The Magic Door

818 Division Street South , Northfield, MN 55057 USA (Show map)


The Magic Door is a stately, three story Victorian located just two blocks from downtown Northfield. The three room inn is quaint and relaxing with beautiful furnishings, quality towels and bedding, Serta Perfect Sleeper pillowtop mattresses and nicely appointed bathrooms. What makes a place magical? Is it vintage charm? Cozy beds? A bottomless jar of fresh chocolate chip cookies? Endless amenities 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 is 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 am so grateful for my guests: those who have stayed, those who return, and those who will come in the future. You are the magic.



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  • Guest room4.5
  • Service4.8
  • Value4.4
  • Cleanliness4.6
  • Onsite Dining4.7

Wonderful Stay

5 on December 07, 2017

We had a great time celebrating our first anniversary at The Magic Door. The breakfasts were delicious and Pamela was so friendly and made us feel very welcome. We stayed in the Summer Suite and it was gorgeous and very spacious. Northfield was a quiet but charming town, and we would highly recommend staying at The Magic Door if you have the opportunity.

Your next getaway!

5 on July 27, 2017

Our time at the Magic Door was one of the most delightful experiences that we have ever had! Relaxing and friendly, Pamela our host was engaging and wonderful. We stayed in the Spring Thing room. Sleep, read, or wander - the Magic Door is the perfect place to get renewed. Pamela is MORE THAN FAIR in her pricing! We didn't want to leave! Northfield is a wonderful town to wander in and around - be sure to enjoy a cup of her heavenly coffee!

Back again!

5 on March 27, 2017

We love the Magic Door. We've now stayed in all 3 rooms and they all have worked their magic. There's definitely something special about the place that makes you feel immediately relaxed. The atmosphere is warm, cozy and serene. The beds are heavenly. The innkeeper, Pamela, is fun to chat with. Great food and great breakfast conversations. A charming and unique refuge in a friendly little town.

You MUST stay here !!!

5 on October 21, 2016

Amazing experience. Pamela's (the innkeeper) attention to detail is AMAZING, down to the smallest things. She takes the utmost pride in her establishment and it shows. From her warm welcome and tour of the B&B, the afternoon snack, the chocolates placed throughout the home for snacking, the cleanliness, the quality and variety of breakfasts she serves each day, the sherry she has in the room for a little good night drink...honestly too many things to list. Believe me, this is the BEST place to stay in Northfield. Don't miss out at staying here

Excellent Experience

5 on October 13, 2014

The Magic Door is wonderful! I stayed in the Sunshine Room which includes a very large bathroom and dressing room. Everything about the Sunshine Room is excellent including the oversized whirlpool tub with hand shower head, toasty gas fire stove, day round natural light, awesome mattress, linens and feather pillows, and cozy feel. The Magic Door is very clean and the community rooms are warm, comfortable and inviting. Delicious snacks, desserts and breakfasts are graciously served by the friendly and relaxed owner. The Magic Door has the best accommodations in Northfield!

Innkeeper Response
Thanks Kristin! I'm so glad you enjoyed your time here and I really appreciate the kind words and the great review. Just for the sake of clarity, I should point out that the "Sunshine Room" is actually called Spring Thing. But it is nice and sunny, especially in the afternoons! ¿¿

- Pamela (innkeeper)

Walk Through the "Magic Door" . . .

5 on August 03, 2013

and you will be delighted. Pamela does it right. Beer, wine, cheese, fruit and cookies welcome you. Some of the things we appreciated were the very comfortable beds; comfortable furniture in the room as well as the common sitting area; games, puzzles, music and movies - and a wonderful breakfast. It's apparent Pamela takes pride in her business. She has even done one of the things that I would suggest every inn keeper do, spend a night in each room. That is the best way to make sure everything is perfect for the guests! The inn is located within easy walking distance of downtown.

Loved loved loved it!

