Minnesota, known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is marked by natural beauty and exciting cities. It is the northernmost state in the contiguous United States, creating cold summers and very warm summers. In its early history, Minnesota was populated by the Dakota People, a subculture of Sioux Native Americans, and Ojibwe peoples who migrated from the Northeast. The first European settlers in Minnesota were 17th-century French fur traders, eventually leading the state to its adoption into the Union in 1858. Whether you’re looking for a rich artistic culture or an outdoor adventure, Minnesota is sure to have something you’ll love.
Minnesota’s several sports teams create an exciting fan base. Visit the homes of the Timberwolves, Vikings, Twins, and Wild (Minnesota’s NHL team) for a tour or a home game. The Mall of America—large enough to house an aquarium, theme park, and two hotels—is a great attraction as well as a practical destination for shopping. Explore the state’s vibrant artistic scene in the Twin Cities area, where galleries feature everything from Russian art to live shows at the Walker Art Center. Of course, there are also thousands of lakes in which to enjoy Minnesota’s natural beauty.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul area always has a fun event going on. From annual bonfires to jazz festivals, this is a lively destination that’s sure to have something to entertain you. St. Paul is an architecture-lover’s dream—the Cathedral of St. Paul, Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, and Science Museum of Minnesota area all beautiful places to explore. Enjoy the pretty and peaceful gardens in Saint Cloud, such as the Munsinger and Clemens Gardens, and then grab a beer at Beaver Island Brewery. Duluth, full of parks and waterfront property, is a lovely and serene destination. Be sure to visit Leif Erickson Park & Rose Garden, and take a little road trip along Minnesota’s North Shore Scenic Drive.
Lindstrom, a small town surrounded by lakes, calls itself “America’s Little Sweden.” Here, residents and visitors enjoy festivals, bakeries, and architecture that honor its heritage. For a fun and unusual adventure, drive up to the Northwest Angle, the northernmost place in the continental United States. This will require a passport, as visitors pass through Canada to get to this geographic oddity. Red Wing has everything you could hope for from a small town—farmer’s markets, historic buildings, hiking and biking, and more.
There are 11,482 lakes in Minnesota, meaning there are 11,482 opportunities to go fishing, boating, and relaxing on the beach. Lake Vermilion enjoys excellent fishing as well as beautiful shoreline that lights up with gorgeous fall colors once the weather cools down. From Duluth, you can access Lake Superior—the largest freshwater lake in the world—which enjoys sandy beaches, scenic lighthouses, and excellent boating. For a rustic escape, pack up and go to Boundary Waters Canoe Area, where you’ll trade in stress for solitude. Lake Nokomis is easily accessible from Minneapolis, and it provides boat rentals and a famous concession stand.
Grand Portage National Monument, a Historic Depot next to Lake Superior, shows visitors both the natural beauty surrounding the area and its fur trading history. Voyageurs National Park, made up almost equally of land and water, features guided tours, hikes, and camping among ancient rocks. Visitors can enjoy viewing Bald Eagles, Moose, Gray Wolves, and more in this dramatic, glacier-formed National Park. Amid an urban environment, visitors have the opportunity to relax on the Mississippi River. The 72-mile river park features hiking and biking trails, fishing, and visitor centers which outline the famous river’s history.
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