Come the call of a much needed vacation, one of the best locations to consider is also one of those most underrated: Minnesota! Minnesota is a massive expanse of urban and natural fusion that provides all the best in weekend entertainment. Spend your time off perusing the deep halls of a museum, or finding your own footpath in the forest. Minnesota is also home to the shoreline of some of the great lakes. Check out why they call it ‘Lake Superior’ in all the magnificent beauty of this great state. For a quick guide, here are 10 of the best weekend getaways to explore in Minnesota.
Probably the most recognizable city in Minnesota, Minneapolis is not to be missed! This is a gorgeous, sprawling urban city center with new attractions around every corner. Check out the outskirts for expansive bike paths and lush parks or dive into the heart of the city for some good ole’ fashioned Minneapolis shopping. There is so much culture to explore here from art galleries to museums, and even an impressive number of concerts, shows, and plays that routinely flow through here. Get ready for the weekend getaway of a lifetime in Minneapolis.
A superior vacation on Lake Superior! Duluth is a waterfront downtown hub with something to do in every corner of the city. That being said: you’re going to want to make it to the water’s edge. It is a beautiful shoreline with an incredibly iconic aerial lift bridge as a gorgeous centerpiece. To name a few of the title attractions, Duluth is home to: Canal Park, Spirit Mountain Recreation Area, and Glensheen. Glensheen is a unique 1908 mansion that includes a truly breathtaking garden tour and house grounds seen seldom elsewhere.
For some truly spectacular outdoor views: check out Lake County! This is a city surrounded by beauty on all sides. Here you can voyage through the dense forests, or take a dip in the numerous streams and lakes scattered throughout the parks. Lake County is the proud home to popular outdoors destinations such as The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Gooseberry Falls State Park, and the Split Rock Lighthouse. It is also the city to stay in if you want to visit the incredible Tettegouche State Park which offers views of a waterfalls, steeping cliffs, and trickling rivers.
Saint Paul is a stunning Minnesota city where you can explore everything from waterfalls to cathedrals. It is a great place to go if you want both sides of a vacation. The gentle, quiet side where a babbling brook is the only noise for miles, and a bustling city center where you can enjoy the day shopping in the heart of the crowds. Here in Saint Paul, visitors typically recommend spending at least a day at the incredible Minnehaha Park. It has incredible foot paths and biking trails that make for all day outdoor fun. Check out the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory or the Cathedral of Saint Paul for some in-city entertainment.
Paradise for all ages! Stillwater is a great place to bring the whole family to enjoy a weekend getaway. For kids, check out the incredibly unique Teddy Bear Park. There is literally a giant statue of a Teddy Bear at the heart of this playground, and further opens into a great space for children to play the day away. Adults will love the Northern Vineyards Winery! Sample some of the best in Minnesota wines at this location, and take a tour of the gorgeous vineyards.
Shopaholics will instantly recognize this name as the proud home of the gigantic Mall of America. At the Mall of America you can shop around the hundreds of different stores to find your perfect keepsake or outfit! More than that, Bloomington is full of family fun adventures. Check out Nickelodeon Universe wherein you and your family can explore everything that goes into the television business. The Minnesota Zoo is another great stop as you marvel at animals from all over the world. Take a deep dive into the adventure and make sure you stop by SEA LIFE at the Mall of America for one of the best oceanic exhibits of all time. There is so much to do in Bloomington!
Rochester is primarily referenced when talking about the highest rated medical clinic in the country: The Mayo Clinic. However, there is much more to this city than just the one landmark. Rochester is bordered by lush natural wildlife, and harbors some truly riveting tourist attractions. When in Rochester, visit the Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo for wildlife wonders. Or, check out the Mayowood Mansion Museum, or the Plummer for some of the best in Minnesota architecture.
For those whose preferred method of transportation is by water, Ely is for you! It is surrounded by numerous lakes and rivers and provides some of the best spots for kayak and canoeing in the entire Northern USA. Ely is a charming outdoors town that includes such title attractions as the International Wolf Center, the Dorothy Molter Museum, and the North American Bear Center. Answer the call of the wild and go to Ely!
Grand Marais is a beautiful lake-side town that is perfect for any weekend getaway. It was originally a fishing town that saw mass amounts of shipments, and now acts as a popular tourist destination known across the country. Visit the lake and lighthouse at the Artists’ Point or check out the Siverston Gallery and find out for yourself what makes Grand Marais so memorable.
Often referred to as the playground of Minnesota, Brainerd is a title attraction for all ages. Go from lush, thick outdoor experiences to the luxuries of civilization all within the city limits. Take a bike ride through the scenic Minnesota trail ways, and spend the following day relaxing in a hot tub at the Three Bear Waterpark. Brainerd is a place where you can do it all and truly make the most out of your vacation.