certificate to The Magic Door Bed & Breakfast makes a perfect gift. Click here to order one.

  • How to Find Us

    The Magic Door Bed and Breakfast-Outside View


    1. From 1-35 or Hwy 3 take 19 east into Northfield
    2. Turn right on Division
    3. We are on the corner of Ninth and Division
    4. From 52 take Hwy 19 west
    5. It turns into Division St. when you get into town
    6. Proceed through the downtown area
    7. Pass the Econo Foods on your left, to the corner of Ninth and Division