4.8 on July 12, 2012

My husband surprised me for my birthday with a weekend getaway to the Magic Door in Northfield. From the moment we arrived, everything was perfect. Pamela welcomed us at the door and gave us a nice tray of fruit and cheese and a glass of wine (beer for my hubby) to take up to the room. She was friendly and smiley, but not intrusive. We stayed in "Spring Thing". In spite of the heat it was cool and cozy, with the sun shining in the windows. The sitting area was the perfect place to enjoy our snack. We immediately felt relaxed. Dinner out at the Ole Restaurant was awesome (Pamela's 1st choice) and the second night Indian cuisine at Chapati was also delicious. The breakfast's were filling and yummy and we really enjoyed talking with the owner and the other guests. The whirlpool by candlelight was super romantic and we even found time to watch a movie (with no kids interrupting!) It was definitely a magic place and the town is really pretty with plenty to see and do. A great place for a relaxing getaway!

We look forward to returning

4.0 on January 10, 2012

My wife and I felt pampered from when we came in, and Pamela greeted us with a tray of fruit, cheese and crackers, a bottle of wine and a jar of cookies. The room -- on the first floor -- was very comfortable, with a big, soft mattress and a thick comforter for warmth. I was a bit tall for the tub shower, but the detachable handset-showerhead accommodated. Pamela has a wonderful DVD movie collection to choose from. The breakfasts were delicious, beautifully presented and included desserts. We enjoyed and came to look forward to chatting with the other guests and with Pamela over breakfast (she joined with a cup of coffee after all had been served). We usually got out for the day later than we'd planned, because we lingered to talk. Because it's a 19th century home, I had to hunt around a bit for an electrical outlet to plug in my laptop, and dim lighting on one side of the bathroom mirror made shaving a bit of a challenge, but they were minor inconveniences. We hope to stay at the Magic Door again next time we visit Northfield, and would recommend it to anyone looking for some pampering and personal attention. .

Innkeeper Response
I realize this is a rather tardy response, but I just wanted to say that the bathroom has been (long since) updated with a larger mirror and a much better light so the issues mentioned have been addressed. As far as the outlets... one word... power strip. It seems to serve the purpose. Many thanks to the reviewer for bringing these deficiencies to light while still providing a thoughtful and positive review. And it only took me 5 years to write a response!

- Pamela (innkeeper)

A Relaxing Retreat

5 on December 26, 2011

Hi, Pam! I promised I'd write.....can't believe it's taken this long! Your hospitality was fantastic! We loved everything.....the wine & cheese; the wonderful breakfast (but we never did get our dessert---!)--too busy talking to you, I guess! Thanks for the tomatoes, etc. We definitely needed to stay more than one night! Next time we're in Northfield, we'll definitely stay here!

super nice

5 on December 08, 2011

This was our first time staying at a B&B and I think maybe we'll be a bit spoiled because of all the fun extra stuff that Pamela provides that maybe you don't find at every inn. We of course loved the room and the whirlpool and the super comfy bed, but didn't expect to get complimentary wine (beer for the bf), a tray with fruit and cheese and crackers, and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. There was also a great selection of movies and the breakfast was delicious! (we even had dessert!) Pamela, was fun to talk to, and so were the other guests. We didn't want to go home! Can't wait to go back in the summer. Northfield is such a pretty little town. Quiet and friendly, but still with plenty of shops and things to do. The Ole restaurant was a great recommendation.

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Rooms & Rates

Summer Suite

The jewel of the house. A spacious second floor bedroom (over 400 square feet) with gorgeous wood floors, lots of windows and an elegant country appeal. Includes a king-sized pine canopy bed, separate sitting area with love seat and armchair, and an intimate table for two. A pine armoire contains a 32" flat screen TV with digital cable, smart DVD & Netflix. Enjoy some music from the CD selection, or stream your own to the portable Bluetooth speaker. The corner gas fireplace warms winter nights and the heart shaped double whirlpool in the bath also includes a stand up shower.

