Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, and home of the Twin Cities, is known for their harsh winters, but there are still many great places to visit in Minnesota. It’s one of the most popular states for fishing, and has the most biking trails than any other state in the United States. Here is a glimpse into the great places to visit in Minnesota. Uff-da!
We recently did a post on the best places to live for outdoor adventures, and Minneapolis was a city that could have made the list too. Minneapolis is full of parks and no matter where you are in Minneapolis, you’re never more than 6 blocks away from one. There’s 197 parks in Minneapolis alone. Crazy!
One park that is a must see in Minneapolis is Minnehaha Park. It’s home to a 53 foot waterfall, and you can either bike or hike around the park. The trails are maintained year around, so even it has snowed several feet of snow, it’s still worth going to!
Bde Maka Ska
If you’re looking for time on the water, Bde Maka Ska is the largest lake in Minneapolis and is one the most popular places during the summer for Minnesotans. There’s also trails around the lake, so if you want to be just near the water, you can do that too. It’s a great lake for sailing or kayaking in the summer. If you’re there in the winter, it’s a popular place for ice fishing for walleye, northern pike, and crappies 💩
Interstate State Park
A little bit outside of Minneapolis, but close enough, is Interstate State Park. If you love potholes, this is your kind of place. Ok, not the potholes you’re thinking of. These potholes are ones formed by glaciers and is home to the deepest pothole ever explored in the world.
There’s also a beautiful 1.25 mile hike that has views of the St. Croix River. If you’re here in the fall, the colors are amazing. Additionally, if you love to rock climb, this is a great place to go because of the cliffs and bluffs.
For more information on Interstate State Park, check out this post by explorationvacation.net!
North Shore (Coast of Lake Superior)
Tettegouche State Park
For those that love to hike, this might be one of the best places to hike, not only in Minnesota, but in all of the Midwest. With that in mind, it had to make our list of places to visit in Minnesota. The park is located on the north side of Lake Superior, and has beautiful views of the lake, especially from Shovel Point. Shovel Point is only a 20 minute walk from the visitor center in the park, so you have to do this if you visit.
Minnesota has plenty of waterfalls available to see, but Tettegouche State Park is home to the tallest waterfall in Minnesota, the High Falls on the Baptism River. You can look at them from the bottom of the falls or from the top of the falls. Just don’t go over the falls :)
If you love waterfalls in general, Gooseberry Falls is home to some of the best waterfalls in Minnesota. There are waterfalls all over the park. Within the park, there are 18 miles of hiking trails and if you’re there in the winter, there are 15 miles of cross-country skiing trails.
If fishing is more of your style, this is known to be a great place for trout fishing. There are lot of spots where you can cool off in the water near the falls or fish right in the water.
Itasca State Park
Itasca State Park is the oldest state park in Minnesota. It was founded to protect the source of the Mississippi River, the headwaters, as Itasca State Park is known to be the “birthplace of the Mississippi”. There’s actually a marker that marks the beginning of the Mississippi River which makes for a great photo op.
It’s also one of the largest state parks as it spans over 32,000 acres and is home to 100 lakes. Yeah, that’s not a typo.
There’s all kinds of wildlife in the park too. From Bald Eagles, otters, and mink, you’re bound to see some awesome wildlife. Just be careful when you do see them!
For a little more information on the park and others in the area, check out this post by the Wandering Sea Goat!
Duluth is Outdoor Magazine’s “Best Town Ever”, so if you love the outdoors, Duluth is a city for you. Especially those who love winter and exploring when there’s snow on the ground. Duluth has plenty of hiking trails through forests and rugged terrain.
If you decide to visit Duluth in the warmer months, Duluth has plenty of fishing charters that go out onto Lake Superior. Just remember that Lake Superior is usually colder water, so it’s not always your best idea to jump right in if you decide you want to take a swim.
If you’re just looking for great views and relaxation though, there is the North Shore Scenic Drive that goes for 120 miles through Duluth and the coast on Lake Superior. It takes a few hours to drive, but it’s worth it. The scenic views it provides are not only some of the best views in the Midwest, but in the United States. There are plenty of places to stop and look around too!
For more information on Duluth and Minnesota in general, check out Packing for Plenty!
Rochester, Minnesota has been named one of the best places to live by Money Magazine and has been ranked as one of the most educated cities in the United State as well. It doesn’t hurt to be on our list of the great places to visit in Minnesota either! Similar to Minneapolis, Rochester also has many parks with more than 100 parks available. If you’re looking for a great smaller city to check out, Rochester should be on your list.
There are over 85 miles of hiking and biking trails that go throughout the city, and if you need a break from the outdoors, there’s a cool trolly tour that will take you around the city to learn more about it.
For the best hiking spots in Rochester, check out this list!
St. Cloud, Minnesota is located in the center of Minnesota is and is Minnesota’s 10th largest city. It’s a transportation hub if you’re traveling through Minnesota, but there is still plenty to do if you need a break from traveling.
One of the attractions to see is the Clemens Gardens. It’s a collection of 7 acres of gardens with a classical European design, with American flowers. If you’re in the area in the summer, this is a great place to stop at.
Adjacent to the Clemens Gardens are the Musinger Gardens which if you’re already at the Clemens Gardens, you might as well go visit the Musinger Gardens too. The Musinger Gardens are a bit older as they were built in the 1930s, compared to the 1990s as the Clemens Gardens were built, and cover 14 acres.
In both gardens there are some spectacular views and beautiful fountains. It’s a different way to adventure if you need to change it up a bit!
Overall, if you love waterfalls and love to hike, Minnesota has to be on your list of places to visit. The views you can see year around, especially the ones near Lake Superior are spectacular.
If you’re from Minnesota or you’ve visited some of these places, we’d love to hear about it! Let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, chatting with us, or even leave a comment!
Hope you enjoyed our list of great places to visit in Minnesota, and don’t forget to say “uff-da!” if you go there!
P.S. If there’s a place you could use an adventure guide to or would like us to write about a topic, let us know. We’re always up for new ideas!