Imagine every souvenir shop you have ever been into under one roof. That’s what you get at Treasure City on the side of Hwy 10 in Royalton, MN.
This unique shop and giant pirate cut out has intrigued me for 25 years. I’ve never stopped at it though until this week. I had a last minute appointment in Little Falls that freed up my afternoon, and I figured I might as well finally see the inside of this roadside shack.
The location is intended to be a sort of unique rest stop for families traveling north. There is a picnic area to grab a bite to eat and a area for kids to run off some energy. It’s a place to stretch the legs and see some curiosities.
When you walk into Treasure City the first thing you see is a “200-pound man eating clam”, and it only gets more strange from there. Everything from pocket knifes, to taxidermed crocodile heads, ceramic figures, and Minnetonka Moccasins, this place really does have something for everyone like their sign says.
Every aisle was another adventure. It was almost like a store of souvenirs that were once for sale at another souvenir shop that went out of business. If that makes sense.
One of my favorite things was a “Barrel of Rocks”. This was always my go-to souvenir on family trips as a kid. It’s nothing more than a shallow tub of polished rocks that you pick your favorites out of, and put into a tiny drawstring bag. I couldn’t resist and filled one up to take home. My inner 90’s kid was thrilled.
As I was checking out I noticed a wooden box by the exit filled with mystery packages. I had to have one. Everything in this place was a mystery in itself, so getting something at random felt like the perfect end to this mini adventure. I picked one out and left with my small sack of rocks, a package of Zebra Fruit Stripes gum, and mystery prize wrapped in butcher paper. Overall I left feeling a little confused as to what I just took in with my eyes, but overall, satisfied with the stop.
If you have always wondered what is inside the walls of Treasure City, photos don’t do it justice. You just need to stop and experience it for yourself. You might just find your sack of rocks, or you end up with a mystery box containing a miniature version of backgammon. You can’t win ’em all.