Minnesota — Overview
The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is the kind of place thrill seekers dream about when planning an outdoor adventure. Water is everywhere you look, creating endless opportunities for boating and fishing, even in the winter. The brief summer season opens up Minnesota’s wild countryside for biking, hiking, golfing, and more. And when you need an injection of urban life, towns like Duluth and Minneapolis are never far away.
Minnesota’s ability to provide both natural and social attractions is its key draw. The largest shopping mall in the Americas is just outside Minneapolis, while the most extensive canoeing wilderness in the world sits along the border with Canada. In summer and fall the driving is superb, with great towns like Stillwater and Duluth providing perfect destinations to stop for the night.
Most people come to Minnesota for the outdoor recreation. In winter there are 20,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, while the exquisite Boundary Waters and wilderness park make canoeing the summer adventure of a lifetime. Besides all the impressively accessible yet pristine nature, Minnesota also offers visitors one of America’s coolest cities in Minneapolis-St Paul. Known for its vibrant arts community, it’s the ideal mix of trendy minus pretentious.
The term "Minnesota nice" really is an accurate way to describe the friendly, hospitable folks who call this state home. Few visitors leave Minnesota soured by the locals or by the value. You can expect reasonable accommodations, ridiculously large portions at restaurants and cozy warmth even in the dead of winter.
You will certainly want to have a set of wheels to experience the magic of Minnesota. To reach the state parks alone requires your own transportation, and even within most towns you will be grateful for the flexibility of your own car. In winter, things get a bit dicey on the roads when the ice hits. Be sure you have the driving skills required to stay safe if planning a snowy trip.
- Experience the depth of Minneapolis’ live music scene in the bars and clubs of the cool Warehouse District
- Canoe more than 1,200 miles of mapped waterways in the superlative Boundary Waters
- Get lost in the Mall of America, the continent’s biggest indoor shopping center
- Take in the extraordinary mix of art in the Walker Art Center, Minnesota’s premier museum
- Check out the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park
- See wildlife at the Minnesota Zoo, a highlight of the town of Apple Valley
- Savor the historic charms of Duluth, one of the pleasantest small cities in America tucked on the shore of Lake Superior