  • Maximum Capacity: 4
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 King

Nightly Rate: $145 - $195

Spring Thing

Fresh and bright with west facing windows for radiant late afternoons. Two comfortable armchairs are perfect for good books and intimate chats. The queen sized iron bed and free standing gas fireplace have a soothing, old-world charm. Hiding in the armoire is a 32" TV with digital cable and DVD player with Netflix. Relax with some music from the CD selection, or stream your own to the Bluetooth speaker. A large double whirlpool in the spacious bath also contains a stand up shower.

  • Maximum Capacity: 3
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen

Nightly Rate: $125 - $175


This cozy first floor hidewaway features an inlaid wood floor, teal walls and soft shades of autumn. Furnishings include a four-poster cherry bed, antique marble top nightstands and a grand mahogany armoire. Enjoy a movie on the 29" flatscreen TV (with digital cable and DVD player with Netflix), or stream some music to the portable Bluetooth speaker. A stunning decorative fireplace provides a beautiful centerpiece for this inviting room. The private bath has a single whirlpool with a stand up shower.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen

Nightly Rate: $100 - $140

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Location Type

Cannon River, St. Olaf College, Carleton College, Small town


Minneapolis, MN (MSP-Minneapolis-St. Paul Intl.) 35 miles

Directions to property:

35W to Hwy 19 East. Follow for 6 miles into Northfield. Cross Hwy 3 and turn right onto Division. Go 4 blocks to the corner of Division and 9th.

Area Attractions

Antique Shopping, Art Galleries, Concert venue, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Live Music, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Night life, Big Woods State Park, Carleton Arboreum, St. Olaf & Carleton colleges, Cabela's , Mall of America, Cannon Valley Bike Trail, Outlet Stores, Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, River, Ski area, University, Vineyard, Winery

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Inn Details

Establishment type


On-site amenities

Board games, Coffee/Tea facilities, Copier, Ironing Board, Movie library, Parking, Walk to mass transit, Washer/dryer, Wired internet , afternoon snack with wine or beer, chocolates & candles in rooms, DVD movie collection, complimentary sherry, soda, bottled water, Sunday paper and magazine selection, bottomless cookie jar

Room amenities

Air conditioning, Alarm clock, Bath robes, CD player, DVD Player, Desk, Fireplace, Fridge, Hairdryer, Hot tub/whirlpool tub, Library, Radio, Satellite/Cable TV, TV, Wi-Fi

On-site activities

Bicycle riding trails, Bird watching, Canoeing, Cross-country ski trails, Downhill Skiing, Golfing, Hiking trails, Kayaking, Winter Walk, live music, Jesse James Days, Christmas festival, local theater, day spa, Shopping, Sight-seeing

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  • Check In:: flexible
  • Check Out:: 11am
  • Open All Year Round: Yes
  • Smoking Allowed: Outside only front porch only
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided Yes
  • Suitable For Children: Limited acceptions made in some circumstances- ask when reserving
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No
  • Disabled Access Limited

Terms and Conditions

  • Minimum Stay: only on graduation (3 nights) and parent's weekends (2)
  • Accepted payments VISA, Discover, Mastercard, Personal checks, Travelers checks, Cash
  • Deposit Amount Required: Must guarantee reservation with a credit card number or a deposit (cash or check) for first night's stay.
  • Cancellations: Cancellations require a 10 day notice. Those who cancel after the deadline will receive a gift certificate for a week night stay, valid Sunday through Thursday, for one year.
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Pamela Sanford

Languages spoken


Resident Pets

About the innkeepers

My educational background is actually in Art and Filmmaking, but I spent many years working in hospitality. In 2001, I felt I needed a change and decided to open up a small B&B. Northfield was on my list of potential towns... I found the house... and, after a few trials and no small expense, The Magic Door sprung to life. Best decision ever! I love being an innkeeper. B&B's seem to attract the coolest guests. In spite of the perpetual laundry, it's a pretty charmed life.

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  • Time Served: anytime between 7 and 10am
  • Serving Location: Dining Room

Special meal options

Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian Vegan, Gluten free, Afternoon Snack-Fruit cheese and crackers.

Signature Dish

Baked Apple Pancake
Everybody likes it!


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